Why would you do anything other than train pole? As Pole Dancers we want to spend as much time flying round as possible – but here are a few reasons why you might look for some alternatives to help you along the way:
1) Time – you want to live on the pole but you only have ‘x’ amount of time per week to get to a pole class and that isn’t enough!
2) No home pole – You’ve tried to convince your landlord/housemate/significant other that you don’t really need a living room and that it would be better served as a personal pole studio but they aren’t being compliant.
3) You’ve hit a plateau in training that you can’t seem to push past.
4) You’ve found yourself becoming injured more often
5) You want to get out in front with pole tricks so when you come to try them you already have the strength and flexibility ready.
6) You want to benefit your body and pole ability in a multitude of ways and are looking to mix things up.
Technique classes can improve your strength and flexibility, but this is not usually the main focus. As much as we try to remain balanced, we do train asymmetrically on the pole – it’s simply the nature of the beast.
As with any specialized exercise, certain muscles are being worked more than others and this is a battle between becoming unbalanced/potentially-injured VS refining your body to become a pole-dancing machine.
Usually the people seeking out answers are in the frustrating situation of feeling or being further back than they were before, due to over-training, injury or pole plateaus.
During a technique class there is not usually time to do sufficient repetitions to see improvements fast enough for our appetite to progress. We are focused on the movement itself, not improving the mechanics to assist us.
That’s not to say this doesn’t happen – we can all appreciate the strength and flexibility gains seen through simply taking a pole class, but having some options to improve without relying just on the pole can be very advantageous.
Off The Pole Workouts
This all started with my own journey in pole, and the factors that have led me here include:
1) Being self taught –having to ‘reverse engineer’ a trick- knowing that I would not necessarily have the right technique for a while so would need the control to work it out during the trick itself rather than know the perfect steps.
2) Competing – this takes it’s toll on the body as your pushing to your limits and training through aches, pains and niggles.
3) Instructing – Teaching is a lot of repetition and also doesn’t allow you to rest when sometimes you should. You rely on your body to be ready and on call for long periods of time and potentially push through fatigue more than is recommended.
4) Travel/work – fighting to balance between wanting freedom of movement and long periods of sitting/driving/admin. In the past few years this is where I have spent most of my focus – in the smaller changes to posture, balancing exercises and mobility.
We expect our bodies to perform like athletes but we don’t have the team around us like they do! It’s up to us to give ourselves the best platform to develop our pole skills. This includes taking some time to invest in strength, conditioning and mobility work. Which is what OTP is all about- bringing together Pole-specific information so you can find exactly what you need and know that it will directly benefit your pole dancing.
My love for pole pushed me to look for pole fitness alternatives that would increase my longevity on the pole and hopefully reach the many students and instructors I’ve met around the world, who seem to be growing increasingly frustrated with injuries and not seeing the improvements they want/expect.
It is a great passion of mine to help research and develop this way of thinking so we can pole MORE not less – but adding in some conditioning and strength training, we can train smart and dance more <3