How to pole dance upside down

How to do a Basic Invert - FireFly Poles

Inverting on the pole is probably going to be the first terrifying thing you will learn when pole dancing.  The advice below should help prepare you for your first invert and keep you in control for many more inverts to come.

Practice Your Invert From The Floor:

1. Lie on the floor with the pole by your waist, with your strongest arm closest to the pole.  Place your inside and strongest arm over the pole to grip it between your arm and body. Place your outside and weakest arm above your inside arm on the pole.

2. Bend your legs, still keeping your feet on the ground. Arrange your body closer to the pole so that you have a good grip with your hands. Whilst holding your abs tight, lift both legs off the ground so that your feet are in the air with your legs straight. Lift your bottom off the ground so that most of your back is also off the ground.

3. Place your outside leg over the front on the pole. Place your inside leg on the back of the pole and grip both legs tightly on the pole. You might need to twist your body slightly towards the pole to do this.

This is the basic position that your legs will end up in. From this position on the ground you can use your arm strength to allow you to slide your legs higher up the pole so that less of your body is on the ground. You can also grip the pole tightly with your legs and use your abs to lift the top half of your body off the ground.

How to do a basic invert:

When learning to invert for the first time it is often easier to swing your outside leg to help give you a little momentum to get upside down. After a while you will be able to invert just by using your arms and abs, jumping or doing an aerial invert, depending on what you want to do.

 Stand next to the pole with your strongest arm as your inside arm. Place your arms as in the practice with your inside arm lower on the pole, with your hand about shoulder height. Place your outside arm slightly above your inside arm on the pole.

2. Swing your outside leg backwards and forwards to get the feel of lifting off. When you’re feeling confident with this, swing your outside leg and tuck both legs up to your chest. The idea here is to hold your body weight up. When you can confidently hold your body weight allow your head and body to tip back slightly to get the feeling of going upside down.

You can find a structured training plan to help you get your invert on the pole as part of the online pole dance lessons at PoleFreaks Studio.

Going Upside Down:

If you have a spotter have them stand near your head so that they don’t get kicked when you are inverting and they can safely guide you down to the ground if necessary.

3. While gripping the pole, swing your outside leg forward and jump off the ground with your inside leg. Place your outside leg as vertically as you can over the front of the pole and your inside leg behind the back of the pole. Your legs should be in contact with the pole from the feet up to your inner thighs. You should feel like you have one leg crossed over the other. Grip tightly onto the pole with your legs.

4. When you have a tight enough grip on the pole you should be able to move you head and shoulders around the other side of the pole so that you body is mostly in a straight line. This is the basic invert.

The Basic Invert is a key move to master if you really wish to progress with your pole dancing. From the basic invert you can go in to the Crucifix hold or the Thigh hold, or more complicated moves such as the Gemini and the Butterfly.

Inverting Tips:
  • The hardest part of inverting is more the mental side of being upside down, rather than the gripping. Think positively that you will go upside down, otherwise your body will subconsciously try to stop you.
  • Keep your body in control. If you do not have a good enough grip on the pole, do not try to invert. Do not get too excited and take a running jump at the pole as this may cause you to lose control.
  • Sometimes your hands will be in the way of your legs when trying to grip on to the pole. Depending on whereabouts your hands are getting trapped, you can either move your hands higher or lower on the pole before inverting so they end up in a different position when you have inverted. If this doesn’t solve your problem when you have inverted you can tightly grip on to the pole using the lower half of your legs, and loosen the grip with the upper thighs to allow you to move your hands.
  • Inverting takes a lot of time and practice – it is an important move to get right so make sure you take your time to really master it. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle at first – it is one of those moves that once you have got it, you will always be able to do it.

If you have any problems or questions about Inverting please contact us at FireFly Poles and we will be able to help you to get upside down (and stay there) in no time at all!

Basic Invert (Intermediate) Learn How to Pole Dance with PolePedia

Difficulty: Intermediate

Category: Invert

Type: Static Pole, Spin Pole

Points of Contact: 3

Also Known As:

  • Tuck Invert
  • Invert

The Basic Invert is a highly sought-after milestone in any pole dancer’s journey that unlocks a whole new world of amazing tricks. This may result in rushed achievement, laying a poor foundation for future movement, leading to many pole dancers revisiting their inverts later as they move into Aerial Inverts and Shouldermounts.

This move requires a lot of core strength and willingness to move the body upside down quickly, but with the help of invert prep, this can be accomplished safely and quickly.

How to Perform the Basic Invert

Move Steps

  1. Standing next to the pole, wrap your inside arm around the pole in a Stronghold Grip.
  2. Bring the outside hand directly over the inside hand, pulling the arm down and engaging the shoulder.
  3. Stick the booty in front of the pole and rest the hips on it in a Waist Pocket Hold.
  4. Tuck your knees to your chest and tilt the head back, looking back towards the wall and look to the floor underneath you. Extend your arms when you rotate the hips up.
  5. From here, you can extend the legs, pointing the toes and engaging the leg.

Pre-Invert Prep

For most pole dancers, achieving a proper invert will take strength and coordination that we don’t normally have coming from normal life. In this video, Sophia will take you through a series of exercises to help you get into the proper invert form later.

Training for your invert on the floor is an excellent way to test your muscles, measure progress, and strengthen the muscles necessary to perform a standing Basic Invert, and later, a straight-leg or Chopper invert, where the legs are straddled the entire way up from the floor.

Floor prep for inverting is safe for first timers and experienced pole dancers alike. It is low impact, easy to follow, and gets you used to the basic body mechanics used in an invert. It will also help you get used to using the legs on the pole, which is an important step in inverted pole tricks.

Safety Tips

  • Never hang loosely from the arms. Always keep the shoulders down and engaged.
  • Do not try to force the elbows to stay bent when you tilt your head backwards. Straighten the arms as you tilt backwards.
  • Never kip-up or jump into your invert. This is a bad habit that can skip over engaging key muscles to help you in later pole progress. Kipping up expends more energy and can put a lot of unnecessary torque on key muscles. Generally, we recommend that pole dancers focus on floor prep and conditioning exercises for inverts until you can deadlift into your invert, or at least minimize how much you kip-up.
  • When you straighten your arms to bring the hips up, never shift your hand grip or let go with your hands. Keep the hands on the pole at all times.

Common Mistakes

  • Trouble Reaching the Pole with Feet: The tuck invert is a great place to start because you can tuck the knees up and then extend the legs, rather than starting with a straight-leg invert. In either case, your feet are not reaching for the pole, they are reaching past the pole. Once the feet have gone past the pole, then you can hook a kneepit onto the pole or wrap them in an inverted X-grip – or just come back down – whatever comes next for you.
  • Not Enough Strength: If you have plenty of arm and back strength, but inverts are still proving difficult for you, then you might not have enough core strength to tuck the knees in far enough and hold it. Try going back to floor prep exercises.
  • I Get Stuck Rotating: If you feel like you are getting “stuck” while you are rotating your body upside down, make sure that you are leading with your head and chest, looking down and to the back wall then the floor. This will help encourage rotation from the waist pocket and hip. Likewise, make sure that you are really pushing your hips up towards the ceiling when you draw the head back. The movement of the feet and knees coming up will help you lift your hips up, but it will require core strength.
  • Arms Get Stuck: If your arms are getting stuck in an invert, or if you feel like there is a lot of strain on the arms, make sure you are straightening the arms completely when you are lifting the hips up.

For additional information on inverting from Sophia Minx, view an older article on How to Invert here.

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Pole dance exercises

Pole dancing or pole dancing will give you a lot of opportunities, whether you are starting a professional career as a dancer or want to surprise your friends in a nightclub.

You have a desire to start pole dancing or you have already mastered several areas of this dance, and you are striving to achieve much more. Then you need to prepare the body for the future load, different exercises will help you quickly master complex tricks.

To practice pole dancing, you need to develop arm strength. This will be needed when moving to an inverted position (upside down). It is also necessary to have strong abs and strong legs, then you will be able to perform beautiful poses on a stripper pole, in motion and static.

Many muscles need to be developed: shoulder muscles, chest muscles and of course arm muscles. The most important thing here, perhaps, is to develop the muscles of the hands well. Since the area of ​​the wrist and forearm is heavily loaded when you grab the pole with both hands apart and take off from the ground. If these muscles are underdeveloped, they can relax under load, as a result, the entire load falls on the tendons and ligaments and sprain and pain occur.

You can do an exercise to strengthen your wrist, which is important for pole dancing. For example, you can take weights or sand bottles and do this exercise, raise your hands and lower them. This exercise should be done 15 times. You can also squeeze the expander, since the fingers are also involved in the grip of the pole.

To develop the muscles of the forearm, you can perform the following exercises. For example, put your knee on a chair, bend over and take your hand back. Without moving your elbow, bend and unbend it. It is necessary to choose such a weight that you do 15-20 times and get tired, try to complete three sets of each exercise. This exercise helps to quickly develop muscles. You can also visit the gym and, under the guidance of an instructor, perform this kind of exercise. You should not give the body an excessive load immediately, otherwise you can get out of the rut for a few days.

There are many exercises to develop the muscles of the shoulders: lifting the dumbbells up from the shoulders, lifting the dumbbells up with straight arms, you can spread your arms to the sides. To strengthen the biceps, you can perform the following exercise: while sitting, you need to turn your elbows down in front of you and bend and unbend your arm at the elbow. For a pole, the most important muscles are: the forearm, fingers and wrists, the development of these muscles helps to master difficult movements and insures the hands from sprains.

Developed legs and abs are required to master the inversion poses well. For example, if you swing your leg up, your abdominal muscles help you lift your legs and pull your body towards the pole. Pay special attention to your lower abs, as they are what help you lift your legs. To do this, you can perform the following exercise, in a prone position, raise your legs and try to get them behind your head.

There are many beautiful pole positions that require well developed legs. One of them is when you fix yourself on the pylon with your arms apart, then come off the floor, while the body of the body is parallel to the floor. Next, you raise both legs to a right angle and spread a little on either side of the pole. If you have poorly developed front thighs, then you will not be able to perform this exercise. To develop the hips, you can do different lunges.

Remember to take your time doing the exercises. Do the exercises slowly, do not move your joints in different directions and do not swing your arms in the air. Pole dancing will not attract attention at all if there is no flexibility and plasticity in it. So do some stretching.

The pole dance must be expressive. All movements should be soft and performed with feeling. You must use the body, face and mind in the dance.

Try to develop your imagination and indulge in the dance in flight.

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Why pole dancing is an art

Most people associate pole dancing with striptease, and those who do it seem to be insidious seductresses. The reader of Gazeta.Ru realized from her own experience that it is difficult to dance on the pole, and there is nothing indecent in it. Understood and shared with us.

I've been in pole dancing for almost three and a half years, and during all this time some people are very persistently trying to prove that between my hobby and striptease, you can and should put an equal sign. Before, of course, this hurt me, but then I realized: most people know about pole dancing only that a pole (pole) is used for it. And what do they associate with the sixth? That's right, striptease.

Very unpleasant comments appeared under my photos on social networks more than once, because the stereotypical notion that half-dancers are completely debauched is still quite common. But, it would seem, pole dance has long come out of the shadows and has become one of the sports (officially - since October 2, 2017).

I always knew that half-dance is a dance, and dancing is an art. And I have always been fascinated by dancing. When I saw what half-dancers were doing, I decided that I wanted to do that too.

It took about a year for my “want” to turn into “do”. There were some fears and doubts, which, by the way, were also among other newcomers with whom I talked. Basically, they were formulated in the form of the phrase “I can’t, I have weak arms, weak abdominal muscles, not a good enough figure, and in general, am I an acrobat or something?” Doubts disappeared when I saw Olga Koda's number. Then the idea that in any case everyone starts somewhere took over, and I began to act: I found a school near my house, came to a trial lesson, all such a small and trembling schoolgirl, enthusiastically looking at experienced dancers who performed crazy tricks somewhere under the ceiling of the hall.

At the first lesson, all I did was walk around the pole and try to master the basic elements, for which my level of physical fitness was clearly not enough. But I didn’t quit - I wanted to surprise myself too much and find out what I was capable of. I must say I was surprised. Sometimes we can’t even imagine what our body is capable of. I thought that hangings and handstands were for the elite. Now I understand that this is the lot of those who train hard.

A couple of months later I climbed the pylon without any problems. Under the very ceiling, that was joy! Six months later I learned the basic tricks. And to those who say that pole dance is simple, “walk around the pole and slowly take off your clothes,” I answer: you are wrong (I would have put it much sharper before).

First of all, pole dancing does not involve stripping. Exposure of some parts of the body (arms, legs, back) is allowed solely in order to improve grip with the pole. In other words, in ordinary clothes, you will simply slide down a smooth steel stick and hurt yourself.

But dancers don't wear shorts, tank tops or leotards to seduce anyone.

Moreover, the rules of various competitions are strictly regulated: how much exposure is allowed, what kind of suit can and cannot be worn, what width the gusset of shorts should be, etc. Yes, there is a separate direction in half-dance - pole exotic - it’s not the tricks that come to the fore, but the choreography, grace, sensuality. However, total nudity during performances is prohibited, which many do not know.

In general, there are many things in the history of pole dance that people who are not related to this area have hardly heard about. For example, that originally a pole, though wooden, was used by the Indians as a yoga equipment (XII century), and this discipline was called Mallakhamb (“pole gymnasts”). There was another one, which is more reminiscent of modern pole dancing, - Mallastambha ("pillar gymnasts"). The iron pole was used for Indian fighters to train their strength and agility. Some sources report that the pylon or pole was used in their ritual dances by women in African and Indian tribes. Previously, he embodied the symbol of the masculine, but then the dances at the pole also had a spiritual aspect.

For several centuries, half-dance developed only in the circus arena (it still exists today). In the second half of the 20th century, the "function" of pole dancing was seduction. Since the 1990s, the pole dance that we see now has appeared, and this is the merit of the Canadian Fonnier Munday, who recorded educational videos, thanks to which the society learned about this dance direction.

Those who think that half-dance is a sport exclusively for girls are mistaken.

Older women (Greta Pontarelli known in this circle for more than 60 years), and men (winner of the World Championship in Beijing 2015 Dmitry Politov, three-time world and Russian champion Evgeny Greshilov) and even children (Emily Moskalenko) represent the dance direction.

Learn more