When it’s OK to be a control freak

The name of the game when it comes to pole moves is control… especially when you begin doing more advanced pole sit work, and ESPECIALLY when you begin doing inverted work. Be conscious of your muscle engagement: you’re doing things that, if done incorrectly, can do more than hinder your pole progress. They can hurt you. I don’t say that as some sort of voodoo scare tactic, I say it because it’s true.

One of the most common engagement mistakes beginning inverters make is that they jump or kick into their inverts. They’re not strong enough to deadlift or roll and tuck then extend, so they swing that outside leg. And they swing it, and swing it, and swing it, and let momentum carry their hips upward. At that point, sure, they’ve got the outside leg on the pole… but what if you don’t get a good grip? How are you going to get back down without pulling a back muscle? The short answer is, you probably aren’t. You may get lucky a time or two, but at some point you probably will pull something.

Another common engagement mistake: allowing the shoulders to round and the back to roach to an extreme point when inverting–for most students, it’s worst in the standard invert, the helicopter/chopper/inverted V (it’s slightly different for a shoulder mount–you will need to round slightly in order to keep your trap on the pole, and since that’s what helps hold you on, you definitely want to do that!). The hips don’t go high enough, or they don’t drop the head back (this was one of my issues for a lonnnnng time), and in order to tilt the hips in toward the pole so they can stay up, they straighten their arms all the way, which often results in a rounding of the back. Going upside down requires the back and core to be engaged. Keep those shoulder blades back and down! Spare your rhomboids and intercostal muscles! You’ve spent all that time conditioning your core–put it to work!

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About Gina

I am a pole and exotic dance instructor at Studio Rouge in Columbus, Ohio. Hear me when I tell you it is the best. job. ever.
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