The belly-flying neutral body position is the first position you’ll learn as your introduction into the world of body flying. The primary objective is to be able to safely and successfully demonstrate a neutral belly-fly position, while staying in the center of tunnel. You’ll need to be comfortable in this position before you learn how to maneuver yourself around the tunnel (learning to turn left and right, and flying up and down).
The belly-flying neutral body position is the first position you’ll learn as your introduction into the world of body flying. First, your instructor will give you a briefing that will cover all the safety aspects of the tunnel, along with the basic information for beginning the neutral belly-fly position. This will include information on how to assume the correct position from the entrance and how the instructor will assist you in exiting once each flight is complete.
The primary objective is to be able to safely and successfully demonstrate a neutral belly-fly position, while staying in the center of tunnel. You’ll need to have this position down pat before you learn how to maneuver yourself around the tunnel (learning to turn left and right, and flying up and down).
You will start in the center of the wind tunnel. Depending on how stable you are, you may require the help of the instructor who will hold you to keep you stable while giving you specific hand signals to help you correct your position. When you are stable, the instructor will release you. At this point, you will aim to hold your position in the center of the flight chamber by making minor corrections as necessary.
Technique and Drills
On or Off the Net:
- Your body should have a generally arched shape with your head raised so that your eyes are looking forward
- For the arched position, your hips should be positioned so that they are lower than your shoulders and knees
- Your position should be symmetrical
- Your arms should be bent at 90º with your elbows spread at about eye level
- Your knees should be shoulder-width apart for stability and slightly bent with your toes pointed
Mantis Position (off the net)
- Most of what you learn during the basic neutral flying position will carry over to learning the more advanced “mantis” position
- Maintain the generally arched shape similar to the basic position
- Your arms will transition from being at eye level to being more elbows-down, slightly below the shoulders
- Your elbows will be bent more, which will position your hands close together
- With the change of arm position, your chest will need to be higher with your head up to reduce drag around your upper body area
- Your legs will be positioned similar to the basic position: knees shoulder width apart, slightly bent and toes pointed
Post-flight questions / suggestions
- How did your performance match the initial objectives?
- Were you able to maintain stability throughout while holding the neutral position? Both basic and advanced position?
- What techniques did you feel comfortable with and what can you improve on during the next session?
The basic belly flying position is the most fundemental but necessary skill to your flight progression, understanding its characteristics and how to control the neutral position will be most important prior to moving to the next skill.
What skill level is next?
Belly Fly Left / Right Turn
Turning is an integral part of your belly flying skill and being able to comfortably do so will allow you to control and maintain specific pre-determined headings and also will allow you to make specific moves while flying with a partner to build set formations.