Experiments with the One Handed Butterfly

I’ve seen pictures of the One Handed Butterfly for a while now, and really wanted to give it a try.

I have no idea who came up with it, but every picture I see seems to vary slightly. I wanted to try out each version to see how it felt.

Needless to say, you will have to be strong in your Butterfly to try this one, as well as having a lot of grip, a spotter and a mat! It can feel a little unsteady at times.

Now it may sound silly – but I just want to put it out there. Your bottom hand stays ON the pole 😀

We all have our own way of doing certain moves and the slight variations within them can make us prefer one version to another. Below is what I thought about each version – you may differ in your opinion if you try it, but that’s why pole is so great 🙂

Belly Close to The Pole

Okay, so the first one I tried was more of how I would initially work towards the Butterfly when teaching. For this version, you need to keep your belly really close to the pole to help give you a little extra security. There’s also less pressure in that bottom hand which makes the move a bit easier.

belly-on-knee-ankleBelly on the pole, knee-to-foot grip

Being close to the pole allows you to have grip from foot to knee, across your thigh, belly (if you have it out) and in that bottom hand. Feeling more secure also gives you a little more time to grab the back foot.

All-in-all I found this to be the intermediate version of the move. It was easier in terms of taking the top hand off and grabbing the foot but I’m so used to pushing away in my Butterfly that there wasn’t as much of a hook in the top leg as I would have like.

Belly Away from The Pole

So when I do a Butterfly I now always have my belly away from the pole (other than when teaching, and dependant on level) I find that I can feel much more of a hook and therefore grip in the top leg.

belly-off-knee-ankleBelly off the pole, knee-to-foot grip

Initially, I found this move the easiest to get into (as I’m used to it) until I had to take my top hand off. There was a lot of rearranging of the bottom hand until I felt I had a good push with the bottom hand and pull in the top leg.

I couldn’t hold this version as long as I could the others. It was definitely one of those moments when you have to grab your leg as quickly as you can and hope for the best… Of course usually slow and steady works well in moves like this, so you have to try to make sure you don’t lose your balance!

I think this is my favourite version but needs a lot more work for me to have confidence in it.

Knee Hook Variation

When I do a Butterfly I usually hook from knee-to-foot, rather than behind the knee, so I was intrigued to try this version.

Hooking the knee definitely gives you more support and so I found this version to be the most secure. I love the angles that this creates and just wish I was more flexible as it would look beautiful bringing that back leg closer to the head.

belly-on-kneeBelly on the pole, knee grip

I tried both tummy close and tummy away for this one. I couldn’t get my tummy very far away as I was hooked in with the leg. Tummy on probably makes for better angles and makes it easier to do too, which is great.

The Results!

All in all, I’d say that the Butterfly hooking knee-to-foot with the tummy away looks best. If I could get my foot closer to my head then I think the Knee Hook version would look better.

belly-off-kneeBelly off the pole, knee grip

I found the knee hook to be the most secure followed by the tummy on knee-to-foot hook, then tummy off knee-to-foot hook.

It’s always great to try out different variations of the same move. You might prefer different ones than you’d initially think and be able to make other ones look beautiful.

If you’re ready for this, give them a go and let me know which one you prefer. If not, keep working on your Butterfly and you’ll get there soon 😀

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