How to Start Tricking in 10 Easy Steps

It changed my life forever.

I had no formal experience. No martial arts training. No gymnastics training. No training facilities. No safety training.

Nothing.

Just a bed of grass and an itch to do some insanely cool shit.

Tricking—short for “martial arts tricking”—permeated my pores like poison. There was something about the aesthetic blend of flips, kicks, and twists that hypnotized me.

Most everyone sees tricking as this offshoot activity—something they would and could never get involved with. Maybe they think they’re not good enough. Maybe they’re afraid.

But everyone should trick. (You’ll learn a thing or two about yourself and the world, trust me.) Starting is easy; it’s not as scary or as tough as it seems. Just decide and dive.

This guide will show you how.

THE BACKYARD MINDSET – WHY TRICK?

Tricking is more than doing insanely cool shit. Sure, doing a cartwheel without hands is awesome, but it has a host of benefits:

  • It forces you to up your mobility and flexibility game.
  • It teaches you movement and how to orchestrate your body in a coordinated manner.
  • It replaces plyometrics. You can keep doing your depth jumps. I’ll be flipping, kicks, and twisting in the air – having fun and developing my physical abilities simultaneously.
  • It teaches you kinesthetic awareness. You don’t appreciate this until you land on your face unexpectedly though.
  • It trains you mentally. For every physical barrier you overcome, you overcome three mental barriers.
  • It teaches you how to visualize success and movement in your mind, which helps overall performance.
  •  It turns you into a backyard athlete.

All of this sounds wonderful. Right? But I know what you’re thinking…

“I don’t have any experience, so I can’t trick. It’s too dangerous!”

DO YOU NEED ANYTHING TO TRICK?

My brother once said that soccer was a good sport because all you need is shin guards, shoes, and a soccer ball to practice. Compared to other sports, that’s a pretty reasonable equipment list.

But tricking wins out, because you only need your bare feet and a bed of grass. Bad economy? Bad excuse.

(Going barefoot is more necessity than cosmetic. There’s something stimulating about having a strong sensory connection with the ground. Shoes not only slip, but also add unnecessary bulk. Most tricks benefit from less weight carried on the extremities.)

Despite what your intuition might tell you, you don’t need formal experience in martial arts, gymnastics, or acrobatics.

A lot of people—scrawny teenagers included—train for tricking with no experience. (I was one of them.) They are known as backyard tricksters.

And it’s actually better this way.

It forces you to be diligent and progressive. You take training for tricking just as serious as tricking, which means you’re more likely to take care of your body and not do anything too stupid.

Stupid I say?

But isn’t it all stupid and dangerous without experience?

IT’S TOO SCARY AND DANGEROUS, ISN’T IT?

From the outside, tricking seems scary. Very scary. Hell, I broke my foot tricking. Four out of five metatarsals. And an avulsion fracture of the big toe for icing.

But despite the absolute madness that can be witnessed in some YouTube videos, the reality is that everyone starts out at the same, novice, clueless step.

Everyone stretches. Everyone practices the basics. Everyone has a little fear. Everyone crashes. Everyone gets a few bumps. Everyone gets some souvenir scars.

Tricking isn’t a bungee jump; it’s a set of stairs. You don’t suddenly extend beyond your comfort zone.

Tricking can and should start basic.

Everyone can benefit from basic. Learning how to do forward rolls, backward rolls, handstands, cartwheels, and other tumbling skills is something that should be on everyone’s “to learn” list for life fitness let alone tricking.

If there’s an underrated skill, it’s being able to break yourself from a fall or rolling end over end. And if you want a quick and dirty test of athleticism, do a cartwheel with straight legs. Few things intertwine mobility, flexibility, coordination, and kinestheic awareness quite like it.

Want to know how I — a skinny-fat kid with absolutely no experience — started tricking?

With the kip-up—the most innocent trick in existence. Here’s a little story about my beginnings:

Voluntarily concussing yourself is a strange behavior at the age of thirteen. But I’d just discovered “tricking,” and I wanted in. The kip-up was the gateway. It had minimal injury risk (my head would reveal otherwise…), low equipment needs (a carpeted floor was all), and was said to be “simple.”

(But when you're first learning, nothing is simple. Or so you come to find out…)

And so every day after school I practiced. And every day after school, I got the wind knocked out of me. But I kept trying. Day after day. I wanted this trick.

About one month later, my friend Tyler landed the kip-up. Then Jeff landed it.

I was a loner.

My skinny-fat self struggled. I was self-conscious too. I wore two shirts when we practiced as a group. The undershirt was tucked in. I didn't want anyone to see my stomach. (Skinny-fat woes.)

But slowly out of this sole trick, obsession was born. Life went on hold.

A few friends stayed over my place in tenth grade to work on a school project. Ten minutes into things we ditched the school work and practiced kip-ups. We hung out every week, and no matter the circumstances, we practiced. We even threw tricks on a slanted driveway in the winter.

Dangerous?

Absolutely.

But we didn’t care. We just engrossed ourselves in tricking and we wanted to get better.

This was my “childhood.” This is what brought me into the fitness space. And this is why tricking integral part of my life.

THE BASIC (AND NOT SCARY) TRICKING FITNESS ELEMENTS

Since tricking is sister to gymnastics and brother to martial arts, it borrows a lot of skills from both of these disciplines.

  • Flexibility plays a huge role in tricking. Not just from an ease of performance standpoint, but also from a cosmetic standpoint. Although tricking holds philosophical meaning to some, it's still rooted in creating visually stunning movement. The crisper, flashier, and aesthetically pleasing trickster will always be better than someone of equal (or greater) talent that has sloppy technique. In the tricking world, the former person would be referenced as having “clean” tricks.
  • I should note, however, that technique is also largely individual. Unlike gymnastics and other formal sports, tricking thrives on the incorporation of personal style and flare. Points aren’t deducted for doing things differently, and in some instances, it’s encouraged. This makes tricking a breath of fresh air as it allows for true self expression.
  • The type of flexibility needed for tricking is called dynamic flexibility. Dynamic flexibility is the ability to actively move a muscle about its joint, which is different than the standard sit-and-reach-esque stretching you’re likely familiar with.
  • Sinking into a stretch and holding one position for an extended period of time is known as static stretching. Although static stretching can benefit dynamic flexibility and subsequently tricking, dynamic flexibility is the priority. (Especially to prevent hamstring and groin pulls on kicking tricks.)
  • Basic kicking ability is important. The martial arts roots are what separate tricking from most other forms of freestyle acrobatics. Keep in mind, however, you don’t have to be a martial artist to trick. Most tricksters teach themselves the basic martial arts kicks, such as front kicks, side kick, hook kicks, and crescent-style kicks.
  • Reactive ability, although not necessary from the start, is a key component of tricking. Being explosive and quick on your feet defines a good trickster. Unlike most other characteristics, however, this usually develops naturally over time by virtue of the progressive nature of the sport. Training for it separately can overtax the body and put your priorities in the wrong place.
  • Mental strength is the unsung hero among the clam and clatter. Although tricking is hugely physical, the high flying moves are only made possible if fear can be tamed. The first hurdle is usually the backflip, although moves become ever more complex over time. The mental battle never really ends.

It’s the perfect cherry on top of training to be a backyard athletic badass.

LEARNING THE BASIC TRICKING CLASSES

Watching tricking videos on YouTube is deceiving. Everyone is out to showcase their best, wildest stuff. But it's much “easier” when tricks are  broken down into their classes.

Although the logistics aren’t written in stone, there are a few basic categories that each trick falls into. Each category has “basic” tricks that serve as the starting point and gateway for more advanced tricks.

Aerial-based tricks are no-handed cartwheel-esque tricks. The earliest progression in this category is the two handed cartwheel itself. After two handed cartwheels become comfortable, one hand is used. From there, speed and crispness are emphasized while trying to ditch both hands.

Kicking-based tricks separate tricking from the rest of extreme underground sports. This category starts with the tornado kick and 360 crescent kick. With the addition of twists and subtleties, these moves turn into the 540 and the 540 hook/crescent (sometimes called a cheat 720 kick).

Twisting-based tricks borrow unique moves from Wushu, specifically the butterfly kick and twist. Eventually, however, twisting elements weasel into nearly every trick.

Flipping-based tricks start with the backflip and frontflip, although the backflip is much more important. Of all categories, flips are the most mentally taxing. Like twisting, however, flipping tricks make their way into a lot of more advanced moves. It’s important to conquer fear of flipping early to ensure smooth progress.

Other tricks that don’t necessarily fit into the above categories also make their way into the sport. Some from other forms of martial arts, others from different forms of acrobatics. For instance, one of the basic tricks, the doubleleg, has roots in capoeira.

HOW TO START TRICKING IN 10 STEPS

Advanced tricking techniques appear daunting, but the beauty of tricking is its progressive nature. By starting at the bottom, you rarely extend beyond your comfort zone. Don’t forget: all it takes is one sunny day to get going.

Here are some suggestions for starting:

  • First, simply stretch outside on a warm day. Remove your shoes and feel the grass in between your toes. Start off with some dynamic stretching: front leg lifts, back leg lifts, side leg lifts, trunk rotations, and arm swings. This will warm-up the hips enough to start practicing basic martial arts kicks like the hook kick, inside crescent kick, and outside crescent kicks. (See my Tricking Inspired Warm-Up.)
  • Second, do some locomotor exercises in your workouts like bear crawls, inch worm walks, and other things that get you used to unconventional training.
  • Third, incorporate some basic tumbling in your workouts. Forward rolls, backward rolls, shoulder rolls, handstands, and all of these goodies will prepare you for chucking your body through space in a slightly unconscious manner.
  • Fourth, study videos online to fully understand form. There are great resources out there. Tricks Tutorials has been a mainstay of great information and walkthroughs. Trick Training is my second website that might be worth taking a look at too, but it will eventually be merged with the lovely website you're reading now.
  • Fifth, work on your basic kicks. Juji has some great tutorials and videos about dynamic flexibility on his website. You're looking for the inside and outside crescent kicks. (Note: There are also hook kicks and roundhouse kicks. I suggest either picking crescent style — straight leg — or hook/round style — bent leg — for starters. Don't overload yourself. Once you learn one set the other set is easier to learn anyway.)
  • Sixth, find a friend. It's always funner with a friend.
  • Seventh, dive into your acrobatic side and throw some cartwheels, tornado kicks, and 360 crescents. These moves are the foundation, and fear shouldn’t be much of an issue. Don’t dismiss their importance. For some people, builds the confidence needed to advance.
  • Eighth, get serious. Go to the tutorials section of Tricks Tutorials. Print out the following: 360 Crescent and Tornado Kick. Might as well grab the aerial while you're there as cartwheels will be feeling easy. Practice these things a few times every week. Video tape yourself and evaluate your form against others. Pause the video to check your body position. Really analyze things.
  • Ninth, (this occurs simultaneously with eight), develop a stretching routine. Dynamic stretch every morning. Static-passive stretch nightly. Do whatever static-passive stretches help both splits. Pick one or two stretches per big muscle group. While you're at it, grab my kip-up tutorial. Practice it daily.
  • Tenth, stretch, land the  kip-up, land the other basics. Become addicted.

CONCLUSION

Perhaps the most beneficial reason to start tricking has nothing to do with anything physical. Tricking transforms you to become a backyard athlete. You learn how to evaluate your form. Fix your own mistakes. Train for yourself. Train by yourself.

Most importantly, it's all about you. It's such a young sport that a lot of it is self-discovery. There are no guru to yell at you. It's just you. Whatever works for you…well..works for you. No one is there to berate you or tell you otherwise. No one is there to force you down a certain path.

And then you share your findings with your friends!

This is the best part about tricking: everyone accepts that everyone is different and that different things work for different people. Imagine if the fitness industry took that mentality! (One can only dream…)

With tricking, you discover your own potential.

Tricking changed my life.

Will you let it change yours?

MAYBE YOU’RE A SUCKER


You can’t fool me.

I know this isn’t your first rodeo, trying to lose fat, build muscle, and build a body you’re proud of.

But you’re not a quitter, which is why you’re here.

You might be a little lost right now.

Maybe you don’t have much motivation.

Maybe you don’t what program or diet to use.

I don’t know…

But what I do know is this:

Everything you need is inside of you.

You’re capable of more than know.

You just have to open your eyes.

My weekly column can help.

Just a small little honest note from me sent every Sunday.

Unless I’m hungover.

And then it comes Monday.

What I’m trying to say is that it’ll come Monday.

116 comments… add one
  • Seth October 30, 2012, 7:08 pm

    Good stuff: the gymnastic sports should be considered essential to every human’s health and fitness. If you can’t run, jump, and play, then why are you even alive?!

    • Anthony October 30, 2012, 11:50 pm

      Exactly.

  • Harry Clarke October 30, 2012, 7:45 pm

    This post is awesome. I would be afraid to hurt my self still have some weight to lose but will definitely want to try this in the future. I will bookmark this page for later. Thanks for the inspiration to try something new.

    • Anthony October 30, 2012, 11:51 pm

      Welcome, Harry. Thanks for the reply.

  • Rajat Desikan October 30, 2012, 8:09 pm

    Hi Anthony,
    I have a sandy playground nearby but no bed of grass. Recommendations please?
    I can perform a kip up with hand support :); felt like I was the emperor of the world the first time…

  • Guillermo Chussir October 30, 2012, 9:11 pm

    Do you do any kind of specific exercises to strengthen the feet for tricking?

    • Anthony October 30, 2012, 11:54 pm

      No, most tricksters don’t. Start small. Just get barefoot in the grass. Do your basic tumbling first. Low intensity stuff.

      They’ll get stronger over time.

  • Traindom October 31, 2012, 5:19 am

    Awesome! A tricking article! I will definitely read this and get back to you. I do have one quick question though. I was searching for the word “stretching” on TrickSession and I came across a post of yours about how many static stretches are enough. You mentioned hamstrings, hip flexors, groins, front splits, and side splits. So would you say this is sufficient? Or should I add more?

    I had stretched dynamically and statically during the summer but the transition to university life rocked things up. I’ve been trying to get back into it for a while now. My time management skills suck, haha, but I digress. I would stretch my quads, inner thighs, outer thighs, glutes, hamstrings, calves, back, chest, hands (for my guitar-playing), neck (to counterbalance my horrid daily neck posture), front splits, and side splits.

    I was thinking that focusing on a few stretches would be nice. So would you say that select amount of static stretches would be efficient?

    • Anthony November 1, 2012, 11:25 pm

      I’d say that’s good. A good hammy stretch, a good groin stretch, good hip stretch, and then the splits themselves.

    • Anthony November 1, 2012, 11:25 pm

      Err calf stretch too. But I like combining that with the hammy stretch.

      • Traindom November 2, 2012, 2:30 am

        Oh, ok sweet! Thanks, Anthony! And I can do the calf stretch as well. By the way, is there any reason in particular that this set is enough? I’d love to hear the rationale behind it. Is it because these are muscles that need that extra emphasis?

        • Anthony November 2, 2012, 4:49 pm

          Well they’re the major muscle groups of the lower body that deal with the splits.

          • Traindom November 6, 2012, 2:50 am

            Oh, I see. It’s just that I was wondering why this set of stretches is sufficient even though it does not include a quad stretch.

            Ahh, I just figured it out. A good hip stretch stretches the quad too. Damn, I should have seen that. So all major muscle groups are covered. I was under the impression that you were only picking certain stretches for like extra emphasis or something. Thanks for replying.

            I got to read your article. Very sensible advice. I liked how the article was infused with your training philosophies.

            The part about style reminded about this article from Skillzat: http://www.justtheskills.com/index.php?act=article&id=14

            He basically goes into how technique is what needs to be done to do a trick, and style is how it’s done. He also went into how style comes down to personal idiosyncrasies. I think he did a good job of explaining the difference between the two.

            I like the idea of people’s personalities bleeding into their tricking. The possibility of being able to peer into someone’s soul really interests me. You can tell so much about a person by the way they do things. It’s like they leave a fingerprint of their souls on the universe through their actions.

          • Anthony November 6, 2012, 3:37 pm

            Yeah. Absolutely. Last two paragraphs on point.

  • Phil Isabella October 31, 2012, 5:00 pm

    first day i ever landed a wall flip, I felt like a new man. I just dont get those thrills anymore. For anyone who has not landed their own set of tricks. The warm, accomplished feeling of landing something new is a huge motivator and asks for more training instantly. It keeps you healthy, active, and stress free. You can’t lose.

    • Anthony November 1, 2012, 11:25 pm

      Agreed.

  • josey October 31, 2012, 9:25 pm

    Sounds a lot like my capoeira class. Ever tried that?

    • Anthony November 1, 2012, 11:26 pm

      There are some elements of it within tricking. I’m familiar with it.

  • Jaro November 5, 2012, 4:04 pm

    Hi Anthony, first of all: GREAT ARTICLE!!! In 2006 I was a 35 years old 250 lbs heavy grandpa, now I am 41 years old 196 lbs teenager !!! I do kip-up and almost good cartwheel. It helps definitive in Kick-Boxing which I ptactise. I am going to apply your hints a.s.a.p. (now almost winter in Germany). Stay strong!!! Cheers.

    • Anthony November 5, 2012, 6:19 pm

      Thanks Jaro. Winter approaching here as well. Tricking on the backburner.

  • Andrew November 7, 2012, 11:54 pm

    Hey Just been on the net for ages and having no luck at all.
    I’m just about to start tricking and going to the gym, do you have any idea what things I should do to help in the gym towards my tricking or shouldn’t do?

    • Anthony November 8, 2012, 2:29 am

      See them as separate. Train your strength in the gym. Train for tricking during tricking. Don’t cross your wires. Don’t squat to make you a better trickster. Trick to make you a better trickster. Squat to make you stronger.

  • Matt January 20, 2013, 5:20 pm

    this is a really inspiring article 😀 tricking is my passion,but I have recently faced a setback. when I was attempting my first ever wallflip while doing some freerunning I landed it perfectly,so I kept doing it feeling really accomplished, until I decided to try it one last time before I went home. my foot slipped on the wall and I landed straight on the back of my neck,no injuries physically except for a crazy headache,but mentally I have been so afraid to try it again :L it has been about a month. I hope to someday try it again but I don’t know how to trust my foot placement, other than that I finally landed an aerial 😀

    • Anthony January 22, 2013, 7:24 pm

      This happened to my friend too. Just ease back into it.

      • Matt January 31, 2013, 6:09 pm

        Ok, I will try, thank you 😀 you rock, dude!

        • Anthony February 1, 2013, 5:46 pm

          ‘Tis you that rocks.

  • Arnold Fityet May 27, 2013, 1:45 pm

    This is a brilliant article– your organization and delivery was superb. Thanks for inspiring me to start this; I have an entire summer to learn.

    • Anthony May 28, 2013, 4:20 pm

      Thanks man.

  • Daniel Owens June 30, 2013, 1:07 pm

    What about knee injury when tricking, it seems that those 540s would really mess up you knee by twisting it out of place. How do you prevent that?

    • Anthony July 1, 2013, 2:07 pm

      Hmm? It doesn’t twist the knee out of place. Knee injuries happen, mostly a result of botched landings and traditional ACL injury mechanisms. Alas, sports are dangerous.

  • Adam August 18, 2013, 4:10 pm

    Hey, this is a great post.
    I started tricking with a friend, we went over to a gym and saw all this trickers doing insane stuff. So we started training with them. Its almost a year now.
    But I still ask myself how to improve my style. It looks really dirty and cheaty.
    Maybe you got some advice for me ?

    • Anthony August 22, 2013, 1:11 am

      Practice basic kicks and flexibility.

      • Adam August 24, 2013, 6:51 pm

        Kinda lazy on flexibility…but yeah no way out 😀 thanks.

        • Anthony August 26, 2013, 8:28 pm

          Being able to move is important. If flexy is a limiter, don’t ignore it.

  • TAnNguyen October 8, 2013, 3:42 pm

    this article is legend…not gonna wait…dary. But unfortunately i have to temporarily quit tricking and freerunning so i’ll dig into this someday…but not today

    • Anthony October 8, 2013, 4:57 pm

      Why’s that?

  • Vijay October 10, 2013, 4:50 am

    Hey Anthony! I’m currently a traceur and I train with a group of friends. We recently started to do freerunning and tricking. most of my friends have no trouble with tricks and flips. but i was afraid. i don’t know what i’m afraid of, but every time i thought about flipping, i hesitated. Every time i didn’t hesitate i landed perfect flips/tricks. This post was especially helpful especially for me to break my mental barriers. Now I’m ready to go out there and do something awesome! Thanks a lot! Keep making tutorials!

    • Anthony October 10, 2013, 4:56 pm

      Welcome. I intend to, thanks.

  • Zack Trapp October 10, 2013, 8:56 pm

    Hi,

    I’m trying to start tricking right now, but its not really going well. I’ve started with the basic kicks, but I just can’t seem to keep my leg high or straight for a roundhouse or hook kick. I feel like if I can’t get this down pretty much everything else would be crap. What should I do?

    • Anthony October 11, 2013, 12:11 am

      Practice basic martial arts kicks. Every day, preferably twice per day. With them, do dynamic leg lifts in all directions.

  • Álvaro October 25, 2013, 9:51 am

    Hi, I’m 30 and I have successfully developed my strength by deadlifting (340 lbs), bench pressing, squatting, etc. Now I’d like to train agility, speed, reflexes, etc. and was thinking of doing parkour, freerunning and tricks.

    Everyone I know is laughing at me for just thinking of doing it, saying that I will break my legs or even die. It is the same process I went through when started deadlifting, squatting, etc. Therefore, I found your article to be really interesting and motivational. I will take it as the foundation of my training.

    Thanks.

    • Anthony October 26, 2013, 6:47 pm

      Everyone says this. They always will. They’ll think you’re crazy.

      That’s why you do it!

      • Álvaro October 26, 2013, 6:55 pm

        Thumbs up!

    • Vijay D October 27, 2013, 12:46 am

      Alvaro, when I started doing parkour and free running 4 years ago I was still in High school. People thought i was crazy and stupid too. It was embarrassing at first, but i knew what i wanted and i made a decision that really changed my life. I didn’t care about what people said, because when i was training i was content. I soon found a group of friends who also were practicing parkour and i joined them. Look around your neighborhood to see if there are any traceurs(people who practice pakour). It’s more fun to train with friends. Together, my friends and I work to improve each other’s talents. We are all different, but we share each other’s problems, help eachother over come our fears, and we all enjoy everyone’s success. Many groups in our high school are jealous of us, not because we are good, but because of our bonding. It’s truely an amazing experience. I hope you find a group and start training soon, so you can experience this too.

      • Anthony November 5, 2013, 5:24 pm

        Good tip.

  • Charley October 27, 2013, 2:20 am

    Hi I am a 15 year old girl and I am just kind of getting into this stuff… I did gymnastics for about a year and a half when I was 13-14 but stopped because my teacher wasn’t particularly pleasant… I am really confident doing front flips on the trampoline and can land them easily (am yet to try on the ground) but I freak out whenever I try to do a backflip. I was always more confident with my forward tricks in gymnastics (never managing to get my back walkover but easily achieving a forward). I seem to have a fear of going backwards do you have any suggestions? Thanks heaps 🙂

    • Anthony November 5, 2013, 5:25 pm

      Backwards is tough. Find spotters, read my backflip article.

      • Charley November 6, 2013, 6:02 am

        Thanks! I have had a look and found some friends to help me out so I will be trying it out soon! And I have almost got my front flip, just need to work on getting more height

        • Anthony November 12, 2013, 2:15 am

          Front flip always scared me. It’s a lot tougher than the backflip, hah.

  • Sonu December 13, 2013, 6:17 pm

    Hey ! Awesome article ! 😀
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve noticed that most flips require flexible legs or the ability to do full splits ! I have very stiff legs and cannot split my legs wide enough :/ This demotivates me and prevents me fom trying new tricks :/ Any tips on how to get my legs to open up wide ? (haha)

    • Anthony December 17, 2013, 1:40 am

      No, splits aren’t necessary. At all.

      • Aastha April 15, 2015, 9:54 am

        hey,
        m aastha.. m pursuing a fitness course of personal trainer. bt i love doing flips n tricks.. bt unfotunately.. noone teaches all ths stuff in delhi.. i have to practice on my own.. m tryng kickups not flips.. coz in flips i need a partner…so pls suggest me smthng so that i can do ths on my own..

        thanks

  • christian January 8, 2014, 8:00 pm

    Awesome article! I would absolutely love to start training tricking however i have knee problems (patella gets out of place easily) i went to several doctors and went to several (bullshit) physical therapy which didnt help at all. In fact i even bought your book “athletes guide to knee pain” which by the way has some really nice stuff in it. The last doctor however told me squats were the answer and since i’ve been on a barbell strength program that includes squats (rippetoe’s SS). My knees have felt better but the patella still gets out of place easily and when it does it can be extremely painful… i do have a brace that i use whenever i do sports and it helps a lot but my question is do you think i should even try tricking? Because i know that even when the fear of backflips is gone, the fear of snapping something in my knee will still be there :S

    • Anthony January 10, 2014, 4:30 pm

      This is a personal decision you have to make based on rewards and risks. No one can make it for you.

  • Sydney January 20, 2014, 4:06 am

    i have a trampolean in my backyard, i would definatly be able to start practicing on there and then work my way to tricking on solid ground. i will watch your videos to get more inspiration, because i know this is something i definatly want too take on. Im in good shape and i just need to work on my flexibility, it’d be nice if you could maybe post some more tips and videos to show what we could try to conquer. thank you so much ive been looking for something like this!

    • Anthony January 22, 2014, 12:08 am

      Tramps are alright, but I wouldn’t use them as a crutch.

  • Zack February 10, 2014, 5:48 am

    I’ve been doing multiple martial arts for years. I can do muscle-ups, weighted dips and pull-ups, splits, backbends, full forward bends, and all sort of other things. But I can’t seem to get flipping. Despite years of effort, I’ve never done a successful aerial, front or backflip, or anything of the sort. I can lift my legs over my head, cartwheel, macaco, anything as long as one part of my body is touching the ground. How do I beat this feeling of heaviness when I trick?

    • Anthony February 11, 2014, 5:39 pm

      Seems like fear, not heaviness. Beat the fear. Get a spotter.

  • Mareo March 11, 2014, 4:55 am

    Do you have any tips on ankle strengthening cause i wear an ankle brace all the time… kinda gets annoying but hey safety 1st

    • Anthony March 13, 2014, 7:56 pm

      I wrote a book called “a tricksters guide to ankle injuries,” but I would guess you didn’t know that. https://gumroad.com/l/SIjb

  • claude March 19, 2014, 10:01 am

    Thanks for the instructions.It helps me a lot.
    Thanks !!!!

    • Anthony March 19, 2014, 3:50 pm

      Yup, thanks for reading.

  • Mak April 18, 2014, 6:28 pm

    Hi Anthony….Great article btw…I’m 18 years old and I was really interested in learning this form of art since I was 15 but did’nt know what it’s called until I came across your article…I wanted to know if you need any sort of training to build up your strength before trying this…(I can do a few pull-ups and push-ups).I also feel a bit afraid of getting injured…

    • Anthony April 21, 2014, 2:03 pm

      Strength, no. Flexibility, probably. Balls, absolutely.

  • Ryan April 29, 2014, 10:13 pm

    Hey there! Great post I was just wondering – I have recently put on fat mainly in my abdominal area, and I am worried that it may affect my ability to start tricking, I’m like the skinny-fat kid you described yourself as haha. I’m currently 17 years old and after meeting someone who is actually a tricker ( a really good one ), at a party I believe I may have found something I can really dive into as it appeals to me entirely.

    I intend to start practicing the basic kicks this week and also beggining running (something I used to do regularly) do you think this will help? And also my flexibility is really bad! How long will it take to build it up to a reasonable state.

    I apologise for the many questions, however I want to start off the right way to ensure I am not discouraged by any unexpected barriers, I’m sure you’ll understand.

    Thanks!

    • Anthony May 1, 2014, 11:11 pm

      Yes, kick. Yes, stretch. Who knows how long it will take to get flexible? Just go stretch and stay consistent.

    • kyle hudson/ the kid240 May 4, 2014, 3:10 pm

      5 things one goku vs ichigo (sparing or friendly fight). Two I thanks for the fittnes tips. Three I plan on training twice a day during the summer (tricking ,cardio (hitt) and static strength in the morning and dynamic strength, plyometric, (all calisthenics) and cardio (endurance running 3-5 miles) in the afternoon 3-4 days a week any tips for balancing everything out and twice a day training? Four my I’ve Ben practicing and learning the handstand( arched) for along time and my balance is goog (15-30 sec.) But my kick ups are shit so one minute I can kick up the next minute I can’t kick up so I decided to relearn the hand stand (gymnastics/ straight) to see what’s wrong and or to fix technique any tips or solutions. And five too many questions?

      • Anthony May 9, 2014, 4:59 pm

        I don’t know ichigo, so Goku. I’d probably be Goku anyway.

        I think you’re trying to do WAY too much. Balancing tricking and strength training alone is tricky let alone any sort of cardio or extra plyometric training.

  • SamWolf May 1, 2014, 8:33 pm

    Dude I am 26 years old and I love tricking so much so can I start tricking or it’s too late?

    • Anthony May 1, 2014, 11:13 pm

      You’re good. GO NOW.

  • greggy May 25, 2014, 8:45 am

    I’ll go straight to the point ,
    1.) Can I wear shoes to avoid fingertips injuries or bare feet is a must?
    2.)Doing a handstand , should I lock my elbows or not ? for safety measures
    THANKS!!

    • Anthony May 28, 2014, 11:01 pm

      1) Barefoot is usually a must. Shoes add too much weight.

      2) Usually you want them locked.

  • AJ August 24, 2014, 5:01 am

    Hey!
    I have extreme fear of flipping and tricking though im a very fast learner… any advice.. appreciate it

    • Anthony August 30, 2014, 5:48 pm

      Fear is easy because there’s no voodoo. You either get over it or you don’t. No pill. No drink. No technique. Just you vs. your demons. It’s not easy, so don’t let anyone tell you that it is. But it’s possible. Make the choice.

  • Jack Yates September 25, 2014, 9:42 pm

    Hey. Been doing freerunning for about 2 years now and i have done some gymnastics and have the basic Flips down Like the Front, side and basic twists. I am going to start tricking soon but the main problem i get with this stuff is how scared i am to try new stuff. Even with soft mats at the gym, im still nervous. My question is how could i get rid of this fear? I know about taking it slowly but even if i do all the progressions i just get worried in case im gunna kill myself -_- Any help? Will tricking be less scary than freerunning? Please reply

    • Anthony October 6, 2014, 6:41 pm

      You can’t be a chef if you’re afraid of the burner. Sometimes you just need to cook and take the risk knowing the best safety procedures out there. AND THE IMPORTANT PART… getting burned… because then you realize that no matter how painful it was, you’re still alive and you can keep moving forward.

  • Mark van Tienen September 26, 2014, 9:19 pm

    Really informative post! I want to stand out a bit so I’ll stretch alot now and sometime soon start learning tricking! I am not the slimmest person, but for some reason I am not overweight, so I think my weight isn’t a problem. But my back is really sore and I don’t know the cause of it. I’m only 15!
    Kind regards.

    • Anthony October 6, 2014, 6:38 pm

      Welp, I wish I could tell you, but I can’t.

  • Jeremy etter October 8, 2014, 12:36 pm

    This has encouraged me to start up practicing again, I use to practice a lot but then I got busy but I feel I would be really good at tricking once I got it down,thanks man.

    • Anthony October 10, 2014, 6:21 pm

      Yeah go practice again!

  • laura December 14, 2014, 1:01 am

    Well you got me into it! I didn’t know much about tricking but now i really wanna try 🙂 thank you!

  • Saif March 7, 2015, 8:11 am

    Hey Anthony! I was wondering if you’d mail me the basic steps on what to start in the world of tricking. I do some stretching. Is it good to do it daily? I’m dedicating my whole summer vacation to tricking.

    • Saif March 7, 2015, 8:13 am

      I am 19 yrs old. Can i start tricking? And yeah the article is very professional and motivating.

      • Anthony April 25, 2015, 2:16 pm

        Yes. Absolutely.

    • Anthony April 25, 2015, 2:17 pm

      Sadly, no, because it encompasses A LOT in terms of what I’d do in full. Visit trickstutorials.com or acrobolix.com

  • Paige Rose March 21, 2015, 4:32 am

    can girls do this?

    • Anthony April 25, 2015, 2:25 pm

      Yes. Many do.

  • tod March 27, 2015, 1:46 am

    Hay im 13 and wondering if there is an age requirment? Also should I wear swets and a T-shirt

    • Anthony April 25, 2015, 2:37 pm

      No age requirement. Wear something comfortable.

  • mjsova April 9, 2015, 5:41 am

    This was inspiring to read! In my 40s I took up tumbling as a complete beginner in an adult tumbling class. The psychological benefits were at least as great as the physical. I came out of that class with handstand and one handed cartwheel skills. I was close to a back hand spring and a front tuck but I stopped when my teacher retired. I am now starting tae kwon do and you have inspired me to start tumbling a bit in my backyard. Thanks!!

    • Anthony April 25, 2015, 2:28 pm

      Nice.

  • Peter April 29, 2015, 3:28 pm

    fucking great website anthony. it helped me to get started in tricking a lot, and the motivational story was outstanding. i do have a background in parkour and tricking though.

    • Anthony May 19, 2015, 6:33 pm

      Awesome to hear.

  • Nick May 17, 2015, 11:23 pm

    What up Anthony….
    I am just now starting to get involved in the world of tricking, as a junior in highschool… I know, its a bit late…. anyway I was wondering if you had a certain diet, or special kind of food you ate to allow your body to except that level of flexibility. Do you allow yourself to have carb days and eat sweet foods, or do you highlyrics discipline your self to stay away from sweet foods?

    • Anthony May 19, 2015, 6:22 pm

      It’s not late.

      Food doesn’t make you more flexible.

  • Nick May 20, 2015, 2:40 am

    Hey Anthony!
    Often you speak of flexibility and its importance in the world of tricking. I stretch pretty often, but I am not very close to being able to do the splits. Is being able to do the splits very important or just adds on to the range of tricks you can do? I think alot of the problem comes from my hips, they tend to cramp up.
    Great website! All of the tutorials and suggested websites have been extremely helpful. Thanks for taking the time to do all of it!

    • Anthony May 20, 2015, 11:03 pm

      Flexibility is important but not ABSOLUTELY necessary. Usually the inflexible get by but have sloppier looking tricks (like bent legs, etc..)

  • surya May 22, 2015, 4:11 am

    hey Anthony it’s first time I’m reading your article and it’s look awesome. I’m 19yr old , can I learn flips or other tricks ? does age matters?

    • Anthony July 16, 2015, 11:37 pm

      You can. Yes. Go.

  • Jenna July 7, 2015, 4:28 pm

    Hi, your tutorial pages are the best I’ve found! I’m a 39 year old woman in pretty good shape strength training 4-5 times a week and mixed martial arts 2-3 times a week I’m also naturally extremely flexible but no real gymnastics experience ..as a mother of three and at my age extreme and advanced tricking or free running may not be in my cards.. But I also an actress and want to add some basic tricking to my martial arts and dance skills because it looks incredibly fun and can really add a lot to a fight scene on film! I wanted to thank you for breaking it all down and making it accessible but also noticed I rarely see women tricking (except some pretty amazing wushu women and Kung fu artists) do you think women are at a physical disadvantage for this sport? It seems high flexibility would be a benefit? Thank you!

    • Anthony July 16, 2015, 11:56 pm

      There are a lot of women trickster.

  • Jervin July 9, 2015, 3:50 pm

    Thank you for this… Kinda motivates me in a way…
    I’m practicing the basics… I’m 21 btw and a bit chubby looking guy … Haha thanks ✌️✌✌
    I can only do the Tornado Kick for now lol… But i’ll study each and every trick that i could possibly do… Kudos!

    • Anthony July 17, 2015, 12:19 am

      It took me a year+ to learn the 540, so don’t get discouraged.

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