Pole dance and muscles
Pole dancing from a beginner level strengthens your arms, back, shoulder and upper body muscles as well as your core. Even with beginner spins, you are supporting the weight of your body, and your muscles quickly develop to do this easily. Body weight exercises are very popular nowadays because of how affective they are and pole dance is one of these.
If you learn routines and combinations to music, that’s more like cardio exercise or a combination of cardio and muscular exercise.
Pole dance courses and lessons are designed to strengthen the body parts that you’ll need later for more advanced moves. Therefore, you do not need to be fit or strong prior to your first pole dance class. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t climb a rope at school, or if you have zero upper body strength, you will soon develop the muscles you need.
Stretching classes, yoga and ballet classes compliment pole dance. They are a beneficial additional workout that will improve flexibility and focus, which is particularly important once you start practising moves at a harder level.
Pole Dance and Injuries
After your first pole dance class you will experience strange and strong muscle soreness because you will have activated muscles that you didn’t know existed. This could happen up to 48 hours after a pole class, it doesn’t always occur right away. To try and prevent this, it’s very important to warm up your muscles before pole dancing and cool down afterwards. After a class, try a hot bath to relax the muscles.
When you first try pole dancing, it’s very tempting to try all the moves at once but be patient and leave time for your muscles to get used to the moves. Your muscles will gradually become used to the workout and you will start to feel less and less sore after a class.
Even if you warm up well before a class injuries can still happen. The most common pole dance injuries include those to the wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and intercostal. The most pressure is applied to the shoulders, which is another reason to train both sides – so you don’t risk fatiguing the muscles and injuring them that way. Intercostal muscles may be harmed if your weight is constantly on one arm.
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an injury, use the R.I.C.E. technique to aid the healing process
- Rest – Rest and relax the muscle
- Ice – Wrap ice or frozen vegetables in a towel and place on the injured muscle
- Compression – Apply pressure to the injury
- Elevation – Elevate the affected area if you can
If you experience pain for a prolonged period of time, consult a health professional.
Pole dance and Shoulders
A simple shoulder movement incorporates a lot of muscles. The important muscle group for pole dancers is the rotator cuff. This is a group of nerves, which are connected and covering the shoulder. Its main function is to assist with the use of the arm, particularly lifting the arm.
Studies have found that women are more likely to suffer a shoulder injury than men. Being older also heightens this risk. If there is damage to your rotator cuff then it’s likely that you won’t be able to lift your arm above your head. Avoid this pain by remembering to rest in between practice sessions.
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