What are your flexibility goals?
As pole dancers we all have them at least a dozen reasons or moves that we want to be flexy for. How do you set your goals? How do you follow through with them? What pole moves are you working on that require more flexibility? Who inspires you? Post your answers on the discussion board.
I am very careful with flexibility it is one thing to strain a muscle but ripping and tearing muscles is no joke and may require months away from the pole. So my flexy journey is slow going but it improves greatly with consistent hard work.
What works for me might not work for someone else but here is what I do and when I am consistent it works very well.
My basic stretching plan.
FIND A GREAT CLASS
I take a stretch class usually once a week however if they offered this class more than once a week I would probably take it 2x a week.. I tried hot yoga and it was so not for me. I go to Birds Eye View Circus school for this class. Search for a class that you enjoy going to. If you don’t like it you won’t probably continue going.
I started doing this because I was looking for someone to correct me when I was doing the stretch wrong. Because of my pre-pole injuries (broken hip) I often compensate in small ways that actually hinder my progress. I did have to mention to the instructors that I would like them to correct me and that I would not be embarrassed if they did. I know as an pole dance teacher that some students don’t want to be singled out so if you know that you have issues speak to the teacher before class and let him or her know that you may need some correction.
What do you need from a class start there and talk to instructors. I asked questions before I committed to a class. Many studios offer a drop in class rate and it is usually worth it if you are not sure you will like the class.
STRETCH AFTER EVERY WORK OUT
I always stretch after a pole dance, aerial arts or gym session. I try to save 10-15 minutes at the end of each class I teach and after my personal workouts. I don’t the muscles I worked I tend to get stiff and lose progress in my flexibility goals. This type of stretching does not typically increase flexibility for me but it keeps me from going backwards.
SET REASONABLE GOALS
This is a big one! It is hard to set time based goals for flexibility sometimes you will get stuck somewhere and just have to keep working on it. I suggest making a few big goals with no deadlines and then steps that will get your there. Also leave a little wiggle room so if you find something isn’t working for you you can evaluate and change those goals. Making goals like I want my splits in 30 days will make you feel like you failed if you are not touching down.
I am have touched ground a few times in my middles split it has been my monthly goal for probably like six months. I still work on back and shoulder flexibility and my front splits but I spend more time working on this aspect because it has always been the one I am closest to. My next goal will be to be comfortable in my middle splits once I can hit them consistently. Once I hit that I will choose another main goal and work as many months as it takes to get to a set point.
Find what works for you just don’t try to force your flexibility.
Mix and Match
I tend to get bored easily so I mix and match videos and other training resources to get more flexibility time in. I am a big fan of Cleo’s The Hurricane’s videos for flexibility and the videos by Fit &Bendy I also have a video by Amy Hazel I like but I need a partner to do some of the work.
I also sometimes take a lyra or silks class to mix it up and work on some of the stretchy moves on those apparatuses. I also keep trying the moves I am working towards sometimes it just takes getting into them consistently and feeling really solid and comfortable. Once your solid you feel safer to really stretch out into the move.
Foam rollers are awesome if you don’t own one please go get one today! If you are feeling super tight you can use one before you stretch or if you are short on stretching time after your workout you can roll those muscles you worked for a quick massage.
My final note is you can do light stretching every day but if you intend to do intense stretching I would not suggest more than 3 days a week. You can over stretch, especially when you are starting out. If you want to stretch more that 3 days a week please be careful and work up to it.
Lets talk about this!