Wushu Aerial Twist

Wushu Aerial Twist

In this tutorial you will learn how to do a wushu aerial twist, also known as cartwheel roll 360, cartwheel without hands twist or in Chinese: "Ce Kong Fan Zhaun Ti" The aerial twist is a basic wushu jump, but it's also popular among other martial arts, such as capoeira, tricking or XMA (Extreme Martial Arts). Find more wushu jumps at wushu main. For artistic gymnastics instructions go to gymnastics main.


  • Run a few steps, make a hop and swing your arms forward like if you were doing a normal aerial (cartwheel without hands). Most people twist their upper body slightly to the right, but you can lean straight forward as well. Swing your arms forward, so that your hands are in front of head level. For more info on how to jump off, check the aerial tutorial (without twist).
    • Learn forward
    • Keep your abs tight
    • Don't bend your knees too much.
  • Initiate the twist when the right leg catches up with the left leg (shortly before the middle of the jump)
    The movement of the left hand contributes a bit more to the twist than the right hand.
    • Move your left hand towards the right side of your trunk.
    • BTW, at the beginning it's easier to initiate the twist, turning the head.
    • Best form would be initiating the twist from the hips.
  • At the beginning this can be a bit confusing. Once you are upside down, you forget which way to twist. The aerial twist can be learned from the wushu butterfly twist and from the handstand hop and Frontwhip. Personally I prefer the handstand hop, because your legs and your aerial will be straight from the very beginning. For more info and training methods, check the "Training Advice".
  • Relax your hips and your legs will close from alone. Just make sure you knees are extended and keep your hands on your trunk. The arm motion seems difficult at the beginning, but once you practice the handstand hop and turn to the left, you will understand. You can also make up your own arm movement. However, the one I am describing here seems to work best. At the highest point of the jump, your trunk and your legs should be in one line.
  • To stop the rotation, move your hands away from your trunk. Relax your arms for a moment and prepare for the landing.
  • Land on the balls of your feet and dampen the landing with your knees. Keep your abs tight and look back to where you came from. At the beginning I recommend you practice this on a wooden reuther-springboard. Learning the aerial twist from the wushu butterfly twist can take a lot longer than learning it from the handstand hop.


  • Careful, the aerial twist is not just a cartwheel where you land on both legs. If you jump from the left leg, you have to twist to the left and when you jump from the right leg, you have to twist to the right. If you would jump from the left leg and twisted to the right, you would just do a round-off without hands, which is not very difficult.
  • Don't try the aerial twist if you can't do a normal aerial (cartwheel without hands).
  • The handstand-double-hop training method: In my opinion this is the best training method for the aerial twist. First, work on your handstand and learn the handstand hop. Then hop and twist at least 90 degrees, land on your hands again and plant both legs. This way you get used to the right direction of the twist in your aerial. The good thing about the handstand hop method is, that your aerial twist will be very straight. Contra: You handstand has to be very good. Then do frontwhip (from a reuther-springboard) and land on your back (on a huge pile of mats). And then add the twist shortly before you fall on your back - like in the handstand hop exercise and land on your stomach. It usually takes a few weeks to learn the aerial twist like this.
  • Another method is learning the wushu butterfly twist without the circular run-up and throwing your legs higher than normal. Pro: If you have a good butterfly twist, you will learn the aerial twist faster. Contra: People who learn the aerial twist from the b-twist often and up doing slanted aerial twists and land on one leg first. It's very hard to get this fixed.
  • My own training method:
    • Learn the cartwheel without hands.
    • Do a handstand - double hop and turn to the left - land on both feet.
    • Jump from a wooden springboard twist walking on your hands.
    • Jump from a 1m high plateau into water or into a gymnastics foam pit. Learn the frontwhip (without twist)
    • Jump from a reuther-springboard again and land on your back (on a huge pile of mats)
    • Then add the twist and land on your stomach.
    • From there it only takes a few more days.