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Our TOP WHIP TIPS to get you whipping like the BEST!

WHIPS were our most frustrating acro skills.

Well we have really made some breakthroughs in our whips over the past year.

And they are finally feeling less frustrating and more understood.

So I thought this would be a great opportunity to share some of the valuable technical tips that we have figured out along the way.

Also it's worth mentioning there is literally many many tips we have tried and implemented when it comes to whips, and we can't cover all of them here, so we are just picking the ones we think are the most critical/valuable.

So let's start whipping...

No. 1 - The pendulum.

The one key concept for whips is to think of the movement as a pendulum swing or fall due to gravity.

One of the most common mistakes is to try to add force, speed or a drop in the entry to the whip to make it rotate.

Instead aim to lift high in the charge and let gravity do the work of creating the momentum.

What can help for this is for flyers to think of extending further forwards rather than diving down.

No. 2 - The charge and initiation.

There's quite a few points to the charge and initiation of whips.

Firstly it should be slow and progressive, this gives time for both roles to control the movement and entry into the whip better.

What we have found to work well is that the base initiates the charge (pointing the toes to lift the flyers chest in a tarzan whip) and then the flyer continues the lift by engaging their back and reaching the arms up.

This helps synchronize together the charge and intitiation.

Also starting from a really horizontal bird position helps elongate and make the charge readable, if the flyer is already very arched in the bird then there is not as much available charge range to move through.

No. 3 - The bases feet.

There are again many tips relating to basing whips, but to first focus just on the feet, what we have found most important is...

To squeeze the heels in.

This is at the top of the tarzan charge just as the flyer is about to begin their swing down.

Externally rotating the feet and squeezing your heels to almost touch together gives a good connection and security to the hips of the flyer in the whip.

This also applies really strongly to the back whip (a.k.a. forbidden whip/ocean whip), as the flyer torso passes through horizontal on the swing back bases need to squeeze the heels in alot to get that security and connection to the hips.

It also applies to the reverse tarzan also, but more once the flyer has passed through the bases legs, but the principle is again the same that it gives good connection and stability.

No. 4 - The bases legs (especially if you've got short ones like me).

This one you've probably heard before that you need to bend the knees to create space, and external rotation in the hips also helps to create the space.

And whilst this is very true and correct, one thing we found with the leg bending is that actually you want to be resistive and progressive with the knee bend.

Giving the resistance and pushing upwards from the legs as you bend, gives more connection and feeling to the flyers hips, plus it maintains the inertia by not dropping away the pivot point that the flyer is turning around.

In our experience this results in actually less bending from the base, but a smoother whip with better inertia, and strangely less clashing/impacts also.

No. 5 - For flyers "pike is life" is not quite accurate anymore.

When we started with whips a lot of the queues for flyers were focussed around pike more, pike to the maximum.

Some people used the funny quote "pike is life".

It was also something we wrongly focussed on for a while as it's what we had been taught.

In actuality the flyer wants to progressively pike in the swing down, but only until about a 90 degree angle of the pike.

Any more actually kills the inertia and momentum, and is counteracting the direction of the swing by piking against it.

The new queue we've picked up is for the flyer to chase the pike with their chest.

So once you reach a 90 degree pike the chest wants to keep swinging through, and you want to maintain the 90 degree, which may feel a bit like you need to release the pike action slightly.

No. 6 - Flyers it's all in the hips.

Another powerful concept that made a big impact for us, and was something we just kind of figured out is for the flyers to engage their hips.

Laura aims to engage her thighs, glutes and lower back, and especially her side core muscles.

This is with the intention to keep the torso/trunk long but tight (it is not a big ab crunch).

What this does is helps to maintain and transfer the inertia through her body into the movement, and also it massively reduces clashes and impacts.

By tightening this area the flyer doesn't sink or swing down as loosely and clashing the head to the belly or shoulders to the legs becomes a much less common occurrence.

I have to say these tips we are sharing are something we have spent a long long time figuring out (1-2 years of whips practice and struggles).

So we do hope they help you and can be shared further.

Some of this we've picked up from other teachers so shoutout and big thanks to Lennert and Yvonne, Mati and Coni, Jos, Amitai. 

But also a lot of this we figured out through trial and error, and trying to understand what some of the above-mentioned people do differently and the same in their techniques.

We would love to know if any of these help you in your whips practice, so please tag us @acrospirit in a video on insta if you try some of these out.


See ya next week.

Acroyoga Whip


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