Twisted grip mounting was one of those tricks that I never thought I’d get. I was in awe every time I saw someone throw that trick. However I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how to get my own body to do it. To make things worse, I broke a foot during my initial attempts to learn the trick and was consequently out of pole for months. For months after my foot healed and I had returned to pole, I still couldn’t do it. instead I’d convinced myself that it wasn’t a trick that I needed to learn. I used my broken foot as an excuse not to do it and avoided it at all costs. But deep down inside I knew that I did really want to learn it and figured if I could master it then that would finally make me a real “pole artist”.
So about 7 months ago it became apparent to me that I needed to give in, get over my fear and finally master that darn twisted grip. I started with some basic exercises – standing out from the pole with a twisted grip and gently kicking up and out to the side (using my outside leg). This was a way for me to get the basic feeling and also “test” my arms out to see if they could hold my weight. I realized that I still had a ways to go before I would be able to kick (and hopefully one day lift) up into it. So I figured that it might be easier for me to come down to that extended twisted grip position – instead of going up into it. What I did was invert and then reposition my hands into a twisted grip position and come down out of it. While I was still far from mastering the trick, these “work arounds” were working well for me…in my mind.
Then one day I was visiting TGR Frisco and one of the girls showed me (what I think is a genius workaround). Instead of kicking up from the side, she had me turn my body so that I was basically in a backbend position and kick up from there. For me this was the perfect workaround because it removed that layer of fear that I had built up surrounding my previous foot break and allowed me to feel like this technique was more manageable. See below how its done.
This first clip is from the day I learned the workaround at TGR. The second clip was recorded a few weeks later during open pole at Kandy & Krome.
Once I had mastered this technique I decided to refocus on the traditional twisted grip pickup. Weeks later I was visiting VFD and the topic of twisted grip came up. After a handful of unsuccessful attempts Karen came around and physically lifted my body out and up so that I could feel the proper motion that my body was to follow and then Eureka… it hit me! It was something about feeling the complete motion of the trick (without breaking my foot) that finally made things click. While my subsequent attempts during class that night didn’t get me up into the trick, I did however get 110% closer than I had ever gotten before. Still feeling brave when I got home I decided to try it once more, and to my surprise (although with a bit of struggle) I was able to get up! (See the video of that night below.)
My First Twisted Grip on my Right Side
So fast forward to present day. Now that I’ve mastered the twisted grip kick up on my right side, I have moved on to working on holding my iron x, lifting (and not kicking) up into my twisted grip and also twisted grip on my left side. Progress on the left side is finally coming along and I am still working on building up my core enough to hold the iron x and lift into the trick…which I hope to one day do on BOTH sides.
My First Twisted Grip on my Left Side