For years, acrobats have defied gravity by performing different tricks from flying through the air to balancing in ways originally thought impossible. What many do not realize, is that gravity plays an important factor in the way acrobats perform their skills.
For acrobats, force, acceleration, positioning, and core strength along with their center of gravity help them to achieve and perfect their skills. Different skills require you to shift your center of gravity to help you hold and maintain your balance.
It’s very important to be aware of your body and to focus on the exact placement as you move through time and space.
Double leg with and arched back: If you’re incorporating standing skills that required an arched back, your center of gravity is going to shift forward. Find your center point at your abdominals and slow press your hips forward as you begin to arch you back. This will help you to counterbalance the weight of you upper body, allowing you to hold and maintain your position.
Possé Position: When performing a possé, you should slowly shift your weight and center of gravity over one leg. Keep your abdominals pulled in and your core changed. Shoulders should stay above your hips, hips should be squared and above your supporting leg. One you find your balance on your supporting leg, carefully bring your opposite foot to your knee. Your center of gravity only shifts slightly to the left or right depending on what leg your support is on.
Arabesque/Scorpion: Whenever your take your leg behind you, your center of gravity needs to shift forward to counterbalance. Without doing this, gravity will pull your leg away from your center which will keep you from holding your position. Remember to keep your core engaged and slowly allow your chest to move forward without dropping your shoulders. If you allow your shoulders or chest drop, gravity will pull you forward. It’s important to find the balances between the weight of your leg as well as the weight of your shoulders. Take these exercise at home.
Standard Handstand: When performing a handstand, your base of gravity moves from your feet to your hands. Although your body shifts from an upright position to a downright position, your center of gravity stays the same…in your core. The most important thing to focus on is the placement of your hips and shoulders. Shoulders should be above the wrists, hips should be above your shoulders. If you allow your shoulders or hips to shift forward or backward, gravity pulls. Like standing, it’s all about finding and maintaining your center of gravity.
Hollowback Handstand: Whenever performing a hollowback handstand, whether your legs are together or apart, your center of gravity needs to shift forward to counter the pull of your leg or legs. As you begin to arch your back, slowly press your shoulders and chest forward to find the balance in gravity between the upper part of your body and lower part of your body.
Single Arm Skills
One Arm Handstand: Performing a single arm handstand requires a shift in your core to fight against gravity. In single arm handstands, your center of gravity is at more of a diagonal. When shifting your weight from both hands to one, make sure your shoulder is directly above your supporting hand. Your shoulder will slightly angle to counterbalance the weight onto your supporting leg. Although your weight may be on one arm, your shoulders and hips should be in alignment with each other. This means, your hips will also shift to a slight diagonal to counter the weight of your body. Read this article for advanced acrobatics.
Tips and Conclusion
Balance is achieved around your center of gravity. The lower the center of gravity is, the more stable it is. The higher the center of gravity, the more likely you are to topple over. If you’re a top, practice your skills on the ground before performing them with your base. Remember that your core serves as an important factor when finding your center of gravity. Without core strength, it’s hard to find the balance of your body weight when performing skills. The more you aware you are of your body, the more success you’ll have as an acrobat in achieving your goals.
So, does body size matter in acrobatics? we answered here.