The pole handspring, otherwise referred to as Split Grip Alesha, is among the most sought-after goal tricks for pole dancers. Like many of the other pole poses, the handspring opens up a door to lots of fun tricks and gives you a sense of achievement. Once you have mastered the handspring, you will be able to do other combos and transitions with ease.
With that in mind, understand that the handspring is quite a complex pole trick. It may require a lot from you in terms of mobility, strength, and body awareness. The handspring is a tricky move but is a popular intermediate element that everyone needs to learn. that said, it can be hard to achieve. But with plenty of practice and some patience, you will eventually get close and then perfect the technique with pointing toes.
You will be doing a handstand while holding on to the pole with your hands. This means that you will actually need upper body and core strength. Good shoulder mobility is also critical for the pole handspring pose. But it doesn’t all end there because you will equally require good mobility in your wrists and the elbows to succeed in doing a handspring.
What is a handspring?
The truth is this particular move is tricky. But then, as a pole dancer, it’s all about progression, and if you’ve already learned how to pole invert, then this won’t be difficult to achieve. Keep trying because practice makes perfect, and each time you get a little closer to finally nailing it. There are different handgrips for the handspring pose, like the twisted grip, the true grip, and the cup grip. You can use what generally works best for you, and it’s safe.
So lets handspring the world, me at a random playground doing a handspring to the pole gods!
The twisted Grip technique
The twisted grip technique for handspring is usually a pole goal for many dancers. It’s not a really hard trick to master, and any dancer can successfully perform it as long as they have the proper conditioning. That said, there have been concerns about this technique, considering it’s a somewhat unnatural position. To safely perform the twisted grip, you need the strength to engage the correct muscles throughout the entire trick.
Here is how to perform the twisted grip handspring;
- Stand next to the pole and grab it with your arm up high. Make sure to keep the shoulder down as you do this.
- Take one step forward and another to the side. At this point, the arm being used to grip the pole should be behind your head.
- Turn your head towards the pole and then move your body to get it to face the pole. While all this is happening, maintain your grip on the pole.
- You are now in the twisted grip position. Once you’re comfortable enough, position yourself at about a 90-degree angle from the pole. If there’s any pain or pressure on your wrists and shoulders, don’t try to do this trick. There is a chance you’re not ready and flexible enough for it, and you might hurt yourself.
- With your free arm, gently place the hand down and grip the pole. Ensure you grip the pole with your index finger pointing down to the floor.
- While in this position, push your shoulder backwards. The distance between your two hands should be enough for your head to move in that space without bumping into the pole.
- Swing your front leg upwards to lift your body. To easily lift your body up, also use your upper arm to pull and the bottom arm to push yourself up.
First variation – one tucked leg
- While swinging your front leg to position the body up, tuck in the other leg as you take the upside-down position.
- Remember to move your face together with your body. That means you will start from facing down and transition to facing up.
Second variation – two tucked legs
- While swinging your front leg to position your body upwards, tuck in both of your legs and bring them as close to the body as possible as you go upside down.
- Once you’re upside down, release the tucked legs and proceed to straighten them out and form the handspring move.
The true grip technique
The true grip technique is usually considered the best for performing a handspring. It’s always advisable to practice and ensure you have plenty of strength to do such a trick. It may really look easy, but in reality, it’s not that simple.
Here is how to perform the true grip handspring;
- Grab the pole at head height. The space should be just about enough for you to do this move.
- Take your front leg and swing it upwards so as to lift your body up. Move your legs to your liking and depending on what makes you feel comfortable. You can keep both legs straight, tucked in, or one tucked in and the other straight as you move your body upwards.
- As you lift your body up, bend the upper arm and grab the pole tightly, using your other hand to give your body a boost upwards.
- After your body is upside down, straighten your legs to form the handspring move successfully.
Doing pole tricks like the handspring is definitely fun, especially when you master it. This is an activity that gives you a deep sense of accomplishment. But safety should be the most important thing. First things first, you need a proper grip on the pole along with a pole dance crash mat. Sometimes your hands may become sweaty, or the weather is a bit hot, and for that reason, you find yourself struggling with slipping. In that case, get grip aid products, especially for moves like the handspring, which rely heavily on the hands and a strong grip. Popular grip aid products include Dry Hands ad Tite Grip.
Furthermore, avoid the twisted grip technique without doing proper shoulder conditioning and strength building. When this trick is not performed correctly, it can result in injuries from a strained shoulder joint.
When in doubt – Find yourself a spotter by asking another experienced pole dancer to prevent injury. If you are in pole dance class then ask your instructor for a 1 on 1 guide and spot session.
The handspring might be a bit difficult to master, but with lots of practice and strength training, you will get there sooner than later. Most importantly, pay attention to safety, and if it’s your first time, there should be an instructor in the room to guide you.