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Three Ways to Up Your Core Game for Pole and Aerial

In pole and aerial we hit plateaus, often due to strength, or lack there of. Training with traditional core exercises is fine to get the core ready for basic pole. However, if a student wants to progress beyond the basics, the name of the game is core strength. I tell students pole is pilates abs but on crack, the other nice description I use is that pole requires the core strength of male gymnasts. Ideally, one would train with progression to reach harder pole moves and part of this progression should be training core.

I have selected a few moves that can help break through plateaus with pole and aerial moves. These are beyond the basic core moves and use the functional strength training of the pole. Functional strength training means training with the apparatus or for the sport by doing the sport or skill. These three moves are not easy and require beyond basic core strength.

Basket Tucks or Straddle Ups

The lovely and talented Jamilla Deville reminded me of this nice little ab killer the last time I took her class in Vegas at Shine. Begin in a basic inversion with a strong grip ( inside arm low and ourside arm above). Focus on the core, particularily engaging the lower core and begin by lifting the legs up into a Basket Hold Tuck. Hold and lower with control, switch sides and repeat. Begin with five. If students need more of a challege try five in a row without touching the ground. The next level is a Straddle version of this move, which is the same starting position, but involves straddling the legs up and down, to increase difficulty keep the feet off the floor and try five in a row.

Aerial Fan Kick

Obviously the Fan Kick on the floor needs to be mastered before attempting this move, so does that aerial cast off. Begin first with Fan Kicks on the floor, but work on slow fluidy movement. Cut out as much momentum as possible and engage the core. This move uses nearly all the core muscles to control. Go slow and stabilize with the lower core, upper core, obliques and lower back. When ready, take the Fan Kick up the pole to a Cast off position and work on slow deliberate Fan Kicks. Try five on each side. This move is fantastic for the obliques.

Shoulder Mount Stalls

From the shoulder mount, roll up with control using the lower abs. Hollow the belly inward and hold in a chopper pose, then slowly lower to the ground. The slow lower down is the eccentric work and is crucial for strength building, don't skip it. These can be done standing, but they are even more difficult from the floor, as all momentum is stopped. Try five on each side.

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