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Technique Tip Tuesday - Penché Split

In the spotlight this week is Penché split. The term Penché (pronounced pawn-shay) comes from classical ballet and it means leaning. Whether it's performed on the floor in ballet class or in the air, Penché requires mobility in your hips, hamstrings & back along with glute strength.

1) Invert into a straddle between the silks. Crochet one leg up & around the pole, sickle your foot for security. Use your free arm to place the free fabric behind you to avoid getting it tangled when you wrap your bottom leg (continue to hold the pole with your opposite hand).

2) Grab the tail with your bottom hand & wrap your free leg three times. Twice around your thigh & once around the front of your ankle to your arch. Straighten your wrapped leg & point it downward. Do not let go of the tail! If you do it's likely your wraps will slide down your leg. 3) Slide your bottom hand along the tail away from your foot to create slack (approx. 3-4 feet or 1 meter). Release your top hand from the pole & grab the free fabric that you placed behind you. Continue to slide your bottom hand up until the two fabrics meet.

4) Press your arms forward as you rotate your hips into your Penché. Lift your chest as you draw your shoulders back, lengthen your legs, reach out through your feet. If you find it difficult to straighten your arms place your hands slightly apart, it makes it easier.

5) To exit - Option #1 - turn your hips upward & hook your top knee. Reach up high on the free fabric, unhook your knee & quickly grab the pole. Unwind the 3 wraps. Option #2 - turn your hips upward & hook your knee. Reach up high on the free fabric & the pole, pull-up, and keep your knee hooked. Unwind the 3 wraps, press your hips forward & turn toward your hooked knee ending in 'thigh hitch'. Swim the tail behind you with your top arm & you're out!

Common Mistakes:

❌Mistake #1- Bent legs - this is usually due to limited mobility and/or not fully extending through the legs

❌Mistake #2 - Top foot slips - Yikes! You must maintain a sickled foot around the pole, especially when you're rotating your hips and chest. Once in Penché, you can lessen the sickle but still keep your foot firmly secured around the pole. ❌Mistake #3 - Sloppy and loose wraps - This will result in slipping and likely a foot burn!

For more tips on technique and sequences that include Penché head over to Aerial Physique TV to start your free 7 day trial -


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