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Easy pole spins for beginners

If you’re new to pole then you’ll begin your journey by learning some basic spins before you move onto inversions and tricks. Don’t be fooled by thinking that spins are “too easy” as there is more to them than just throwing yourself around the pole.

Here are some super fun and easy spins to practice either in the studio or at home but I would recommend trying anything for the first time to do so with your instructor or with a spotter.

Back body sparrow

  1. Stand next to the pole and put your inside hand (the one closet to the pole) high and your outside hand in a ‘Base Grip’ ( arm across your body. Make sure to leave a bit of space between you and the pole.
  2. Starting on your inside foot, take a couple of steps around the pole.
  3. Leading with your bum, move your body in front of the pole and lean sideways.
  4. Swing your outside leg to build a bit of momentum. Keeping that leg straight, you can either stag your inside leg or straighten for a straddle variation (as I did).
  5. To come out of this spin, either slide your hands down until you reach the floor in a kneeling position or bring your feet back to the floor and step around.

Ballerina spin

  1. Standing next to the pole, place your inside hand up high and your outside hand in a base grip.
  2. Balancing on your outside foot, hook your inside knee on the pole.
  3. Lift your outside foot off of the floor and bring your toes together while pushing your knees out.
  4. To come out of this spin, either slide down the pole into a kneeling position or alternatively, drop your outside leg and step out of it.

Carousel spin using base grip

  1. Place your inside hand up high in a base grip.
  2. Standing on your inside leg, swing your outside leg in front of the pole while placing your outside hand across your body in a base grip.
  3. Bring your inside leg up off of the floor and use your outside hand to push your body away from the pole during the spin.
  4. Ensure both your knees are pointing out and your toes are pointed.
  5. To come out of this spin, either slide down to the floor or step out of it.

Carousel spin using split grip

  1. Place your inside hand up high in a base grip.
  2. Standing on your inside leg, swing your outside leg in front of the pole while placing your outside hand low down. Your hand will be in a reverse base grip position and ensure your index finger is pointing to the floor (this will help keep your arm locked out and straight).
  3. Bring your inside leg up off of the floor and use your outside hand to push your body away from the pole during the spin.
  4. Ensure both your knees are pointing out and your toes are pointed.
  5. To come out of this spin, either slide down to the floor or step out of it.

Carousel straddle spin using base grip

  1. Place your inside hand up high in a base grip.
  2. Standing on your inside leg, swing your outside leg in front of the pole while placing your outside hand across your body in a base grip.
  3. Bring your inside leg up off of the floor and use your outside hand to push your body away from the pole during the spin.
  4. Bring your legs up into a straddle position (legs out wide and parallel to the floor).
  5. To come out of this spin, lower your legs and step out using your outside leg first.

Carousel straddle spin using split grip

  1. Place your inside hand up high in a base grip.
  2. Standing on your inside leg, swing your outside leg in front of the pole while placing your outside hand low down. Your hand will be in a reverse base grip position and ensure your index finger is pointing to the floor (this will help keep your arm locked out and straight).
  3. Bring your inside leg up off of the floor and use your outside hand to push your body away from the pole during the spin.
  4. Bring your legs up into a straddle position (legs out wide and parallel to the floor).
  5. To come out of this spin, lower your legs and step out using your outside leg first.

Chair spin

  1. Place your inside hand up high using a base grip.
  2. Learning slightly forward, bring your outside hand across your body in a base grip. Your forearm should be level with your belly button.
  3. Bring your knees up high in a ‘tuck’ position and cross your ankles.
  4. Use your outside hand to push your body away from the pole.
  5. To come out of this spin, lower your legs and step out of it.

Reverse hook spin

  1. Place your inside hand up high and begin to move your body backwards leading with your bum.
  2. Stand on your outside foot and begin to fall backwards.
  3. Hook your inside knee onto the pole and bring your outside hand across your body into a base grip.
  4. Ensure your knees are pointing out and toes are facing each other.
  5. To come out of this spin, either step out or slowly lower to the floor ending in a kneeling position.

Diamond

  1. Begin in a kneeling position next to the pole. Using a twisted grip, bring one hang up high with your knees pointing in the opposite direction. Place your other hand under your bum with all fingers pointing downwards.
  2. Leading with your outside knee, start to roll over and keep your toes pointing in towards each other.
  3. Your inside knee should then follow the same motion resulting in both knees pointing in opposite directions.
  4. Bring both knees together. This motion can then be repeated as many times as desired.

Juliet spin

  1. Stand next to the pole and place your inside hand up high using a base grip.
  2. Leaning sideways, bring your inside leg away from the pole.
  3. Allow your body to fall forwards gently until your outside knee catches the pole.
  4. Keep your outside leg out stretched during the spin.
  5. To come out of this spin, either step of out it or allow yourself to reach the floor in a kneeling position.

Combos

Once you’ve practised and feel confident with these spins, you can start to string them together to create a lovely combo. Here are a few to get you started then begin to have fun playing around and creating your own.

I’d love to hear what your favourite spin is so leave me a comment below. Happy poling 🙂

Improvers pole tricks

Pole fitness is much more than just spins as many new to the sport soon find out. It not only requires strength, willingness and determination but also buckets full of self trust and a “I’m going to keep trying even if I fail” mindset.

Here are some fun improver pole tricks to try out once you’ve mastered the basics. Remember to always try these tricks in class with your instructor and a spotter first time.

Flat line scorpio

Russian layback

Nebula

Straight edge

Jacknife

Seahorse

Iguana

Extended butterfly

Have lots of fun trying out these moves and drop me a comment below to let me know which one was your favourite!

Things to know before your first aerial straps class

I attended my first ever straps workshop during Maactober 2019 and I can safely say I was completely blown away with the discipline. Even though it does require a certain degree of strength, I would encourage anyone who is interested to give it a try regardless of previous experience.

We can all agree that aerial straps is not only super cool but incredible to watch. If you’re thinking of joining the aerial revolution and learning to perform on straps, then here are a few things you should know before your first class.

Long sleeves and wrist wraps

As straps are predominately wrapped around your wrists, you’ll want to have a layer of protection between the nylon and your skin. Tubular bandages are the number one choice for aerialists. They’re super cheap and can be picked up from most chemists or supermarkets. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have long sleeves on as well.

Sore hands

Even though your wrists will take most of the tension, your hands may still end up being sore due to ‘beginners death grip’ on the straps. The nylon material can be pretty hard on your hands until you learn to trust your wrap.

Top tip – If your hands continue to hurt, try extending your tubular bandage to your knuckles with a hole cut out for your thumb. This will protect your palm and ease the pain.

Tell your instructor if you have any injuries

This may be a given but its good practice to always inform your instructor of any injuries you have. If they’re aware, then moves and exercises can be modified so you can still take part and train safely.

I was training while recovering from a sprained wrist so please listen to your body and if it hurts, STOP!

Lats not biceps

Aerial straps is mostly trained using straight arms so that means no biceps! As I found out, the lats and shoulders need do all the upper body work which makes transitions and shapes flow more seamlessly so this is a challenge in itself.

Bonus… if you keep at it, your back will look amazing!

Leave your ego at home

Even though straps requires strength and (some) flexibility, this doesn’t mean you’ll be expected to preform a perfect flare or touch the floor with your toes during skin the cat.

Working hard to achieve your goals without comparing yourself to others is more beneficial than giving up straight away because you can’t nail a flawless meat hook on your first try.

And finally… just have fun

As the old saying goes – “Work hard and play hard” sums up most aerial disciplines perfectly. Enjoying your class while learning new skills, meeting new people and being the best version of yourself when training will help you develop your skills.

If you want to find out more about straps, send me a message or leave me a comment.

How to tape up an aerial hoop

Training on a “naked” hoop can be tough if you’re wearing leggings as the lack of skin contact makes holding on near impossible. Many aerialist tape up their hoops to improve grip, prevent skin chafing and to add a bit of colour.

What’s the correct way to tape up my hoop?

One way is to tape all the way around then add an extra layer of tape on the bottom third. However, not only will this increase the chance of the tape being unstuck and coming off but it’s also a waste of tape.

Alternatively, you can tape from the bottom up on side to the top then repeat on the other side which seems to be a bit of a time waster as well as again, there’s a chance the tape will roll and unravel after a while.

The best way I’ve found it to just start at the top, wrapping with a third of the tape overlapping and voila – a lovely dressed up hoop with minimal effort.

What will I need?

Your aerial hoop, a couple of roll of sports tape, some chalk and patience. That’t it!

What tape do I use for wrapping my hoop?

Most aerialists will use cotton based athletic tape with Mueller M-Tape being the popular choice. It comes in a wide range of colours so there is not limitations to how creative you can get. 

There are many other tapes available on the market so try different brands until you find the best one for you.

How long will it take?

It only takes me 15 minutes from beginning to end. I find the best way is to sit on the floor so I can rest the hoop on my knees and move it around easily.

Having a nice clear space and everything you need in arms reach makes the whole process quick and efficient.

How many rolls of tape will I need?

I used two rolls which are 9m each. This is enough for a 95cm hoop with a little left over for patching up wear and tear.

How do I get rid of the stickiness?

Every aerialist will know that new tape will make your hands sticky and the annoyance of the tape sticking to your clothes. However, you don’t need to buy anything fancy or expensive to prevent this. 

After consistent use, the tackiness will subside but if you want an instant fix then a light dusting of climbing chalk is the easiest solution. Don’t have any chalk? – then use some talc instead then brush off any excess. Easy peasy!

Do I need to buy ‘Pre-prep spray’?

The answer is no. It’s just a quick sale for most companies and is a completely unnecessary spray. The tape is plenty sticky without any added help.

Do I need to clean my hoop before re taping?

Not really but if you want to you can. Who am I to tell you how to live your life.

Finally…

Let your creativity go wild and wrap that hoop in the way that it makes you happy. After a few re-wrappings you’ll find your flow and what techniques work for you.

How aerial hoop can help get you the body you’ve always wanted

I’ll be the first to admit that my lifestyle used to be less than ideal… three takeaways a week, zero exercise and lots of late nights. Apart from always being tired, I hated the way I looked but didn’t have the drive to do anything about it. That’s until I decided to try something new, something just for me and that’s when I discovered aerial hoop.

So I signed myself up to a 6 week fundamentals course at Leeds Aerial Arts with the determination to stick it out and not give up after a few weeks.

Well those 6 weeks quickly turned into 6 months which turned in a year… ONE WHOLE YEAR and I have no intention of stopping. Without aerial hoop, I would still be that unhealthy person with zero fitness, zero strength and zero (body) confidence.

So if you want to find out how aerial hoop can change your life and help you get the body you want, scroll down to read more…

What is aerial hoop?

Traditionally a circus act, aerial hoop or Lyra is a suspended steel ring and is used to perform acro based routines.

Aerial hoop offers a fantastic full body workout designed to improve strength, build muscle and increase flexibility. This makes it the perfect balance of getting fit and having fun at the same time… so what’s not to love?

Super fast spins, daring drops and graceful gazelles will be part of your training but don’t worry, as a beginner you’ll learn the basics first. If you want to learn more about what to expect from your first aerial hoop class, click here.

Super Strength

During your first few sessions of aerial hoop, you’ll find conditioning exercises hard (I really struggled) and unless you’ve trained previously, moving your own body weight around will be a challenge.

Seated pull ups, leg raises and even straddle mounts will seem impossible but stick with it. It was months until I managed by first pull up and now 5,6 or even 7 in a row aren’t a big deal.

The more you train, the stronger you’ll get but I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s easy but when you start to see results – it’ll suddenly feel worth it.

Top tip: If you’re serious about training, invest in a gym membership. A few weight lifting based workouts each week will accelerate your progress, making hoop class a bit easier.

Increased Flexibility

If you struggle to even touch your toes, no worries – the more you practice, the better you’ll get and the best part is that you might not even realise until you nearly drop into the splits or get a near perfect back bend without trying.

The shapes and flows you‘all learn and practice will push your body to new limits helping to figure out what you’re naturally good at and what needs practice. For example, my splits have come along way in a short amount of time with little training but my shoulder mobility is poor.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that regular stretching and flexibility training is important to really push your progression as well as understanding the fundamentals of how to stretch properly and safely.

For more information on stretching, check out The Bendy Series. Covering getting your splits in 12 weeks, back flexibility and shoulder mobility, just 10 minutes a day can really help!

You can eat more!

No I don’t mean you can stuff yourself with crisps, bags of sweets or bars of chocolates. By eating meals packed full of the good stuff will give your body the fuel it needs to build muscle and recover. After a hard slog during your gym and aerial hoop training sessions, your body will thank you.

The misconception is that to lose “weight” is to go into a calorie deficit meaning eating less but that’s not right at all. If you want to have a more defined figure then you need to lose body fat and build muscle – ignore the scales, muscle weighs more than fat but you will look and feel slimmer.

Just to put it into perspective, when I was at my unhealthiest I weighed 63kg and was a size 12, now I weigh 65kg and currently a size 8/10.

Make sure you have a good breakfast to start the day off right followed by lunch (and a second one in my case) then a lovely big dinner. You can snack inbetween as well if you still feeli hungry but try to stop eating 3 hours before bed time – this gives your body chance to digest your food.

And finally…

It’s a confidence builder

It can be daunting signing up for a class when you don’t know anyone and for many that can be a turn off. But how can you learn a new skill or meet new people if you don’t step out of your comfort zone every once in a while?

It’s important to remember that EVERYONE is in the same boat so when you arrive at your first class just smile and say hello to everyone – it’ll break the ice and before long you’ll have your own little aerial hoop family.

Enjoy your aerial hoop fitness journey!