How Michael Jackson Pulled Off His Unnatural Lean In Smooth Criminal Video

Even after his untimely death, the undisputed King of Pop, Michael Jackson, left many baffled by the famous gravity-defying tilt he pulled off in his "Smooth Criminal" video way back in 1987, but now we have a theory on how he pulled it off.

The late singer was quite famous for his eccentric dance moves and is indubitably responsible for many of today's floor stunts. But nothing was quite as awesome as his unnatural 45-degree tilt—with nothing holding him up—in the 1987 hit. It's a move that fans try and mimick decades after the song released, and years after the King of Pop's death.

Just how does one pull something like that off? Well, one theory suggests it requires some precise machinery and some unbelievable core strength.

via thissongslaps.com

And about 30 years later, neurosurgeons have finally come up with a theory. Three such surgeons told the Journal of Neurosurgery that the move was made possible by the use of a specially designed pair of shoes that bore triangular slots in the heels. The shoes would be hooked onto metallic pegs that shot up from the stage at just the right moment.


The pegs allowed him to pull off a 45-degree tilt without falling over, yet the surgeons also pointed out that Jackson had remarkable core strength as well.

"Several MJ fans, including the authors, have tried to copy this move and failed, often injuring themselves in their endeavors," they wrote.

via news.sky.com

"This allows for a very limited degree of forward bending from the ankle joints, while keeping a stiff straight posture - unless you are Michael Jackson.

"MJ pulled off a gravity-defying 45-degree move that seems unearthly to any witness.

"Even with specially designed footwear and the support of the hitch member, the move is incredibly hard to pull off, requiring athletic core strength from strengthened spinal muscles and lower-limb anti-gravity muscles.

"Trick or not, new forms of dancing inspired by MJ have begun to challenge our understanding of the modes and mechanisms of spinal injury.

"Ever since MJ entertained us with his fabulous moves, throughout the world dancers have tried to jump higher, stretch farther, and turn faster than ever before."

So, there you have it. All it takes is a couple of special shoes with some ancillary spikes and anyone with good core strength can be like Mike. Of course, it's only a theory, but it is a pretty good one and it's what we'll have to go with until someone who was actually involved in the video says otherwise.


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