It’s very important for you, as a pole dancer, to protect your wrists. Your wrists will be under a lot of stress during a pole dance session, especially when performing split grip moves such as pencil, handspring and butterfly.
Even when doing handstands, your wrists take a lot of strain. Protecting your wrists will prolong your ability to practice more without injuring yourself (and that’s the last thing you want to do – trust me!)
There’s not much muscle around your wrist joints, your forearms have some muscle when your poor wrist joints are taking a lot of strain. Fortunately, there are many ways for you to protect your wrists when pole dancing.
- Wrist Injuries To Avoid When Pole Dancing
- Examples Of Pole Moves That Put Stress On Your Wrists
- 1. Always Warm Up Your Wrists Properly
- 2. Always Stretch At The End Of Your Workout
- 3. Use Wrist Protectors
- 4. Work On Your Grip Strength
- 5. Do Yoga Regularly
- 6. Give Your Wrists A Break!
- 7. Make Sure You Get Plenty Of Omega3 In Your Diet
Wrist Injuries To Avoid When Pole Dancing
- Tendon injuries
- Strained muscles
- Repetitive strain (e.g. Carpel Tunnel)
- More serious injuries, such as fractures
Examples Of Pole Moves That Put Stress On Your Wrists
Many pole dancing moves may be stressful for your wrists, including:
- Split Grip Pose
- Twisted Grip Handspring
- Twisted Grip Dismount
- Extended Bufferfly
- Flatline Scorpio
- Layback (bottom hand on)
- Carousel Spin
Also, these common exercises may cause trouble for your wrists:
- Tricep Dips
- Straight-armed planks
If you find yourself struggling with these moves, or if your wrists hurt more than you would like them to, then this guide is for you!
This article contains plenty of expert tips for protecting your wrists when pole dancing.
How To Protect Your Wrists When Pole Dancing
1. Always Warm Up Your Wrists Properly
Before you even touch the pole, your body should be properly warmed up, that includes all of your joints and especially your wrists.
After performing some light cardio to increase your heartbeat, you should work on warming up your joints. When it comes to your wrists:
- twist your wrists in opposite directions,
- shake your hands,
- tense and un-tense your fingers,
- gently bend your wrists back and forth.
Please don’t rush through this step – all fitness experts will agree that warming up is vital in order to prevent injury.
Cold joints are like cold blue-tac, it’s very easy to rip or tear, but if you warm them up then they will be more supple and flexible.
2. Always Stretch At The End Of Your Workout
Just like warming up, deep stretching at the end of a workout session is beneficial. Stretching after a workout will help increase your flexibility over time.
Don’t rush your stretching either! To stretch your wrists, hold your arms straight out in front of you and use your other hand to slowly bend your wrist back until you feel it stretch. Then repeat the motion but by bending your hand forward. Hold these stretches for 10-15 seconds for each hand.
3. Use Wrist Protectors
Wrist protectors or wrist wraps are designed to keep an athlete’s wrist protected when they’re working out. They’re so popular, most sports players, across many different sports, wear some form of wrist protection.
It’s common to see gymnasts, bodybuilders, basketball players, weightlifters, dancers or field athletes wearing wrist straps.
4. Work On Your Grip Strength
Working on your grip strength will have the added benefit of strengthening the tendons in your wrists too.
Here are some things you can do to work towards improving your grip strength:
Grip Strength Trainer
These are pretty straightforward to use! Hold it in your hand, getting your fingers into the grooves and slowly squeeze.
Do this for 5-10 minutes on each hand daily. The slower you do these, the better they will work!
GyroBall Hand Exerciser
How To Use A Gyroball
Using a gyroball can be quite tricky and may take you a bit of practice to get it right! They will usually come with a piece of string which fits neatly into the dent around the plastic ball in the middle.
- Wrap the string tightly around the ball, feeding it through using the groove that goes all the around it
- Leave a little bit of excess string – long enough for you to hold between your thumb and forefinger
- Hold the ball steady with one hand, then pull the string hard and fast with your other hand
- Start moving the hand that’s holding it in small circles with your arm outstretched (or with a slight bend at your elbow)
When it gets going properly, it will sound like a mini engine and will work all of the muscles in your arm, as well as your wrist!
Aim for 5-10 minutes with each hand, 3 times per week.
Therapy putty is recommended by physiotherapists for people who are recovering from injuries, but it’s also really useful for improving your hand, finger and wrist strength.
The different colors of putty have a different level of resistance, with yellow being the least resistant and blue being the most.
How To Use Therapy Putty
- Roll out the putty into a long snake-like shape onto a table or other flat surface. Using your fingers individually, press as hard as you can into the putty until it’s all completely flat
- Use the putty like a stress ball, try using each of your fingers individually to squeeze it, then squeeze with all of them at once
- Wrap the putty around and in-between your fingers, then squeeze your fingers together until the putty is flattened between your fingers
5. Do Yoga Regularly
Yoga is a great way to build your wrist strength gently. It is an excellent way to complement your pole dancing workouts and will make you stronger and more flexible in the long-term.
Yoga is known for having many health benefits, including stronger joints; I highly recommend that everyone works yoga into their weekly routine as it really improves your well-being.
Specific Yoga Moves To Strengthen Your Wrists
- Salutation seal
- Scale Pose
- Side Plank
- Upward Plank
- Upward Facing Dog
These more advanced yoga moves will also help:
- Crow Pose
- Peacock Pose
- Shoulder-Pressing Pose
- Eight-Angle Pose
Don’t delay – get into yoga as soon as possible! Yoga also breaks up your regular pole dancing routine, giving yourself a break for doing the same exercises and motions over and over again…
6. Give Your Wrists A Break!
If your wrists are aching more than usual, then give them a rest for a few days. Certain pole moves are more demanding than others, so it may be a good idea to shelve those tricks for a week or so while you let your body recover.
Instead, try working on moves that don’t put so much pressure on your wrists, such as:
- Cross-knee Release
- Cross-ankle Release
- Jade Splits
- Attitude Spins
- Inverted Crucifix
- Pole Seat
7. Make Sure You Get Plenty Of Omega3 In Your Diet
Omega3, 6 and 9 are important for keeping your joints strong and healthy. These foods contain lots of Omega3:
- Sea vegetables/algae
- Grass-fed meat.
If you’re not good at being strict with your diet, then you may find that vitamins or supplements help. I get all my vitamins from eVitamins as they sell months’ worth of supplements for about $15 and they ship internationally.
So, those are my top tips for protecting your wrists when pole dancing! If you have any tips of your own, please share them by leaving a comment below.
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