Sky Gym





Alias: Gazelle
Variations: threaded leg, bent back leg, hook on 1 pole
Level: Beginner


Skills: Inverted Straddle
Strength: none
Flexibility: pigeon pose on ground

  • straddle plow rolls
  • straddle V-ups
  • straddle stretches
  • pigeon stretches



Starting from inverted straddle, bring legs together in front of poles in pike position. Squeeze legs together, then hook both poles in the back of one knee pit by bending knee. Externally rotate hooked leg. Free leg rotates through wide straddle position then rotates all the way behind poles. Hips should stay facing the ceiling the whole time.

Technical description

Inverted hooked hang in sling. Weight is supported on low back, just above pelvis. Counter balance is achieved between weight of free back leg and squeeze of front hooked knee on both poles.


Muscle Engagement

Hooked knee should be squeezing pole as if trying to draw heel to seat. It should also be externally rotated.

Back leg should be actively reaching towards the ground by engaging flute muscles

If knee does not squeeze pole, leg may drift out of place compromising counter balance and cause flyer to tip into angel. If back leg isn’t diven down, it may drift up beside pole and start to compromise balance, allowing hips to slip through sling.


Must have open enough hips to sit in pigeon on ground. If back hip flexors are too tight, it may cause the back leg to drift upwards and compromise the balance. IT band inflexibility may prevent hooking leg from squeezing both poles in back of knee. May modify this position to hook just 1 pole.

Hyper flexibility will make this pose look advanced, and secure balance. Be careful it to put too much strain on low back in backbend position.

Body Proportions

Negligible effects

Risk Analysis

Major Risks

  • Knee un-hooks
  • Back leg comes through middle

Knee un-hooks
Consequence: tip out of Pigeon
Potential: 4
Severity: 1
Spot: Manually or verbally help position hooking knee, and encourage scure hook by squeeze

Back leg comes through middle
Consequence: Hips slip out of sling and slide out of sling head first.
Potential: 2
Severity: 3
Spot: Manually yet gently push back leg towards ground. Spot under neck and be ready to tip flyer up if leg is out of control.

Spotting Theory

Entry: spot right below neck on entry into inverted straddle. May also need to give assistance under knees to help flyer get into inverted straddle position.

Skill: Let students do this with hands on when learning. If needed, manually manipulate legs into position.

Exit: watch for hooked knee releasing first, and be ready to slow tipping. Help flyer find way back to straddle.

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