Pole 101 – Proper Fundamentals

Belén is a prominent fitness professional with over a decade of experience in Fitness and Health. Her credentials include Personal Trainer Specialist and Weight Trainer Instructor, Aerobics Instructor, Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist, Sports Core Trainer and Certified Pole Fitness Instructor. Belen is also a continuing education credits provider with Canfitpro, leader of fitness professionals in Canada. She is a co-owner / Vice President of PoleFit Canada and board member of CPFA.

Proper biomechanics, technique, strength and control are integral to injury prevention and for proper exercise training development. It is extremely important to follow progressive and systematic Pole training in order to build the strength, coordination, adequate muscle recruitment and flexibility necessary to perform more advanced moves.

Proper body alignment is not only the foundation for each Pole move but also the most mechanically efficient and safest position for the body to maintain while moving around the pole. With good fundamentals, we can safely create and prolong momentum for spinning, sustain static holds and beautiful poses, move gracefully from one move to the next one without jeopardizing joint integrity or safety, and not to mention that exercises also becomes easier and more fluent.

While often exposing the joints to stresses cannot be avoided, caution can be used to maximize joint safety:

  • Shoulders: always work within normal range of motion and keep engaged at all times by activating the Latissimus Dorsi , Rhomboids Minor and Major as well as Mid and Lower Trapezius.
  • Wrist: keep in neutral alignment during most weight bearing exercises and do not allow it to wrap around the pole.
  • Elbows: do not lock or hyperextend while performing straight-arm exercises; keep joint soft at all times.
  • Knees: avoid pivoting on a planted foot.
  • Neck: use caution with hyperextension

Progressive and systematic Pole training will allow your body to achieve positive adaptations to exercise by becoming stronger, recovering faster, recruiting necessary muscles more effectively, as well as being able to sustain exercise for longer periods of time, which is much needed during pole routines. Asking too much too soon of the body is usually reflected in injuries and overtraining. Some of the most common overtraining symptoms to watch for and use as guidelines to modify our training include:

  • poor performance;
  • increased resting heart rate and / or blood pressure;
  • eating and sleeping problems;
  • general fatigue and fatigue during training;
  • aching muscles;
  • weight loss;
  • physiological problems, such as difficulty concentrating, restlessness, irritability and anxiety;
  • susceptibility to illness, colds, etc.

Us “pole-addicts” have this unstoppable desire to quickly excel and advance at pole, but we also need to truly understand that there are many small steps along the way that need to be accomplished first, in order to safely reach our mile stones. Ignoring progression or even rushing throughout training can unfortunately put us “out of the game”, compromising our health and safety. Simply by following injury prevention methods and proper pole fundamentals, we can safely enjoy the training process, achieve better results and challenge ourselves endlessly…as far as our imagination can take us on the pole.

Stay tuned for my next article on Pole Artistry!

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