Your upper body, especially the shoulders, is crucial if you want to pole dance so it is important to strengthen and stretch this area. The pole shoulder stretch will help you to locate the tighter muscles in your upper body and eventually stretch them out deeply.
Where to start
- To begin, face your pole and gently grasp it with one hand just underneath your shoulder height.
- Your feet should be between 12 to 18 inches away from the pole.
- Now slowly rotate your body in the opposite direction from the arm that is holding onto your pole; so, if you are grasping the pole with your right arm, you would want to turn towards your left.
- Rotate your body until you begin to feel a slight stretch across your shoulders.
- By this point, the front of your body should be facing somewhat away from the pole.
What to look for?
Remember not to tense up and to keep your shoulders as relaxed as possible. Pay extra attention to your shoulder blades and attempt to keep them down and back. If you feel a deep stretch at this time, it means that your shoulders and/or chest are very tight and there is no need to continue to rotate your body. Continue stretching until this point until you feel like you can move on and rotate a little further.
The Next stage of the stretch
When you are ready to deepen the stretch, slightly bend the elbow of your extended arm and slowly drop your body to the floor. It is a slight movement so be sure not to overexerting yourself. At this point you will notice that as you carefully bend your elbow, your shoulder and chest will have both opened up. To sum it up, because you are grasping your pole (effectively anchoring yourself to it), your shoulders rotate just enough to open and lengthen the muscles around that area.
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As stated before, depending on which of your muscles are tighter, you will feel the pole shoulder stretch more intensely in your biceps, chest, or shoulders. Though it is the slightest of motions, you will notice a physical difference in where and how deeply you feel the stretch.
The best way to determine what works best for you is to carefully experiment with the amount at which you bend your arm, how much your body is rotated, and how high you place the hand that is grasping the pole. Moving slowly and with focus and awareness will ensure your success while doing this stretch as well as lessen the chance of injuring yourself.
When you feel a comfortable level of stretching, hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds then slowly release your body by rotating back towards the pole. Give yourself a breather then change arms and repeat the stretch on the other side.
To conclude, there are a number of things to always keep in mind while doing the pole shoulder stretch:
Always do this stretch with awareness as it is very easy to overstretch and tear a many connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments that are located in the area. It is alright to experiment carefully with the position of your shoulder in order to find the best stretch for your particular body but remember not to rotate too much. Remember to keep your shoulders down and relaxed while you’re doing the stretch. This will allow your muscles to stretch more easily.
Important information before you try this stretch
Doing the pole shoulder stretch might create a shoulder injury worse even if you are already recovering from it so be sure to check with a healthcare professional beforehand. Lastly, this stretch feel particularly good after a session of pole dancing so give it a try to help you wind down!
Here are some additional stretches to try for your shoulders
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