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Technique Tip - Front X Belay

I’m excited to break down one of my favorite Belay entries that I call the Front X.

To me, Belays are one of those oh so satisfying skills that work almost like magic! Even after all these years, I’m still amazed at the number of wraps, shapes and skills that can be done on a piece of fabric!

The term Belay is also used in rock climbing and is essentially a process that uses a rope system to protect a climber in the event of a fall.

See below for a video breakdown and tips.

STEP 1 - THE HAND SET-UP Begin in a basic climb with split silks. Pass shoulders between silks. If you’re on a right-side climb (as shown in the video). Place your left hand on the left silk and reach right arm forward. Keep left hand where it is (it’ll be tempting to switch it to the other side) and place your elbow in front of the opposite silk as though you’re blocking it. Reach free hand up and grab the opposing silk. Pull silks apart to create an X.

STEP 2 - THE X Draw your elbows down to your hips as you release your feet from the silks. Circle wrapped leg around silk and meet legs together. Peek down and make sure you have an X in front of you with the tails falling to the outside of your legs.

STEP 3 - THE HOOK Invert between the silks with legs in a pike or tuck. Hook both knees on the left side if you began with your right arm reaching forward in the beginning. Squeeze heels to your bum as you climb up the silk that’s closest to your chest (2-3 small climbs up).

STEP 3 - THE BELAY Straighten your legs underneath you. Turn your body to face the tails as you lengthen your arms. A loop will form around your torso. Lean back slightly into the loop to create enough slack in your belay.

Once you feel the loop arrive at your mid-back step on the tails and you’re in Belay!

STEP 4 - THE EXIT Remain stepping on the silks as you pass your shoulders and head through the loop like you’re taking off a shirt. One side of the silk will be taught and the other will have slack. Pull out the slack side to release the Belay.


Mistake #1 – Wrong hand placement. It’s tempting to move your hands. The free arm must reach around while the other one stays put!

Mistake #2 – Hooking knees on the wrong side. You’ll quickly notice your mistake - you won’t arrive in Belay!

Mistake #3 – Stepping on the tails too soon. This equals a super tight Belay which will be difficult to get out of. Allow the loop to meet your mid-back before stepping.

There you have it, one of many ways to get into Belay. Stay tuned for next week when I’ll share my favorite shapes to create within Belay!

There you have it, one of many ways to get into Belay. Stay tuned for next week when I’ll share my favorite shapes to create within Belay!


Want to learn more Belay entries? Join my tutorial site Aerial Physique TV!

Enjoy over 400 tutorials on silks, rope and hammock. The best part, your first 7 days are on me! Cancel anytime. Start your free trial here


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