The post heard around the pole world
A couple of years ago Irmingard Mayer published a post asking instructors why they allow students to kick into inversions. It turned out to be a controversial topic, though I’m not exactly sure why. I subsequently wrote a post with some tips for telling whether you’re getting good pole instruction.
Isn’t it widely understood that being able to do moves with control is safer for student AND teacher? Isn’t it also widely understood that it provides a much better opportunity for success for students?
Yet here we are, back at the same issue. This post is my response to the various excuses I have heard.
Please note: there is a big difference between a gentle leg sweep and a rock-rock-rock-rock-JUMP KICK motion, or a swing leg-swing leg-swing leg-swing leg-JUMP KICK motion. You know what I’m talking about.
EXCUSE #1: I KICK INTO INVERSIONS BECAUSE DON’T HAVE A TEACHER.
You are self-taught. OK, fine. That means you are 100% responsible for your own body. When you are your own teacher, you need to know better. Kicking into an inverted position, whether it be a basic invert, shoulder mount, or cartwheel or handspring, you are putting tremendous torque and pressure on body parts that are not built for it. You can train those body parts, but it takes time and patience.
If you’re too impatient to put in the conditioning time, and you’re not strong enough to hold your body once you get upside down, guess what? You will come crashing down, and even if you don’t flat-out fall, what do you think it does to your body to have all those parts suddenly snap back to their original positions?
Fast and flailing is never the way to go. If you need to kick your way up into something, you are probably not ready to do it. Period.
EXCUSE #2: I KICK INTO INVERSIONS BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO FALL BEHIND AND EVERYONE ELSE IS ALREADY INVERTING
I get it, I do. Your classmates are all happily popping upside down at a moment’s notice, and you’re over there doing endless tuck and pike and straddle lifts in an attempt to get there. It’s so tempting to give a kick and let momentum take you where it may.
You can do long-term damage to your body if you bypass strength drills designed to get you inverted. You know if you are strong enough to do a move. Deep down you know. Wanting to do it isn’t a good enough reason to actually attempt to do it. Put in the work. Get it right so you have a basis for future badassery.
I CAN DO IT WITHOUT KICKING, I WAS JUST TIRED
Nope. Nope nope nope nope. If you are too tired to get upside down without kicking and heaving yourself up onto the pole, you are opening yourself up to injury, plain and simple. Your muscles are tired, and they are telling you that they are tired in a voice that’s loud and clear. That means if you’re too tired to get upside down without kicking and heaving yourself up onto the pole, you need to stop training inverted work for the day. Work on something else if you don’t want to stop completely.
Respect your body. It is doing amazing things for you.