Ayeshas are both amazing to watch and an incredible demonstration of the strength you earn from pole fitness. Check out this amazing bicep ayesha from Hannah Lind in Ballarat!
The first thing you need to know about ayeshas is they can be difficult to master! You need a combination of strength, balance and confidence to hold yourself upside down with nothing but your arms! I spoke to a couple of PhysiPole’s top instructors to get their tips on nailing this awesome trick:
- Create a solid strength foundation so you know you are capable of holding yourself. Ask your teacher their opinion if you’re unsure whether or not you have built a solid foundation for these types of moves, as they are very difficult. Don’t be worried if you don’t nail them the first time either!
- Always have a teacher present and a mat below you when you attempt these moves to keep you safe and give you peace of mind. Confidence and safety is just as important as strength!
- Your entry is the most important step! Nail this before you worry about taking your legs off the pole. If you’re aiming to do an Ayesha, first think about nailing your upside-down caterpillar climb. Are you getting your bum high enough when you climb? Think about one hand being at your neck height, and the other at the waistline of your knickers. NECK AND KNICKERS. Easy right? NOW caterpillar. This should keep your bum nice and high, and your arms will have enough room to wrap around the pole and create a safe hold for the trick.
- Make sure you have a very secure bicep grip. The bent arm needs to be securely wrapped around the pole (the grip should be in your boob and bicep). The other arm is straight and locked in with a trigger/pistol grip. If you’re unsure what this is, point a fake “gun” with your hand; now imagine holding the pole while doing that, with your pointed finger (the pistol) facing the ground.
- Feeling secure? Brace those abs, its time to take your legs off. No seriously, engage that core! VERY SLOWLY you can start to peel your legs off the pole. Make sure you can feel your bicep and abs engaged for the entire duration of this movement.
- Think of ayeshas like a triangle. You need to angle your butt back and away from the pole a little bit to create some balance for your arms. This will actually help your grip. If your weight is directly next to the pole, you won’t achieve the same balance as if you give yourself a little space. Think about lowering your legs down so they are parallel with the floor, not up in a Y position. As much as I love YMCA, this isn’t the time hehe! Keep your bum high and strong and think about pointing those feet down towards the floor.
- Point your toes! Not only does this help your trick look pretty, it actually helps you remember to bring your feet parallel to the floor.
Tip from Liz (Albury): Practicing your upside-down caterpillar climbs will help you so much with your bicep grip, practice those and you’ll have an ayesha in no time. Also remember to engage that core!!
Tip from Bethany (Werribee and Yarraville): This trick is all about balance and placement. When you lower and extend your legs, do it nice and slow. This way you can feel where your body needs to shift in order to hold the shape. You may find you can hold it more easily with your body slightly to the side, so play around with placement until you find a position that’s secure for you. Above all else, engage your core the entire time!