Learn the Side Flip

Side Flip - Tricking & Capoeira

The side flip is a flip often seen in XMA (extreme martial arts) where you jump off twisted 90 degrees to the running direction and flip over like if you were doing a slanted front flip. Learn the gymnastic front flip and the cartwheel without hands before you try the side flip. If you jump from a 1m springboard into water, you can try the sideflip first.

Description: Side Flip - Tricking & Capoeira

  • Run forward and make a hop from your right leg. Hop from your right leg if you step forward into cartwheels and roundoffs with your left leg. An advanced variation to jump off into a side flip is from an over-twisted roundoff. At the same time lift your hands up to head level. Keep your abs contracted slightly and don't sit down or back. Don't bend your knees too much.
  • The right foot goes down first and then the left foot goes down approximately one shoulder width in front of the right foot. (one shoulder width or less) The feet should not be twisted forward more than 45 degrees. If you twist your feet too far forward you will do a front flip instead of a side flip.
  • Extend your arms overhead and bounce off from both legs at the same time. The biggest mistake you could make at this point is to bend down your trunk. Don't forget that you have to gain hight before you can flip over. The arms, the trunk and the legs should be extended and in one line for a short moment when your feet leave the ground. Before you bounce off your entire body should be lined up vertical for a moment. Don't sit back. (leaning slightly forward is better) The illustration above is a bit exreme, but it is the best form for a high side flip. Side flips performed on hard ground, concrete or grass are seldom performed with a perfect arm strike like illustrated here. So just make sure your hands are over shoulder level when you jump off. And dont' don't don't bend down your upper body too early. You are recommended to learn the side flip from a trampoline into very soft landing mats or from a 1m springboard into water first. Side flips into water are very easy. Even easier than normal front flips.
  • Lift your knees and grab your shins. There are several ways how you can swing down your arms. To find the method that works best for you, i recommend you practice the side flip from a 1m springboard into water first. Moving down the hands in front of the chest works just as good as lowering the hands sideways with extended elbows.
  • Landing: Lift / seperate your hands to balance out the landing and land on your right leg first. Side flips are often landed with the feet 2 shoulder widths apart. For example in a horse stance.

Trainer advice: Side Flip - Tricking & Capoeira

  • Because of the landing with the toes not pointing to the running direction, the side flip is dangerous for the knees. You shouldn't try the side flip on hard ground right away.
  • Learn the front flip and the cartwheel without hands before you try the side flip. If you jump from a 1m springboard into water, you can learn the side flip first.
  • What are the easiest ways to learn the side flip:
    • From a 1m sprinboard into water
    • Trampoline to thick landing mats
    • Reuther springboard to landing mats
    • Tumbling floor
  • Methods to learn the side flip:
    • Learn the front flip and then jump off more and more sideways.
    • Learn the carthweel without hands and then try to tuck in mid-air.
      Later try to jump off from both feet together.
    • Learn the dive roll - then roll down sideways - see judo roll instruction.

Videos: Side Flip - Tricking & Capoeira

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