The Ultimate Flare Guide
Okay, I am back with another guide to throw your way. I wrote a whole guide on how to flare a little while ago and a lot of people loved it, a lot of people also had troubles understanding some of the diagrams and I don't blame them because they were hard to picture. Now the reason I am writting another guide is because I am sick of seeing the same articles over and over again on different sites and what really pisses me off is the writter of the guide usually says something stupid and leaves a lot of detail out. A common thing seen in flare articles is the writter will tell you how to flare and write his/her opininions and crap but then they say something like, You also have to torque your hips properly in order to flare but I am not going to get into that because it is complicated to explain. Yeah well screw that, if you have to know how to torque your hips and some guy wont tell you how, how the hell are you gonna learn?? My guide will teach you what to do, important kicks and manouvers that are overlooked and it will help you solve some of your problems encountered while learning the flare. I will also tell you how to train for them. Oh and I will tell you how to torque your hips properly. Please read everything carefully and enjoy. I have made it easier to follow by adding step by step instructions with pictures.
Learning The Flare
Thoughts For The Mind:
The flare is based on momentum, strength and balance. Now to give you an idea how your legs keep you in the air you have to learn a little about swinging momentum and why it is easier to do a flare fast upposed to slow. The slower the flare, the more strength is needed to pull it off, I am sure you have heard this before but do you know why??
Take a hockey stick for example, grab the end of a hockey stick with one hand and lift it straight out in front of you, See how long you can hold it there. No that takes a great deal of strength, how do you expect to do continuous flares if you have to strain yourself to keep yourself in the air?? Now once again grab the hockey stick with one hand and start swinging it around in a circle, the stick should automatically lift into the air, swing a bit faster and it will go higher and you can do this many times and not get tired, Now this is exactly how the flare works, think of your legs as hockey sticks and your hips are the hands. Now you have to forget about kicking and think more about swinging. The flare is all about swinging momentum and extension which some people have a hard time grasping.
The first thing is the start position, It is easier starting it from a standing position upposed to a pushup position like the gymnasts. What you want to do is bend your right leg and keep it a bit in front of you and step back with your left leg, don't make the mistake of putting it right behind you because this leg is going to need a lot of power and a good swing so you wanna step it off to the side so you get a longer swing to generate more power.
Now what you want to do is swing your left leg as hard as you can around in a circular manner towards your right leg, Now here is where most bboys loose power because they don't have good extention. You want to remain tight at all times and you should feel the swing in your leg. What you have to do is when you swing your left leg, stick it outward as far as you can while swinging it. To help gain power push forward on the floor with your left hand to help swing your leg. One more thing to take note of is your right arm, Keep it up in the air and try to hold it as high as you can because this will help elevate the his when you reach your first kick.
Now you are going to make your first kick, What you want to do is generate power in your right leg before you have to use it for your next kick so when your left leg reaches your right leg you want to kick your right leg towards your left side close to your face then back towards the right, Just kick in the way the hands are pointing, This will help swing your left leg up and it will keep you airbourne. Now the whole time you are flaring, you should feel drive in your legs and you have to keep your legs split. A common mistake to make is to kick your left leg up when you kick up your right leg, Make this mistake and you will come crashing down on your ass!! So when you are kicking your right leg up, keep your left leg low to the ground.
We now reach the part where we swing our left leg up, Now it is very important to keep your left leg as low to the ground as possible until it is directly in front of you, If you had a good start then this shouldn't be a problem. Now you want to swing your left leg up towards the sky and start reaching back with your right hand because you are going to plant it when your legs get directly in front of you. You have to be quick, once your done one step you have to move on to the next step without thinking about it. Now a common mistake is to bend your right leg, Do this and you will fall so keep it straight!!
When you reach the front where both hands are on the ground your legs should be split apart good. Your hips should be well elevated if you had a good start, if they are not just lean back a bit. Now you are going to initiate your next kick where you are kicking your right leg under to travel to the back, Now an important thing to remember is not to kick straight back but to swing it down and around and keep it extended or you'll loose power and die out.
A common mistake while kicking to the back is to bend the right leg, Now you can bend it abit but remember this, As the leg bends the power in that leg dies down a lot. To get the most power out of your swing you have to keep your leg straight and swign it around to the back.
When you swing your right leg down keep your left leg up high, Now you want to lift your left hand off the ground to allow the right leg to pass under, now in most guides they say to keep the left leg as high as you can to elevate the hips. That is true but there is another trick to staying airbourne and ariving high in the back, What you have to do is don't plant your hand down right away, Instead rais your right arm as high as you can in the air as if reaching for the ceiling, Now keep it there until your legs are behind you. Now this is very important because it elevates the hips and allows you to get high in the back and it helps initiate a lean forward to stay high in the back.
Remember, keep that hand in the air, lift it higher then I am in the picture. Now this is the most important part of the flare because this is where the link takes place and this is where you have to know how to torque your hips. Now to get your fat ass to the back you have to focus on your left leg because this is what you use to torque your hips properly and get you to the back of the flare. Now a common mistake is to bend the left leg and let momentum flow and just try and go for 1 or two rotations if your lucky, BITE THAT! You have to be ready to kick that leg again cause thats where your power all comes from. Now don't worry to much about your right, just continue to swing it behind you, Now the left leg you have to pay very close attention to it, You want to try and swing it up a bitand over and down, Just swing it up a bit and down, Now this will be a bit tricky at first because your left leg will be just sitting their and you have to do this with very little power. Your hand should still be in the air when doing this. If you have kicked your left leg up and over properly you will know because you will arrive in the back of the flare and you will start to lean forward, it is at this time that you want to place your hand on to the ground, and bingo you have arrived at the back of the flare, keep your legs split.
Now if you have reached this point which is the back of the flare then congradulations, your almost done. Now the torquing your hips part isn't too hard but it is kinda confusing, You have to focus on your left leg because you are going to be swinging this leg down and around to the front again which you are basically finishing linking the flare. Now when you do reach the back your hips may be a tad lower and not as high, The height comes with practice, once you learn the feel of arriving to the back you will get better. You are going to swing your left leg down towards the ground and keep your right leg up and high. Now take this into concideration, the momentum will pull your legs around and it might be a new feeling to you and a natural reaction is to bend the leg, DON"T!! The second you bend your leg/legs you will fall. Just keep them straight and split.
This part of the flare is where you are travelling to the front once again so keep your right leg high and lift your right arm so your left leg can pass under, Now remember your left leg has to be low to the ground when you are moving around to the front so get that leg down and swing it around just like before. Hold your right arm high to elevate the hips to allow a good pass under with the left leg.
Now the link is complete and all you have to do is repeat what you just did, Remember to keep that right arm high and as you reach the front reach back to get ready to plant the hand to get into the front. Goodluck!!
Don't kick your legs, swing your legs.
Don't bend your legs, they will just come crashing down
Keep your left arm high and reach towards the ceiling to elevate the hips when travelling to the back.
Keep your legs spread, the farther you can spread your legs, the better equalibrium you will have "Stephen McCain"
Don't plant your right hand on the floor until your legs are behind you
Do them fairly fast to compinsate a lack of strength
Do them on carpet or grass when learning.
Practice them everyday but know when to take some breaks and relax, no one learns a flare in a day.
Stretch before hand and do some toprock to warm up.
Lean back on your hands when in the front, Lean to the side opposite your leg when travelling and lean forward when in the back.
Try not to turn while flaring, This is called czeching a flare and it makes all your hard work look sloppy
If you bend your right leg when kicking it behind you immediatley straighten it when you reach the back.
Look at the floor when your in the back. Focus on your legs and hips.
Learn how to torque your hips as described above.
Keep left leg as low as possible to the ground until the last second.
Stick your leg outwards as far as you can while swinging it around your body.