Aerial Deadlift

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An aerial deadlift is an advanced trick which should be performed once the poler has practiced a handspring from the floor and can come in and out of it comfortably. Aerial deadlift can be done with twisted grip for the top arm, as well as true/regular grip or cup grip.

Start training the aerial deadlift by progressing from the floor with less jump into your handspring, and also by going to a sit on the pole. The aerial deadlift will begin with sitting on the pole and then pushing and pulling with your arms while kicking and lifting the legs up and over your head in the air to end in an aerial Ayesha pose.

  1. Sit on the pole and place the top arm in a twisted grip. The bottom hand will eventually replace where the knees start out touching the pole.

  2. Drop the legs down as you put the bottom arm in position and then push and pull with your arms and engage your abs to drag your legs up the pole and get your hips as high as possible (hip lift) in the air before starting to open your legs to lift.

  3. Once your hips are in position, open the leg of the high hand out and drag it behind you in order to square your hips and chest off to the ceiling so you end in an aerial hang.

  4. Once you have opened your body to the ceiling in the aerial hang, continue to let the lead leg (the same leg as the high hand on the pole) out-turn (turn out) so your leg opens like a middle split. Open your legs to make a wide straddle, and then pull the leg up in the air like you are trying to pull the guiding first leg over the shoulder of the high arm. You should be in a pike/folded at the hip position to finish the deadlift in an aerial Ayesha.


  • Train your aerial hip-lifts by pressing out and away from the pole to activate your lat muscles.

  • Let your guide leg (the first leg that opens your hips to the ceiling) keep driving (i.e. don’t stop, once you drag your legs up the pole open up and outturn and pull into the deadlift with momentum using the lead leg).

  • Do not try and lift your leg without turning out your knees, otherwise, it will be more challenging and feel like your legs are heavier to lift than they could be otherwise.

  • Do not stall or stop in the middle of the deadlift or you’ll never make it all the way through without having to bend your legs and struggle and put a strain on your bottom arm.

  • Keep your legs in a wide straddle in order to disperse the weight of your legs as much as possible around the pole.

  • Focus on rotating your hips to the ceiling, not crunching sideways (like an Iron X), and pulling with your obliques. Practice opening your hips on the ground using your guide leg, doing a full 180 from facing the pole to get your back to the pole, thus practicing that actual turn.

Target Muscles:

  • Pulling using your hand, forearm, shoulder, and lat muscle of the top arm in twisted grip

  • Pushing with the bottom arm using bicep and then lat muscle second

  • Abdominal muscles to crunch and drag your hips and legs up the pole into the air for an aerial hip-lift

  • Hamstrings, adductors, quadriceps, and psoas muscles lift legs into the air to finish the deadlift

Recommended Bands: Heavy Exercise Band (minimal assistance), Robust Exercise Band (medium resistance), Power Band (maximum assistance)

Force: Push and Pull

Starting Position: Upright in a sit on the pole

Final Position: Upside down in an aerial Ayesha

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