Let’s talk about that magical, bendy move that eludes even some of the bendiest polers, the eagle. This is, hands down, the most rewarding pole trick I have ever mastered. It takes an enormous amount of strength, flow, and of course flexibility. I want to be able to share how you can achieve the same pure joy if this one is on your list. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it is hard. Day one of getting this move, I could barely breathe in it. Now, I can do it with my eyes closed and it feels great (kind of)!An eagle takes a combination of flexibility skills. In this series, “the Eagle Project”, I am going to give you stretches that can be done every day in order to gain the proper flexibility for an eagle on the pole. I will also include how to go about contorting on and off the pole. This move combines shoulder, back, and leg flexibility. We will start with shoulders. These are something you can safely stretch every day. And you should! We get so tight when pole dancing so it is important to maintain mobility. Here are four helpful stretches for opening up those shoulders (and some upper back)!
*Before doing any stretches, make sure you’re entire body is warm and blood is flowing!*
For this one you will need a yoga strap (If you do not have one of these, a scarf or large t-shirt, rolled up, will do)
Start holding the strap above you in a taut V, then pull one arm down so that the other ends up next to your ear, and pull back. Make sure you keep your elbows straight and your wrists engaged.
Puppy Dog Pose
Start on the ground in all fours and slide your arms out in front of you. Keep you hips stacked over your knees and you head looking past your arms.
The goal is to get your chest on the ground. Keep that back engaged as if you’re trying to get your tailbone to touch your head (for a back bending bonus!)
1st set (Pictured on the left) – start with your arms reaching up the wall straight out from your shoulders. Push that chest in to the wall and look up and past your hands. Makes sure your hips are stacked over your ankles. For a deeper stretch, you can either inch your hands down or bend your knees and straighten (allowing yourself to sink lower in to the stretch).
2nd set (Pictured on the right) – Everything is the same as set 1 except your arms. You will cross one arm over the other, allowing you’re your fingers to touch your shoulders. Then push your elbows on to the wall and continue with pushing your chest to the wall and looking up. (Warning: This is very intense on the neck) – Make sure you do both sides and switch which hand is on top!
3rd set – walk back so that your hands are straight out in front of you and in line with your shoulders. Glue those hands where they are on the wall and walk your feet back, allowing your chest to push to ground and past your arms. Let gravity pull your chest to the ground. (Once again, hips should stay in line with ankles).
And that is it for the shoulders! Stay tuned for more eagle adventures and happy stretching! 🙂