To The Beginner Pole Dancer: 5 Things to Start Now
Your Future Pole Dancing Self Will Thank You For Doing These
In writing this blog, I consulted with my Legends class, a group of ladies that have been pole dancing for 4+ years each. Please take this advice from us as these might be items we wish we had been doing much sooner.
The lats (latissimus dorsi) are often overlooked in workouts because finding an accessible apparatus or a modification to fit your ability level can be challenging. Having strong lats will increase the momentum of your spins, ability to climb the pole, and the favorite for so many, increase your ability to invert and shoulder mount with ease! You do not need strong lats on your first day of pole dancing, nor will you need to be able to do a pull up for many months into your classes. However, it is better to start increasing your strength before you do need it.
The best way to ensure you’re training your lats is to make the Chrome Con class at Chrome Fitness a part of your regular routine. We work our lats by doing pullups on a suspension trainer, which can be adjusted to fit all ability levels. Some at home methods include using a pull up assistance band with a pull up bar. A pull up bar can be installed at home or use one at your local playground.
There’s no need for crazy contortion flexibility or over splits, but a good front split (or flexibility darn near close to a split) will help with many pole moves. There’s plenty of tricks that don’t require a set amount of flexibility, but it’s almost guaranteed that you will see a move that involves a split and have a desire to do it.
Flexibility gains really do take a lot of time, so it is best to start training your splits now. For best results make sure to warm up the muscles you intend to stretch for 5-10 minutes with dynamic movements like squats or lunges. Hold a stretch for 15-20 seconds, rest, and repeat. As with strength training, increase the time you hold a stretch and increase the number of reps you do every few weeks. Stretching can be practiced multiple times a week.
Additionally, check out our Yoga and Ballet & Jazz Technique class for instructor led stretching classes.
3. Both Sides
Your instructor harps on this constantly in class, but there are real reasons why it is important to work both sides on every move. In total honesty, it takes much longer to feel comfortable on the non-dominant side than the dominant side. It may never feel equivalent, but a general knowledge and comfort of using the other side will benefit you greatly – and warm your instructor’s heart!
Injury prevention is the most important reason to equally work both sides in pole. Imbalanced muscles can cause injuries and joint pain. You wouldn’t do bicep curls on only one arm at the gym, so why only use one side as your dominant arm for spins, climbing, or inverts?
Pole combo execution is the second reason to train both sides. At some point in your pole training, you will encounter a really awesome trick combo that requires you to do a move on your non-dominant. Oh no, not the other side! Rather than feel stunted at this point in the combo because you’ve never even tried an invert on that side, move through it with confidence as you have been practicing both sides since day 1.
4. Dance and Flow
It is easy to get wrapped up in learning all the tricks and fancy moves, but the ability to flow around the pole and floor can make a routine great! Pole competition requirements ask for even time spent on spin pole, static pole, and floorwork. The floorwork is often the most challenging part for dancers to create. Invest the time now to take dance classes to learn basic pirouettes, toe pointing, leaps, and floor rolls.
Chrome Fitness offers dance classes such as Ballet & Jazz Technique and Back It Up! which is a hip hop choreography class. We also offer pole flow classes such as DancEmotion which is a loosely choreographed, freestyle class and Chrome Choreo which is a low flow pole choreography class.
5. Video Recording
Take lots of videos of your routine performances and new moves in class. Visually reviewing your pole practice helps you to see what you do well and what needs improvement. Watching your routine run-throughs can also help you remember the routine and prepare for the next class.
It’s nice to be able to look back at where you started. You might find yourself in a period where you feel like you have plateaued, but when you watch videos from a few weeks ago, a few months, or even a year ago, you will see how much bigger your spins are, how cleaner your climbs and inverts are, and how much stronger you look.
So you don’t want to be the next YouTube sensation? Upload your videos as unlisted on YouTube and they won’t be searchable. If you want to share your video with someone, then copy & paste the URL and send it. You could also sign up for a DropBox account and upload your videos there. This is not a public domain so no one can see your videos unless you share the URL.