I’ve been having a hard time staying focused during my pole sessions these days. I generally go into my sessions with at least one goal, but it seems like I spend most of my time fluttering around aimlessly, trying a move on a whim and giving up if I don’t get it right away. Sometimes I miss being at an intermediate level, moves were more easily attainable and the scariest thing to learn was the Superman. Accomplishing advanced moves requires dedication, persistence, a bit of craziness and usually some outside help. I’ve decided to narrow in on a handful of moves that I hope to get in the (near?) future. Dedicating an entire practice session to solely one move can cause various repetitive strain disorders, so I plan on dividing up my practice times with moves that require different points of contacts and different ranges of motions.
This move is no joke. I’ve heard of so many girls injuring their shoulder while attempting this spin, and after even five attempts I’m starting to feel it. This is a move where warming up is absolutely essential, you are swinging around the pole with your body weight being supported by your shoulder joint so do some giant arm circles at the very least before attempting. I first tried it back in the summer and was getting nowhere fast. I quickly gave up until my instructor urged me to try it a few weeks ago and I’ve been trying it a few times during each practice session since. I seem to be stuck in the same spot, I can get in the right position for the lift part, but the lift itself never happens.
Now, I don’t know if this is a solution, it just seems to make sense. See, I’ve done the Twisted Grip handspring successfully maybe 5 or 6 times. It is something I’ve always struggled with, and a move that just never seemed right to me. I feel it puts your body in such an unnatural position, one that requires a lot of shoulder flexibility. In the past few months I have actually spent some time on this, and unlike my legs, my shoulders are considerably more flexible now. I’m hoping that now that I’m stronger and more flexible I’ll be able to practice my TG handsprings without fear of twisting my arm out of its socket.
Ok, you’re going to laugh, but the first time a classmate and I saw this move we both were like, “Oh, it must be just a butterfly variation!” HAHAHAHAHA (it’s not). The Marion Amber is one of the most deceptive moves out there, upon first glance it really does look simple. What is the most difficult part (for the average girl)? The lifting of your bum. For me? It’s the extension of the top leg. See, I have the ass of a twelve year old boy, so lifting it is never an issue for me (like the Caterpillar Climb), but whenever I try to push past and straighten that top leg I crumple into a ball on the floor (I can’t count how many times I’ve fallen out of this move, yet I don’t believe in crash mats?).
Become flexible? For those with heavy bum issues, check out this awesomely hilarious Marion Amber Progression video by Aerial Amy. See? Not easy! She has some great tips so make sure to watch to the very end.
I already know that this is going to be my new go-to move. Move over Shoulder Mount! Doesn’t it look fun? Doesn’t it look easy? (Pat: “I know after two tries I’ll be able to get this move.” *eyeroll*) Don’t you love his accent? Ok, so two out of those three statements are true. Even attempting this move gives you a rush and I must have tried this about 30 times on Saturday. Yes, I could flip my body around the pole, but I never got the proper height.
I think my biggest problem is lifting my chest towards the ceiling and getting the height I need. The problem with this move is that while in it, you have no idea what you look like. I’d recommend filming each and every attempt and compare the footage to a proper video online. Are you sure you’re using the right grip? Are you leading with the right leg? Really study and nitpick the shit out of your body positioning. Or better yet, get an honest pole friend to critique as well.
UGH WHY DO I HATE MYSELF? I know this move is probably the most painful one out there, and I’m familiar with the pain as I already did a Toe Hang on a set of wall bars (which still gives me nightmares) but it looks so cool that I plan on looking past that minor detail. I mean, I love the Cupid, and this seems like a Cupid on steroids.
I have seen many people try this with a shoe or boot on their top foot. I have a pair of spiked pleather boots that I plan on using the next time I give this a try (along with a shot of whiskey). And a crash mat. No wait, a mattress. No wait! Two mattresses.