This is the script I read off from for my outside leg hang tutorial which can be viewed here
Here’s the playbook for your perfect outside leg hook. You get your hips up high in a straddled chopper or a cute little hop like this. Your body is tipped to the inside of the pole, your head and spine are in a neutral position, arms not fully extended and you catch the pole in the sweet spot of the outside knee. Then like a beautiful butterfly you open up catching the pole on the three contact points and everyone stares at you in awe.
But you clicked on this, meaning you didn’t reach this point. So let’s get you there!
Now you either fall into the category of being able to hold a chopper or orrr being at a place where you need to jump into an invert. And both of you can do an outside leg hang. If you’re a poler who can tip back into an invert you will actually need an extra step to get into your outside leg hang, something I’m gonna call the “hip hop”. But we’ll get into that a bit later. Let’s start the story of our outside leg hang where you two levels meet at the same place, and that is right here. Both of your legs have made contact with the pole and you are looking to initiate that outside knee lock. If you are coming in from an invert chopper this position mimics your leg positioning right before you hook the knee.
Maybe right off you feel the sensation of slipping down the pole. A Couple things could be happening here. Hard to hear but one is that you just are not strong enough. In this exact position we have severely stacked all of our weight directly above us in a vertical line, meaning we must engage the muscle enough to resist the vertical load. Hand and forearms are usually not to blame for slippages that look like this, but I can tell you you’re not engaging enough with your back and shoulders. Think about pitching your shoulder blades together, through the rhomboids, delts and traps. Think of an exercise like a face pull, the only difference is your orientation. Even if you haveNt started slipping you’ll still need to use this motion to shift your hips up before coming into the pole with your knee. Why? Because no matter how amazing your jumping capabilities I guarantee you are not able to jump high enough to sufficiently get your hips high enough to have a nice leg hang.
For the perfect leg hang, let’s dissect it on the ground. A sturdy leg hang will be found with the knee pit driven right into the pole with you crushing the pole shut through the hamstring. It actually helps to point the toes as well, so you can really engage those hammies. Now try this from a chopper straddle where your outside leg hooks the pole and you relax a bit in this position. As you relax and let gravity pull you down you’ll feel the skin and fat on the back of the knee and calf ripple up. This here is grip. Prime grip. The grip that you most likely will not obtain if you start to hook your knee too low. A low knee hook has a gap. There should be no space between the pole and your knee in a secure grip.
So that brings us back to pulling ourselves up an extra bit before initiating an outside leg hang hook. You may also see that my outside hip has also raised slightly higher than my inside one. Again that makes sense since my outside knee should be easily accessible to the pole. If my hips are kept square I get this weird shimmying in look as ai HOOK THE KNEE. So set yourself up for success. As you pull up, pair that pull up with your outer hip sliding up and the lower sliding down. Way smoother looking right.
If that makes sense then you shouldn’t feel the need to add any additional movement in the form of an awkward leg hop to get your knee into the pole. And like I was saying once the knee is in place, lock that pole down and relax into it. You can literally take a load off here and let the pole snag your skin. Then you can focus on your last two points of contact. First you’ll want to slide into your side. Not ribs! Followed by sliding the pole into the armpit. To slide into these two last points your hands will have to slide down with your torso. This can be a little unnerving at first, especially if your knee hook is not there. I’d advise you to try and keep your pole close to yourself, constantly locking that outside knee on the pole. Use the hands and inside arm as training wheels to guide the descent of your head. One by one the hands will slide off.
Don’t look in towards the pole. This causes rotation into the pole. Keep the chest facing the ceiling. If you find your chest rotating in towards the pole it’s probably because you’re keeping the outside hand on too long and your second leg is shifting your weight. Firstly, the outside hand will pull your chest in towards the pole the lower you slide, so if you’re feeling that, try letting it go earlier and rely more on the inside armpit to lock you into a secure place.
Secondly we do of course have two legs and the second leg that isn’t hooking is just as important as the one that is. It’s importance is shown in the form of a weight placement. I like to think of this leg like a sail on a boat. Wherever I point it, my body will rotate towards it. And if I dont move at all and attempt a knee hook, ill end up in a sliding knee hook becasue I have stacked all my weight over one point. Or its attempting to hug into the pole almost like an apprentice which will cause your chest to rotate in. Here’s what it needs to do. Once you hook your knee this back leg will open up away from the knee and move in a circle behind you. Once its there, squeeze that back glute and keep it engaged so the leg isn’t tempted to fly back up. This has to do with weight distribution, which is ideal in this shape. If you’ve been following the three contact points and an extended back leg, you should be able to hang out here with no hands. If keeping your hips facing up is an issue this could also be a flexibility problem. The pigeon is excellent for this move. Just like the outside leg hangs out, the pelvic is square with the ceiling. Try to imagine you have to tip your inside hip up and shift your outside hip down. It’s the exact opposite hip orientation we used to come into this shape, so right after locking the knee, think about rocking your hips the opposite direction to get an extra snug grip on the pole which will make letting go way more secure feeling.
For my polers who want to enter the leg hang from an invert like this and not like this. Keep watching. So at this point i’ve talked extensively about inverting on this channel, so if there’s questions on that, answers are bound to be found on either of my invert tutorial videos I posted. If you’ve seen them you know how I like to go on about our backs being engaged and you guessed it, it’s important here too. I think this just speaks for itself. Look how much higher my hips get when my back is engaged. If you look like this when you hit your invert, this is what you should prioritize in training this trick. Figuring out how to do this when I started pole dancing seemed impossible but trust me its not. The solution is building new motor neuron pathways which goes hand in hand with strength training. That is a different video however, because that is a huge topic, and our focus is entry of a healthy invert into a knee hook. I will say however, that using a stability ball is great for mimicking a healthy back on a full invert to outside leg hang. Also remember how we were pulling up our hips from a crucifix like shape, the biomechanics are similar. Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to share more on how to build motor neuron pathways and its relation to strength training on the pole.
Another common issue I’ve seen is that students get too impatient getting into their leg hang, meaning they halfway invert and extend the legs out. Looks pretty sloppy and not great on the body long term. The invert is beautifully paired with the outside leg hang because the invert should lead your hips to their highest point. In a full tip back, your hips should be at your hands level and head tipped way back. Obviously that rounded back I mentioned will lower your hips, but extending your arms will also do this. Try keeping the elbows as closely pinned to the ribs as you can. Now I mentioned earlier a “hip hop” The hip hop is basically me firing all my muscles quickly and using that momentum to raise my hips up in one swift movement. It still may not be the most elegant looking but it is a healthy movement for the body and looks much better than this weird calf hop. Hip hops can be mimicked on the ground, a stability ball or in an invert. All these muscles contract at once raising your hips up and leaning the inner hip down as the outer hip shoots up so the outside knee can lock into place. I wouldn’t go to town on doing these hops. Maybe one or two because the load can overwhelm your body pretty quickly. If you’re new to this motion all together I would not advise you attempt a hop in any more than 3 times per side per training session for fear of injury. That seems really low but this is a strength movement which can primarily be improved in lower rep ranges. Like most pole movements you have to be patient. The rest of this movement is identical to what I have described earlier in the tutorial. Remember that back leg is your said, your hips need to shift to a squared position, and get those contact points.