A student of mine complained recently about „The Monkey Leg Syndrome“ (her own words) – when you need to rehook your leg several times to get a secure pole grip.
The hooking moment is really quick. But you know that something is wrong, when your grip feels off.
If done correctly, the hook provides a good grip immediately. Plus, it should look clean and effortless. If done wrong, it becomes a jittery, readjusting movement.
Here the common mistakes and the correct technique:
1. THE HEAVY HIPS
Problem: Hips low
If your hips are low, it’s going to be hard to get your knee pit on the pole. This happens when you’re rushing to hook your leg, or if your inverts aren’t strong enough yet.
1. Work on getting your hips high in inverts – tuck pelvis in!
2. If you’re not there yet, no worries: Push the back of your calve into the pole until your hips touch your hands. Then hook your leg.
2. THE OFF HOOK
Problem: Leg bent
If your leg is already bent when you hook it, your knee pit won’t get contact with the pole.
Push the back of your leg STRAIGHT into the pole. Once you feel the grip on your knee pit, bend and hook your leg.
This technique applies to all sorts of leg hooks, not only the inverted ones.
3. THE BACK BREAKER EXIT
I wish I could make the red tone in my demo videos more alarming.
Problem: Legs drop, while body stays low
If you’re experiencing back pain when getting down from inverts, even though you’re engaging your abs, then you need to change your technique.
Instead of going DOWN with your legs, think of going UP with your upper body first. Crunch and pull your chest close to the pole. Tuck your legs in and lower them slowly. Additionally, turn your body towards the pole.
Have YOU made any of these mistakes? Let me know in the comments.
Personally, I did them for years, because I didn’t know better. It just wasn’t obvious to me and no one corrected my technique. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I hope that these tips will help you avoid the „monkey leg” syndrome and make your leg hangs more clean, secure and effortless looking. At the end of the day, we use leg hooks in most of our pole routines.