There are several safety measures you can do to avoid getting injured on the dance pole. If you own a studio or a gym, accidents will not only affect you or your students but can also mean the end of your business.
We’ve listed general tips that will help lower the risk of injuries but it doesn’t mean you’ll never get into any accident just by following these. You’re the one that has the sole control on what can happen during your exercise. Following our tips and combining them with alertness, a right presence of mind, and some common sense will help you finish your routine safely away from injuries.
General Tips to Save You from Serious Injuries
Keep your hands clean by washing them
Lotions, creams, and other oily substances will make your hand slippery and cause you to lose grip on the pole. Pole dancing calls for a strong grip and lotions won’t cut it.
Washing your hands helps remove all substances that may hinder you from properly gripping the dance pole. Also, if you’re in a classroom setting with several other pole dancing students, washing your hands can help prevent flu and colds from spreading.
Avoid wearing watches, rings, or any other kind of jewelry
Wearing jewelry during your routine may damage the pole or tarnish the item itself. What’s more painful is you can get blisters or abrasions by accidentally getting a part of your skin pinched in between the pole and the jewelry.
Wearing necklaces during inversions and spins may also pose hazards. These may either fly or get in the way of your eyes which are both distracting. You may suddenly lose grip and fall off to the floor because of this.
Don’t cover your palms
Directly holding the pole with your bare hands allows you to manipulate when to tighten or loosen the grip to perform the desired moves. Wearing grip-improving gloves and other kinds of clothing can hamper this kind of control, resulting in an unwanted outcome when you do spins and a few other moves. We only recommend using gauntlets that leave your palm uncovered so you can still feel the pole.
Other clothing may do the opposite of improving your grip by introducing a smoother surface between your palm and the pole, resulting in a slippery grip. This is not good if you want to do weight-bearing moves like climbing and spins where you need to maintain your position up on the pole.
Take note that having a good grip reduces the risk of getting injuries because you won’t fall off the pole easily. If you have sweaty palms or in a location where the pole may get moist due to temperature conditions, we recommend you use grip aids instead of grip gloves or clothing.
Have a helper or spotter nearby
The job of a spotter is to provide their full attention and support to you when you’re doing your moves. This is very important especially when you’re doing inversions and some advanced moves. You’ll never know when accidents may occur, so it’s better to have someone nearby that can help you immediately when something unexpected happens.
Spotters can also aid you in correcting your body form and placement of limbs when you’re performing difficult moves. This usually happens when you’re doing inversions in which looking at your lower limbs or at your back may be quite difficult.
Always have a Crash mat
Just like what its name states, it cushions your fall from the pole, preventing most injuries. Remember that pole dancing is just like any sport where accidents may happen anytime.
In 2010, a report about a woman who was doing an inverted pole trick fell head first on the floor. She was just a foot above the ground when this happened but she got her neck broken and severely damaged her spinal cord after the incident, in a few other incident reports some dancers have died be sustaining serious head injuries caused by common inversion tricks.
Accidents like this are uncommon but you don’t want to wait for this to happen to you. You can reduce the risk of serious injuries by getting a crash mat for your pole at home and in the dance studio. Dance studios and gyms holding pole dancing classes should always have crash mats in place, especially in areas where they’re teaching beginners basic pole climbing moves.
But this is not always the case, its easier to open up a pole studio and some studios do not have the proper safety equipment like crash mats. If this is the case in the pole classes that you attend then you should take it upon yourself to either buy your own crash mat and invest in your safety or go to a more reputable pole fitness studio. When it concerns serious injury which can change your life or even kill you, then its highly recommended that you take the proper precautions and not to skip out on your personal safety.
Read more on the best stripper pole dance crash mat options.
We’ve reiterated the importance, and probably the necessity, of having this gear in several articles. Just like in gymnastics, the main purpose of this gear is to cushion your fall and prevent you from directly hitting the hard floor in case of accidents. Pole dancers have higher chances of falling off the pole when they’re doing inversions and similar advanced moves.
Spotters may not also be around all the time, especially when you’re at home practicing your craft. Having a safety mat adds confidence that you’ll be safe when you suddenly fall off the pole.
To avoid injuries on the pole
- Adequately warm up your muscles to avoid strains and prevent yourself from getting exhausted easily. Just five to ten minutes of warm up exercises are enough to keep your joints and muscles oxygenated and lubricated, ready for the strenuous activity to come.
- Improve your sense of awareness and motor control. Having complete focus and presence of mind enables you to know which body part to use in certain moves and in unexpected situations.
- Before you hold the dance pole, wash your hands to remove any residual lotion, oil, or cream on your hands which may cause you to lose your grip during the routine.
- Remove jewellery, watches, or rings you’re wearing. These items may cause damage to the item itself, scratch the pole permanently, or worse, cause abrasions to your skin when it gets stuck in between the pole and your jewellery.
- Don’t cover your palms with gloves or any type of clothing. Although many manufacturers market pole dancing gloves to improve your grip on the pole, they may hinder you from doing smoother spins and other moves.
- Have a spotter nearby to help you in case anything unexpected happens.
- Install a crash mat to cushion your fall, especially when there’s no spotter around to help you.
- Check the pole if it’s still secure by doing load tests. Don’t just climb the pole without doing this precautionary measure.
- Remember when to stop and give time for your muscles to relax and recover. Pushing your body too hard may strain your muscles, or worse injure yourself to the point that the damage is irreparable. Tired muscles will also work improperly and will not help you achieve the correct form.
These 3 items are not necessary but may help a lot in reducing the chances of injuries, especially the first one.
- Crash mats. These will cushion you from directly hitting the floor which may lead to serious injuries.
- Grip aids. We recommend that you use this instead of wearing gloves if you have sweaty palms or any condition which may cause you to suddenly lose grip.
- Arm warmers. These prevent you from getting pole burns and may also add some visuals to your pole dancing act.
There are inexpensive products the can decrease the risks of falls from excessive sweating. Grip aids make your hand stickier instead of smoother’ so you can tightly grip the pole without any extra effort. There’s no getting around sweaty palms from working out, some people may sweat more than others and this is why gripping aids are so common place in pole dance studios.
It can also be used on other parts of your body like arms, legs, or any body part which directly comes in contact with the dance pole for additional grip. While grip aids can’t guarantee you from falling off the pole it can help whether you’re doing basic or intermediate moves, it won’t hurt to use grip aids for an extra layer of protection.
Pole burns can hurt, aside from being ugly to look at when traced along your skin. Risks of pole burns may also get you distracted and hesitant to do a certain move. And because you want to avoid getting pole burns, this may force you to grip the pole improperly or put yourself in an awkward position which may lead to further injuries.
There are a variety of arm warmers and gauntlets you can wear to protect your forearm from getting scratched. The clothing should only cover your whole arm except for your hands to allow you to maintain a nice grip on the pole.
Remember that while this protects your arm from pole burns, it may also lessen the area you can use for gripping the pole because of the slippery material used in the clothing.
If you want to protect your hands too, there are gloves specially made for pole dancing. This doesn’t necessarily decrease your grip so you might want to give it a try. We don’t recommend this type of gloves, though.
- Bumps and bruises are commonly seen on the ankles, upper arms, and inner thighs. For minor bruises, a bag of ice or cold pack will do the trick. Wrap the ice pack with cloth and put it on the affected area for 10 minutes, repeating this every hour until the swelling reduces.
- For pole burns, an ice pack or even frozen vegetables applied on the affected area will do. Use similar procedures for treating bumps and bruises described above.
- For muscle sores, a hot bath with Epsom salt will ease the pain. Rinse the salt off quickly by showering afterward.
- Foot pains are common to those who wear high heels all throughout their routine. Learn a few massage techniques to alleviate foot soreness after your pole dancing exercise.
- For more severe pain, it’s better to consult your physician immediately to trace its cause.
Pole dancing is a fun and entertaining way to get fit and healthy. But just like in any sport or dance, we should properly observe safety measures so as to not get injured to the point where we can’t practice our routine anymore.
Do regular safety checks on equipment
Always check your equipment first before proceeding with the exercise proper. Examine the cotter pins, screws, the fittings, and the nuts and bolts of your pole before you actually use it.
A few minutes of checking is definitely worth it because it’s your safety that’s involved in this exercise. Failing to do so may result in accidents and unwanted injuries. You wouldn’t want to just suddenly perform inversion tricks, only to find out later when you’re already on the floor suffering from injuries, that the screws on the ceiling have already loosened due to heavy use.
We’ve made a short video on how to do load tests on a removable pole. This will help you find out if your equipment is still ready for use or if you need to do some adjustments to avoid accidents.
Never take your equipment for granted, whether it be your dance pole, safety mat, or clothing. Always check them thoroughly before proceeding with your exercise to reduce chances of getting injured.
These are just some of the things you will use the most in pole dance class and in most cases you may be required to purchase your own supplies to bring to pole dance class or at home training. Make the crash mat the number 1# priority above all else when investing in your safety and a grip aid another essential
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