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Technique Tip Tuesday @ Home Edition - Hanging Pike Fold

Are you sadly still in lockdown? Cold weather put a chill on your outdoor training? Restrictions got ya feelin’ … um… restricted? Lockdown left you feelin’… Lazy?

We are right there with you!

Technique Tip Tuesday: Home Edition brought to you by Master Trainer Christine Wunderlich @wunder.aerialdance is here to make a change to a challenging aerial goal:

Hanging Pike-Fold: How to go from Hopeless to Happening!

Hanging Pike-Fold (aka Toe Touches, aka Toe Taps, aka Toe-to-Bar) haunt many beginner aerialists and high-level athletes alike. ‘You want me to lift my legs and put my feet where!?! Ha, ha! Nope!’ - Start simple & you will be tapping those toes in no time!

You need:

  • Securely installed pull-up bar

  • Chair

  • Patience

To start:

The key to Hanging Pike-Fold is patience, core connection and hamstring mobility can definitely make it more accessible. Repeat each step 3-4 times a week until it becomes simple. Then move to the next step.

Step 1: Standing Alternating Knee to Chest:

From full hang, work on grip & hollow body core engagement. Place feet flat on the ground to give support and stability but keep a portion of your body weight supported by your arms. Arms remain straight. Using your core, lift one leg as high is possible so knee comes close to chest, lower with control, and repeat alternating legs.

10 – 20x Alternating Knee to Chest

Step 2: Minimal Assistance Alternating Knee to Chest:

Continue to challenge your core engagement by reducing the support from your feet. Use just your toes for slight support, and hold more body weight in arms. Lift your knee to chest, alternating knees to chest and lowering with control. Make sure to tuck the pelvis under (hollow body vs. arched back) and keep rib connected and not flaring open.

1 set of 10 Alternating Knee to Chest

Step 3: The Upper Half – Leg Lift with Chair Support

Use a chair to support you under your feet, while you body is in a tucked knees to chest position. Lift one leg at a time to extend and touch the bar. Keep abdominals pulled tight and engaged, lowering leg with control. Don’t Kick you legs! This is a great for very low abdominal engagement.

1 set of 8 – 10 Alternating Legs

Step 4: Knees to Chest – Double Leg Tuck

From hanging, bring both knees to chest in tight tuck position. Curl under with pelvis and engage hollow body to prevent back from arching. Attempt to touch your knees to chest. Pause and hold in the tuck. Lower with control. In the beginning you can place feet on ground between each tuck attempt, but aim to complete a set from hanging before moving on.

1 set 4 – 10

Step 5: Tuck, Extend, Tuck, Lower

Let’s go for that bar! Tuck knees to chest. Holding this position, and extend legs to toe tap the bar. Retrograde through tuck position to lower with control. In the beginning you may need to step down between attempts but aim to not step down in between. Use control and not momentum.

4 – 8 X or to max.

Step 6: ¾ Bent Leg Folds

Almost there! Keeping legs with a slight bend and lift those toes to the bar. Squeeze the legs together and use core for control. Breath out and exhale when lifting your legs. Avoid swinging and always lower your legs with control. Keeping your legs slightly bent will reduce the weight and make it easier to hold the hollow body position.

4 – 8 X or to max.

Step 7: Straight Leg Hanging Pike-Folds

Here it is! Time for the full Straight Arm, Straight Leg, Full Pike-Fold, Toe-to-Bar Extravaganza!! You’re Ready! Got for it. Hold your legs straight, in hollow body, lift those legs and touch your toes to the bar! Amazing Job! You did it!!

Although a challenging goal to meet, great Hanging Pike-Folds will leave you feeling amazing and ready to conquer any aerial skill. Consistency and persistent effort in life can move mountains (or at least get those feet to the bar). Time to turn what seems hopeless into heroic! Stop looking, start doing! YOU can make it happen!!


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