Sometimes, as a pole dancer, you’ll find yourself hitting a plateau in your progress. No matter how often you practice, your progress seems to have… halted. If this sounds familiar to you, then you’re probably in a position where it’s time to up your game.
This article is about lifestyle and habits that could be harming your pole fitness progress. This actually applies to any fitness regime or discipline. So whether you’re a pole dancer or you’re into another form of alternative fitness, we hope you find this page useful.
What are you Doing that’s Harming your Pole Fitness Progress?
It’s difficult to identify bad habits if you don’t know when you have them. So, let’s see where you may be going wrong without realizing it. Think of us as the friend who tells it like it is!
Slacking off is one of the worst things you can do if you’re hoping to be good at something. You need to be consistent with your workouts and stay focused on your goals. Don’t let yourself become distracted by things that can wait, which is my biggest weakness.
I started watching Season 2 of Stranger Things on Netflix the week I was supposed to be rehearsing for a showcase event. Of course, I got totally distracted by its awesomeness and slacked off, which I ended up paying for.
Stranger Things could have waited, Netflix could have waited, loads of things that I do to procrastinate can wait, but I do them anyway! It’s probably the same for most of you, but it will harm your pole dancing progress if you consistently slack off instead of working out.
Check out our list of the Best Pole Dancing DVDs! (Opens in a new tab)
Don’t skip classes! This is part of slacking off, make your pole fitness classes as essential as going to work or picking up your kids from school. That means you can’t miss them under any circumstances!
Even if you have your own dance pole at home and get in plenty of practice time – that’s great! But, you still need the input of your instructor in a learning environment. You could be practicing the trick wrong with poor form and technique, but there’s no one there to tell you that, which is why attending classes regularly is so important.
Consistency is the key to success, so if you want to be a kick-ass pole dancer, then get yourself off the internet and get booking your next class – now. Ok, so I’m being bossy! Try booking and paying for your lessons in advance to give yourself a bigger incentive to never miss a class again!
Just like slacking off and skipping classes is going to harm your pole dancing progress, so is overdoing it or working out too much. If you’re fairly new to pole fitness and you’re working out multiple times per day almost every day but you’re still get frustrated by your lack of progress, then you’re probably overdoing it.
Take a break! You should be resting for at least a day in between pole dancing workout sessions to give your muscles a chance to recover from the intense workout you’re putting them through. Don’t underestimate the power of resting when it comes to progressing along your pole journey.
Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it, check out our article on how often you should practice pole dancing for more information.
Picking up Bad Form
As an instructor, there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a student who has been ‘teaching themselves’ perform tricks with such bad habits, it’s unbelievable. With some tricks, there’s the correct way to do it, and the shortcut. Most ‘ self-taught’ pole dancers use the shortcut.
Patience is key. You may be able to jump into an invert, but you can gracefully lift yourself into it? Work on everything slowly, paying attention to your placement and which muscle groups you’re engaging.
Related: Why Twisted Grip is Bad for You
Being a tad Over-Adventurous
You need to be adventurous to be a pole dancer, but too much adventure can harm your pole dancing progress.
It’s very common for pole dancers to progress from ‘total beginner’ and suddenly think that they can fly. Don’t put pressure on yourself to suddenly shoulder mount when you’ve just learned to invert without assistance. It definitely won’t help you in the long run.
Don’t skip beginner-intermediate moves and head straight for the advanced stuff you see on Instagram or on YouTube. Learn to walk before you run.
If you do skip moves and go straight for the more adventurous tricks, you’re not allowing your muscles to build and adjust properly. You run a much higher risk or injuring yourself or pulling a muscle.
Also, just because you can perform a difficult trick, it doesn’t automatically means that less-difficult tricks are suddenly going to be simple for you to perform. All pole dancing tricks are impressive and they all need practice. The best tricks are those that you perform with grace and by making it look effortless.
Not eating a Balanced Diet
When you start a new fitness regime of any kind, having a healthy diet is the key to its success. If you’re eating a load of crap, then you won’t be noticing the changes in your body you were hoping to see. Exercising isn’t like waving a magic wand that gives you the “excuse” to eat junk food. You need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet alongside your pole dancing workout regime if you want to see the physical results showing on your body.
You’ll get stronger and fitter if you practice pole fitness regularly, but you’ll get the body of your dreams if you eat well too. Eating well also means that your muscles will heal faster after a workout, you’ll feel less fatigued and it will improve your general overall well-being.
It’s a no-brainer really! Eat a diet with lots of vegetables, beans, pulses, legumes, eggs, fish, lean meat and cut back on sugary foods, bread, soda and alcohol.
Comparing Yourself to Others
Don’t. Just don’t. I was one of the slowest learners in the cohort of students I was part of. Everyone was quite literally whizzing ahead of me while I was struggling with even holding myself off the ground for longer than half a second. It’s natural to compare yourself to your peers, but try to stop doing it. It doesn’t help your progress and only makes you feel dishearted. Remember, there’s going to be a trick that you can nail that becomes their nemesis move – just wait until you discover that trick 😉
Not being generally active
As a pole dancer, you should do your best to ensure that you’re generally fit and active, outside of your pole practice sessions. That means doing additional workouts to compliment your pole fitness workouts. You should try some different activities if regular exercise bores you (that’s why we start pole fitness in the first place, right?!), such as hula-hooping, trampolining, rebounding or circus skills!
Read more: 12 other sports for pole dancers to try
Not Believing in Yourself
You won’t believe how many pole dancers don’t come back for a second lesson because they “couldn’t do it” in their first lesson. That’s an unbelievable lack of self-belief or a naive belief that pole dancing is somehow easy. It’s damn hard, guys! It’s also not normal to be great at pole dancing after 1 lesson, 5 lessons or even 50 lessons. Pole dancing is hard work but it pays off.
If you can’t do something straight away, that’s ok, you’re not supposed to be able to do it straight away! Otherwise, where’s the challenge?
Keep working on it, keep practicing and keep believing in yourself because you will be able to do whatever trick is giving you grief right now!
What are the guilty pleasures that you indulge in, even though you know it’s harming your pole fitness progress? Drop a comment below to start a discussion!
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