Technique Tip - Split Flips

This week I'm breaking down one of my favorite foot lock skills, Split Flips!


They're fun, dynamic and definitely a crowd-pleaser.


While they may appear to be 'easy' they do require finesse and strength, especially when going backward.


See below for the video and technique breakdown.



Before giving Split Flips a go I'd suggest making sure you can confidently do the preparation exercises in the video above. Aim for 10 reps or 2 sets of 5.

  • Bent Arm Pike Lifts

  • Skin the Cats (aka Reverse Pike)


1) When you begin from the splits, place your hands at eye level on each fabric. Maintain a strong grip and bend your elbows. If your hands are too high it makes it very difficult to fold forward correctly and it adds more pressure on your shoulders.


2) To flip to the front, meet your legs together and fold forward at your hips in a pike.


3) Kick your legs overhead and between the silks with control. Turn your head slightly to the side to avoid ending up like a silk ghost (the tails can easily land on your face!). Your legs must remain straight to avoid losing the tension in your foot locks. If you have short tails or if you aggressively kick, you may be able to kick the tails all the way through so they don't end up on your shoulders.


4) If the tails end up on your shoulders you'll need to flip back to get them off or manually drop them off to the front. If you try to flip backward and it's not working yet, continue to work on your Skin the Cats & Pike lifts as shown in the video.


5) When you begin to flip back, bend your elbows into your sides and join legs together in a pike. Keep your legs straight and continue the backward rotation into a Skin the Cat (aka Reverse Pike). Drive your feet down to keep the tension in your locks, rotate your shoulders around and re-split your legs.


This is an exciting skill to do before or after other moves like Cross Back Straddle or Split Roll Up!


Make sure to practice your Split Flips low to the mat, maintain a firm grip on the silks and straight legs throughout.


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