Forward Movement in a Sit
Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Brianne Thompson. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at axisflightschool.com.
- Proficiency in the neutral back-fly position
- Ability to transition over the legs from a back-fly to a sit
- Ability to sit-fly in the neutral position
Start in a comfortable sit-fly position oriented perpendicularly to the aircraft’s line of flight.
A jumper uses three sections of the body—the torso, the hips and the legs—to drive forward while in a head-up orientation. A flyer can apply inputs from just one of these sectors to make a small movement. Eventually, the flyer can begin to combine these inputs to move forward farther and more quickly. By combining all the inputs, a flyer can cover vast distances (which is useful on angle jumps).
Although counter intuitive, you need to tilt your torso backward in order to go forward while flying head up. Leading with your head (as you do on a daily basis while walking) will cause you to backslide. Produce a proud chest and look forward in the direction you wish to travel.
Your hips have a large bearing on your body’s structural integrity, so you must engage them properly. From a neutral position (hips tilted forward with your tailbone pointed toward the horizon behind you), tilt your pelvis back by squeezing your gluteal muscles slightly.
Most beginning sit-flyers assume a wide-leg position because they feel that it makes them more stable. However, keeping the knees very far apart causes the hip flexors to lock up and the torso to lean forward, which makes the jumper move backward. Instead, hold your knees at about shoulder-width apart, while driving your heels forward and down slightly (as though you had spikes attached to your heels).
If you find yourself falling to your back during this exercise, watch the placement of your arms. If you reach down and behind your shoulders in an attempt to keep yourself upright, you will lose lift on your upper body. Instead, keep your elbows at shoulder level so that you feel the air pressure on the inside of your biceps.
The authors intend this article to be an educational guideline. It is not a substitute for professional instruction.