Forums Discussions My Nemesis: Butterfly

  • My Nemesis: Butterfly

    Posted by Mindy4pole on September 20, 2009 at 6:34 am

    For weeks, I’ve been trying to understand Butterfly. I just couldn’t get my head around the body positioning.

    So, I’ve been sick all day. What better to do than to surf the web, seeking Butterfly understanding?? I think I finally get it (in my head, at least). Your body needs to be square to the pole. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? My fever broke, and I had to go try it. I posted video of my attempts — including my goofy commentary and "BANG" of my leg against the pole.

    Can you give me tips on getting my body square? Even when I feel like I am, I see in the video that I’m not.

    Please!! Help me put Butterfly in the kill jar, and add her to my tricks collection.


    carriej replied 14 years, 7 months ago 9 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • miss fern

    September 20, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Not being straight/square to the pole is a common problem. My tips are:

    Step1: Invert – grip with your leg and then bring your body round to the front in the inverted crucifix position. (This is one of the key steps in making sure you are ‘straight up and down’)

    Step2: Grip the pole with one hand near your knees, and the other hand as far down as you can reach (you should be ‘facing’ this hand when you’re looking down.) <– That’s the second key. Don’t put your hand too close to your head/face and then try to ‘push’ away, because if you try this you will usually push yourself sideways/crooked, until you have the strength to push into the caterpillar pose.

    Step3: Hold tight with these hands, keep your body close to the pole, and then gradually, carefully take off the leg that has your toes curled on the pole. (If you inverted correctly, with outside leg first then inside leg at the back, it’s your inside/back leg that comes off)

    Note: It is normal as a beginner to have your belly still on the pole – like in this old pic of mine (although my foot isnt hooked quite right, I was using my knee instead by mistake there). In time you will be able to insert a Step2.5 which would be "Push up into a caterpillar position (but with the split grip variation) and then release the back leg as per step 3 – which would give this effect.

  • LittleC

    September 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Mindy – I am learning this one too, and my instructor taught me to do an inverted crucifix first (as GeorgiaMarie said). That way you are definitely square to the pole. I am very close to the pole when I do it, but as we gain strength we should be able to push up from the lower arm more and move it out. Hope that helps – good luck!

  • Trena

    September 20, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I watched your video and you’re doing good. georgiamarie’s advice is great too so you might wana try her tips. Keep at it girl!

  • yogabeachbabe

    September 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I just watched your video, too, and it really looks like you’re on your way to a lovely butterfly. I would add to Georgia’s great advice by saying to nail that inverted crucifix (without hands) before positioning your hands for the butterfly. It seemed like you weren’t getting your body square because of the hand that is gripping the pole between your knees. In the video, it appeared to "stop" you from getting straight and may be throwing off your sense of alignment by twisting you slightly. It’s definitely more tiring when you pause briefly in the inverted crucifix before launching into butterfly, but you’ll also gain more strength. I can’t wait to see your celebration vid!

  • Mindy4pole

    September 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks you so much for the advice. I’ll try the crucifix entry to butterfly tonight after I’ve gotten my little one in bed.

    I’ll keep you posted on progress!


  • Veena

    September 21, 2009 at 2:34 am

    This is what I wrote on your vid…

    Can you caterpillar yet? If you can it can be helpful to have a strong caterpillar…by performing a small caterpillar up first before moving into the butterfly this can help get your body farther away from the pole and allows you to get that lower arm (the one at the bottom of the pole) up a bit farther before going into the butterfly. So by getting your lower arm a bit farther up and your body a little farther away from the pole, it can help you square up the move. )[/color

  • Mindy4pole

    September 21, 2009 at 6:02 am



    I used Veena’s suggestion of caterpillar first. My twisting problems get even worse when I try to do it just from inverted crucifix. It still need lots of work. I don’t feel like I have a trustworthy grip with my hand close to my knee. I guess the strength will come.

    The extended leg is not in exactly the right place, but I feel like I understand what I’m doing now. I think I’m going to practice the leg positioning from a headstand.

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!

    Now I can stop obsessing on this, and work on my Sept. challenge!


  • Trena

    September 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Girl it looks to me like you’ve got it!!!!
    Great suggestion from Veena to do a caterpillar first!!! I would never have thought of that!!! I guess thats why she’s a pole goddess!!!

  • jlopeztx

    September 21, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    awesome job mindy! the butterfly is my favorite move because it looks so graceful and you nailed it

  • RoxyPink

    September 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Great job! Now that you have the positioning down, you can work on the other grips in the butterfly as well (forearm grip, elbow grip). I found that really helpful when I was working on the forearm grip. I actually started my butterfly with the elbow grip, then split grip then forearm (forearm grip eluded me for a while)! That is great preparation for more advanced moves to come!!


  • carriej

    October 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    it’s so funny how we all learn in different orders! I’ve been trying butterfly for almost 3 weeks and just could not get it! I finally got it tonight but the only grip that I can do it in so far is forearm. I feel like it gives me extra strengh or something! I haven’t figured out the regular or elbow yet! At least I just got the body position.

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