How To: Caterpillar Climb

How To: Caterpillar Climb

I remember when my pole-dance instructor would get us to “warm up” in class with a caterpillar climb. Whenever the words left her mouth, I’d enter into a silent panic because I was terrified of the move. I could barely inch my legs up.

Now, I’ll throw a caterpillar climb into a routine (see below) or training session whenever I can. I can’t recall the moment when the movement clicked, but once it did, it became a favorite because it doesn’t take much effort but it still looks cool to do (and don’t we all love moves like that?).

If ourou’re still struggling with this one, hopefully this step-by-step will help you nail it quicker.

Note: I am not a pole-dance instructor. I only share tips on beginner-to-intermediate moves I feel absolutely comfortable with. You should only attempt this intermediate move once you’re comfortable with your chopper and it is something you have learned the basic mechanics of with a certified instructor.


Step one:

Chopper into an inverted crucifix.

Step two:

With your dominant arm, grab the pole in true grip straight out in front of you. Pointer finger out for extra support!

Place your other arm near your stomach and bend it in true grip while pushing away with your dominant arm and hiking your bottom up toward the ceiling.

Step three:

Pull your chest back in toward your non-dominant hand. Your hand should now be aligned with your chin area and your dominant arm should be fully straightened above your head.

Step four:

Once your chest is to the pole and your non-dominant hand is hugging the pole, you’ll be able to inch your legs up by pushing your pelvis back toward the pole and straightening them. Don’t be afraid of this part. I think fear, instead of mechanics, is what makes this move challenging. Just know that if you’re secure enough, you can splay your legs out like you would in a handspring and hang out there safely. (But wait to do that until you’re completely comfortable in this move first.) Reposition your hands to step one to keep climbing.

Need extra guidance or have a pole move you want help exploring? Let me know so I can feature it for you.

Song in video: Witch Man by Dilly Dally. Performance at Ecdysiast.