A Cross Back Straddle, also known as a Butterfly, was the first move I did on silks that I thought looked really impressive. It’s a move that a lot of my students are desperate to nail! It definitely takes some practise to make it look smooth but once you’re in it, you can hang around all day!

Cross Back Straddle Tutorial

It is by far my most requested silks tutorial. I think the reason people tend to struggle to get into the Cross Back Straddle is that you need to do so many things at the same time, if you concentrate too hard on one thing and forget to do something else then you won’t make it over. It takes quite a lot of strength to just get into the starting position (The X)! Also, it’s not the most comfortable position to be in whilst you try to get your breath back and psych yourself up to flip over! If you need to improve your strength, have a look at some Aerial Silks Conditioning Exercises. I have included my Cross Back Straddle tutorial in this blog post in case you’re struggling with it.

Common mistakes:

  • Feet being uneven – your feet need to be completely equal height or your Cross Back Straddle will be very wonky!
  • Not able to pull your shoulders through the silks – keep your feet together. Push your hips forward to prevent the silks getting caught on your bum. Lean back as you bring your shoulders through. This does take quite a lot of strength, do some conditioning exercises to increase your strength before attempting this if you need to.
  • The silks getting stuck on your bum as you try to bring the cross up to your lower back – pull up with your arms to create some slack. Start to widen your legs then push your feet forward and your hips back at the same time, this might take some practise!
  • Can’t flip over – this is really hard as you need to do a lot all at the same time. Follow all of the instructions, if you miss one thing eg pulling up, then you won’t flip over.
  • Legs bending while you are inverting or coming down out of the move – it’s so easy to bend your legs but once they start bending the silks will keep increasing the tension on them which will make it really hard to straighten them, engage your quads and focus on keeping them straight throughout the movement.

The Entries

Once you can do a move, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of always entering it the same way. There are so many beautiful ways into the Cross Back Straddle, here are my favourite 6!

  • Basic X
  • Hammock entry
  • Mermaid entry
  • Splits Roll entry
  • Pin Up entry
  • Cradle entry

Which entry is your favourite? xx