Fundamental skills play an important part in acrobatics training. Skipping the basic, you will face a lot of problems advancing to the next level.

In this article, you will learn the right way to practice acrobatics exercises at home. It is great for both beginners or experienced individual getting better in acrobatics.

Flexibility Skills

Flexibility is an important factor for all acrobats. In addition to preventing injury, it’s a skill that can be incorporated as you perform different poses and tricks within acrobatics.

Pike: Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you. Extend your arms above your head and sit up as tall as you can. Keeping your core engaged and your back flat, slowly hinge forward from your hips to fold over your legs as much as you can while reaching toward your feet with both hands. 

Splits: To start, first get into a lunge position with your back knee on the floor. Gently press your hips forward to open your hip flexors. Next, press your hips back to straighten your front leg. Hold this position for 30 seconds to stretch your hamstring then slowly slide your front leg forward while keeping your hips squared off. Only go as far as your body allows you to go. As time goes on, your body will allow itself to get lower into a full split position. It takes time and practice.

Straddle/Pancake: Sit on the floor in an open straddle position with straight legs. The more flexible you are, the wider your legs will be. While keeping your back as straight as possible slowly reach forward to bring your body as close to the floor as youc an. 

Balance Skills

Balance is another important factor for acrobats. Good balance helps you stabilize your position when performing skills and allows you to transition from one skill to another with ease.

Arabesque/Scale: Start with one foot forward and your opposing leg behind you. Carefully shift your weight over your supporting leg while lifting your back leg off the ground. Place one arm forward for counterbalance and extend the opposite arm beside you. As you become comfortable with this position you can practice hinging forward while maintaining your balance to bring your back leg higher creating a scale position. 

Scorpion/Needle: Place one foot forward and the other foot behind you. Shift your weight forward to the supporting leg. Once you’ve found your balance carefully reach back to grab and lift your leg off the ground and extend your opposite arm forward for counterbalance. As you become more flexible you can begin to pull your leg up into a standing split position (needle). 

Handstand: Start in a standing lunge position with your arms extended above your head. Hinge forward into a T-position to reach as far forward as you can. Swing your back leg up while pressing off the floor with the opposite leg and bring both legs together. Press through your shoulders and keep your arms as straight as you can help find and maintain your balance.

If this is too difficult you can start with your back against a wall. Extended both arms up and place them on the floor in front of you. Slowly walk your legs up the wall while pressing firmly into the floor. This will allow you to get used to carrying your weight in your hands to find your balance. 

As you become more familiar with the handstand, you can experiment with different positions (splits, knee bends, contortion) and movements (half turns, full turns, etc.)

Tumbling

In tumbling, tricks of summersaults and twists are usually performed. These skills require body awareness, technique, and precise timing.  

Forward roll: Start in a standing position with both arms extended above your head. Bend your knees and place your hands on the floor. Tuck your head and slowly push forward off your legs onto the back of your head and back while maintaining a tucked position. As you continue to roll forward, reach forward, place your feet flat on the floor and rise to a standing position.

Backward roll: Start in a standing position with both arms extended above your head. Bend both of your knees and bring your hands to your ears with your palms up and elbows forward. Push back onto your butt and back while keeping your knees in tucked position and your chin down.  As your hands touch the floor, push off your head and onto your feet into a standing position with your arms extended above your head. 

Cartwheel: Start in a lunge position with both arms extended above your head. Reach forward through a T-position slowly rotating through your torso. Push off your front leg and place both hands on the floor in a “T” shape. Keeping both legs separated, continue through the motion. As your leg starts to descend place it on the floor with a slight bend and bring both arms up while bringing your back leg down to end in a lunge position (you should end in the same position you started in with the opposite leg forward). 

Round off: Similar to the cartwheel, start in a lunge position with both arms extended above your head. Reach forward through a T-position slowly rotating through your torso. Push of your front leg and place both hands hand on the floor into a “T” shape.” As you rotate through the motion, bring both legs together into a handstand position. Continue to rotate without separating your legs and as your legs drop, push off your arms through your shoulders and, “snap” your legs down. Once you land, finish with a small jump or, “rebound” with your arms above your head in a hollow body position. This will help prepare you for connecting skills after the round off.  

Bridge: Lay on your back with your needs and arm bent, feel and hand flat on the floor. Simultaneous press yourself off the floor while supporting yourself with your arms and legs. As you become more comfortable with this position, work on bringing your feet together and straighten your legs. 

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