Do you feel like you’re not making any progress in your pole dancing skills? If your answer is yes, it’s probably because you’re unknowingly doing things that inhibit your growth. I know this from my personal experience because I’ve been a victim of these mistakes for years!
Do not fret! I’m here to help you fix things. Knowing what exactly you want to achieve through pole dancing is the first step in fixing your growth problems.
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Here, you’ll learn about how too much training has a negative effect on your body, the techniques that will make your training safer, the reason why incorporating cardio exercises is important, the food you should eat to boost your workout plan, and a few tips on how to keep your training interesting.
We’ll be discussing some of the most common mistakes you may have been doing during training that hamper your growth potential. We’ll tackle how each of them affects your training and the effective ways to resolve these issues.
1st Mistake: Skipping the Basics
This style is okay but not for beginners who haven’t mastered the basics yet. There are fundamental movements and techniques that you should familiarize yourself with before you do any pole dancing trick. The same concept applies to what you do in the gym before your coach allows you to do deadlifts and handsprings.
Failure to master the basics will result in poor technique, wrong muscle engagement, injuries, accidents, and probably growth regression.
I’m amazed at how people can dissect complicated moves and learn them just by simple observation.
However, without proper groundwork, you miss which muscle groups should be engaged to properly do a move. Without someone to teach you, you’ll also miss getting tips that will make your pole dancing life easier. Skipping the basics also raises your chances of getting injured in the process.
Mastery of the fundamental moves allows you to smoothly execute advanced tricks. Without this, you’ll just fall back to where you’ve started. Forget about completing a simple routine, much less joining competitions if you forego learning the basics.
It’s better if you have a professional instructor to teach you the basics of pole dancing. If you don’t, try visiting a studio from time to time and ask around if what you’re doing is correct and safe.
For those who don’t have ready access to a studio, there are online programs that can teach you the basics, proper technique, and correct forms essential to pole dancing.
2nd Mistake: Always Looking for that Good Muscle Soreness’ After Workout
You may have associated the success of your workout plan with the feeling of soring muscles after completing a heavy exercise routine. However, feeling sore doesn’t necessarily indicate you’ve done something good for your muscles.
There are other reasons for feeling muscle soreness. It can be due to fatigue, injury, or muscle regression. The sore feeling you’re having is possibly due to overstraining your body past its limit.
Delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) typically happens when you execute a new exercise you haven’t tried before or if you overwork yourself.
If you’re doing an exercise that’s really hard to complete, limit your sets to 3-4 times before updating your workout plan.
If you’re getting bruises, it’s either you don’t have strength enough to maintain a certain position on the pole or you lack a sense of balance. Those who have sensitive skin tend to experience bruising even though they haven’t done anything heavy on the pole.
3rd Mistake: Comparing Yourself with Others
It’s quite common to compare your situation with other people. This has become more tempting to do, especially now that we can see a lot of photos of fellow pole dancers in social media posing their incredible figures and showing off their exceptional skills. This may hurt your morale, causing you to doubt yourself or feel inadequate, eventually leading you to lose your motivation to continue. Losing your self-confidence is not good as this has the power to destroy everything you’ve worked for.
Put all your focus on your own training. Record your personal achievements and be proud of what you’ve accomplished since you started. Everyone started small. Even the pros and world-renowned athletes you look up to went through hellish training before their hard work bore fruit.
Look for pole dancers who didn’t have formal training in athletics, gymnastics, or dance sports and see what they did to achieve greatness. Use them as inspiration to boost your morale to continue your journey.
Write down your own training plan which consists realistic and manageable goals. Complete each one and consider how each of the milestones you complete brings you closer to your long-term goals.
4th Mistake: Overdoing it
Pole dancing is quite an addictive sports. You can easily lose track of time once you get on the pole possibly because you’re enjoying it. I had a similar experience that I didn’t notice I’ve been on the pole for hours already. I soon moved up my schedule to spend more time on my dance pole which, as anyone might expect, resulted in muscle fatigue.
Spending too much time on any workout can cause muscle fatigue and injuries. You’ll also experience a growth plateau because you’re not giving your muscles enough time to rest. Tired muscles are more prone to injuries and even if you don’t get injured, you may eventually experience regression.
Remember that rest is as important as your training. Take a day or two of rest after a heavy workout routine. This gives your muscles enough time to repair and grow. Also, give your body the right nutrition it needs to supplement muscle growth and keep your overall condition healthy and safe.
5th Mistake: Forgetting About Cardio
Informal pole dancing classes, they usually follow a schedule for warm-up exercises, strength training, and execution of spin and dance pole tricks before finally cooling down. Cardio exercises are not included in the routine because pole dancers will get tired with this before they even start holding the pole. Intense cardio exercises result to heavy sweating which means your palms will be sweaty and in turn, reduce your grip on the pole.
A high resting heart rate is said to be linked to sweating, meaning you won’t be able to hold the dance pole firmly if your palms are sweaty. However, consistently doing cardio training greatly reduces your resting rate which means you won’t sweat or get tired right away during your performance.
Any cardio that can reduce your resting heart rate and improve your stamina is okay to include in your daily routine. However, avoid doing high-impact workouts so as not to affect your overall flexibility.
Cycling is a good cardio exercise that has low muscle impact. This helps improve your stamina while avoiding getting fatigued before you start your pole dance training.
6th Mistake: Jumping to Advanced Tricks Too Soon
Similar to mistake no. 3, this one may result from your continuous browsing in social media platforms. You’ll eventually see a photo of a pole dancer doing an amazing pose and you can’t just help yourself to try it right away.
Think of what that pole dancer has gone through to be able to post Instagram-ready poses. It may look easy but they may have practiced it for months before they were able to perfect it. You must be daydreaming if you think you can attempt to copy it in an instant.
If you force your body to try pole dancing tricks you’re not prepared for, expect injuries to happen. You may not have trained your muscles enough to handle certain positions and this can result in nothing but accidents. Skipping to master the basics and jumping to do advanced tricks will do you no good.
There are many requirements you need to pass first before you can safely do advanced and intermediate moves. For one, there’s your ability to sense your body’s position or proprioception. This skill allows you to safely maneuver specific parts of your body to certain positions. There’s also your muscle strength which is a vital component in pole dancing.
Failing to master these skills will only increase your chances of getting injured. If you have a spotter while doing advanced tricks, you may also risk injuring them in the process.
It’d be best to ask your instructor first and receive their approval to let you try advanced tricks.
When you’re executing a pole dance move, whether they’re basic, intermediate, or advanced, make sure you strictly follow each step to get there. Begin with basic steps, then floorwork, and then jump into spins before finally doing your desired trick.
If you’re a beginner, professionals will usually advise you to master all the basic tricks first before moving on to more challenging moves. As long as you know the basics, you can do whatever trick you like. Your body would also be strong enough to safely handle the stress after you’ve strengthened it through basics training.
For self-taught learners and those who are practicing at home, there are pole dancing programs online that can guide you as you progress towards learning more difficult tricks.
7th Mistake: Eating the Wrong Food After Workout
It’s completely normal to feel hungry after an intense workout. Even I, feel like I can eat an elephant after my pole training session. However, giving in to your hunger and eating whatever your hands can get on is a bad idea. All the hard work you’ve done can go down the drain with just one wrong meal.
Binge-eating can slow down your body’s fat burning mechanism. Aside from that, you’re training your mind to eat something as a reward after a heavy workout, making you dependent to this mentality in the long run.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t eat after your workout. Your body still needs to replenish the energy and minerals you’ve spent during training.
However, this doesn’t mean you’re allowed to eat anything you desire. Eating junk food after working out will put all the calories you tried so hard to lose back to your body. If you eat excessive amounts of calories, they’re even turned into fat which will take you a lot more time to burn.
Getting used to a reward system can be bad for you, especially if you’re aiming to lose a lot of fats and live a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life.
You can eat but keep it to a minimum and make sure it’s high in protein and complex carbohydrates. Rice, pasta, and bread are made up of simple carbs which I don’t recommend to be part of your post-workout diet.
Protein shakes are good for faster muscle recovery; chocolate milk is proven to greatly improve muscle repair. Drink a lot of water. The feeling of fatigue is a sign of dehydration and this can also make you want to eat sweet foods. Drinking lots of water will keep you full and delay your craving for food.
8th Mistake: Working Out Hungry
You may be running late for your pole dancing class and since you’re in a rush, you forgot to fill your tummy. That’s okay. But in times you’re not in a hurry, you still don’t eat anything, thinking this will improve your body’s fat burning mechanism.
Sorry, but you got the wrong assumption. Keeping an empty stomach before working out will not let you burn more fats and may even result in fatigue and injuries.
When your stomach is empty, you tend to lose energy much faster, thus the tired feeling you get just after a few minutes into your routine. This can be pretty dangerous since you may collapse while in a precarious position on the dance pole.
If you’re in a rush and you don’t have time for a proper meal, make sure you eat a pre-workout snack on the way to class. This can be a protein bar or a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter or marmite on it. These snacks contain the right amount of vitamins, carbs, and protein you need to keep your energy level up for any activity.
9th Mistake: Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again
When you’re bored or you’re not in your game, you may tend to do a set of moves that aren’t even challenging. I, myself, am guilty of this behavior. I keep a set of moves I’ve already perfected and when I’m not in the mood, I execute this set instead of a more progressive routine.
When you do the same thing over and over, you’ll tend to lose your motivation to continue training. You may also hit a plateau because your muscles have gotten used to the exercises you’re doing. You will then lack the motivation to continue and this cycle goes on and on unless you break it.
There are a lot of dance pole tricks you can learn every week. Including around 4-5 tricks in your routine and mastering them for a month is a good idea. On the following month, do something new or mix some of your old tricks with new ones to create a varied routine.
For example, you can do floorwork and spins on one day and then core and strengthening exercises on the following day. Alternating your routine will keep your muscles busy. This will also balance muscle development throughout your body.
You may not have realized that you’re already guilty of doing some of the mistakes I’ve listed here. This is why I want to enlighten you about these faults and provide you the solutions to change these behaviors into something positive and beneficial to your goals.
If you have something more to contribute regarding pole dancing, please feel free to contact me in the comments section.