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If you’re currently riding the struggle bus that is learning to invert without a kick, I can relate. I’ve been on that bus route too and I feel your pain.

WHY can’t I get my hips up? When should I straighten the arms? Why oh WHY is my butt so dang heavy?

I will be answering all your awesome invert questions in this mini-series on the anatomy of the pole invert. Yay!

Let’s start by breaking down the invert to straddle movement, so we can appreciate and begin to think about all its different components and what this means about the way we should approach learning the technique, engagement and strength required.


No Kick Invert Biomechanics


As you can see from the video, there are some key elements to our no kick invert to chopper:

Core strength – in an open-chain position (more about this later!)

Hip flexor strength – to lift our legs close to our torso

Upper body vertical pulling strength – to hold our weight off the floor as we lift our legs

Upper body horizontal pulling strength – to hold our straddle, particularly from the mid traps and rhomboids which help us to control the position of our shoulder blades so we can ‘stack’ for more efficient movement mechanics – UPDATE: you can now read more about this here!

Eccentric bicep strength – to help us control the straightening of our arms

Quad strength – to keep the legs straight in our straddle

Hip abductor and rotator strength and mobility – to create a spectacular spreadie to the Gods

Phew! That’s a long ol’ shopping list right there! No wonder you guys have so many questions!


Connecting the dots to acheive the No Kick Invert

To achieve a no kick pole invert, we need to fit all these different invert puzzle pieces perfectly into place. If any single piece of our invert jigsaw is missing, or we’re trying to jam the pieces together in the wrong order, it will forever feel incomplete, exhausting and hella frustrating.

But get all the right pieces together, in the right order – and… ‘CLICK!’ … like magic, the picture will be complete and your beautiful invert to chopper will be yours.

OH YES, it WILL be yours!

STAY TUNED! In my next post, we’ll go over some of this invert anatomy in more detail with some exercises (on and off the pole) for each component. Got invert questions? Head to my social media pages to ask! Insta: @ptthepole Facebook: The Pole PT

Want to nail your invert with specific ‘on’ and ‘off the pole’ strength and conditioning progressions to target these key areas and complete your invert to straddle puzzle? Of course you do! ? Check out my downloadable No Kick Invert training program – with all the nerdy theory, exercise programming and progressions you need to nail your invert!



Content on this website is provided for educational/informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should consult your Doctor or Health Care Professional before doing any exercises or fitness programs to determine if they are right for your needs.


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  • Rebecca says:

    Hi there! thank you for such an indepth post on the mechanics of the invert. Ive been poledancing for three years. I’m a little heavier and older than most polers and have been struggling with my chopper. It’s so frustrating especially since i ad managed to get it for a few weeks last year around april and the…lost it! After watching your video, I’m pretty sure my weak point is coming from my mid traps and rhomboids. Going to go read up on suggested post and see what comes of it and as today is a rest day for me, I will then spend some time visualizing before tackling this tomorrow. Hope to come back with a positive report! 😉

    • Neo says:

      Hi Rebecca, I’m sorry I missed your comment earlier! Thank you so much – I’m so glad you found it useful and I know how frustrating it is to have a move and then lose it again! Gah! Hope this helps you on the way to getting it back! Let me know how you get on! ?❤

  • Anna says:

    Thank you so much, your advice is super helpful! I know it’s not a common question, but do you have any tips or tutorials on coming back do from a straddle? whenever I try to get my feet back to the floor, I end up pulling my back muscles (super painful!). I suspect that’s because I fail to use the proper contact points.
    Would really appreciate any advice you have!


    • Neo says:

      Hi Anna, so sorry I missed your comment earlier and I’ve only just seen it! You are talking about coming back up from an inverted straddle, right? This is a wild guess but I’d say it is related to your back engagement. As indicated in the video in this post, if you are not engaging your mid / lower traps / rhomboids and the upper back is rounding, those muscles may be in a lenghtened position in your straddle. When those muscles then need to contract to lift you up back out of the straddle, because they are trying to create that movement from a lenghtened position, this might be causing the strain. Just a theory! Definitely worth getting in to see a physio if you can so they can check out your movement patterns and figure out what you need to correct to move forward with it, pain free! ❤

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