Shoulder Mount on the Pole

At a Glance

Exercise Muscle

Back, Core, Shoulders

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Shoulder mounts are one of the most basic ways to invert on the pole and enter tricks. It is also a strength building move on its own. To do a shoulder mount one must start by developing the muscles necessary to push and pull and lift into the air. A common mistake of this trick is that many polers focus on using their low abdominals and legs to start the trick, as well as kick and jump with a great deal of force instead of focus on utilizing the skeletal system and strength. To develop proper strength for this trick begin on the ground with your hands above your head and work on lifting yourself up from your chest/rib cage and let your leg hang. A shoulder mount should start from the chest and the legs come second.

  1. Begin by putting your shoulder on the pole. Position for where the pole goes on your back is on your trap muscle in between your shoulder blade and your spine.

  2. Place your hands on the pole in cup grip with both thumbs towards the ground and all the fingers together. Whichever shoulder you are on, that hand will be lower/closer to the floor than the second hand. Make sure your hands are not too close to your head. To measure, start by putting your hands close to your head, and then straighten them all the way with the pole behind you, and then place them in the middle of those two points.

  3. Begin with a “hangman” pose by taking an inhale, and on your exhale push your shoulder (placement from step 1) into the pole, pull your elbows together, look up, let your legs hang, and lift your chest up to the ceiling/pole.

  4. Once this becomes stronger you can finish the shoulder mount by doing this exercise and once your chest goes as high as it can, use momentum to continue to throw your hips in the air and then tuck and crunch your knees to your chest using your low abdominals to finish the shoulder mount. Note: You will roll from your back/starting position of the shoulder on the pole to the top of your trap in order to balance and finish the position and be upside down. Once upside down, open the legs into a wide straddle to balance.


  • Allow your push to slightly loosen when the shoulder mount is almost complete so that your hips can come over your head and you can balance.

  • If your hands are too close to your head you will not be utilizing as much of your lat muscles as you could be to help.

  • Think about your skeleton helping to lift you. It’s all connected. The more you look back and keep fighting to during the trick, your chest will follow, and your hips will follow with your chest. The movement will be like a body wave where your chest leads and then your hips curl and snap to finish the movement.

  • Stand with your back and glutes all the way to the pole, the closer you are to start the more momentum you have.

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 Resistance Band (minimal assistance), Robust Resistance Band (medium resistance), Power Resistance Band (maximum assistance)

Force: Push and Pull

Position: Upright

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