The Split Grip (Full-Bracket Grip) is a tricky one. It requires some strength, so it’s not exactly ideal for beginners. It’s used in moves like the Carousel spin, Butterfly, Handspring, Jamilla and Jasmine.
It looks like I’m dramatically overacting in the wrong version. I’m not. It’s actually that hard to hold yourself up the way I’m gripping there.
What could be the mistake(s)?
For the Split Grip, you need good strength in your top arm. In addition, it puts a lot of pressure on the bottom arm, so it’s not uncommon for the Split Grip to cause injury in the forearm and wrist.
Some critical mistakes to avoid:
- Top hand sliding → weight falling onto the bottom arm
- Incorrect torso alignment
- Bottom arm bending or twisting
Here’s how to do the Split Grip properly:
One thing I’d like to add is the „magic finger“ a.k.a. „gun grip“ technique – with the index finger straight and pointing down. This technique works perfectly for me (as well as for most polers), but some instructors don’t recommend it.
Pros of using your pointer finger:
- It aligns your arm in a straight position and prevents from over-wrapping
- It distributes the pressure evenly along your arm
- It makes your grip feel more stable and strong
Cons of using your pointer finger:
- When you’re not strong enough to do the Split Grip properly, the finger can do more harm than good.
- That extra stability can backfire. When the top hand is sliding but the bottom hand holds too tightly, the entire weight falls onto it. Besides hurting your wrist, this can also strain the tendons of your finger. In this case it’s better to release your finger and loosen up your grip.
- Pointing the finger straight down ↓ is not a universal recipe. Play with the angle – e.g. pointing slightly to the side ↘ and opening the middle finger too.