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Technique Tip: Iron Cross

The Iron Cross, also called Iron T or Crucifix, is a powerful skill that some aerialists avoid because it can be painful on the wrists - but why is that 🤔? Many aerialists turn their shoulders inward, putting too much weight on their wrists without adequate upper back engagement.

See below for tips to help you do Iron Cross with more confidence and less wrist pain:

Step-by-Step Breakdown

1) Try the floor-bound version before practicing it in the air. When you're ready for the air, begin from a climb or foot lock. Some find the foot lock to be more supportive.

2) After passing your shoulders between the silks, drop your hips back and slide your hands between your upper thighs and the fabric. Circle your wrists once around the silks from the inside out & reach down toward your knees.

3) When shifting to your upper body, rely on your back muscles for support. Avoid putting excessive pressure on your wrists.

4) The moment your feet leave the silk, begin to externally rotate your arms from your shoulder joint - not from your wrists. Keep your collar bones wide and upper back active. How do you know if you're externally rotated? Once in Iron Cross, your palms shouldn't be facing back. Down or forward, and even up with palms open eventually for an added advanced challenge.

*When beginning, your arms may be in a low 'V' shape instead of a 'T'. This is ok! As your strength improves, gradually work on lifting your arms higher to the side.

5) To exit, press your arms down in between your legs, bend your knees up high and wrap your feet in a climbing position. Pass your shoulders back through the poles one at a time.

P.S. - This skill can burn the back of your armpits, so it's a good idea to wear a long-sleeved shirt while learning.

Give it a try and have fun practicing! Remember, progress takes time, so be patient with yourself 💛.


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