The Push / Pull

So once again, I’m probably about to tell you something really obvious, but there is a reason – I promise.

Our pole moves all have a push and a pull.

Yes, okay so you might know this one already – but are you really thinking about it? I’ll tell people how to do moves with all the information I have to give, and there’s a lot of it. The push and pull isn’t always as obvious as when we do spins, where we usually pull with our top hand and push with our bottom hand. Knowing and thinking about this push and pull can really help us nail our pole moves.

There are always exceptions to rules, and yes there will be exceptions here – usually when we are travelling, rotating or spinning through moves, but we will still usually end up in some sort of push / pull situation.

My Favourite Push / Pulls

I know this is pretty lame to get excited about, but I love little tips that help people get moves – like pushing and pulling. Of course not everyone is struggling with moves in the same way, but just adding in something like this can really help.

We get told so much information when we are learning a new move that it’s often difficult to tell which information is more important than others – what should we focus on?

In our spins our push / pull with the arms is obvious (I hope!) and when we do them one handed there is usually a push into the pole with the leg somehow. In other moves we use more than just our arms to push and pull.

For example to learn a Superman, in our classes we get into a Viva and then a Star. (I know these names are often used for different moves, but we use these 😉 ) Our inside arm is head height on the pole, and outside just slightly underneath. We have our inside leg hooked on the pole at the knee and drop down to bring our outside leg behind the pole. This is the important bit. You then need to get the pole touching as high as you can on the outside thigh and really push it into the pole.

You need to pull with your top hand and push in with your outside thigh. Believe it or not, this gives you an awful lot of grip – so much so that it helps you to get into your Superman! 😀

Think About It

Sometimes you don’t ever think about the push / pull, because you don’t need to. If you listen to all of the other information and manage to get into the move, then you’re probably already doing the push / pull without thinking about it – which is great.

Have a think about some moves which for some reason or another you can’t do. Of course sometimes it will be strength or flexibility you need to work on, but if you have those (or enough for that move) have a think about your push / pull – are you using it? If you are trying to hold a move, where is your strength coming from. 

We can often slide down the pole if we only either push or pull. In an inverted thigh hold, it’s not obvious that you need to push the side of your front heel into the pole. It’s this push back that creates the push / pull we need to succeed. It’s not obvious when you look at it though.

So next time you are trying a move, think about what you are doing with your body and where this push / pull is coming from – or should come from. I hope it works for you 😀

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