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Four reasons why you're not inverting in Cross-back Straddle (yet)

When it comes to aerial skills, a handful tends to be an aerialist's nemesis - one of them being Cross-back Straddle. You'll likely witness many aerialists finding this skill difficult, whether you're an aerial student or teacher. ​ It's possible that you (or they) can invert in other skills, but once foot locks are on with the X on your back, it feels almost impossible to get over! ​ With a few minor adjustments along with proper core recruitment, I'm confident you or your student's cross-back blues can turn into much more successful attempts!

See below for four reasons why cross-back isn't happening (yet), along with simple improvement solutions.




Reason #1 - Legs are turned in - To invert into a straddle, legs must be externally rotated from your hips. Internally rotated legs place pressure on the lower back, making it nearly impossible to invert.

Reason #2 - Closing your straddle - The closer your legs are, the tighter the X is on your back. Wide legs in a straddle are key! Achieving this requires flexibility of the adductors (inner thighs) and strength of your abductors (outer thighs/glutes).

Reason #3 - Not pulling up - To invert, most aerialists will need to pull up to ease some of the tension from the X. It's common for aerialists to reach their hands too high without having adequate pull-up strength. Place your hands a few inches above head height as you pull up and press silks forward to invert.

Reason #4 - Inadequate Core Strength - Getting your booty overhead requires, you guessed it, core strength! Practicing the straddle rollovers shown in the video is an excellent way to recruit your core in the same way needed for cross-back straddle.

There you have it! I'd love to see your Cross-back success! Tag @aerialphysique & #iloveap.


An essential quality of being an effective aerial teacher is quickly troubleshooting and diagnosing why a skill isn't working or happening yet for a student.

In our teacher training program, we cover exactly that! Our virtual Level One Teacher Training course is open for enrollment between October 10th - November 4th. Take part from anywhere in the world.



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