This is the fourth installment of our How to Toss Like a Boss series. We’ve covered general guidelines, the Backflip Toss, and the Straight Toss in previous posts. Today we talk about the Front Flip Toss, the toss that ties them all together.
What is the Front Flip Toss?
The Front Flip Toss consists of swinging a kettlebell for three repetitions while counting out loud, then tossing it into a front flip on the third count. Like all tosses, the intention is to land the bell flat on its bottom, handle positioned straight up to the sky. As always with tossing, perform the out loud count to engrain the practice of the three count safety protocol for passing. The two practice swings at the beginning dial in your accuracy. Additionally, we begin every partner passing set this way, so it is a necessary habit to establish.
The Front Flip Toss requires more force to flip than a Backflip Toss, as it’s going against the natural tendency of the bell to backflip when thrown. The way you thrust the kettlebell handle forward during a Front Flip Toss teaches you to lead the handle toward your partner when performing the Two Hand Straight Pass, although it is much exaggerated during the Front Flip Toss.
The Two Hand Straight Pass is actually not the same as either a Front Flip Toss or a Straight Toss; however, between practicing the two tosses, the Two Hand Straight Pass can be developed. The Front Flip Toss shows you how to direct the handle forward, while the Straight Toss teaches you how to toss the bell forward while keeping the handle upright. Once you learn the Front Flip Toss, you can simply dial back your force in order to lead the handle to a partner while straight passing.
6 Tips to Front Flip Toss
1. Keep the hands together when flipping, and flip from the center of the kettlebell handle. Wrist roll into extension while using the area between thumb and pointer finger to thrust the handle forward.
2. The bell handle must be given enough force to flip forward against the bell’s natural desire to backflip, but not so much force that it misses landing on its bottom.
3. Aim for a landing spot 3-4 feet in front of you (as opposed to 4-5 feet for the Backflip Toss).
4. Follow through with your thumbs, pointing them at the place you want the bell to land. Just before the bell hits the ground, drop your arms down to your sides.
5. Use the hips to project the bell out and the hands to thrust the handle forward. The arms are more involved in the Front Flip Toss than the Backflip Toss.
6. If the bell doesn’t land square to you (window of the kettlebell handle facing you directly), it means you’re pushing harder with one side than the other.
Benefits of the Front Flip Toss
Tossing builds Aptitude, Body awareness, Confidence, and Depth perception in one's KPP practice (the ABCD’s of tossing). The Front Flip Toss gives you the aptitude to steer the bell with your thumbs and control the rotation of the bell as it’s being projected away from you. The Front Flip Toss resembles the way you would perform the Two Hand Straight Pass to your partner, which is a great pass for beginners because it’s easy to catch. Therefore, improving your toss will improve your pass as well. As you become more skilled at tossing the bell, your body awareness will improve and you’ll know how to move your body in order to achieve the desired outcome. This will build confidence while using the kettlebell for workouts and for KPP. Finally, your depth perception will improve as you practice hitting targets at various distances and sticking the landing.
4 Steps to Practice the Front Flip Toss
1. Let go of the bell without any agenda. Just let the bell go and watch what happens. The tosses in this step are for observation purposes only.
2. Toss the bell with an objective in mind, i.e. going a certain distance or sticking the landing.
3. Develop accuracy by creating a target to toss the bell into or onto (draw a circle in the sand, make a pile of leaves, etc).
4. When you can stick 10 in a row, you’ve achieved boss level. When you can stick 20 in a row, you’ve achieved hoss level.
Even after you begin your passing journey, continue your Front Flip tossing practice. Tossing hones and maintains your skills between KPP sessions, and makes you a better partner to pass with. Plus, tossing the bell is a great workout and a lot of fun, and now you have the knowledge to practice all three types of tosses! Be sure to give all of them their due during your tossing practice, since each one offers its own valuable lessons.
PSA: Be sure not to leave divots in the ground at public parks or other areas where people are walking.
Find the rest of the blog series here: