Type: Static Pole
Points of Contact: 3
Also Known As:
The Shoulder Stand is a wonderful way to transition around the pole and add a bit of flare to your floorwork either barefoot or in heels.
This trick is beginner-friendly and pole-assisted, meaning you do not need a lot of balance to perform it. The movement will keep you front-facing and your bodyweight centered, allowing you to transition into other floorwork tricks. You do not need a lot of flexibility to perform this move, however, the more active flexibility you have in your middle splits, the showier this trick is.
How to Perform the
Pole Assisted Shoulder Stand
- Start in a seated position with your feet tucked underneath you. You will be seated behind the pole, with it closest to your “inside hand.”
- Raise the outside hand – the one furthest away from the pole – and turn it so your palm is facing the ceiling.
- Bring your outside hand behind you without rotating your palm. Your palm will be facing down, pressed against the floor.
- Come up onto your knees and line your chest up with the pole. This will ensure you stay centered on the pole when you bring your legs up.
- Bring your chest down, pressing the shoulder and ear to the floor. Be sure to create space between your shoulder and ear, pushing your neck forward gently.
- You will be using the same side ear as your shoulder; so if you are using your left shoulder, your left ear will be on the floor. You will always be looking to the front of the pole.
- Bring your inside hand up to grab the pole, thumb facing down. Create a box, or 90-degree angle with your elbow.
- Press down firmly with the outside arm and palm. Bring your inside leg up and past your arm, bending it to pass through the space between you and the pole.
- Straighten your inside leg on the opposite side of the pole.
- Bring the opposite leg up, tightening the core and bringing both legs up in a straddle.
- When you bring your ear and shoulder to the floor, always be sure to keep your neck neutral and slightly tucked forward to avoid any tension. This will also allow you to transition into another trick by rolling over the shoulders if desired when you are more familiar with this move.
- Never look the opposite direction of the pole.
- Never roll over any part of the neck at any point in this move.
- Keep your shoulders down and away from the ears. Scrunching them up can cause unwanted tension in the body.
- If, at any point, you begin to fall out of this move without a trained spotter, it is best to reverse the motion. If you cannot do that, your forward neck position allow you to roll onto both shoulders – so that you are facing the ceiling – and roll down to the floor. This is much safer than flailing your legs until they find something to latch onto.
- I Can’t Get My Neck Positioned Right: Be sure to leave space between the shoulder and ear, and that your neck is gently pushed forward. Do not tuck your chin; keep looking straight out, imagining that you are making eye contact with an audience positioned far in front of your pole. Often, you will not need to position your neck any further out than what naturally occurs when you jut out your jaw.
- This Feels Awkward: Ensure that you are leaving enough space between the shoulder and ear. Remember that when you are entering this movement, you will be using the front of your outside shoulder as a point of contact. As you move your legs into a straddle above you, you may roll gently to the side of your shoulder. This will help lessen any potential strain or pressure on the neck area.
- I Can’t Hold Myself Up: Remember to use the hand that is gripping the pole when holding yourself up. This will provide much-needed assistance, so you do not need to rely on core strength alone. Be sure to keep your hand in a strong window or box position.
- I’m Collapsing Into the Pole: When you bring your inside leg over and begin to bring both legs up into a straddle, don’t let your back cave in. Engage your core to help your body stay upright, and try to keep your chest up and aligned with the pole.