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Getting around in your Back Dive

For this week’s technique tip, we're offering up cues and common mistakes to help you get around in Back Dive. A skill that we find many have a difficult time with when it comes to the correct order of operations to rotate around with ease. We’ve included the wrap for this particular back dive, though the tips also apply to other backwards falling back dives that require you to catch the pole with the free hand.


See below for a video breakdown and tips!

THE SET-UP We wrap this skill by inverting with our rope, (or silk!) in the middle and hooking the right knee. Wrap the bottom leg as high up your thigh as possible. Reach under the hooked knee and remove that leg. Squeeze legs together immediately to prevent slipping! Grab the tail with the right arm, and voila! This wrap seems very minimal, which is why we call it the Simple Back Dive! THE TECHNIQUE To set yourself up for success, begin by pushing away from the pole forcefully and then lift your chest as you arc backward. You will turn towards the free arm and grab the pole as you sit up. To exit, reach the free arm up to the pole, then key over to the left. Swim the tail over your body and you're out!

COMMON MISTAKES One of the most common mistakes is not committing to the drop and trying to let the wrap take you around. You must actively push away from the pole to have enough force to complete the rotation! Note: you will not fall if you don’t commit, but you will dangle as long as you maintain tension on the tail. Another common mistake is not pulling enough slack. This will simply not allow you to complete the rotation as you have nowhere to go: you've used all the tail you can! Grab the tail and extend your hand up to around your shoulder. If you pike the whole time, you also won't make it around as your chest won't lift up and you won't be able to grab the pole! Make sure to grab enough slack, commit to pushing away from the and lead by lifting your chest up to create a back-arc in your rotation.


Jill likes to pretend she's a diving dolphin when practicing this skill. The imagery helps her to emulate the arc position when rotating around. If you resonate with imagery, that might help you get around more easily!


Give it a try (with a coach's supervision) and let us know how it goes. Tag us on the 'gram @aerialphysique and #iloveap.


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