With time, pole dancing has become one of the most common dances with so many classes being offered either in groups or one-on-one. These classes teach you different from the beginner basics of the pole to the higher levels where strength and control are paramount. The more you progress the more experience you get giving you a chance to learn some of the hardest dance elements among them being the Iron X whichever new poler seems to what to accomplish these days.
And for good reason, it looks wild and is hard as hell to pull off, even experienced pole dancers like me who teach can struggle with it. Its a move that requires a strong core with a good arm and leg balance to really make that perfect iron X pose.
The technicality of the Iron X means there is a risk of getting injured and therefore should be performed with a level of precaution and shouldn’t be performed by inexperienced pole dancers to avoid any injury.
Why Iron X so famous?
The Iron pole pose which is denoted by an “X” shape formed by the body is a significant move when used as a Combo with other moves.
- In pole dance, you need optimal strength in the arms and core muscles to pull it off. and a great way to showcase their skills of flexibility to their audience. It usually makes an expressive end to a combo that always seems to win the audience. Spinning pole with Iron X equals AWESOMENESS
Tutorial for Iron X
- Get in an inverted position on the pole. This can also be done from the floor and with your grip twisted.
- To ensure your inside arm reaches up, hold on to the pole with your legs.
- In an overhand grip, reach up with your inside arm
- With your outside arm, reach below you and grip the pole with a baseball grip. (Baseball grip is whereby you wrap your thumbs around the pole on the opposite side of the fingers just like you would hold a baseball bat.)
- If you are a beginner to this trick, hold on to the pole with one leg as if you are performing an extended butterfly)
- Use your core muscles to stabilize and try to let go with one leg that is still holding onto the pole.
- While letting go, ensure you turn your torso to be horizontal to the pole. Maintain an inward rotation with your forearms and keep your armpits open.
- Your legs and hips should then be turned to be parallel with the pole as much as possible. To help with supporting your weight, ensure your butt in a firm position and your pelvis is stable.
- While still keeping your legs close to the pole, spread them in a split display. Ensure that you do not extend out and away because as you keep on extending them further out and away, the position becomes harder to hold. The final position achieved should be an “X” shaped position made from both your arms and your legs.
The Iron X can also be performed with an elbow grip. All the above steps will be followed except for the 4th step whereby instead of using a baseball grip, you use an elbow grip which will hold you to the point of contact.
What should you consider before trying Iron X pole dance?
Level of training
Before you start this move, you should first consider what level of training you are at. It is one of the moves that should not be attempted by beginners and it’s best to wait until you are in the intermediate or expert level before trying. Some pole dancers have confessed that it took them between 2 to 5 years after joining pole dancing to attempt this move.
To be able to learn this move, you must be committed to some exercises which will build your body’s strength. This will eliminate the probability of injuring your muscles. While still doing the exercises, warm-up exercises are necessary before you start this move as they get you ready for the challenge you are about to face.
To avoid injury, do not attempt this move while you are alone. Request for assistance from instructors or experienced pole dancers.
Strength exercises to help you reach this pole dance trick
Before diving into this dance pole trick, a dancer should engage in exercises that ensure your body is strong enough to handle the trick. Since there is no quick fix for this, some of the exercises you can engage in include;
These exercises are not only efficient for weight loss, but they help in strengthening the body and getting you ready for pole dancing. Most of them do not require equipment and can be done at home. For best results, they should be performed in sets after being divided into upper body, core, and lower body exercises. A cycle of 8-10 reps of each is good for beginners but as you progress you can increase the more reps. The exercises to be performed include;
- Planks and side planks
- Russian twists
This type of exercise has so many health benefits. Apart from improving sleep and reducing stress, yoga is a good exercise for pole dancers as it enhances their flexibility which is a key requirement for pole dancers. With practice in Yoga tricks like splits and Iron X are very easy to perform.
Cardio exercises act as strengthening agents to the body. They also help in boosting metabolism and increasing stamina when you are looking to perform pole dancing.
Safety and cautions when performing the Iron X pole dance
Despite being performed by the intermediate & expert level pole dancers, this move requires you to observe safety and precautions which will ensure you don’t get injured.
Some of the risks associated with Iron X occur due to the following;
- Wearing the wrong outfit
- Lack of proper warm-ups
- Performing while under the influence of alcohol
- Performance without the proper technique from the instructor or other experienced dancers.
Below are some of the precautions that should be adhered to ensure safety;
Skin to pole
This precaution prevents risks being associated with wearing the wrong outfit. While pole dancing, most parts of the skin should not be covered with fabric to avoid slipping on the pole. The typical outfit for a pole dancer performing an Iron X move should be; sleeveless tops that will not limit your arms while stretching and a pair of leggings to ensure you are comfortable with stretching your legs wide open. The leggings should however not cover your ankles.
Its not recommended to wear any sort of gloves and its also recommended to use grip aids like zinc for smooth execution.
Limited the hand Jewellery
When pole dancing, wearing fashion accessories such as rings, bracelets or necklaces shouldn’t be worn as they can very quickly get in the way and cause you to lose control on the pole.
Consider a Crash mat
Apart from the pole, another piece of equipment necessary for pole dancers is a crash mat. They keep you from hitting the floor at full impact in case you slip and fall.
Ensure you perform load test
Load tests involve checking whether the pole you will be using is properly installed before commencing an Iron X. At times, dancers are so excited and this may cause them to skip this important step which can result in a free falling pole. Check for the slightest movement the top and bottom base plates, check the screws before you continue dancing to avoid dragging the pole with you in case you fall.
Stretch before you dance
Warm-ups before starting a dance ensure that you stretch and prevent any ligament from tearing as a result of pole dancing. The instructor advises on the type of warm-up exercise depending on the type of pole dancing you will be partaking in.
Tighten your grip
Dancers with sweaty palms and oily skin are always at risk of slipping which would cause an injury. These people are advised to use grip aids that guarantee a tighter grip on the pole. These aids are available in different forms and for different skin types.
Know your Limits
Although learning a new move is exciting, you should always be aware of your body limit. It is important to understand what your body cannot handle instead of pushing hard and hurting yourself.
Grip aids for Pole dancing
The greatest nightmare for a pole dancer is sliding on the pole. This does not only cause injuries but also affects your performance. Some of the causes of sliding are sweaty palms which could occur naturally to certain people or due to nervousness of pole dancing. Other causes are due to oily skin of some of the dancers. To ensure the safety of the pole dancers, many brands have worked tirelessly to come up with different forms of grip aids which are all available in the market. They come in 3 types which are;
This type of grip aid comes in a liquid but dries to powder after application hence adding texture to your hands. For extra grip, it can be applied to the pole. It is available in different formulas depending on the company of production. The performance of this grip is not affected by weather and works well even during the summer and the humid weather. It however leaves a chalky, white residue on the skin after application.
This type of grip is applied by spraying it directly to the skin and it provides different levels of tackiness depending on the brand. After application, you should wait for a few minutes to let it dry before getting on the pole. Unlike other types of grips that make you very sticky hence not making them suitable for most body parts, this type of grip can cover larger areas of the body. The downfall of this product is that it does not provide a long-lasting grip for naturally sweaty people.
While grip aids are meant to protect the dancer, beginners in pole dancing are discouraged from using gloves until they graduate to an intermediate level.
Iron X pole dance move is one of the most complex tricks in pole dancing. No wonder those who manage to perform it are regarded as the beasts of pole dancing. No matter how cool it is, you should ensure you observe safety while learning this move. Consistent training and patience are key to getting good results without injury.