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Biomechanics of the Aerial-Twist

First observations of an Aerial-Twist/ A-twist (Pros VS Newbs)


An aerial twist is often mistaken for a B-twist, because both tricks have very similar presentation, a Butterfly-twist (B-twist) is done with a butterfly kick take-off, resulting in a twist performed in a horizontal axis, an A-twist is done with an aerial take-off, and the twist is done in a vertical axis, twisting on a vertical axis, and landing on a vertical axis, this is the difference between an A-twist and a B-twist.


Aerial Twist




3 stages of an Aerial Twist:

The Take Off, The Twist, and The Landing



The Take Off




  • Assuming the athlete already knows how to perform a running aerial, the technique used here will be catered to these athletes.

  • The take-off of the A-twist is the same as the aerial, using the run-up, and the hurdle to gather momentum to perform a powerful jump and flip.

  • After performing the run-up to the hurdle, ensure that the T-jump is performed well to ensure good jumping height and efficient flip.

  • Also, one thing to ensure when performing the A-twist is to set the arms up while performing the jump, this is to help to wrap the arms in for the twist after taking off from the T-jump.

  • When performing the take-off, the athlete should be driving the heel of the kicking leg up, just like in an aerial.

  • Also like the aerial the kicking leg will then start to externally rotate at the hips allowing the athlete to drive their leg outwards creating more range of motion for the leg drive.

  • Opening the hips when taking off for the A-twist might be a step that athletes want to consider to generate more kicking power, but should be done to a minimum.

  • This is because opening up the hips when kicking for an aerial twist is an opposing action of the direction of the twist that the athlete will perform.


The Twist





  • After the take-off from the ground, 2 actions should be done to perform the twist at the same time.

  • First would be pulling the arms that were set up during the take-off in close to the chest/ shoulder on the twisting side (twisting to the left, pull arms into the left chest)

  • This is to help keep the arms close to the body, creating a tight and small shape with the upper body, to increase the velocity of the twist.

  • The second would be to pull the jumping leg towards the kicking leg creating a chopstick-like shape, the goal is to keep the entire body in a straight line in mid-air, to also increase the velocity of the twist.

  • The pull of the jumping leg will help generate torque at the hips, acting as the main movement/ posture needed to perform the twist.

  • During the twist it would also help if the athlete turns their head towards the direction of the twist, this is to help them spot for their landing so that they can time for their landing.

  • The twist during an A-twist is only a half twist if done properly.


The Landing




  • After completing the twist, the athlete will land on their jumping leg first before the kicking leg, different from an aerial.

  • Keeping the kicking leg extended at the hip is very important as it helps the body complete the twist more efficiently, and it also helps the athlete land on their jumping leg first instead of the kicking leg.

  • Spotting while completing the twist is important for a safe landing

  • When athlete spots the ground, they want to keep their kicking leg extended at the hip still, while reaching for the ground they have spotted with their jumping leg for the landing.



How to build strength and coordination to perform an aesthetically pleasing A-twist


The exercises that would benefit athletes to perform a good Aerial twist would be very similar to the exercises that can help strengthen the body for an Aerial, the only difference would be more abdominal core exercises would be recommended for the A-twist due to the multidirectional stress that would be applied to the muscles, and power needed, to perform the twist, and the strength to flex their trunk so that they can pull their legs towards the ground for the landing.


  1. Single-leg box jumps can help train the power in a single-leg jump just like in an aerial, and train the strength and stability of a single leg when trying to land.

  2. Resistance band straight leg abduction is not a movement in everyday life, so people might have problems lifting their legs to the side, hence a regression may be implemented by just removing the band.

  3. Side crunches, side planks, and side planks with leg lifts are some exercises that can be done to strengthen the lateral (left or right side) sides of the core, which are important for the aerial as it is a trick full of lateral movements.

  4. Superman/ prone back extensions, this is an important exercise for the aerial as an aerial could put a lot of stress on your lower back too, because of the constant effort of pulling your core together, not only in aerial but other tricks too, the lower back need to be strong, and have the endurance to continue tricking for a little longer.

  5. V-ups, this exercise trains the abdominal muscles, the hip flexors, and a little bit of the quads which all help with flexing the hip, and the trunk. Performing this exercise with explosiveness is very important for strengthening the body for the A-twist because in an A-twist, everything will be performed with power and speed hence excess stress will be created when high speeds are applied.









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