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How to achieve a SHOULDER MOUNT in Pole Fitness: A Progression Chain

Well hello and welcome back to our series of Pole Fitness Progression Chains, Shoulder Mount edition. If you didn't see the first one, have a cheeky look as it is the chain for an Invert and takes you from the very beginning all the way to a Basic Invert and beyond. We also did one for Ayesha so feel free to check that out as well. For those of you who haven't read either Progression Chain Blogs and have no idea what the bloody hell I'm talking bout, a Progression Chain is the roadmap of pre-requisites and skills you need to achieve a move.

A couple of points before we dive in, sadly this is not a science or a guarantee, it is definitely more of an interpretative art/suggestion type of situation. But, used with the aid of an instructor, a bit of personalising and some common sense, these progression chains should be able to point you in the right direction to achieving whichever move you are aiming for. For this post I will be focusing on a Shoulder Mount, with nods to things you can do from a shoulder mount.

So strap in and get comfy as we work our way through the pole world into a Shoulder Mount.

  • Seated Pulls. I like to start teaching shoulder mounts focusing on the action of the arms only. This is a great way to get the feeling of 'pull' through the arms without having to lift your entire body weight off the floor. This is also a great conditioning for people who can already shoulder mount!

  • Standing Pulls. Still Very much focusing on arms only but starting to lift more of your own weight.

  • Tucks & Toes Taps. Now we can start to add in a bit of momentum by swishing with one leg as well as using our abs to lift our legs. If you are managing to tuck both knees into your chest you can try keeping the swishing leg straight with the aim to tap your toe to the pole.

A Pole Student performing a Shoulder Mount Tuck
Poler Performing a seated shoulder mount
Seated Pull
A Poler performing a Shoulder Mount hover
Standing Pull
  • Reverse Shoulder Mount/Shoulder Mount Dismount. This is very much a Marmite move, either you love it or you hate it. I know polers who will only dismount like this and I also know polers who point blank refuse to even attempt this. I will admit it is very painful but a brilliant tool for building eccentric strength for the next step.

  • Shoulder Mount To Crucifix. Being able to go into a crucifix is a massive step and one that can take years. Shoulder Mount is very painful and very strength based, but it can truly open up a whole new world of pole moves.

  • Straddle/Chopper. The ultimate expression of strength, courage and DRAMA!

A poler performing an invert to crucifix and should mount dismounting
Reverse Shoulder Mount
A Poler performing a shoulder mount chopper
A poler performing a shoulder mount to crucifix
Shoulder Mount To Crucifix

That's it, you bloody did it! Well done! Massive congratulations, crack open the champers and sparklers. Honestly, a Shoulder Mount is an amazing achievement. Every single poler has had a Shoulder Mount on their bucket list at some point, and you just did it!

Of course, as with everything pole, there is always more to learn so the section below includes a few extras you can add to your Shoulder Mount repertoire.

  • Shoulder Mount To Brass Monkey. Brass Monkey is one of the key moves in pole and a Shoulder Mount is the most popular and efficient way in.

  • Shoulder Mount Flip. Instead of aiming for the pole you aim both your feet past the pole and to the floor so you end up rolling over your shoulder on the pole and landing on your feet.

  • Princess Grip Shoulder Mount. This is a Aussie special and super useful for moves such as twisty grip Ayesha, Pad Lock and Spatchcock. The same arm as shoulder that is against the pole goes into a Twisty Grip, instead of the traditional Cup Grip. Not my fave.

  • Aerial Shoulder Mount. Anything you can do from the floor you can do from up the pole!

A shoulder mount to brass monkey lever down in pole fitness
Shoulder Mount to Brass Monkey

While a Progression Chain can be a really useful tool for developing a skill, please remember we are ALL INDIVIDUAL! A Shoulder Mount is an UPPER INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED skill and no one says you have to be able to do it to be a poler. Some of the best polers I know don't Shoulder Mount but my gosh can they do a stunning, gooey Body Roll or Twerk like they came out of the womb shaking their ass. If a Shoulder Mount is something you want then I hope this has helped just keep in mind Pole is all about the journey, not the outcome, so enjoy the ride!

What moves do you want to see next?


Alex :)

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