Tuesday Tips: Twisted Ballerina
Nemesis Trick: Twisted Ballerina
I hear people say that this is a back flexibility trick; and yes, you do need a certain amount of back arch to hold it. But, if you look at the picture above, you will note that my back is laying flat on the pole, not “twisted” around it. If you can lay on your back on the ground and grab your legs, you can do it up the pole– but there are definitely some tricks you will need to know in order to get into the position. If your torso is not very long, you will have more difficulty with this.
You do need hip flexibility to grab your back foot. That’s one reason why my ballerina is not as pretty as it could be: my hips are much tighter than my hamstrings, and so I can’t “cheat” the flatness of the ballerina split the same way I can cheat my jade to be completely flat. So, please excuse that the pose isn’t quite as nice as I wish it was!
Take a look at the video below, and we’ll talk about the points of the video in more detail so that it makes more sense. Click here to get taken to the live blog entry if you’re reading this is your email, or the video won’t show.
Here is a step-by-step, as shown in the video:
- If you are trying to turn your torso around the pole with your crotch touching the pole, you will get stuck! You really need to sit your hips back so that they’re not directly next to the pole. Try to lay yourself down onto your knees, and THEN turn so that you are getting your back on the pole.
- You will need to grip the pole very securely between your knees and shins to keep a good hold and not slip down as you lean forward and begin your turn with your shoulders. If you can, try to turn your shoulders enough to get your armpit on the pole. To make the arm motion clean, think about reaching up toward the ceiling and then reaching back like you’re making a huge circle in the air with your hand– try to keep your arm straight as you get it in position, so you don’t look like you’re flailing. The armpit grip will help you in the next step.
- As you complete the turn of your shoulders, you will need to release your front leg so that you can open the knee away from the pole, which will cause the hips to turn so that they are no longer facing forward– that will help you to really turn your back! This will require that you have a very good hold with your hooked climbing foot- you should definitely be confident with a one-legged stand on the pole before you try this move. As you continue to turn your knee out and away from the pole, you can brace yourself in place by pressing the palm of your bottom hand into the pole in front of your bottom thigh. Then grab your back foot with your top hand and when you’re secure, you can release the bottom foot and hand.
When I do this trick, the turn of the shoulders is a continuous movement, with the knee opening the entire time and timed to the security of my armpit hold. I cannot completely turn my shoulders until my knee is off the pole, so it’s a question of having enough grip with the armpit and the bottom hand to lock me into place until I can grab the top foot. As you get more comfortable, you can remove the bottom brace hand!
I hope that helps! Happy twirling and good luck! If you have any other tips on the twisted ballerina, feel free to share in the comments.
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Tomorrow’s post: Personal Style with Michelle Stanek…