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I've been working on an aerial (cartwheel with no hands), and I'm close to getting over yet I have to keep putting my hands down to avoid falling on my face. Part of it is fear, but largely once I'm in the air I just hang there instead of continuing forwards. In comparison to regular cartwheels, I am able to use my hands to push off the floor and keep my momentum going. What part of my body do I need to use to right myself back up once I'm off the ground?

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The images are from Tricks Tutorial.com

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I believe this comes down to simple physics. When your hands are on the ground, the energy of your body moving forward is transferred to your lower extremities, and your hands on the ground become a pivot point. Whereas when you try to do a cartwheel without touching the ground, your whole body moves as a single unit because there is no pivot point on the ground.

You need to move your body such that your pivot point is your center of gravity instead of at a point (your head or feet).

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Good point. That never clicked in my head for me. –  Matt Chan Mar 25 '11 at 4:08
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Aerials are an explosive move. Get fired up and give it your best shot each time you practice. The power is going to come from your legs but your upper body is what twists you back upright. So your core is going to be working too.

Check out this tutorial. His tip to avoid putting your arms down is to jump - that way your arms can't reach the ground.

Good luck and post a video of your aerial!

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