If you are a frenzied pole dancer, you can agree with me that there’s that one person in your class whose bones are made of rubber. This is the person that can lounge around in splints just as they can hold their body against the pole. If you take the right classes and take enough time practising, you’ll automatically become this specific person.
I know that you want to become a superman pose pole dancer or a shoulder mount pole dance expert. If you fall in this category, then you automatically have to ask me about flexibility.
Stretching is actually one of the main elements of dancing that you should have. There are countless ways that you can improve your flexibility and reduce muscle soreness as a pole dancer. Pole dancers should equally think about the risk of injury and at the same time ensure that they can internalize all their dancing moves. If you have tried as a pole dancer in vein simply because you’re not flexible, then you should consider these tips. They are very beneficial in improving flexibility, reducing muscle soreness, and most importantly decreasing the risk of injury.
Take time to warm up
It is actually very important to warm up before you take any form of pole dance method. You should warm-up before pole dance stretching, warming up makes the muscles more elastic and at the same time, less likely to tear during the exercise. Always aim for a five-minute warm-up session before you consider pole dancing. You can equally take some exercises like leg swings, jumping jacks, lunges, and several others that can make you fit. All these exercises aim at getting your blood pumping and involves some degree of range of motion or flexibility.
If you want to be more flexible and fit for some of the most sophisticated pole dancing moves, then you must constantly stretch. You should at least take 15-20 minutes more than 3 times a week to stretch. This way, you will automatically become very flexible. Don’t take some moves that would compromise your health or comfort. As a matter of fact, you should aim at working at your own pace and achieve exactly what you need in this case.
Do you have your own flexibility goals?
As a Pole dancer, you should always make sure that you have your specific flexibility goals and ensure you have settled after achieving them. You should always take time to determine the area where you need more focus. You should be able to determine where you want to be in terms of flexibility within a very short time. Now that you have your flexibility goal in mind, it will be very easy to focus on exactly what you’ve wanted.
Breathe and Balance
Even when you’re stretching or taking any pole dance move, you must ensure that you are breathing normally and at the same time have balance. It doesn’t matter whether you’re practicing or just stretching, you shouldn’t hold your breath because it can bring some form of discomfort. Don’t push yourself too aggressively or try to hold the breath. It’s essentially very important to balance the routine and work opposing muscle groups every time you’re stretching. What this means is that you should always start by stretching the muscles at the front if you want to start by stretching the muscles in the back of your thigh.
How a positive thinking
It’s very important to have a positive mind whenever you are taking any form of exercise. The fact remains that no one is naturally flexible and for that reason, you have to be positive. It doesn’t matter whether your class has a group of girls that can do it better than you. Take your time to internalize the moves and always have a positive attitude about the goal at hand. You might not know some things about pole dancing but the reality is that it needs persistence, time, and patience to be perfect in this. Don’t always be hard on yourself because you’ll probably do it in a single day.
Stretching exercises to Try
If you have wanted to get higher battements or even improve your standings, you can consider over-splits. But you must understand how to start small. As a matter of fact, there are a couple of yoga blocks, ebooks, and web assistance for people that wants to start with stretches. When you’re doing any forms of stretches, ensure that the hips are squared. This means that the hips should be faced forward. There are chances that you may not be able to touch the ground. If you cannot, then you should raise the hands above the head if only you are able. Always give it time to allow room to sink as deep to the stretches as possible. If you get any issues that are compromising your health, you should definitely stop it.
Different types of stretches
There are several types of stretches that you can try today. Most of these stretches aim at making sure that you are flexible and ready to take different pole dancing moves. If you feel like this is eventually what you’ve been waiting for, then you can start by taking the below-explained flexibility steps.
Bridges to increase back Flexibility
Back Flexibility is very important. For that reason, you should start by lying at your back and bending the knees up. After this, you should place your ears with palms facing the ground. You should make sure that only the hands and the feet are touching the ground. The back should equally be arched. Making sure you’re in a bridge, straighten the arms and legs and even the shoulders until you feel fully stretched.
The waist and the shoulder should form a straight line to the floor. If you manage to achieve this, then you will automatically have achieved the best flexibility stage. The fingers and toes should be lined with the body and not turned out. After achieving this, slow the body back to the floor and tuck the chin towards the chest as you come down to relax. An elbow bridge can equally help achieve shoulder flexibility even as you straighten the legs and push forward.
Lower back stretches
This is the most basic yet the most beneficial type of stretching. Start by laying your stomach upside down. The legs should be straight. The arms should be bent with hands placed next to the armpit or the side. You should now pull the upper body from the ground and at the same time keep the hips firmly on the floor. You should at the same time give your body a gentle stretch by easily pushing back away from your hands. To benefit further, return to the natural lying position but make sure the arms are on your side. You should equally bend the knees in a manner that the feet are brought up and towards the back. Reach the hands up and take hold of your ankles and pull the legs up over the head. This should be done at the same time lifting the torso up off the ground.
Upper Back Stretches
The other way to stretch and get ready for Pole dancing is to try upper back stretches. To do this, kneel on your knees making sure the feet are flat on the ground. What this means is that the tops of the feet should be against the floor and at the same time keeping everything below the hips and vertically. After achieving this, try to go back as far as you can to achieve a stretch at the back. If you find this very easy, you can try to raise the arms above the head repeatedly. Do this allowing the pelvis and the upper legs to tilt backward. You can as well stretch above the head and not by your side. The head should be finically on the floor. One of the many reasons why I like this stretch method is the fact that it can equally stretch the quadriceps.
If you wanted to achieve flexibility and at the same time be more comfortable doing superman pose pole dance and shoulder mount pole dance, then this is the best stretch for you. However, I must confirm that this stretch can be very difficult for some of us especially beginners. If it’s too difficult for you, then you can keep practicing the bridge shift for a couple of weeks.
You should take this in a way that the weight should rest primarily on your arms. Besides this, you can try to straighten the knees. This method is very effective in stretching the upper back and the shoulders. This can take a lot of time and energy especially if you are a beginner and you don’t know where to start. But you shouldn’t let this define your strength. Do daily reparations and it will lead to gradual change that will be significant within a very short period of time. The most basic method is to straighten the knees and relax the back to an abnormal bridge. After that, walk the hands a little closer to the feet and repeat it until you reach a reasonable stretch. What follows is to bend the knees and at the same time lower yourself down in a way that your body is supported on your elbows and the hands are folded under the head. If you are able to achieve this, then you are practically ready for many pole dance moves.
Stretch for attitude
If you have wanted to get a stretch that will increase your back flexibility and splits for better performance in pole dancing, then this is the best method. Stretch for arabesque can improve the line of your attitude and at the same time lengthen the quadriceps. It can easily be achieved by the use of theraband.
Using the theraband, bend one of your legs depending on the stretch, and with one end of the theraband grasped in the hand, loop the center at the flat top of the foot. Regardless of the fact that some people can manage to do this stretch on their own, it is advised to have someone to support you. However, if you have the balance, you definitely don’t need anyone. After you’ve regained the balance, start extending the leg up and backward. This will target the muscles at the back. To get the best results, you should keep the supporting leg straight.
The tension at the theraband is necessary to pull the leg up and over your head. But do not make the upper body collapse. This means that you should hold yourself as upright as possible. For the best results, you can hold it here for about 10-15 minutes. Repeat the same with the other leg and you’ll achieve flexibility within the shortest time possible.
Stretching for Leg Flexibility
For pole dancing, leg flexibility is vital. What this means is that before you think of the best ways to make your body flexible, you will automatically have to consider leg flexibility. The best method for thigh and leg flexibility is the inner thigh and middle splits stretch. Such exercise focuses on making your inner leg, gluteal muscles, and Hamstring more flexible. This is actually what you need to achieve the best in terms of moving up and down the pole. If you are a pole dancer that wants to have the best leg flexibility, then you must make sure you have implemented some of the flexibility methods explained below.
Standing Straddle Stretch
This method is for everyone that wants to achieve inner thigh and hamstring muscle flexibility. You should start the method by easily choosing a natural standing position and eventually splitting the legs in a way that there’s a significant distance between the heels. This should be approximately one and half times the width of your shoulders. You can even make it wider and that will not do any harm. You can confirm to me that you’re now standing in a straddled position and the feet are facing forwards in a slight turn-out position. After you’ve achieved this, what follows is to shift the torso to the right in a manner that the upper body is in line with the right leg. You should gradually lean forward. Make sure you’ve achieved this as you keep the spine relatively flat.
Some people choose to use their hands to wrap around the ankle and pull it closer to the body. The main aim here is to press the entire upper body against the leg. This automatically impacts directly on your back muscles. You should return to the starting position and start the whole process with another leg. Repeat the whole position this time keeping the upper body over the middle of the legs while leaning forwards. One hand should be at the ankle every time and ensure that the chest is almost between the legs. The closer you come the better.
Tips and tricks of becoming more flexible as a pole dancer
Being flexible is very important especially if you want to become a perfect pole dancer. However, we have to agree that becoming flexible is not a one-day affair. Here are some tips on how to improve your flexibility for pole dancing.
Warm-up pre stretches
Before you consider any stretch, it’s very important to keep the muscles warm. However, I don’t mean that you should use stretches to warm up. As a matter of fact, stretches are a form of exercise that is as tiring as hitting the GYM. You should probably not consider using static stretches in any warm-up routine. This is mainly because stretches can put your body at a serious risk of injury. There’s actually a big difference between passive and active flexibility. Cold muscles should actually never be stretched because they can easily fracture. When the muscles are flexible, they are automatically more flexible and very easy to stretch.
Always breathe deeply
The instructor always reminds you to stretch which in many instances annoys the audience. The fact is that breathing deeply is very beneficial when working out. Deep breathes refreshes the mind and at the same time makes you more prepared to take the pole dancing challenge.
Overstretching and possible solutions
To become flexible and ready for sophisticated pole dancing moves, you should consider a stretching daily routine. Some exercises and pole dancing classes usually encourage specific stretching such as Pilates and Yoga. During such instances, there are chances that you can stretch your muscles significantly past their normal range of motion. This is what is regarded as overstretching.
When stretching normally, you’ll probably feel a significant pull in the muscle but this doesn’t mean that it will feel 100% comfortable. The University of Rochester recommends starting your stretches slowly and be keen to notice when you reach a point of muscle tension. After reaching this point, you should hold for at least 20 seconds.
Stretching should not be painful or cause any significant discomfort. In case you feel a sharp pain or a stabbing pain in your muscles, it means that you’ve stretched past their capacity of flexibility. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the main indication of overstretching is a feeling of soreness a few hours after the activity. Consequently, you should reduce the intensity of some of the stretches.
Stretching in some situations might appear as a strain or a sprain. A strain is usually caused by overexerting a tendon attached to the muscle-bone while a sprain is caused by tearing of a ligament that connects one bone to the other.
As a pole dancer, you probably should be very flexible. However, you should avoid overstretching as much as possible. One of the many ways of reducing instances of overstretching is through a warm-up before you start stretching. You can as well try light cardio and specific exercises that will prepare your muscles for the stretching session. Here are noteworthy other ways to avoid overstretching.
- Be Hydrated
- Always use proper stretching workout
- Always follow the guidance of your coach
- Avoid stretching when you are overly tired
- Always wear the right gear.
The dos and don’ts of stretching
- Always stretch after being physically active-This means that you should ensure that your muscles are ready for the task of the day. You can stretch passively before being active and try Static or PNF stretching after exercising.
- Always do Mild stretches daily-To make sure that your body is active and maintains flexibility, you should do some mild stretches every day.
- Do you have a health problem, take precautions-People with major health conditions such as osteoporosis should take some precautions. It doesn’t mean that you cannot stretch, only that the possibility of accidents is higher.
- Do not stretch an injured area-When stretching an injured area, there’s a possibility of feeling a mild discomfort or gentle pull. For that reason, avoid stretching an injured area.
- Don’t stretch after hard intervals
- Never do ballistic stretching or serious stretching on your own-Some pole dancers and athletes would consider doing ballistic stretching as part of their daily warm-up. However, you should always try Ballistic stretching under the guidance of your coach.
Does pole dancing make you more flexible?
Yes, pole dancing can make you overly flexible if done the right way. Being flexible is a health benefit because it reduces the risk of muscle soreness or muscle injury.
Why is flexibility effective in dance?
You should have a good range of motion aid to take the best dancing moves. Flexibility reduces the risk of soreness and injury and at the same time gives you room for the best pole dancing methods.
What are the benefits of being flexible?
Being flexible means fewer injuries, a positive state of mind, less pain and soreness, and several other benefits.
You must be very flexible to make it in pole dancing especially if you want to take some of the most urbane pole dancing moves such as superman pole dancing and shoulder mount pole dance. However, there are several things you should avoid during stretching to avoid soreness, pain, and discomfort. All that is explained above.