Thursday Tips: Cupid

Nemesis Trick: (Hands free) Cupid

So believe it or not, I don’t know any other names for this trick (although I am SURE there must be at least one). It’s very similar to the hummingbird, which is the same pose with the legs, but in a hummingbird the hips and chest are turned away from the pole and your back is to the pole instead of your side.

I was a little surprised when I got so many requests for this move! But it can be really difficult to wrap your body around if you aren’t using your legs to their full extent. A lot of people try to hang off the top knee, and end up with their bottom foot sliding along the pole because all their body weight is driving down, towards the floor. Instead, you want to think of the top knee as keeping your body from falling out, away from the pole– guess what? This is actually a push-pull hold! The top knee is a pull and the bottom foot is a push. If you do it from the ground, you can see and feel clearly the way the top knee works to keep you from falling away from the pole, and how the bottom foot is pushing into the ground, towards the base of the pole, to give you traction to lean away and send your weight out:

But to get into the right position to maintain that hold up on the pole is really the tricky part. Let’s talk about this from a side climb, and then you can work on whatever entry you like. Take a look at the video below, and then we can go through it step by step. If you’re reading this from email, click here to see the video on YouTube:

From your side climb, you will want to pull your upper body up but maintain distance from the pole… so keep your butt back. Hook your inside knee on the pole at about hip height– the higher you hook it, the more you will be pulling your hips towards the pole and for this, you really want to keep your hips as far from the pole as possible! When you’re first learning this, you may even want to aim to keep your hips above your knee. Use the bottom shin to kick into the pole (like with a basic climb) and maintain tension in your knee pit- this will allow you to continue to keep your butt back.

Now, assuming you have kept your hips away from the pole, your top arm should be almost straight as you set your bottom foot on the pole and your top thigh should be just about parallel to the ground. When you set your bottom foot, set it a little higher than you think you should, with a slightly bent knee, and pop UP as you straighten your leg–this should help you to get your weight driving through that foot. If you can’t pop up, you aren’t setting your foot properly. Think about pushing the bottom of your foot into the pole as though you are trying to push the bottom of the pole away from you, like the pole is the leg of a table you’re trying to kick out from underneath yourself. You will need to have a really good knee hook so that you can really PUSH against the pole, causing the pole to PULL even more on the hook of your knee. Grasp the shin of your top leg with your inside arm, and release the top arm from the pole as you push your hips forward. Make sure that you are squeezing your legs together, towards each other so that they don’t slide apart (yes, like you’re using a Thighmaster). The farther you can get your weight from the pole, the more stable that bottom leg will be in transferring the “push” down into the pole. When you feel comfortable and have your hips pushed fully forward, you can release the top shin and go hands-free.

It’s all about the push-pull hold (how many times can I say that?)! If you are sliding a lot, you can use grip aid on the bottom of your foot (especially if they’re sweaty) but if you are sliding a lot, and from the minute you put your bottom foot on the pole, then you are probably setting your inside knee too high, or setting your bottom foot too low.

I hope this has helped! If you have had some tips that enabled you to nail this, feel free to leave them in the comments : )

Tomorrow’s post: Glitter and Feathers…