An injury is a word we don’t want to hear but if you don’t want to get injured, it’s important to understand some MAJOR tip shown here. No this isn’t a boring article about using crash mats or techniques you probably already heard about like “use a spotter”. While using a spotter and crash mats are important in terms of preventing injury, there are other important elements to consider, ESPECIALLY if you are learning to pole dance at home on your own.
As we know, pole dancing has fancy inverting tricks, pole spins controlled by momentum and other potentially dangerous stunts that cause a person to proceed with caution. However, many times it’s the beginner dancers that overlook some critical points that often cause more injuries than their risky counterparts.
“What basic elements are you talking about then?” You might be wondering.
Warm up your body temperature & muscles first. Yah you might say – But…… LISTEN UP!!!!
For those of you that think you don’t have time to warm up or stretch before you exercise and for those of you that think it’s just plain boring, you need to understand that you are passing on one of the most critical points that could help you dance better, look more professional AND prevent injury.
You see, a cold body with cold muscles doesn’t grip the pole well. If you can’t get a good grip, then you could easily slip to the ground and get injured. In addition, when you aren’t getting a good grip, you will be afraid to progress forward and try new things – that’s not the mentality you want as a beginner pole dancer.
When your body temperature rises and you feel warm to the touch, you get a little “tack” in your grip. Your entire body becomes more like sticky paper enabling you to do pole tricks more safely.
When I get nice and warmed up, I don’t even need to use ANY grip aid, warm tacky skin is enough.
You will feel the heat rising in your body when you are warmed up enough. You want to be just barely to the point of sweating but not sweating. Sweating can make the pole grip slick so you don’t want to go that far. If you started warming up with a hoodie, you will feel like taking it off this point.
It has been proven time and time again that the overuse of cold muscles CAUSES injury. Pole dancing is a sport that requires a lot of strength and muscles conditioning, you are asking for an injury if you perform pole tricks with cold muscles.
When stretching and warm-up exercises are done right with good posture and dance technique, then your stretching can be a MORE effective workout than your beloved muscle building routine and here’s why.
When you stretch and warm up with proper posture like holding the neck long, the shoulders back and down, the spine straight and so on, it causes your body to WORK. Holding good postures is tough stuff and not for the faint of heart.
If you don’t believe me, then I dare you to sit up nice and straight all day in your chair with no back support to help you. Or, I dare you to stand at a ballet barre with your arm to the side for 10 minutes without moving. You will get the point.
Holding good posture is a must when you stretch correctly. When you do this, you will be getting a muscle workout WHILE the opposing muscles are stretching and lengthening.
If you really want to sculpt your body to have those long and lean lines of a dancer, don’t even think about passing on the stretching and warm-ups.
Stretching lengthens the muscles back out after being flexed and worked. This prevents the muscles from looking bulky.
Warming up will also allow you to go deeper into your stretches and increase your flexibility. The more flexible you are, the lower your risk of a sports-related injury.
If you are trying to teach yourself how to pole dance at home, consider using a good warm up video from a teacher that emphasizes good technique and posture as you warm up. The more you practice good form and technique during your stretches and warm-ups, the less you will have to think about it when you are trying to remember your choreography.
Trying to obtain a good posture is a warm up in itself! Keeping a good posture whilst warming up and stretching is hard work if you are not used to it but it is definitely beneficial for your body in the long run. I tried to practice a move without warming up first and everything went wrong, my body was not ready to hold onto a pole and do a move..it was very gangrenous I could have injured myself and my muscles!! Your mind is eager to perform the moves but your body is saying wait a minute I need to wake up and warm up first!
Very true, yah cold muscles are no fun to dance on and can cause injury! Definitely warm up and warm ups can be very fun, there is not reason to skip them 🙂
Would you consider 10 minutes of warm up time, and 10 minutes of stretching (cooling down) time,to be a sufficient amount of time to prevent injuries?
10 minutes sounds hypothetically right but because everybody’s body’s, abilities, fitness levels, and house temperatures are different, the actual time will vary from person to person. The very best way to know if you are warmed up enough is if you FEEL warm. For the warm up, you should feel a rise in your body temperate and feel physically warm everywhere, but not sweating. If you are not warm in certain sections of your body and you know you are going to use them during your workout, then do some additional exercises in those areas of the body to get them warm before you start. Plie’s are my favorite way to get warm.
Cooling down is a bit easier. You should stretch thoroughly every where you worked. Take advantage of stretching while you are warm and focus on getting the most from your stretching to increase flexibility in the cool down period. Once your body temp is cold, don’t stretch any longer.
Your cool down is adequate when you are not sweating or breathing heavy any longer AND you have completely stretched every area you worked. Don’t forget to work your splits during this time frame if you are trying to get them 🙂
Listen to your body more than thinking about an actual timeframe. We are conditioned by the media to spend certain amounts of times on things. Time won’t spare you from an injury, but practicing body awareness and paying attention to how you feel during your workout will 🙂
Hope that helps!
Thank you for the great advice , I haven’t even started any dance routines yet. I want to build up my strength and flexibility first. I am in pretty good shape to start with but I feel some parts of me isn’t quite ready for the pole yet. In time . .