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Floating Russian: Additional Tips!

A while back, I shared tips for a skill I call Floating Russian, which starts from a Russian Climb. You slide your feet apart, squeeze your upper thighs together and turn away from the silk while supporting yourself on one arm. After receiving numerous requests for a follow-up tip, many expressed difficulty releasing their hand. My goal is to equip you with the tools and know-how to achieve mid-air 'floating' with greater ease!

Expecting to hang from one arm without adequate practice hanging from two is a bit ambitious. Sometimes, we rush ahead, eager to master the 'cool' skill without laying the foundational groundwork first. This tip will help you do exactly that!

Your Floating Russian Improvement Exercises:

Shoulder Spirals: Reach your hands high on the silks, step your feet forward, and sit hips back into a chair position. Rotate your shoulders internally (palms facing away from each other), then externally (palms facing toward each other or forward, depending on your shoulder rotation). This exercise enhances shoulder mobility, crucial for hanging with straight arms.

Straight-Arm Hang Time: Begin from a climb up, reach your hands high, find external rotation in your shoulders, release your feet from the silks, and hold. Avoid arching your back, maintaining core connection by shortening the space between your front ribs and hips while lengthening the back of your body. Aim for a 30-60 second hang to build grip strength.

Modified Straight-Arm Hang Time: If the full hang position is challenging, modify by practicing on the mat. Reach hands high, step feet forward, point feet, and lift one knee at a time, focusing on core connection and shoulder positioning.

Single Arm Hang on the mat: Reach one hand high on both silks, place the other hand in front of your chest, step feet forward into a chair position, and hold with the majority of the effort in the top arm. Single Arm Hang in the air: From a climb, reach one hand high on both silks, place the other hand in front of your chest, aiming to lighten your grip on the bottom hand as much as possible.

Full Single Arm Hang: The ultimate challenge! While you can perform the Floating Russian briefly without a full single arm hang, improving this skill will make this skill and others much easier.

Consistently practice these exercises for a few weeks and I'm confident you'll see significant improvement in your Floating Russian!

Additional technique pointers:

  • If your feet are sweaty it will make it difficult to slide them apart. You could try wiping your feet off with a towel right before you climb up. Or wearing socks could be an option although that'll make climbing more difficult!

  • The lower you are the less secure it feels due to there being less tension at the bottom of the silk. The higher up you are the more tension. With that said, please practice it low with both hands until you feel confident to practice it higher

  • Add a spin! After you're in Russian Climb, squat down and key over to the side. Grab the tail with one hand and give yourself a spin. Stand up and then proceed with Floating Russian!

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