A Little More Leverage


Holding your body in a horizontal ‘lever’ is a really good demonstration of upper-body strength. These are the moves beloved of the Russian street-workout boys, spending endless hours on their bars outside their apartments.

It is interesting that you almost never see such moves in competitive acrobatic gymnastics – where this is common…


…that’s because there are international rules governing the moves that are allowed or expected in the competitions. But you will see levers in circus/cabaret acts, like ours, because they are fun. And the practice can be fun too:


The ‘top planche’ counts as a lever…


…and so does the ‘human flag’…


Pole moves can be interesting, too:


…especially if you add rotation between the horizontal levers…


…now you just gotta ‘unwind’ that and turn 360 degrees whilst holding your body straight…!

In the street workouts there are usually plenty of admirers to entertain…


…but not always…


…that’s a really interesting variation on the top planche, held on the forearms…

Here’s the one-arm ‘crocodile’ position, which does appear in acrobatic gymnastics competitions:


How to train the shoulders for all this effort? Here’s one way – press-ups with added ‘ooomph’!


…plenty of bar holds, using the stomach muscles…


…from where you can push up to this position…


…put in a few twists…


And the Kalutskikhs, of course, course, add in contortion to their pole work…

kalutskih pole

So, if you want to get stronger like these guys, never miss out on a chance to do your pull-ups…


…and, of course, get behind those weights in the gym!



With all that work on bars and weights, in no time at all…


…well satisfied!

well satisfied

Hopefully this applied ‘leverage’ to get you all into fitness mode has worked. The inspirational pictures will continue! But do allow yourselves some time to relax… and you can read a good book with a clear conscience as you nurse your splendidly aching muscles after a good workout. Here are some suggestions (n.b. gay themed) showing how we got into all this stuff!

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7



About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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