True Grip (cup grip?) handspring tips?

 
KittyNyanNyan

Hey guys! I recently have been nursing an elbow injury which I assumed was from my Shoulder Mounts and Iron X practices. What I realized is that it IS from my Iron X practicing AND my Twisted Grip Handspring. Some days my elbow is literally useless - which is hard because I do a lot of heavy lifting for my work and school. I've taken days off and it'll get a little bit better before something goes and makes it worse again. 

I attended Pantera's workshop and she HATES the Twisted Grip. After hearing her explanation and reading the threads on here, it makes sense and I get why my elbow is screaming bloody murder now :( She had me try out her "cup" grip (Is it the same as true grip?) handspring and I'm having a little trouble. I feel like no matter how hard I kick, my body stays paralell to the ground and I'm not getting any verticality to my jump as opposed to my TG handspring. WHICH DOESN'T make sense to me! If I can kick up into TG, shouldn't I be able to kick up into a cup grip?

Any tips? I feel like I AM committing to the jump- but maybe in the wrong direction? I'm not sure. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Oct 21, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
chemgoddess1

First I will say that it should not be a jump, but now that I have that out of the way:  In twisted grip your top arm is locked out and there is not going to be any play and you really don't need a whole lot of strength to get into this (also part of the reason this is such a BAD idea).  With the cupped grip you really have to rely on your arm and muscles holding you steady.  Your body is also starting in a much more upright position than in twisted grip.  Try lowering your hands.

 

I love Pantera....she really knows what the hell she is talking about.  There are so many people here that have ended up with injuries from trying something in a cheating kind of way.  People need to slow down and build the foundation of these moves before attempting them.
Oct 21, 2011 from Raleigh-ish, NC, United States
KittyNyanNyan

Jump was most likely the wrong word. Kick may be better. I've been also training for a controlled lift - previously with the TG, now trying with the cup. I kind of hover over the ground for a few seconds, but that's where it stops. I start with my hand across from my shoulder, should it be lower?
Oct 21, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
chemgoddess1

Wherever you start with your upper hand you need to get your hips higher than that, so to start out yes, start with your hand MUCH lower.
Oct 21, 2011 from Raleigh-ish, NC, United States
Charley

There's a lot of debate about TG but the reason TG is easier is because you're using your pecs,shoulders to you hold up - larger muscle groups.

Have your tried working this in reverse from a caterpillar and going into a cupped/true grip aysha?  

Coincidently, Pantera is upstairs :)

 
Oct 22, 2011 from Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
Veena

Kitty I'm glad your being smart about this.

For everyone else who happens to read this......As far a TG grip is concerned..... we need to remember that the dancers/circus performers we see, performing these non-neutral positions have trained for years and years. It is their job!!!! Also many of them suffer for their art, and are forced to stop early do to their bodies being worn down. This is the reality of many professional level performers.... "normal" dance, dancers included. Do we (I include myself) as a pole dancers want our pole lifespan cut short just to do a trick some find neat? I am FAR more impressed with a "regular" cartwheel or handspring mount held vertical. Now that takes balance and strength. I know everyone wants to get that amazing floating up appearance but I don't think it's something we need to feel is necessary to learn to be a good pole dancer.  

*steps off soap box*

Kitty, To work on the true/cup grip. I would start by coming down from off the pole. Lifting from a true grip takes a tremendous amount of strength, I can't do it from a dead lift. Not sure I'll ever be able to...and there is nothing wrong with that. So, anyway work on coming down from the pole and holding your X first. Here is how I do it [www.studioveena.com]

Once that becomes comfortable try "walking" into your true grip lift. I do it at 2:04 [www.studioveena.com] Think of walking forward then as your about to pass your pole sweep (not really kick) but lead the outside leg up into your X. Once you can do this then move on to working the dead lift. Be sure your scapula is engaged when your working with this from the ground. I can't give you tips on technique for this because I can't do it yet.
Oct 22, 2011 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
KittyNyanNyan

I have such bad luck when I try to come into anything from a Caterpillar. My EG Aysha is hit or miss, I think I've only found my balance once from the caterpillar in the TG. I've also tried to just move into the Iron X from Caterpillar, but since my legs are all weird when I'm upside down, I don't know which leg to take off ha! Tell Pantera Sam says hi!!

Veena - I've been trying it from your entry in the leg hang - but for some reason, I'm afraid to let go of my leg haha! I get into Extended Butterfly and from there I either get back into Crucifix or I let go and drop. For some reason my arm and abs aren't engaging - at least not like it did when I did it from a TG handspring. Any tips on how to engage my muscles?

Thanks everyone :) I plan on never using the TG again! My elbow has definitely paid the price and it felt SO much better just from last night's practice of the True Grip.
Oct 22, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
KittyNyanNyan

I have such bad luck when I try to come into anything from a Caterpillar. My EG Aysha is hit or miss, I think I've only found my balance once from the caterpillar in the TG. I've also tried to just move into the Iron X from Caterpillar, but since my legs are all weird when I'm upside down, I don't know which leg to take off ha! Tell Pantera Sam says hi!!

Veena - I've been trying it from your entry in the leg hang - but for some reason, I'm afraid to let go of my leg haha! I get into Extended Butterfly and from there I either get back into Crucifix or I let go and drop. For some reason my arm and abs aren't engaging - at least not like it did when I did it from a TG handspring. Any tips on how to engage my muscles?

Thanks everyone :) I plan on never using the TG again! My elbow has definitely paid the price and it felt SO much better just from last night's practice of the True Grip.
Oct 22, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
Veena

Before you let go with the leg you have to be secure in the arms...As you felt! Play around with positioning, try holding with the top arm a bit more bent at firstt, so you can be puling with the that arm (the one near the leg), and push away with the extended overhead arm. It can take some time to find the push pull feeling, but that''s waht keeps you up. You'll see there's a moment where I kind lift  up and away from the pole, then remove my hooked leg, also my top (hooked leg) reaches behind me not in front when I let go. So your not aiming for the pole like you would in a ex butterfly, the leg is reaching behind 
Oct 22, 2011 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
KittyNyanNyan

I don't know what I'm doing wrong :( I'm not really getting anywhere . . I still feel like nothing is engaging. I tried from caterpillar, a regular invert and a leg hang. Maybe there's something that I'm not keeping in mind. I actually fell, which I very rarely do. 
Oct 23, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
Veena

Please be sure your using a spotter and mat like suggested for all pole moves. I hope you're ok!! Can you Caterpillar climb with only one hand? By that I mean, using the overhead arm only and not gripping with the forearm or elbow?
Oct 23, 2011 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
lilblondie

Hi, don't know if this will be helpful to you, but I love true grip handsprings and thought I'd share how I learned mine!   

I do these VERY differently than twisted grip.  I start with my top arm BENT at 90 with my arm muscles engaged hard.  I turn a little sideways and make sure that I'm pulling on the pole with the top arm.  Then I kick up into a tuck position, aiming to get my knees touching on either side of my BENT top elbow in a tuck.  I never straighten the top arm -- if I do I feel I lose control.  You are really using the bicep.

Let me know if that doesn't make sense.  I can try and find a picture or make a little video for you.  I learned these "chinese grip" handsprings from my friend in the circus and could do them ...kinda ... but it wasn't until Marlo made me start back at the beginning with a bent elbow and tucked knees that I learned to do them consistently in all positions.
Oct 23, 2011 from New York, New York, United States
poledanceromance
David Owen showed me how to get into true grip Aysha from a tight leg Scorpio. As always, working controlled descents can eventually get you to clean ascents. If you can descend from a true grip Aysha in a controlled way, without just plopping down, you can start thinking about the handspring. If you're not 100% solid in that Aysha at the top, you're going "out of order" which will understandably be harder; I didn't start seriously working for my split grip cartwheels and handsprings until I was really comfortable inverting and going into the split grip Aysha. You have to know what it's going to feel like once you get there!
Oct 23, 2011 from Sycamore, Illinois, United States
poledanceromance
And to Veena I'd just like to say that I was very sure I would never be able to work with true grip EVER; when I got it with David, I was literally speechless. All I kept saying was "I never thought this would happen for me..." over and over. I couldn't even believe it. So don't count yourself out. We all surprise the hell out of ourselves when we get that new move sometimes. I also thought I would never be able to do a chest stand or touch my feet to my head- at the end of ONE two hour workshop, David had me in a chest stand and was bopping me in the head with my own feet. I'll never say never again!
Oct 23, 2011 from Sycamore, Illinois, United States
emotioncatcher

if you have problems to start from a caterpillar you could place your pole close to a wall and walk  up into the true grip.. if you place the pole very close you can walk very high and will need nearly no push to get away from the wall into the true grip handstand. when you feel more comfortable you can place the pole a bit more away from the wall.

(i learned my tg handspring like this)

 

i do a lot of tg handspring or lift and although i never had problems with my wrist or elbow my aim is to be able to replace those trick once with a true grip lift or even a split grip. will need a lot of time for that... =)
Oct 23, 2011 from Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Veena

remember doing handsprings and cartwheeling with a true grip will require different technique than trying to lift or hold an iron X with one.  When I use the true grip for handsprings and cartwheels I'm moving into it the same way I would with a regular grip. Come to thing of it I don't know if I have tried doing a handspring with a true grip only cartwheel...anyway.... Only the grip changes. The action of a lift is different than the cartwheel and handspring mounts. At least by my definition and according to the lessons. Keep in mind.....You can do an iron x with a regular grip too. Here at 3:05 you can see I handspring up using a regular grip but then move into an X. [www.youtube.com]
Oct 23, 2011 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Veena

Oh and thanks for the encouragement PDR! I should never say never I guess, but I am not working on any lifts and I don't plan on it right now. I have shoulders I need to be careful with so that means before I can try lifts I have to be consistent with strength training again. lol  I guess I never thought I would be able to do an advanced ballerina!!

Emotion that's a neat idea to use a wall!
Oct 23, 2011 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
KittyNyanNyan

BAAHH. Okay. I'm going to try all these tips and see if it makes a difference. I never realized how "cheaty" Twisted Grip was :( How frustrating. I'm taking today off, it's been a full week since I've had a real rest day, but I'll be back at it tomorrow. It's a little daunting, I have a pole performance this week too. So much to do so little time! 

Unfortunately, I can't move my pole towards a wall :( My father would kill me.

thanks everyone for the tips :) I hope to update tomorrow with some good news.
Oct 23, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
Shellectra

Great post kitty! I too want to move away From TG.  I spent MONTHS getting the standard grip cartwheel mount and handspring mounts, they taught me so much patience and I GOT THEM!!! I LOVE those tricks they make me feel so strong.  Now I want to learn them in true grip too! It's so scary just changing that upper hand to have thumb facing down! I have to get over the fear I guess.  TG handspring has always been hit and miss with me, some days I can do it, others not, mostly not actually. but come to think of it...maybe it's my body protecting me? Stopping me kicking up with my arm in such an awkward position? If I can cartwheel up so easily it seems weird that I have lots of trouble with TG.  Either way I am happy getting into TG from an invert, I feel too risky handspringing up with my arm bent weird anyway :) True grip sounds like a fun challenge!!
Oct 25, 2011 from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Mary Ellyn

If you post a vid it may help with more tips.

 

Going up into a tuck/ball is a great way to start practicing the balance you  need to control for a cupped grip handspring.

Most times I find that people are not placing their lower hand low enough so that their hands are too close together.

And yes, the usual form is for the upper hand to be just about even with your shoulder though I place mine just slightly above.
Oct 25, 2011 from Chicago Heights, Illinois, United States
amy

this may sound stupid but... can you do an elbow grip ayesha? 
Oct 25, 2011 from New York, New York, United States
KittyNyanNyan

Amy - not stupid at all. I can for the most part. It's about 95% of the time. The only reason I say for the most part is because my skin is so weird, I'm either on point or I'm not. Sometimes I can't even climb because my skin doesn't grip.
Oct 25, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
amy

the engagement for a true grip aysha is almost identical to that of an elbow ayesha, if that helps.

i dont get what you posted though-- why does skin grip have anything to do with an elbow grip ayesha? you don't grip with the skin of your elbow. if you're relying on friction in your elbow pit to keep you stable, your'e not doing the trick correctly.
Oct 25, 2011 from New York, New York, United States
poledanceromance

Amy, I also have a bit of trouble with my elbow grip aysha when I get extremely sweaty. Usually it's a combo of sweat on the hands and elbows, but sometimes all my joints, elbows knees and armpits, get so sweaty that I just don't feel secure enough to let go even when my hands feel alright.

I try to work those areas early on in my workout because I just get so sweaty I'm dysfunctional, can't even climb or sit from the sweat, not from any kind of strength or form issue. I need to get a pretty high hook with my elbow to feel stable, right under my knees. When my "pits" are super sweaty, it slides downward enough that I can't keep the balance. If that's her issue, it's one I definitely sympathize with. I've basically got hyperhydrosis all over my body.
Oct 25, 2011 from Sycamore, Illinois, United States
Shellectra

I got it I got it!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Came home from work after thinking about pole all day as usual lol and decided to try the True Grip Handspring.  I got it and I think I prefer it to the normal grip!!!!! Video coming :D 



 



 



 

It really is just like a regular carthweel mount with normal grip I just pretended it was my usual cartwheel and up I went! You have to keep that top arm bent I think its very important as you definietely have to pull HARD to keep yourself up and keep the leverage
Oct 26, 2011 from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Shellectra

Just wanted to add I cartwheeled up not handspringed up if you look at it that way (haha as Veena said too!) But I called it a handspring anyway, will try it the traditional handspring way next time :)
Oct 26, 2011 from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
emotioncatcher

congrats shellectra! yu all inspired my with your posts to work on my true grip, too. looove it

it offers so many new possibilities. i did the half moon, the elbow grip aysha to true grip (never thought i would be brave enough to try that) and tried a lift. even the lift didn´t feel impossible

no i just need an idea how i could replace the phoenix? is it possible to spin into a true grip?
Oct 26, 2011 from Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
StellarMotion

Hi Kitty!  I also despise the twisted grip handspring.  I teach how to enter it from inverts and return to an inverted position on the pole from it, but I never perform or teach any of the methods of using this grip to enter from an upright position to an inverted one.

The true grip lift is incredibly difficult.  Mine is not solid yet and still looks a little sloppy, but I do have a few tips.  Let me first reinforce what Veena said about enterting true grip from an invert such as a leg hang and working on extending it and then controlling the descent.  Second, when performing the levitation with the true grip hand position, it helps to try to lift with the hips turned toward the ceiling, or facing away from the pole, instead of to the side.  From that ceiling-facing stall pose, tucking and lifting the knees and then extending the legs into an "aysha" pose should work out relatively well in time assuming you're using the controlled descent as one of your conditioning exercises.

As for the standard handspring, because this is a neutral position for the shoulder, it is perfectly safe to kick into this move.  I far prefer using the front handspring instead of the back handspring (or cartwheel) for this.  The back handspring adds complexity and some unusual arm movement which is difficult to figure out and not as clean, simple, and attractive as the front handspring in this hand position.
Oct 26, 2011 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
StellarMotion

I'm feeling a little silly... I just re-read Veena's entry and realised I basically just repeated everything she already said.  Sorry!  I'll pay better attention next time I chime in on a thread.
Oct 26, 2011 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Shellectra
Don't be sorry, your post was super helpful!!
Oct 26, 2011 from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
KittyNyanNyan

UPDATE : So, I finally have the "balls" to kick up, and I'm getting up, but I come straight back down :( I'm not engaging once I get up there so I'm literally flopping around. I tried doing it backwards, but I don't trust myself for some reason and can't find my balance.
Nov 4, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
Shellectra
I get up the same way I do a normal cartwheel or handspring, I treat it the same, actually yesterday I went to do a normal handspring hold and later when I watched the video I realized I was in cup grip! So for me it feels much the same. Can u hold a good cartwheel? I find the hold the same once i'm up actually cup grip offers me better stability. Are u keeping top arm strong and bent and pulling in hard?
Nov 4, 2011 from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
KittyNyanNyan

[www.studioveena.com]

That's the videos of my latest attempts. For the first attempt, I got up, but I suppose I didn't get up high enough :( for the second attempt, I got up but then my bottom arm buckled underneath me. 

What's the name of this grip? I'm so confused between them all! 
Nov 8, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
emotioncatcher

that´s the normal split grip. i´m not sure, but maybe your lower hand is too high? i can´t see it in this video, but as your grip before getting up it could be. 

your upper hand has a good height, the lower one should be very close to the ground. i place my lower hand when i my leg swings up behind, maybe this will help you =)
Nov 8, 2011 from Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
KittyNyanNyan

[www.studioveena.com]

So those are my attempts from today. I can get up! But I'm not getting up like I should, I know I shouldn't have my hips stick out like that. Any other tips?!

Thanks!
Nov 8, 2011 from Dallas, Texas, United States
emotioncatcher

looks so much better than your last attempts =)

you can cotroll the hip-pole distance by pulling with the upper arm. I normally also get a bit closer too the pole as soon as I move my legs together from the V position. I think it makes me automatically pull my body closer to the pole
Nov 8, 2011 from Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
trickivix

Hi Kitty, a hint I could give you is to tilt you head further down. Your head is raised too much and it's forcing your hips to be far away from the pole. You need to drop your head and have your spine in a straighter line. Hope that helps
Nov 9, 2011 from Queensland, Australia
Shellectra

Aim to get your hip to your elbow, thats what helped me and now it feels natural to do so :) Here's a cartwheel I did the other day that shows pretty good form I think and has hip to elbow.. when your up imagine pulling your torso closer to the pole and your feet in line with body, and your hip to your elbow, which makes you go up closer 


Nov 9, 2011 from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
aclaire

@Emotioncatcher you asked how to replace the phoenix, I have found something that might interest you :-)

 Nadia Sharif

[www.youtube.com]

around 0:20

Beautiful !
Jan 6, 2012 from France
emotioncatcher

thanks aclaire for the video! once i can do a true grip lift, i´ll work on that! it looks so beautiful

i also found a video here which shows the same trick: [www.studioveena.com]

i had put it to my favourites but fogot about it, because it was too advanced for me, when i found this video ^^
Jan 6, 2012 from Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
aclaire

Thanks for this vid! the quality is better.
Jan 6, 2012 from France
Cantetinza17
All this time I thought that you were suppose to do it from the ground before you try it on the pole.  Well I'm nursing an elbow injury myself I think I strained it trying to do too many split grip stuff.
Aug 13, 2013 from San Diego, California, United States
Veena
Cantetinza, When the arm is twisted and stretched overhead this is a vulnerable position for the shoulder. Also, dancers tend to jerk as they kick up into the tg handspring, placing even more strain of the joint!! Off the pole is best if you're using the TG. I still recommend avoiding it for most dancers though. 
Aug 13, 2013 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Cantetinza17
I think it could have been answered, but I could have missed it.  Is true grip and cup grip the same thing?
Aug 13, 2013 from San Diego, California, United States
Veena
Same. 

Split grip [www.studioveena.com]

​True/Cup grip [www.studioveena.com]
Aug 13, 2013 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Skylah Rae
Just chiming in..

I can lift - I.e walk forward into a cup / true / koala/ Chinese grip pencil- and I can kick into it quite easily,but I feel *really uncomfortable* performing a caterpillar and then getting the hand positions in relation to the hips stacked on top to perform the same move. This is the same with twisted grip from caterpillar. It's the transition from holding most of your weight between your legs and transferring to hands only that I find iffy. For some reason, I prefer to hold it all in my hands as I lift or handspring with little momentum.

Different things work with different people / body types I guess. But I will say, even though I'm not as solid in Chinese lifting pencils, I prefer them to lifting in twisty grip. Chinese grip is a lot of bicep engagement, and it's a bit tricky knowing where to place your hand in relation to your head (any tips on this? Michelle Shimmy's tutorial on this was not at all helpful :S) but I reckon when I can iron x in it / dead lift it, it'll be the move of choice :)

Xx
Aug 17, 2013 from Bristol, Avon, United Kingdom
Veena
Have you tried coming off the pole from a Gemini into true grip? Like this? [www.studioveena.com]
Aug 17, 2013 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Skylah Rae
That's really interesting - you know where you have to put your hands then! Will definitely give it a try!
Aug 17, 2013 from Bristol, Avon, United Kingdom
 
Traceybatt
This is the best side splits warm up I've ever done. Really helps warming up the hamstrings and hip flexors before going into splits. Wondering why my instructors never taught us this!
more testimonials