V Up and Straddles – Why can’t I do them?

If you are anything like me than you have googled how to do a V up or Straddle several times looking for some kind of magic trick or recipe that will get your butt over your head. You know your almost there and you can feel it like your running towards the finish line with your underpants around your ankles but for some reason your just can’t do it. Why? Why? WHY?!!

Sometimes the answer is quite simple: your core needs some extra help and by help I mean its time to get your butt into gear and train the muscles that need that extra push. But there are other things that can come into play and here is a list of a few I found when I was trying to get a perfect invert.

In the early stages of learning a V up I found that I secretly had a bit of fear of going upside down. It took me 3 months to go into a ball from a standing position and the biggest part for me was my brain had no idea what I was trying to do. I had to try and let go of that bit of fear of being upside down by having someone spot me and assist it helping me over and the more I did that the easier it became. If you can have someone spot you its the best way to understand what it is supposed to feel like and the easier it becomes.

Keeping your arms strong and close to your body is key; if you drop your arms your whole body goes down too and makes it harder to get that nice invert. Straight arm V ups are for advanced aerialist and are extremely hard so dropping your arms is making you work even harder than you need to.

There is a lot to think about; keeping your arms strong, looking back, lifting your hips….. sometimes its good to focus on one thing at a time. If you can get half way keep trying until it becomes second nature and you don’t think about it anymore. Breaking it down was the easiest way for me to learn and even though it took a little longer I needed to analyse it so I could achieve it better.

Sadly the smaller you are the less weight you have to lift but thats not to say if you are bigger that you cannot achieve it. Ive seen woman invert who are not the stereotypical aerialist body type but it does mean you may have to work harder. I find that i carry quite a bit of dead weight and because of that it is more challenging but if you can work hard and hold your weight in the air the next step is to work on those lower abs to help you get over. The key is consistancy and if you work on your body to make it strong it shouldn’t matter what size or age you are as long as you work on your core and upper body strength.

Inverting is not a competitive sport and you shouldn’t look at the new student who got it on the first go. Your body is different and everyone learns at different speeds and levels. Try not to focus on what everyone else is doing and remember aerial is fun. You will be able to achieve an straight leg invert if you work hard and challenge yourself but try to only focus on your goals and what you want to achieve. The truth is Ive seen people get it on the first go but struggle with other things I’ve killed at so don’t take it too personally if your not getting it right away. Don’t forget to ask questions and watch demonstrations, I’ve learnt quite a bit from watching the position of the body on certain moves and asking where my arms or legs need to be.

Yes…your core. Ive discovered your not going to invert if your core is weak and it is important to keep it strong. I like crunches, they are easy and achievable and you can do them while your watching TV. If you want to get stronger you need to work outside of your classroom or studio and the easiest way to do it is grab your yoga mat and watch your night time shows on the floor while you work out. Before you know it you will be handing upside down wondering how you ever thought you would never be able to do it. x

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