Scully said, “I’m completely frustrated at my inability to get inverted from straddle back. Do you have any tips?”
A straddle back or straddle-up as we call it, is when you flip upside down with your legs in a wide V. This can be one of the most challenging things when you’re starting to train as flipping both your legs over your head with even an ounce of grace takes a lot of ab strength.
It’s important condition the muscles you use to climb, flip, and drop while working through tricks. If you just try and invert over and over, you might get there, but working your abs on their own will make the process faster and help with other movement in the future.
Outside of doing crunches and parking it in boat pose for hours, one of the best ways to prep your abs for aerial is to practice the straddle without inverting.
Do a pull-up, raise your legs as high as possible in a V and lower down slowly. You can also do this in a swinging motion – stand between the silks, pull-up and with your legs together swing backwards and then up into V as high as you can. Repeat these moves in sets of 10.
Another way to work on your straddle-up is to have someone help you into position, rest in the straddle for 5-10 seconds, and then lower down as slowly as possible, legs wide.
Edit: As Lauren reminded me – work on your straddle-ups with bent arms, if your arms are straight you have a lot farther to go!
For conditioning at home I love P90X Ab Ripper X – it’s 15 minutes and over 300 core exercises. It’s as painful as it sounds, but it will build your ab strength FAST! (Here are some sexy dudes doing the workout on YouTube)
If you are able to hook one foot or even one toe you might be able to pull yourself into position, but remember, in the end you want to be straddling with straight legs. It’s easier to crunch into a ball to invert and then pop your legs out, but it’s a bad habit to get into!
Any other questions??