Difficulty: Intermediate

Category: Tricks, Invert

Type: With heels / Without heels

Points of Contact: N/A

Also Known As:

  • Headstand
  • Elbow Stand

Pre-requisite Moves:

  • N/A

A Basic Headstand is a great way to start playing with shapes on the pole. Not only does it make a great photoshoot move or ending pose for a show-stopping routine, but as you become more advanced, you can also tweak it to give you a dynamic transition onto the pole.

How to Perform a Basic Headstand

Featuring @anna.freezze

Move Steps

  1. Start sitting on your heels, facing the pole.
  2. Make a triangle with your hands and put them on either side of the pole. Place your elbows on the floor, squared underneath your shoulders.
  3. Be sure to push your elbows down, as if you are pushing the floor away from you. This keeps the shoulders engaged and keeps weight off your neck.
  4. Place the top of your head below your thumbs, on the floor or base of the pole. If needed, slide back to give yourself room.
  5. Keeping your shoulders strong, lift your bum up into the air, straightening the legs.
  6. Walk your feet towards your face, moving your hips toward the pole. Keep the legs as straight as possible.
  7. Swing either leg over, as if you were doing a handstand but continuing the momentum past the pole.
  8. To exit, extend the front leg, touching the floor. Next, bring the back leg forward onto the floor, and bend your knees to get back into a seated position.

Safety Tips

  • It is very important here that you push through your shoulders, and do not let weight rest on your head or or neck. Keeping your weight off your neck keeps tension off your spine and prevents compression. Furthermore, if you were to slip in this movement, it is much safer for the shoulders to catch you than your neck.
  • Maintaining good balance is ideal for this move. If you are uncertain about your balance in an inverted position, please get help from a spotter.

Common Mistakes

  • I Can’t Swing My Legs Over: If you are struggling to swing your legs up, over your head, you may not be walking up close to the pole. Use a mirror or record yourself to see how close your hips come to the pole. If you have the flexibility for it, you should be practically touching the pole with your bum. Sometimes, you’ll find you’re almost swinging your legs over, you just need a little commitment. It will feel like you’re off-balance at first, but take it slow and gain confidence in the movement until you are ready for it. You may also find it a helpful temporary crutch to swing your feet onto the pole, then into the split, rather than going straight for the split.
  • My Neck Is Stiff After This Move: Never, never, ever, rely on your neck for this movement. Your neck should not be stiff. Always keep your shoulders strong throughout the movement, as if you are trying to push the floor away from you. If you struggle with this, working on shoulder strengthening exercises will help you stabilize yourself.
  • My Hands Don’t Feel Stable: When you place your hands down, imagine you are making a triangle in the space between your fingers. Your thumbs should be connected together, and your index fingers should be connected together. The pole should go in the center of this triangle, and your head will rest below your thumbs. If you still don’t feel stability here, try playing with how your elbows are positioned. You elbows should be flat against the floor, but positioned so they stay roughly aligned with your shoulders. You shouldn’t feel like you are off-centered in the alignment between your shoulders and elbows. This will give you a lot more strength and stability in this position.

Ready to explore new moves?