Full disclosure: I have always been anti-kick in my inverts.
Even before I could chopper, I remember looking at girls pushing off the floor to invert with a kind of disdain. CHEATERS, I thought.
But like many beliefs we hold dear in life, my feelings to this effect have less to do with personal experience and more to do with “well, that’s what I was taught when I first started!”
Reasons Why Kicking Is Bad (I always thought)
1. It’s CHEATING, you cheating cheaters!
2. You’re developing a false sense of your own strength
3. …which you’ll become devastatingly aware of when you try an aerial invert.
4. You’re reinforcing bad habits.
But then I watched Leigh Ann’s video offering tips for the most recent flow challenge (involving inverts, natch), and her nonchalance about kicking… well… it kind of won me over.
1. Better to get comfortable inverting as quickly as possible (and lord knows a deadlift chopper can take frickin’ forever)
2. Inverting, even through kicking, helps build muscles that will enable you to invert better! IE. kicking inverts are better prep for deadlift ones than, well, not inverting at all.
3. She didn’t explicitly say this, but, generally her opinion seemed to be that there’s no reason to set up such a tough barrier to inverting for yourself as it just leads to frustration and cuts off your access to a variety of tricks/poses you could be battling your way through.
Now, as a form stickler… I’m conflicted here. I definitely feel part of the “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it” camp, especially when inverting and, it follows, safety is involved.
But I also wonder how much time I lost working on difficult tricks because I just couldn’t deadlift-chopper yet (and lord knows I tried all the time, and did ALL the reverse crunches).
What do you guys think? Do you HAVE your deadlift chopper or do you kick into inverts?
Here’s that Week 5 Combo, in case you’re interested. Pretty slick!