Iron X on the Pole

At a Glance

Exercise Muscle

Back, Shoulders

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The Iron X is a strength trick that can be achieved starting with an aerial Ayesha handspring position. In order to achieve the Iron X understanding, proper muscles and body mechanics is key.

You want to make sure your hands are not too far apart or too close in order to utilize all the muscles, specifically lat muscles, in your back to support your weight. The Iron X can be done with a piked/folded position with your legs in a straddle, or with your legs away from the pole like a human flag, but with the legs separated to disperse weight. This is a progressive trick which will take time to build muscle for.

  1. Enter into an aerial Ayesha/handspring position with the bottom arm in split grip with the thumb to the floor, and the top arm in either a twisted grip, true/regular grip, or cup grip. Once you are in an aerial Ayesha upside down on the pole, begin by spreading your legs as far as they go into an open straddle position. From here, focus on pushing and pulling, pressing your chest out and away for the duration of the trick to maintain engagement in your lat muscles (i.e. if your chest caves you will collapse in your upper arms and come out of the trick).

  2. Look at the low hand on the pole and while keeping your straddle and knees and toes in a piked position/towards your face (i.e. don’t open your hips, keep your stomach and legs close together) begin slowly bringing the leg of the low arm down to the base of the pole. Keep the back leg high behind the pole as long as you can while you are developing strength for this trick.


  • The wider your straddle is and the better your forward fold is, this trick will be easier for you. If you are working towards this flexibility continue to keep the leg of the high hand from coming too far forwards towards the floor or else all of your weight will fall that way and you cannot hold the trick (i.e. use it as an anchor to keep you up by only tilting slightly towards the floor with the leg of the high arm behind the pole)

  • Make sure your head is about a palm’s distance away from the pole.

  • Keep pushing your chest out and using the lat muscle of the bottom arm by keeping the shoulder down your back and away from your ear. Some people find it helpful to also try and bed the bottom arm to use the bicep.

Target Muscles:

  • Pulling using your lat muscle of the top arm as well are forearm, shoulder, and bicep

  • Pushing with the bottom arm lat muscle, then bicep if you prefer

  • Abdominal muscles and obliques engage to fold your legs in towards your body in a pike and support your legs

  • Hamstrings, adductors, quadriceps, and psoas muscles support legs in iron x position

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

Force: Push and Pull

Starting Position: Upside down in an aerial Ayesha

Final Position: Sideways in an “X” shape with legs and arms

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