Whether you love them or hate them, shoulder mount moves and tricks are really key moves on the pole.
They give you a whole new angle to play with and lots of new moves to try. It takes a lot of strength, skill and practice but the results are well worth it. A good shoulder mount is a key move to have in your pole skill set.
There are a few different grips you can use for a shoulder mount. I prefer a cup grip with both hands near your head as when you invert, your hands do not get in the way of your legs so it makes it a lot safer.
We are always aiming to lift rather than to kick up. When we are first learning we can start with our outside leg behind the pole to help give us momentum to get up there. As you get stronger, take both legs in front on the pole and lift up.
Pre – Shoulder Mount
I going to be honest here, this one is painful. You need to get use to the pain on your shoulder in order to get this move. I could only attempt 3 shoulder mounts before the pain was too much and I ended up with a very bruised shoulder. Conditioning is key!
With all of these conditioning exercises you want to start with your back on the pole and your spine to one side of the pole. Your hands are in a cup grip – your fingers and thumb are the same side of the pole, with your thumb closer to the ground. Your inside hand is lower and your outside slightly above – just slightly above head height, while looking up.
For example, if the pole is on the right on my spine, my right arm would be the inside arm, lower on the pole and my left slightly above, looking up. It is so important to keep the contact between the back of your shoulder and pole the whole time.
Imagine you are trying to throw the pole across the room – this is the amount of grip and force you want on the pole. Your elbows will come in towards your head as you really pull the pole.
At first we are not trying to get upside down. We are trying to kick one leg up towards the pole or ceiling followed by the other. Your outside leg comes up first followed by the inside – left then right in our above example. The aim here is to keep the contact between the back of your shoulder and the pole.
Try to keep your core tight as you lift your legs. Each time try to get higher and higher.
The idea is exactly the same as above but we are trying to tuck our legs up to our chest and then rotate our hips slightly to lift our legs higher. Again we are trying to keep the pole / shoulder contact and move in a controlled way.
How To Shoulder Mount – Step by Step
1. Stand with your back to the pole. You want to make sure that your spine is to one side of the pole. Your inside arm is in a cup grip just above your shoulder and your outside arm just slightly above. There should be just enough room for your head to come through this gap. Keep looking up.
2. Bring your inside foot forward and keep your outside foot slightly behind the pole – this is to give you a bit of momentum to get up.
3. Pull the pole (imagining throwing it across the room) allowing your elbows to come in.
4. Take your outside leg up, hooking it over the front of the pole. Your inside leg comes behind the pole, as in a basic invert. Squeeze your legs on the pole to get the grip in your legs.
5. Move your collar bone away from the pole as your old through to move your head to look down at the floor.
6. Straighten out your body as in a normal invert and come down as you prefer.
7. When you can confidently shoulder mount in this way, try to lift both legs at the same time. Think about pushing your hips up to the ceiling. This will get easier each time you try.
- Have a rest when needed – shoulder pain will go but you need to do quite a few first! We don’t want to get bruises as it’ll be too painful to carry on trying (even the next day) so stop before you get to that point.
- Always do both sides. This is essential to any move 🙂
- You can practice your shoulder mount from the floor first – sit on the floor as if you were going to shoulder mount. Keep your inside leg bent with your foot on the floor and your outside leg straight. Push off of your inside foot to straighten it as you lift your hips and outside leg. Try to get the outside foot over the front of the pole as usual. The inside then comes behind. As you are close to the ground you will need to keep your head tucked and just slide to the floor.
- Keep looking up. This is key. If you don’t look up, you can’t get there!
- Protect your collar bone. This is on the roll down after you have inverted – squeeze as much as you can with your legs to then move your collar bone away so it does not roll onto the pole.
- Keep the contact with your shoulder and the pole – this your only point of contact on the pole while you are inverting.
- The first time you get up there squeeze everything! You will probably surprise yourself by getting up there and although your body won’t let you drop, it may not have processed what to do next, so squeeze your legs to get the grip and then you can think about the next steps.
- Control your movements as much as possible – lifting rather than kicking will help you stay in control of your body and stop you kicking the pole.
Keep trying. I’ve yet to meet anyone who could do this on the first day trying, so stick with it and you’ll get there 😀