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Let's Talk About Inverts!

This month's blog comes with a lot of inspiration from The Pole PT's very own head coach and CEO, Neola Wilby. She started The Pole PT in 2016 to "bring more science-based, pole-specific strength and conditioning into the world of pole." Neola has written 2 books "Strength & Conditioning for Pole" and "Pole Anatomy" which are amazing resources if you like to "nerd out" on all things pole (which are relevant to other aerial apparatuses as well). 


In her blog titled "How to pole invert like a boss! Pole Anatomy: Invert" Neola talks about six strength concepts or "6 key muscle actions" needed to obtain a proper invert. The invert she uses in the example is a 'tuck' or 'basic' invert. Even though it is called a 'basic' invert, because "it is one of the most important movement patterns we do on the pole," it isn't necessarily the easiest. A "high level of strength" is required to execute an invert well. 


The first point Neola talks about is needing "Core Stability", which is "the stabilization of our spine and pelvis". Having a solid core will "create a firm anchor point so those muscles can do their job properly". She states that our core is not so much the 'six pack' muscles, but from key muscles like our transverse abdominis (TVA), and our internal and external obliques. 


Second muscle action will be hip flexor strength which Neola talks about the "hamstring muscles (the back of our legs) which bend our knees and our hip flexors which contract to tuck our legs in toward our chest."


Third muscle action is "Eccentric bicep strength" (giving us that tip back). Neola points out that the "only noticeable joint action is the extension of our elbows. It's our biceps contracting eccentrically (lengthening), with our triceps contracting concentrically (shortening) which work together to control that straightening of the arms".


Fourth muscle action is needing Latissimus dorsi (Lats) strength. This muscle helps keep our upper body lifted and keep it from "slumping down to the floor". 


Fifth muscle action is needing "Erector Spinae strength". These spinal muscles work to resist excessive spinal rounding.


And finally, the sixth muscle action needed is "Scapular retractor strength". The key muscles here are the rhomboids and middle trapezius to "prevent us from moving into excessive scapular protraction" and prevents us from " 'hanging' inefficiently off our arms/shoulders".


As you can see, there is a lot involved in executing an invert as far as our body is concerned. You can read Neola's blog more in detail HERE as well as her other blogs and videos or even check out her books! 


We also encourage you to check out our variety of classes . Whether you’re looking to take to the sky with Pole, Silks, Hammock, or Lyra, or feel more comfortable on the ground with Yoga, Contortion, Conditioning, or Stretchy N’ Flexy, we've got you covered!


Written By Alicia Schroder

Fly Circus and Aerial Arts

Group Fitness Instructor and Aerial Coach

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