Better Safe Than Sexy…
It’s funny that I chose this topic to write about. I overpracticed shoulder mounting and twisted ballerina in the advanced workshop with Madeline. My own fault, I knew I was doing too much on that shoulder. But me being the overachiever I am told my aching shoulder to shut it, and I kept going. First of all Madeline is amazing!!!! AND SAFE! She gave me so many tips and tricks to help my leg switch and tweaks on my shoulder mount. I cannot wait to start classes with her May 17th! However, I overdid it (AGAIN) and fear I may have really hurt my shoulder this time. After a long hot bath, ice, and a ton of muscle rub it still hurts into my neck so I’m going to be smart and no poling this week. Remember the pole mantra! It’s always better to be safe than sexy…..
I took a tumble at a Halloween party last year, whose fault? I blame 33% alcohol, 33% sticky boots and 33% stupid unsafe showboating trying to show off a thigh angel (which I can do now…after 6 months of avoidance). My experience has always been a safe one. My teachers are well trained and emphasize safety above all else. I have asked to try a crazy trick and have been told no because my instructor knows I’m not ready for it yet. Here are some tips I gathered from my master teacher Barbara to help keep you safe AND sexy.
Shoulder Engagement – stick your girls out! Take a deep breath and draw your shoulders back and down. When you dance your chest should be out and your shoulders should be back and engaged. If you fall out of engagement during a trick.. STOP THE TRICK! Continuing in bad form is inviting a pulled muscle or worse, an injured shoulder can take a long time to heal and that means no pole time.
Keep your wrists straight – Keeping your wrists aligned will prevent you from over straining and possibly injuring your wrists and forearms in the process. Think about this in all your pole moves, especially those that require a bracket hold (push pull hold). It will ultimately make your trick prettier but more importantly, it will prevent you from straining your wrists and forearms.
Spotters and Crash Mats – Learning new tricks is so exciting! Just remember if you are performing tricks that you haven’t mastered or aren’t fully comfortable with always use a crash mat or a spotter to make sure you don’t seriously injure yourself.
Breathe – Remember to breathe! It’s happened to all of us, whether inverting, climbing or spinning, we hold our breath. Proper breathing will enable you to perform your trick with a little more ease and you will be surprised at how much easier (and prettier) things are when you breathe.
No Jumping On the Pole – Not only is it not sexy, it’s an invitation to hurt yourself. All moves on the pole should be performed in a slow and controlled manner. It’s sexy and safe!
Safe Inverting – Always, Always, ALWAYS tuck your chin to chest when descending from an invert if you haven’t mastered it. You will avoid possibly serious neck injuries this way. If you are at home and do not have a crash mat, practice on the ground first. It will allow you to feel what muscles you need to hold the move, so you can engage properly.
Patience and safety go hand in hand with pole. Remember this is your journey and to take it at your own pace. Don’t rush it! It’s all about you!
See you ‘round the poles!