As you may remember from my first Pole Con blog post, I am a huge fan of the trixster side of pole – my “pole strength” is my strength, my go to, the side of me that jumps up and down clapping and smiling; I’m naturally drawn to those types of moves. I love handspring-ing and I have loved working on different grip and leg variations.
Pole is constantly evolving, which is one of the many reasons why I love it – there is always some amazing, crazy strong guy or girl on Instagram (Yes, I do love looking and trying moves from Instagram, but only with my instructors or a heavy spotter! – Be Safe!!) who shows a new move, or a new combo, or just something makes you go “OH MY GOSH I NEED TO DO THAT.” There is just a constant litany of moves – where is a poler to start?
The arrival of the new year heralds the arrival of its oft-maligned friend: Resolutions. Goal-Setting. Trying to make ourselves better. And pole is certainly no exception. Whether it is to finally nail that move you’ve been trying to get, improving strength, or improving flexibility, there a few tips and tricks that can make your 2015 goals a reality!
- First, and probably the hardest, is to select goals that are reasonable. Set yourself up for success. Now, that’s not to say that you should put that Rainbow Marchenko or Fonji or *insert name of crazy trick here* on your pole goals list. It means that you have to know yourself and your body. For example, if you only go to pole once per week, and you don’t do that much cross training, then it is going to be difficult to achieve those crazy strong power moves.
- Second, and linked to the first – create an action plan that will help you achieve them. If you’re looking to get an iron-x (one of my personal favorite moves), you should first look at what moves you have: are you at a solid butterfly? Can you extend it comfortably? Are you a handspringing fiend and just need to work on that muscle control? Or are you a new inverter and the thought of taking your torso away from the pole is terrifyingly awesome? Ask your instructor for intermediate goal moves that you can work on that will also help you achieve your pole goal. Don’t be afraid to ask other polers in your classes for advice as well – open pole times are a great resource. Sometimes it just takes that little phrase from someone else that makes you go – “oooooooh!”.
- Third, train, but don’t overtrain. The “Goldilocks” phenomenon is definitely something that we see all the time in pole, and it can vary tremendously from poler to poler. You’re never going to get a move if you don’t train it, but if you overtrain a move, you run a very high risk of injury. My personal 2015 pole goals include the twisted grip phoenix (this is a reverse grab/flying body spin that I turn into a deadlifted twisted grip ayesha/handspring). Both these moves individually are hard on the top shoulder – so even though I want to train it every chance I get, I know that I’m being kinder to my body by only working it once a week.
- Don’t forget to take those photos and videos! Even if you don’t post them on Facebook and Instagram (which I totally do!), keep them to mark your work! I promise you’ll be amazed when you can see your progress! (Lots of exclamation points there, but I feel very strongly about photographic evidence!)
So to answer the question I asked in the title – no, you don’t have to learn every crazy trick. We all come from different backgrounds and have different levels of comfort with the crazy tricks. Some of us want to do them, and some of us don’t. Maybe you want to get your splits in 2015 – maybe you want to be able to handstand or forearm stand without a support. But training with a goal in mind may surprise you – as you get stronger/more flexible/more confident, you are going to find that other moves start to become easier as well. Those aerial inverts no longer involve audible grunting; your “bad” side starts to look less like it’s from a completely different person; those legs start to stay straighter in your transitions.
So go ahead polers – pick those moves. Work hard, stay safe, and take those pics! I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store!
- “OMG STOP DOING THAT, or things this instructor wants to hammer into your head (but realizes you have to figure it out for yourself)” - November 25, 2016
- “Shake it off”: How to Start Incorporating Dance into Your Pole Class - January 1, 2016
- What Happens When Your Routine Gets Messed Up… er REVAMPED—Part 2 - October 30, 2015