Updated: Feb 20, 2019
This post is a follow-up to a post for the PoleCon Blog, which is a short tutorial on the Butterfly. The focus was on the Tuck position and getting the correct arm positions, shoulder engagement and core engagement. Learning the Butterfly with progression is critical, start with the tuck, then the Butterfly and finally the Extended Butterfly. After mastering the tuck position, then and only then is it time to try Butterfly.
I put together a short video on how all the components and key tips blend together. Take a look and please feel free to ask me questions.
To work the Butterfly, begin with solid Tuck and drop the lower leg behind the body into a stag pose of sorts. Taking the time to work in this Butterfly pose is another necessary step before the extended version. The hips to do really have to move and learning how to balance with one leg off the pole is a great skill. This is also a place where body position, core activation and arm strength and engagement will be tested. Better to learn your weaknesses here then in the extended, where the consequences for failure are much greater.
The Extended Butterfly
The Extended Butterfly does require that the hips move out further from the pole. Having a solid balance point in the Tuck and the Butterfly are central to moving to the Extended Butterfly.
Three More Key Points
The major movement that needs to happen is that the body needs to move from on the pole to out away from the pole in a tuck position with the arms and shoulder complex in a triangle. The Tuck sets up perfectly for Butterfly. The hips remain stable and dropping the back leg is more reliable because of the stability. The shoulders need to be square with the pole in a tuck position. Square by engaging the shoulders, core and the legs. Push with this lower arm but focus on activating the glutes and hamstring to lift the hips up and away from the pole and to square the body. Hollowing the core can also assist in stabilizing the body and lift.
During the lift up into the Tuck position, the mechanics of the move must be sound. The concept of pushing and pulling with the correct limbs and muscles is a fundamental component of success. The lower arm should be placed with a bend and push upward to aid in pressing the body into the Tuck. However, as stated the legs, hamstrings and glutes lend a hand in lifting the body. The upper arm pulls against the pole to stabilize and hold the position. Both the lower and upper arm, are stabilizers, strengtheners and are used to set-up the body in a square position to the pole.
If you are working into the Butterfly or Extended Butterfly the upper foot that catches on the pole should be tensioned and pulling against the pole.
Dropping the leg lengthens the lever system. Meaning It's harder on the core and the active muscles to support the extension of the limb. Any time a limb is extended more muscles must work to hold the extension. This is also why learning the tuck position is valuable; the Tuck is the easiest place to find the balance point and work on body position without the extra burden of extended limbs. This is the place to polish engagement and form. The Butterfly requires correct arm position, correct upper back and core engagement, correct body position, correct balance point and correct strength. Easy Breezy right?