How do I know if I am ready to invert?

How do I know if I am ready to invert
Written by Eleftheria Yiagi

The “invert” is a trick that all beginner pole dancers eager to achieve. It is also a move that constitutes the basis of many upside down tricks of Pole Dance Fitness. Due to the fact that it is a move that must be done safely and with control it is useful to find out when we are ready to turn upside down.

For the invert, initially, you need power:

  • in the hands,
  • in the back
  • and in the abs

The muscles of the arms and back must be strong enough to hold the weight of your body in the air and the abdominals must be strong enough so as to lift the lower part of the body and to bring it up.

Then, the move should be done smoothly and controlled so as to avoid any possible injuries of the muscles of the back.

The first school where I trained, in Singapore, the beginners were not allowed to try to invert in the first 4 months unless they were involved in some other sports which meant that they already had the necessary power. This is what many champions, with whom I had the good fortune to have lessons with, recommend.

Often, I have noticed the following being done: The students’ kick start is rather strong and they reach the pole with the tip of their foot and they depend on that to pull up the rest of the body and the other leg. This means that their abs are not strong enough and so they rely on the kick start and on their leg to stand high.

The right way for the invert is:

1. To stand next to the pole with the exterior hand holding the pole at the height of the face.

How do I know if I am ready to invert

2. With the power of the abdominals, raise your knees as close to the chest as you can.

How do I know if I am ready to invert

3. Lean your body backwards, turn your hips toward the ceiling and let the head backwards.

4. From this position, you can do the basic invert (inverted crucifix) or inverted V.

inverted crucifix

inverted crucifix

It is also very important to come down with the same control and speed, i.e. return strength to the abdominal to lower your foot and body slowly and do not leave it to fall towards the floor.

To check if you can invert properly try the following exercises:

1. Make a double climb

That is when you’re already on the pole and attempt to climb higher. If you do, it means that your hands are strong enough to hold the weight of your body.

2. Stand next to the pole with the exterior hand over the interior and with the strength of your abs, lift your knees as high as you can.

If your arms stretch, it means that they don’t have enough strength to hold the weight of your body. If you can’t reach the knees near your chest, it means that your abs do not have enough strength to help you flip.

3. Do the upright Cross (crucifix)

If you manage to do the upright cross, it means that you know the correct position of the feet and you have the power to keep the weight of your body and the inverted cross.



A few more techniques I use in my classes to help you perfect your invert

  • Do many strengthening training with the pole.

You can stand next to the pillar with the exterior hand over the interior and with the strength of the abs lift your knees as high as you can. If you reach the knees to the chest you can try to lean the pelvis and the head back and stay in this position for a while.

  • Try it out on the floor

Lie down on the floor next to the pole and put the outside hand to catch the pole over the Interior and try, with one move, to lift the pelvis from the floor and place your foot in the right places of the pole. This will help you to be more familiar with the position of the legs at the time you invert and so you will be in the correct position much faster without losing your strength!


  • Don’t forget the head

Our head has enough weight and usually, we tend to look at our feet when we try to invert. Instead, try to look at the ceiling or even better behind. This way, it will be easier to lift up the legs and pelvis.

  • Keep checking

When you try to invert try to come down with the same control and speed, i.e. placing power in the abs of the lower body and legs slowly and do not let them just fall to the floor. So exercise these points and it will get easier and easier to flip.

Hot Tip

Remember to keep your legs straight just when you lift your pelvis up so you don’t catch your hands between your legs!


Before you leave your hands and stay completely upside down, try the following variant: Drop the interior hand from the pole and stretch it so that you keep yourself still from the armpit, then try to let your other hand. If you feel comfortable in that position then you can go ahead and turn the body and look at the pole so you can do the inverted crucifix!

If you are a pole lover, this complete ebook of easy to ready A-Z of pole dancing moves will help you master all levels of pole dancing.

Good luck!

The content of this article is informative. Never try new exercises without the presence of an experienced instructor.

About the author

Eleftheria Yiagi

Pole Dance Instructor & Performer • Owner of Polosi Pole Studiο

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1 Comment

  • Thanks for all the information. It was very helpful. Some other thoughts…
    For most traveling moves you would have the heels up slightly so you have “bounce” in your step. Dancers vary in how high they like their heels for this. I was always being told only 1/4 inch of the floor by one teacher but that is wrong, it should be where you are comfortable. Some traveling moves you need to come right up on the balls of your feet as high as possible. If you are standing still learning moves, you may be told to keep your heels down and learn to move from your hip and belly muscles rather than shifting your hip around using your feet and legs. It’s a good discipline for beginners and drilling.