Pole, fitness & health

DO's and DON'Ts as a pole student! December 06 2016, 0 Comments

The only thing I like more than instructing pole is being a student


Learning new things and sharing knowledge is the best part of being human. I make sure to regularly attend classes wherever I am. It keeps the mind fresh.


Here are my tips on how you can be the perfect pole student:


DO

show your enthusiasm! I was always very interested and impressed with all the things we were learning in class. I would laugh in awe of the trick the instructor was demonstrating, sometimes shaking my head in disbelief over their confidence that I could also do it. Then I tried, and maybe I could do it after all! It was a confidence boost, and made me look forward to attending each class. Allow yourself to be interested, happy, scared or anything else you are feeling. Let the teacher show you are thankful for being in the class. Perhaps you  inspire others, and the air will instantly feel warmer.


DO

Believe in yourself! Don’t dismiss something the teacher is demonstrating with “I can’t do that”. You don’t know that, you have never tried! You might surprise yourself. Even if you can’t do certain things yet, there is only ONE proven way to be able to do them later, that is: practice, practice, practice. Rome wasn’t built in one day. It takes persistence and dedication, trying over and over and over again. Your instructor didn’t just wake up awesome at pole, they worked their ass off practicing to get to where they are. With the same effort, you will too! Everything is possible if you work for it!


DO

Encourage your fellow students! I was very intimidated when in my first class. Wearing shorts in front of other people was scary. I didn’t know anyone. Soon, I realized how welcoming the teachers were. The other students made me feel wonderful. Other students would encourage and compliment me. I was flattered and impressed with how caring and supporting this setting was, so I started encouraging others. Pay it forward!


DON’T

Be late! Repeatedly showing up late for class disrupts whatever is going on in class at that moment. This adds stress to yourself, other students and instructor. None of us need more stress in our lives, we got enough of that! It’s hard being an instructor, planning a warm-up and then half of the class shows up late. It’s not fair to anyone if the instructor always needs to spend a few minutes helping you get started while the others wait. Showing up late is simply disrespectful of everyone’s time, and time is the most precious thing we have.


DON’T

Chat with your friends while the instructor is demonstrating or explaining. Sometimes people have loud conversations and the instructor can’t hear themselves, let alone teach. Extremely rude. We are all grown up. The instructor’s job is there to instruct, not shuss you like you are still in 3rd grade. The instructor shouldn’t have to raise their voice very loudly for people to hear them over your talking, and they should not have to repeat their explanations because the class didn’t hear. You are in pole class now, be there. Listen when the instructor is talking, then chat quietly with your friends after instruction. If you can’t wait, have your friend come with you outside the classroom and finish your discussion. We all want to be listened to, especially if we are there to instruct.


DON’T

Do something other than the instructor is teaching! I You learned something cool in another class or instagram and want to show it off. Nothing wrong with that, in the right setting. For example in an open pole class, where there is no specific instruction. I can’t think of anything more rude. The instructor is teaching a butterfly, you do an ayesha. Your instructor has put thought into the class and is teaching it this way for a reason (to teach correct muscle engagement and show the appropriate progressions). Doing something else can diminish the motivational levels of others. Class is trying to do butterfly and you do ayesha? Some of them might feel intimidated. Others might actually believe they are supposed to do this trick, then try to do it!! Extremely dangerous! The students have not gotten instruction and they might not be advanced enough to even think about trying it! Students can also become annoyed and complain. “Why are we learning the butterfly and she is doing this supercool trick?!” So much easily avoided stress. When I go take classes, I zip my mouth and follow the instructors lead from A to Z. I am there as a student to learn in a class setting. 


DON’T

Interrupt the teacher. Your instructor very likely has a background in exercise science. Most instructors have invested a lot of time in this sport and know what they are doing. Never disrespect an instructor by interrupting what they are saying during teaching and don’t add stuff to whatever they are saying! This especially applies to you if you are an instructor. You might know a lot what you are talking - but at that moment, you are a STUDENT. That means you are going to study. Not teach. You are there to learn from this particular instructor. Being an instructor is hard, you have the spotlight on you, demonstrating hard tricks upside down while talking people through how to do them - sometimes instructors forget something. I’s not your place to add to what they are saying. Maybe they will realize in a minute they forgot something - then they will add that. Don't you worry, you're not the instructor, anyway!


Last, but not least, ENJOY your pole journey :)


DO's and DON'Ts as a pole instructor! October 25 2016, 0 Comments

Teaching pole is the best job in the world. Helping people discover their own strengths is so fulfilling!

As much as being a teacher, I love being a student. I’ve been studying training methods and coaching in the Sports Academy and am finishing master’s studies in sport- and exercise psychology. For a year, I have been a pole instructor. I am very interested in effective coaching practices. I spend a lot of my time reading about training, coaching and motivational practices related to exercise.

Here are a few tips I have for anyone wanting to become a pole instructor:

--

DO

Be inviting. A person coming to your class for the first time is very likely self-conscious. It’s new, they might feel uncomfortable wearing shorts in front of others, they might have a hard time looking at themselves in the mirror because they have not yet learned to love what they see. Make them feel welcome and accepted. Greet everyone with a smile, make sure to learn names and chat. Perhaps people are coming to class to de-stress after a hard day at work. You’re the calming force.



DO

Compliment and encourage your students! Acknowledge the things they are doing are tremendously hard, and their efforts are great. If your student is working on a trick they still have not managed, be their biggest cheerleader. Tell them they can, with consistent practice and a determination. Emphasize that pole is hard, but they are stronger. Eventually they will nail something they never imagined they could. You’ll be at their side, clapping the loudest. We are a big family, and that means we all support each other.

 

 

DO

Joke around to lighten the mood! Sometimes, the mood in class can get a little serious, since people often are self-conscious or so determined to not miss anything. I don’t like to take myself too seriously. I am human, I sometimes forget what I was saying mid-way through my explanations (you know, gathering your thoughts, explaining the correct muscle engagement and movement while hanging upside down isn’t quite as simple as it sounds!), get my tongue tied into a big word salad. Those times I laugh it off with everyone. Pole class is a stress-free, judgement-free zone! I want everyone to leave my class smiling.

 

DO

Know muscle, bone anatomy and dynamics of movement. You have people's bodies and health in your hands You need to be able to ensure their safety.. Be vocal about correct muscle engagement during tricks. Most people are not so well tuned with their body to begin with, it’s your job to help them learn to engage the muscles correctly. With this, I’m not saying you should get all technical like “Engage your trapezius…” most people don’t know the names of muscles, that’s perfectly fine - as long as you know them, and as long as you know how to cue people. Take for example a pull up, you could use cues such as “draw your shoulders down, away from the ears and imagine you are trying to pull a big, thick rope down. Keep your core tight by drawing your navel in”. You should know how to break tricks down into more manageable parts. If your student has trouble doing something, then you need to show them less advanced version.The same goes for those who are advanced enough, show them how to improve even further. If you want to become a pole instructor, study sports science, personal training, anatomy and/or kinesiology. A bonus is to attend a legitimate pole fitness instruction program. It’s a great way to continue your education and add to your knowledge.That way, you can consistently offer your students the best instruction.


DO

Make effective warm-ups! It’s the key to the overall success of the class. If a warm-up is good, the person will feel energized and their muscles are ready. I can’t find a more demotivating way to start a class than when a teacher obviously has nothing special planned for warm-up. It needs to be targeted at the specific muscles or movements we are going to work on. We need dynamic movements and active stretching techniques rather than passive stretching, as passive stretching directly before exercise can decrease strength (1, 2, 3). Plan the warm-ups beforehand, try them yourself and keep them variable!


DO

Talk to your students! Keep them updated. I start a new class by introducing myself, telling the students we all come from different backgrounds, some from dance, others from gymnastics, some people have not practiced anything before pole or were in something completely different. I emphasize that some of us have been training pole for a few months, some of us are coming to class for the first time. I tell people to remember, we all have different journeys, we are all here to focus only on ourselves.

Ask if anyone has an injury that might affect them in the class and make sure to modify the exercises to fit them. Ask how they are doing a few weeks later.

Let students know about is that you might have to assist them in some tricks. Ask them to let you know if they are uncomfortable with that, so you won’t invade their personal space.

If possible, inform students if something unexpected comes up and you get substitute teacher to take your class.


DON’T

Use class as your personal training time! Class is the time they have paid to have you guide them.This is their moment! You are there to lead, spot and help. It’s not your time to practice something yourself! Students will perceive you as not interested in them. The same goes with checking your phone during class or scrolling through facebook. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, just don’t do it. You have people's well-being in your hands. Give your students your undivided attention.



DON’T

Just show off your own skills. Your students are not there to see how awesome at pole you are (even though you are!), they are there to get proper guidance. They are there to learn from your expertise. A great instructor can do more than cool tricks: he/she can instruct. They can explain how to execute tricks in simple, easily understandable ways. They can cue people to engage the right muscle groups.

DON’T

Show up unprepared! If you are unprepared, your students will soon notice. This will decrease their spirits. Being unprepared is also stressful for you! We all know the feeling of entering a test without having studied. Showing up unprepared to teach a class is worse as you have a group of people counting on you and following everything you say.


DON’T

Exclude anyone! You might have a full class, many people want your attention. Try to help everyone, don’t let any one person hog all your time. Never shy away from helping anyone. All of your students deserve excellent care and encouragement, no matter their background, age, health status, sex and so on.


DON’T

Forget the music! Music is a great way to set the mood, increase motivation and keep the fun going. I have been in classes where the music was barely audible and it definitely affects the class. It’s a lot harder to keep going if there is no music and I can clearly hear what the instructor is discussing with another student at the other end of the room. I automatically start to mooch about. The same goes if you are playing music that students have heard thousand times before. Boring. Make sure to check out new, fun music to play in your classes and keep a few playlists you can alternate between.


Emily Laura's tips for planning a GREAT training session! September 18 2016, 0 Comments

Training outside of lessons can be really hard! How many times do you get to the studio and have zero motivation and no idea what to do? 

Here are Emily Laura's top tips on how to plan and have a great training session:

1. Plan your week

This doesn't have to be super detailed, but an outline of what you want to do on each day will really help shape your training week. I personally like to designate certain days to certain types of pole - one day for strength training, one for bending, one for combos and so on. I know I can't do a crazy bendy day followed by a strength day so I make sure there's a gap in between.

2. Plan your session

Even if it's just a quick plan written before you start, knowing your goals will focus your session. Here are the elements I plan:

  • Warm upWarm up is so important. Start with some general mobilization and then focus on movements that mirror the rest of your training session. For example, if you were focusing on splits moves, warm up your whole body and then focus on hamstrings and hip flexors to make sure they are ready. Aim for at least 10-15 minutes.
  • Floorwork/Flow Using floorwork and flow is a great way to ensure you are really warmed up and it helps get the creative juices flowing (of course this could be a training session alone). You can experiment with movements you already have, linking different ones together. Alternatively, put a track on, move to the music and see what happens. Why not set a challenge, like keeping one limb on the ground at all time?
  • Stretch/Strength - Now that you are super warm, turn your attention to the moves you want to train. If you need to stretch or train your strength, now is a good time. 
  • Tricks/combos - Which tricks do you want to train today? I personally like a mixture of old tricks that I'm perfecting, and new tricks to challenge myself and keep it fresh.
  • Cool down - Make sure you do a cool down to allow your body to recover. A gentle stretch session is so beneficial.

 

3. Have a long term goal

Whether it's a performance, competition, level of fitness or a particular trick, a long term goal will keep you driven and motivated.

4.Write notes from your training session

What went well? What do you need to work on? Use this to plan your next training sessions. 

Did any of those tips help you better plan your training sessions, or do you use any other tricks to organize your training? Let us know in the comments!



"Why do you dance like a stripper?" Confessions of an exotic pole dancer August 31 2016, 0 Comments

The clear blue water in the pool reflects the endless stream of sunshine on this beautiful day. There is not a cloud in sight. Laying on my stomach on a pink towel with a large photo of a kitten, sweat is dripping down my forehead. 26°C warmth is hard on my nordic skin. I still love being on a vacation in Spain. Especially since I have my best friend, Viola Thorn, with me. She is laying on her back on a green towel, her light, Finnish skin gently kissed by the sunlight. She’s wearing thick sunglasses and a blue bikini. Her legs bearing a few lightly colored bruises. Visual marks of the struggles of being a pole dancer. Pole …. Dancer. The words linger in my mind.

“Viola” I begin. Her head turns towards me, her attention focused. “How did you get into pole dancing?” She is silent for a brief moment, thinking. “Was it a bit over two years ago?” She wonders. “I began going to the studio in my hometown after I had dreamt that I was pole dancing… It all started with that dream”. We both laugh at the coincidence. Both thankful her sleeping mind created that scenario one fateful night. Otherwise we wouldn’t have met. “At first I went to random beginner classes, but after realizing how much I enjoyed it, I bought a monthly subscription and joined a training group. I started practicing more seriously.” She says as she raises herself up onto her elbows, grabs a bottle of water and has a few sips. The air is calm, offering no relief in the form of a soft breeze. The children from our neighbourhood are playing in the pool, splashing and jumping into it. Their laughter fills the otherwise silent atmosphere.  

“I know you love pole...but you quit the studio a while ago, though….Why?” I ask her. She sits up, turning her back to the sun. “I just felt I was not getting what I was looking for there, anymore.” She pauses briefly, before continuing “The classes all have the same set-up, they are very trick oriented, like ‘now we learn this trick’, ‘now we learn that trick...In a way I think it is important for a beginner to do that...but then you need something more. You need to learn to connect them, and I felt I wasn’t getting that so much from my studio, so I decided to do it on my own… at home, instead.” I nod. I do agree with her. My experience is similar to hers. “I definitely feel classes are very trick oriented...I don’t know if this is just the method of the nordic countries...” I softly muse. “Might be.” She answers. “After a while I started to really wonder what is really ‘me’. What defines me? How do I like expressing myself?” She says, gently rubbing her bruised knees. “I bought some heels and began practicing dancing with them… it was really hard, but so much fun. I felt at home. I realized exotic pole is more my style, rather than the acrobatic, modern type of dance my former studio focuses on.” I smile, thinking about her shoe collection that has grown massively in the last few months. “I’m so happy you found your style” I say, reaching for the water bottle.  “I love all of your flow videos, your attitude and your amazing floorwork. You’re getting so good at it!” I praise, genuinely very impressed with her progress.

“I don’t know if it’s a nordic country thing, but we seem to almost be afraid of exotic style, or judgemental towards it, not wanting association with it at all.” I wonder out loud. We’ve talked about this a million times before, yet it keeps surprising us. How can people be judgemental towards any certain type of movement? “Yeah” she says. “Like the time I asked my former studio for more choreography classes... they told me they offer a few but those classes aren’t so popular. Then, when I asked specifically for exotic pole classes, they literally told me that the studio is more ‘acrobatic and dance.’” She shakes her head in disbelief and again lays down on her back, allowing the sun to warm her face again.  “By saying that, they basically told me exotic dancing is not dance.... Why? It’s not any less dancing than any other type of dance.” I snort. I hate when people negatively judge other people’s choices, just because they themselves don’t understand. “I think some people are afraid to move on their own” She continues. “They just like being in a class where they are led through everything...told to do this, do that. People are afraid of creating their own movement… not to mention exotic movement, that scares them beyond anything. Because they don’t know how to move”. I wholeheartedly agree with her. “Pole dance came from the strip clubs.” I say. “I hate how people want to do pole, but not be associated with strippers. As if being a stripper is so beneath everyone. I can think of many professions worse than showing off your boobs on stage. Big corporations, corrupt politicians, animal cruelty… I could go on and on. But the world has more problem with a woman openly expressing sexuality, being sexy, than all of those things. It’s crazy”. I feel my voice trembling from anger. I take a sip of water. Viola nods. “When you think about pole dancing, you immediately think about strippers. The association is always going to be there. Embrace it, don’t be ashamed.” She says, offering advice I think every pole newbie needs to hear. “When you watch professional routines, you see DANCE. Not just tricks. Not combos of tricks connected by a few steps. You see effortless looking flow, connection from one to the next. It’s beautiful. That’s what pole dancing is all about, to me. I want to perfect that. I already know a lot of tricks, but I want to learn to connect them effortlessly in dance.” She says. “For me, exotic style is that connection. Stripper style is all about flowing from one point to the next. Having attitude. Showing how fierce you are.” She adds, grinning. I can almost see the spark in her eye behind her dark sunglasses. The passion, it’s there.

“It’s not about how many tricks you can do in a row, it’s about all the little things that come together and make the picture huge. How you walk. Making the body rolls more dramatic. Sliding the hands. Little skips. Where you look. It all matters so much in exotic pole.” I smile, thinking of exactly how much the little things matter. “Unfortunately, the community in your country doesn’t feel the same way about exotic style...do you feel you’ve met some discrimination for openly liking it?” She sighs at my question and takes a moment before answering. “Definitely. As I said, they kind of told me exotic dancing is not real dancing. That sucks. I shouldn’t have to put myself in a certain box of dance to express myself. Dancing is expression. Exotic dancing is expression. If I’m forced to dance differently, that’s not ME.” She turns to lying on her stomach, sunshine again reaching her back. “I think people definitely are ashamed…people are scared of freestyling, showing emotions, but in exotic style you have to show specific emotion, and that’s almost impossible for some people.” She adds. “It does seem to scare them.” I say. “People seem to be ashamed of women expressing sensuality and being confident.” I add. “Yes, sexuality is a big part of human nature...there are for example strip clubs everywhere, sexuality is displayed in movies, ads, papers...everywhere” She tells me. “But when you openly want to practice it, then all of a sudden that’s a bad thing. I almost feel like people think that when I exotic dance, I am somehow degrading myself...that couldn’t be further from the truth!” She exclaims. “Yes! How can you degrade yourself by simply dancing?” I ask. “Hopefully, one day, we can all appreciate and respect each other, no matter our dance styles, choices or opinions.”

Click here to visit Viola Thorn on instagram

Photos by Wallineva photograhpy

 


Meet the Indi girls: Zenia Rosas! August 26 2016, 0 Comments

Who are the ladies behind our favorite pole brand? They are inspiring, passionate, determined, funny and strong. Through these blog series you will get to know them a little better ... And who knows, they might share some of their secret tips and tricks with you!

Zenia Rosas

Zenia is a 26-year-old mother of two tiny dogs, she studies computer & systems sciences by day and pole dances & bends into different weird shapes during the evenings. She loves to put on a cute outfit, make some flowy spins and once in a while she twists into a crazy contortion trick on the floor or on the pole.

WE WANTED TO KNOW A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ZENIA

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS!

Passionate, all-or-nothing, intense, dedicated, introvert-in-disguise.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN POLE DANCING?

I’ve been pole dancing for six years now. 

DID YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, EXERCISE RELATED, BEFORE POLE?

No not really, I played soccer for a couple of years in my teens besides that to be honest I didn’t exercise. Back then I only saw exercise as a way to achieve a certain kind of body. At that time, I was really content with how I looked. Little did I know that training is so much more than achieving a certain appearance. 

PLEASE SHOW US YOUR FAVORITE COMBO AT THE MOMENT!

I’m really into hair flicks, drop splits and static spins at the moment. It’s a big difference since I’ve always been so in love with spinny & flexibility combos.

HOW MUCH DO YOU WORK ON YOUR FLEXIBILITY? 

I work on my flexibility every day. I stretch different parts of my body on different days and if I’m not stretching I’m always thinking about different aspects that affects my body and flexibility. I always try to drink a lot of water, eat nutritious food and plan my training sessions ahead. 

DO YOU DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN POLE, BY DAY? 

I’m currently writing my bachelor thesis in computer and system sciences. It has taken a little more time than expected but hopefully I’ll hand in the thesis before Bali and present it when I get back to Sweden. Besides that, I’m a mother of two tiny dogs that I spend all my time with whenever I’m not training. 

THREE THINGS YOU LOVE ABOUT INDI POLEWEAR?

That every piece is made with us pole girls in mind, the quality of the fabric and that the prints are limited edition, which makes me feel a little bit special when wearing the different sets. 

Do you have any more questions for Zenia? Ask away in the comments section! 


Meet the Indi girls: Emily Laura Young! August 08 2016, 0 Comments

Who are the ladies behind our favorite pole brand? They are inspiring, passionate, determined, funny and strong. Through these blog series you will get to know them a little better ... And who knows, they might share some of their secret tips and tricks with you!

EMILY LAURA YOUNG

Emily Laura is a pole dance instructor and yoga teacher based in the UK. By day, she is a commercial property solicitor, but much prefers teaching and sharing her passion for pole. Emily loves spinny pole and creating beautiful flowy pieces.

WE WANTED TO KNOW A LITTLE MORE ABOUT EMILY LAURA

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS!

Determined. Chatty. Passionate. Dedicated. Honest.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN POLE DANCING?

 4,5 years...I think!

DID YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, EXERCISE RELATED, BEFORE POLE?

Yes! Lots! I’m a very sporty person.

My Mum’s business is as a dressage trainer and judge – so I had ponies and could ride for as long as I could remember. I represented England several times on the international dressage team and am very proud to say that, with my pony Coco , I won 3 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal for my country. Then, when I went to university, I wanted independence and left dressage and joined Mixed Martial Arts. I really loved the physical challenge of a new sport. That and I met my future husband!

PLEASE SHOW US YOUR FAVORITE COMBO AT THE MOMENT!

Well, this probably isn’t a surprise! One handed spin to pixie to reverse split grip!

HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME TO FIT EVERYTHING IN? (POLE, STRETCH, COMBOS .. ETC)

This is a really good question!

Training everything is so hard especially when you have a day job! For me, planning is key. I plan my weekly training schedule, and each training session. On a weekly basis, I try to dedicate each session to a different thing – so one session on strength, one of combos and one to ­two on bending. I leave one day as a “float” day. This is for when training, or sections of training, has not gone to plan on a different day, I can move it to the float day. In terms of floorwork and pole to pole transitions, I add this to every training session as part of a warm up. My individual training plans are very detailed, especially when training for a performance or competition. I personally need that organisation. I plan everything – warm up, conditioning, floorwork, bending, combos and cool down / recovery. It really helps me focus my training – if I’m having a flexy training session, I want to ensure my warm up and recovery assists.

WHAT TRICK ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF ACHIEVING SO FAR?

So, here’s the background. First, I had my right hip rebuilt as a child. Then, once I had discovered pole, within the space of two months’, I had two instructors who both told me “you’re not flexible, so you won’t get far in pole”. That hurt! I felt deflated and demoralised. I nearly gave up. Then I thought, no, I’ll show them. And I decided to train. To become flexible. This is where I need to credit two amazing women. First, Bendy Kate. She helped me with a routine I never thought I could do, and encouraged me to train bendy moves. I clearly remember her telling me that I could do it, if I set my mind to it. That was a game changer for me. Secondly, Charlotte Roberston, for teaching me her bendy ways, and encouraging me to love stretching and flexy moves. I couldn’t have done it without her. So, the tricks (sorry, there are two!) that I am most proud of are the eagle and contortion scorpio. I never ever thought that I would be flexible!

THREE THINGS YOU LOVE ABOUT INDI POLEWEAR?

1. Fit – super flattering but super safe. Makes you look awesome with no slip issues.

2. Colours and print ­ I really love the unique prints. You know an Indi print when you see one.

3. Quality – I’ve spent so much time and money on cheap pole clothes that don’t last and don’t offer the coverage / support needed. Indi is pure quality. Amazing comfortable, sweat wicking fabrics that move with you.

Do you have any more questions for Emily Laura? Ask away in the comments section! 


Be sure to follow our blog for more 'Meet the Indi girls' with some information about your favorite polers, their tips and tricks!


Meet the Indi girls: Nina Reed! August 02 2016, 0 Comments

Who are the ladies behind our favorite pole brand? They are inspiring, passionate, determined, funny and strong. Through these blog series you will get to know them a little better ... And who knows, they might share some of their secret tips and tricks with you!

Nina Reed

Nina is the organizer of Pole Theatre USA and the Colorado Pole Championship. She is also a pole and aerial dance photographer. Nina has been an active member of the Instagram pole community for four years as @ninapoles, and she was incredibly excited for the opportunity to become an Indi polewear influencer this year! 

We wanted to know a little more about Nina

Describe yourself in five words!

Optimistic, outdoorsy, adventurous, talkative and epistemophilic

How long have you been pole dancing?

I took my first pole class in August 2011, so five years now!

Did you do anything else, exercise related, before pole?

I grew up as a very active kid in Norway, hiking mountains, cross-country skiing and swimming. When I moved to Colorado I tried taking up some of the same activities, and tried and failed at going to normal gyms, so it wasn't until I found pole that I truly started exercising.

Please show us your favorite combo at the moment!

Anything brass monkey! :-) 

If you could do a pole photoshoot anywhere in the world, where would it be?

My dream pole photo shoot location is Lofoten, Norway, because it is one of the few places in Norway where I've never been but always wanted to go. I'd love to do a pole shoot there in the summer, because the midnight sun means there is beautiful lighting for so much longer than anywhere else!

Three things you love about Indi polewear?

The cheeky cut of the Samba bottoms, that the colors mix and match so well, and that I can wear my Indi to the beach!

Do you have any more questions for Nina? Ask away in the comments section! 

Wearing the burlesque top and samba bottom in bright violet

Be sure to follow our blog for more 'Meet the Indi girls' with some information about your favorite polers, their tips and tricks!

 


Top 5 Freestyle Tips by Tiffany Jane June 09 2016, 0 Comments

Whether you’ve heard the perfect song, want to increase your movement vocabulary, or just want to dance like no one is watching… 

Here are some quick tips from Tiffany Jane (@titojane) that will help jump start your freestyle journey.

Megan Dyga (@merghern) in the Flier top & Bombshell bottom

1. Plant yourself


This is a great place to start for both newbies and experienced freestylers.  Start in any orientation around the pole and plant your feet in one spot. Now begin dancing and explore what types of shapes you can create all while keeping your feet in one spot.  What are the ways you can curl yourself around the pole? Explore twisting and turning while standing or coming down to the floor, all while keeping your feet stationary.  

2. Clothing


Find any article of clothing, like a loose shirt, sweater, skirt, dress, pants, scarf, leg warmers or socks.  You can wear several layers or just one. Play with movement that focuses on incorporating the use of clothing. What are ways you can pull it off or put it back on while still dancing and moving around the pole? Clothing can add a new layer of creativity.

3. Body Parts


Assign yourself a body part that will be the initiation of all your movement. For example, let your head or heart lead your dance and be the focal point of your movement.  Challenge yourself by trying less obvious body parts, like the elbow or knee, and see what movement your body uncovers.

4. Levels


Challenge yourself by dancing at different levels.  Levels can be floor work (ex: nothing above the crawling position or lying down), standing, or up in the air.  If you’re up in the air, start with a simple sit or leg hang. Linger in the position for a few seconds and explore different hand/arm movements, leg shapes, and body twists.  Naturally, this often leads to another move, uncovering new transitions and flow.  

5. Practice


Practice makes progress! Freestyling is a challenge and requires just as much attention as fonjis and handsprings.  Start your freestyle with eyes closed, feel your breath, the floor, the pole, move without looking at yourself in a mirror.  Clear your mind or use those emotions to guide your movement.  Record yourself and watch it after, you’ll be surprised what you find. Sometimes you’ll only like 10 seconds of dance to a 4 minute song, but eventually 10 seconds, will turn to 15, 20, 30 seconds.   

The beautiful thing about freestyle, and dance in general, is the infinite movement possibilities and creations that come out of it. 

The tips above are designed to make freestyling less overwhelming and daunting by giving the dancer a focal point on where to begin their freestyle exploration. 


Remember not to take yourself too seriously and embrace all the new movement your body is about to experience.

--Tiffany Jane (@titojane)

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How pole has changed my life. March 04 2016, 3 Comments

By Indi, founder of indi pole wear. 

This week I’m attending workshops in Sydney, which are focused on growing as a person, and growing your business. Today we are talking about Vision.

What do we want the future to look like?

Why do we wake up every morning passionate about what we do?

What do we want to achieve in the world?

These are really hard questions to answer! 

If you’d told me 5 years ago I would run my own pole business, I would have laughed (did you know I’m a scientist by trade)? But looking back now, I see I was drawn to something about pole dance that made me think, “This is special. This is different.” I started indi pole wear because I believed (and still do) that we feel better when our pole wear is beautiful. The clothes we buy say something about us. I wanted pole wear that broadcast to the world: “I’m a strong and beautiful woman!” I believe I’m on the road to translating this feeling into pole wear that is special and speaks these words to women all over the world.

But, in the two years since we launched, I have realized some important things about myself and about my own journey that I want to share with you now. These realisations are deep and hard for me to talk about, because they are very personal. But I am telling you because I trust you, my pole family, and because they are an important part of what indi pole wear stands for.

Pole has changed my life. Before pole, I felt the burden of a lot of expectation. Expectations about how I thought I should look, how I thought should behave, how I should act. Was I not sexy enough? Was I too sexy? Am I smart enough? Maybe I’m too smart? Looking back now I see that most women carry the burden of society’s expectations every day of their life. We are constantly told, in explicit and hidden ways, in our jobs, relationships, in life, that we should look, think, act, be, and behave in certain ways. For me, this translated into a voice in the back of my mind, always there, that whispered “Maybe…. You’re. Just. Not. Good. Enough.” If you have this voice, you understand how debilitating it can be. How it can stop you from living your truest life, from chasing your dreams, from taking potentially life changing leaps of faith.

Pole gave me a safe space. A space where I could show up and be whoever I needed to be. Whether I was feeling strong, sexy, weak or vulnerable, frustrated or at peace, I could let that play out in the safety of the studio. Without judgement. Surrounded by women who got me. Who understood because they were all feeling the same. This was an incredible relief from a weight that I barely knew I was carrying. When I pole I can be honest about who I am, and show whichever side of me I need to on that day, knowing I have the support of many amazing women around me.

Even more exciting, as I began to discover what my body was capable of, my inner strength grew, and so did my love for myself and for others. That inner critic became quieter. As the years went by, I was able to grow into the person who I am now. I have a long way to go, but I know now that I am beautiful, strong and capable, and I can do just about anything I set my mind to. Anything. I didn't know that before. And I owe this all to pole.

So, what does this mean for indi pole wear? My passion becomes our company's Vision. I want this Vision to be infused into everything we do. So without further ado it is, in one tiny sentence full of my dreams for every one of you:

I invite you to think about each word in this sentence and what it means to you. I am speaking directly to every single one of you. Maybe you are just starting out or have been part of this beautiful, unique community for years. If you are reading this then you are part of the indi pole wear family. You are the reason I wake up every day fuelled with passion for this brand. Let's do this together!

Xx Indi

 

 

 

 

 


How to find motivation after time off the pole... October 07 2015, 0 Comments

By Sveindís

No matter how much you love pole dancing, how big a part it is of your life and identity, there will still be times in your life where you can’t make it to practices as much as you did before. We all know this. Sometimes life gets in the way. You might be moving between apartments, cities, even countries, you might have A LOT to study for finals, work can be hectic, your family needs you, you could have a temporary or even a chronic injury that limits you, or you might suffer from a disease that sometimes slows you down a little.

 Of course, losing your workout rhythm can be demotivating and limiting. The negative voice we all seem to have in the back of our heads sometimes jumps up and gets very loud, and unfortunately sometimes it does get the best of us. We start to believe it, even though the message it usually offers us is negative and untrue. I, same as everyone else, am guilty of sometimes falling into the trap of listening to the negative voice and for criticizing myself beyond what I deserve. Therefore I feel it’s important that we know a few ways to shut the negative voice down when it starts! Here are a few ways I use:

#1 - Go over your past successes

Yes, you might have a long way to go still. But do you remember where you started? When I’m feeling down, lacking motivation to continue, thinking that I haven’t progressed much and letting the negative voice in my head take over, I go over my past successes. I try to remind myself of everything I’ve already accomplished, and how great I have done so far. Remember how hard it was to learn to climb the pole? Touch your toes? Do a backbend? Go to your first class? Wear booty shorts in front of strangers? All this I have (and many of you wonderful readers) accomplished already. We’ve already done so, so much. We challenge ourselves every day, we are constantly learning and trying new things and we’ve awoken our bodies from a deep sleep. We’ve learned to enjoy movement, and that is the greatest gift we can give our bodies. We need to think about everything we’ve already done, instead of focus only on what we still want to accomplish. There is enough time for that later. Be proud of what you have already achieved!

Be proud of yourself, you deserve it

#2 - Find new inspiration and new ways to work out

I get it, repetition can end up being soooo boring. For example, we all know we need to stretch or work out to progress, but even though we know it, actually doing it every day can be very repetitive and sometimes you just don’t feel like it tonight...or the next night .. or the one after that… and oops all of a sudden it’s been 2 months and you haven’t stretched or gone to practices very often. I know. I’ve definitely been there, and criticized myself for it afterwards.

When you feel you’re stuck in a rut and have lost motivation to continue - try to mix it up! I like to go on Instagram, Youtube or search the internet for motivation, new spins and tricks, new combos or dance routines. I also like to use social media and the internet to help me find new ways to exercise, new stretches, new warm-up routines and so on, the possibilities are endless! Sometimes I get bored with designing my own workouts, so then it can be very helpful to find online workout videos to follow. Aa added plus is that you can do them in the comfort of your own home! You can even try to get family members or friends to join you so that you can help each other, exercise together, have a laugh and motivate each other!

 

The internet is an endless source of workout inspiration! Use it to your advantage!

 #3 - Go back to the basics

 I know how it is - of course we all want to master the cool tricks as soon as yesterday … we all want to be able to jump into a handspring, whip it into an ayesha and then nail an iron x, all the while smiling! We all want to be super strong, flexible as cats and to have the skills to combine the two into flowing lyrical dance routines. Of course developing skills in all these areas takes patience, practice, persistence and above all - some time. It can get a little frustrating when you feel you are not progressing as fast as you would like, or when you start comparing yourself to someone else and start to feel down or hopeless because you think they are better than you (don’t focus on things like that by the way! Always focus on yourself and your own journey, that’s what matters).

Some good advice I can give you: when you feel those thoughts creeping up on you, slow down a bit, breathe deeply, and take a step back. Stop frustrating yourself trying to smash something that might not be in your reach just yet, and focus more on the things you already know. There is always something you can work on to make it even better - try spending some time practicing your freestyle, on improving your spins, think about how you can make a beautiful entry and exit in and out of spins or combos you know, work on your invert (perhaps go from bent legs to straight legs, or aerial!), try to make your combos more flowing and natural, and so on. There are so many things you CAN do, focus on those instead of what you can’t (just yet). Use your time to perfect what you already know, and at the same time you are conditioning your body so it will be better prepared for when you move on to something more advanced.

 

Spend a little time focusing on perfecting tricks you already know well

#4 - Take some time off

I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too. Sometimes life sneaks up on you and you just don’t have the time for practice. Other times you just feel tired, unmotivated and lazy and as a result you skip a few practices - over a few days, weeks, even months. It’s completely natural and healthy. Instead of scolding yourself for missing practices or not working out - try to embrace it and accept it. Sometimes it can be good for the body to have a little rest from practices and we come even stronger back after a break. The important thing to remember is to get going again when you feel ready, not falling into the habit of not moving at all for extensive periods - you can of course always use tips #1 to #3 to help you get going again!

 

Sometimes all you need is a little rest :) take cats as a great example, they are experts at relaxing!


How being a poler makes you better at life! May 16 2015, 0 Comments

By Sveindís Þórhallsdóttir, Iceland

Pole dancing is such a great sport! It is a totally new and different way for you to exercise and get healthier. Pole dancing for fitness has been becoming increasingly popular in the last 10 years and it definitely is a fresh breeze in the fitness world, offering us  diverse ways of keeping ourselves healthy and staying in shape. Because of that, pole is a wonderful sport to be embraced and celebrated.

BUT apart from that, I like to tell my non-poling friends these simple reasons why they should take up pole dancing. Because it makes you better at life!

Reason 1: It blows your confidence out of the roof!

Unfortunately women are everyday bombarded with information on how they should look, dress, do their hair and make-up, behave and breathe, to be the “ideal woman”.

Ridiculous beauty standards established in photoshopped ads and magazines all over the world also do not help build women's confidence. Many of us constantly tear ourselves down, criticize ourselves and our bodies just because they are not somehow different from how they actually are. In addition, society has imprinted in women that showing their bodies is wrong and that covering up is being a “good girl”.
 This is why pole dancing is so wonderful. You are required to wear short shorts and a top as a safety precaution; otherwise you don't have enough grip on the pole. It can be tough for a beginner because we are not used to it, and we feel we are breaking the unwritten good girl rule of society.

I for one felt awkward the first time I walked into my pole class and had to wear clothes that left me feeling almost naked in front of a large group of total strangers, and then they even expected me to do some graceful (not quite) maneuvers around a pole, at the same time I was busy being self-conscious!! Luckily I was brave enough (and pole was too interesting) to quit and I kept going - with each class I was forced to look at my body for longer, while constantly developing and increasing my skills. As a result, watching my body more and more actually helped me to appreciate it more. After all, it's just a body, everyone has it. And it's the only body I have. What standards should my body fulfill but my own? Why waste my life on hating it for what it isn't, instead of loving it for what it is? Pole helped me realize that, and for that I will forever be grateful. And you're anyways WAY to busy trying to actually do a trick, spin or combo without falling off the pole to spend your precious pole time worrying about how you look. Instant success!

My body might not be like the ones in the magazines…But it’s mine, and it’s strong, and it’s beautiful.

Reason 2: It broadens your perspective

Pole dancing increases your positivity towards others.

I love this aspect of pole and I think it is a huge one. When you go into your class, join a group of people who are of all shapes and sizes, all ages and both sexes, all on the same quest to mastering pole tricks; be that climbing the pole, managing to sit it for longer than 2 seconds without gritting your teeth with the pain (a HUGE accomplishment right there!) or learning how to invert, you realize how great and unique we all are and you become more accepting towards others. When you get the pole bug and join all pole groups there are to find on social media (it will happen, I promise you!) you appreciate watching other people from all over the world accomplishing astonishing things on the pole. You even start giving compliments to total strangers, even though this is totally unlike how you used to be; now it is normal to you because you share a special bond with the person; he/she is not a stranger anymore - you two are connected through pole. 


Being involved in the pole world and hearing other polers stories also opens your mind to different cultures and different ways of thinking from your own. Maybe your culture is not big on pole dancing in heels (such as mine); you still love to watch the talented polers who do wear them swing around the pole in an effortless way and you respect them deeply because you can only imagine how hard it is! 
It is clear that sending out more positivity and being more open minded towards others only gives you back a hundred times; as we all know - karma is a real thing!

We come in all shapes and sizes, we support, encourage and appreciate each other!

Reason 3: It increases your happiness

Studies have shown that the biggest motivator to beginning exercise, and better yet, keeping exercise as a lifestyle habit, is in fact our happiness.

Poling makes us feel so happy!  It makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Finding the motivation to start physical activity is very hard, but getting your tush off the couch and out for a run can be an unbearable chore when you actually kind of don't like running … at all.

This makes pole dancing the ideal exercise for us - because we inherently enjoy the time we spend in the studio or at home, working towards our goals, whether they are to learn to do the splits, master the invert or jump into a hardcore spatchcock! There are always goals to work towards, always something new we want to be able to do, which constantly keeps our interest, motivation and enjoyment high. The workout stops being a chore you need to check off of today's to-do list, instead becoming something you look forward to do, something you very much enjoy. You fall in love with exercise. And all the while you are staying in shape, getting healthier and happier! Life is a lot easier when you are happy. As they say, smile towards the world and the world will smile back at you. Karma guys, it works!

No more words needed.

Reason 4: It makes you st-st-st-stronger!

New polers immediately discover this amazing by-product of beginning their pole journey.

Pole power! The body weight exercises required in pole dancing instantly make you stronger and more stronger! All of a sudden you need to use muscles you had no clue existed before (heck, your muscles even have muscles since you started pole!) you discover how super strong and awesome your body really is and how it is capable of much more than you ever dreamed of. And let's just mention a few extra benefits this offers for daily life; you no longer need help carrying heavy items long distances (now it's something you do for fun), you can now lift your kids or little siblings (possibly even your husband) high up in the air without breaking a sweat (much to their joy) and you can even climb lampposts (which will be very handy if a zombie apocalypse ever breaks out!).

Woo! Awesome party trick! (and also useful if you ever need to hide from someone).

There you have it, lovely reader; I could probably go on for many more pages, but I think we've established how wonderful and amazing pole is, and better yet, how our sport makes us better at life! We are more confident, healthier, happier, stronger, more open minded and friendlier. All thanks to pole. And we sure pay it forward!


6 Reasons to Walk on Stage: thoughts on pole dance performance and competition February 07 2015, 0 Comments

Everyone should dip their toes in the performance pool at least once. Here are 6 reasons to stop putting it off and step in to the spotlight...

By Dylan Mayer

Pole is amazing - it brings together people from all walks of life, connected by the profound love of making pretty shapes on a metal bar. For anyone with a background in creative arts, performing might seem natural, however for the lawyer or electrician on the pole next to you, the idea of entering a competition may be seriously outlandish!

Whether you’re 15 or 50, a ballerina or paramedic, a serious competitor or just in it for experience, that 3 minutes on stage has so much to offer you.

Reason 1: It will make you fitter and improve your technique. Putting together a routine requires so much dedication, practice and stamina it pushes you much further than in normal practice. It will force you into good habits (e.g. pointing your toes!) and get you fitter than you have ever been! After your show make sure you look back at early run-throughs and acknowledge your hard work.

Reason 2: You will make friends. So many friends! There is nothing like adrenaline, fear, no sleep and 6 energy drinks to help make lifelong friends. Especially if you train at home, entering competitions will connect you to the pole community like nothing else! It’s like one big family reunion, even if you’ve never met anyone. Nearly all of my closest pole friends have been made backstage.

Reason 3: You’re never going to feel ‘good enough’. I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard people put off showcases, competitions or even sending in a video audition because they wanted to wait until they are ‘better’. News flash: you are never going to feel ‘good enough’. Not implying you are literally not good enough, but that most people are their own worst critic. Realise that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and when you watch a competition it’s a display of each artist’s strengths. Don’t forget that there are performance opportunities for every level!

Reason 4: You will become a better performer. You will learn to harness nervous energy and control the ‘this was a terrible decision I don’t belong here’ voice. You will grow every single time you step on stage, and learn to love the sea of nameless faces, bright lights and swelling anticipation. The less you focus on failing, the more you can connect with your music and the audience. There won’t ever be a time where you don’t wish you could run out of the theatre and get back into bed, but you’ll learn to make peace with the raging butterflies in your stomach. Make sure someone films your routine, especially if you are a chronic self-doubter. Trust me, you will have done better than you think.

Reason 5: Your skin will get thicker. Especially if you are getting serious about competing, you need advice. Copious amounts of good advice. And you’ll also find that the best advice can sometimes come in the harshest, hardest-to-swallow packages. If you can, find a good coach and trust him/her with your life. Good routines are only half talent - the other half is learning to make good choices about utilizing that talent. Your coach’s job is to help make those decisions easy.

Reason 6: You will inspire someone. Regardless of your age, gender, weight, pole prowess or style there will be someone in the audience who will go home and register for a competition or showcase because they saw you perform. Someone will try out a move they saw you smash on stage. Someone will decide to try their very first pole class. Performing is a gift for you and your audience.

One of my favourite things about pole is it gives adults who have never had the chance to step onto the stage the opportunity to do so. Pole fosters a wonderful culture where anyone, of any level of experience has the chance to get up and be a total star.

So next time your instructor tells you about a showcase or competition don’t rule yourself out. Ask ‘do I want this?’ and if the answer is ‘yes’, start now, it will only lead to good things! 

Dylan is the newest blogger to join the indi pole wear team! Dylan has been pole dancing since 2012. She is part of the Australian Pole Championships & Australian Pole Training Expo management team, and can be found with her pole family at Aerial Pole Academy in Canberra. Her ultimate nemesis move is the Twisted Grip Handspring (2.5 years trying... and counting) and her favourite tricks include the Sneaky V and the Janeiro! Outside of pole, she studies a mix of science and humanities, eats as much marzipan as is humanly possible and works breeding Showjumping Horses.


Meet Kristy Louise, indi pole wear spokeswoman and future pole dance champion! September 08 2014, 1 Comment

"You will have your bad days but you will also have days where you nail everything first go... If it's a bad day, put on your favourite song and just dance."

kristy louise

Today we are chatting with our newest spokeswoman. Kristy Louise is one of Australia's dancers to watch! Kristy Louise started pole a year ago, began competing in 2014, and is already amazing audiences with her incredible flexibility, gymnastic skill and strength. Kristy Louise has the titles of 2nd runner up - ACT/TAS Pole Championship, Amateur Champion - NSW Pole Championships & 3rd Miss Pole Dance ACT Amateur division. Kristy will be competing for the Amateur Pole Champion title in the Australian Pole Championships in September 2014 - we are so excited to see what Kristy brings to the stage! Kristy Louise is a teacher and student of Aerial Pole Academy in Canberra, Australia. We chat about her pole journey, what pole means to her and her tips for new pole dance students....

1. How did you discover pole dance and how has it shaped your life?

I discovered pole just over a year ago when it felt like the world was crashing down around me. I was in a really difficult stage in my life and I needed an outlet for my emotions. I was definitely ready for a change, and I was ready to prove something to both myself and the world. I missed dancing when I was younger and knew that it may have been too late to get back into gymnastics and ballet but found pole to be exactly what I needed. I could utilize my flexibility, strength and dance skills.

2. Why are you passionate about pole?

I love pole because it allows me to be part of an incredibly supportive community. My pole friends mean the world to me! Looking back to last year, so much has changed in such short period of time, I never thought I would perform in a theatre again, let alone be preparing for a national competition! Since starting pole I have smashed goals and gained so much confidence and pride in myself. It is a overwhelming emotional roller coaster, but I am so glad I got on.

3. Do you see pole as art, sport or fitness and why?

I couldn’t box pole into one category. It is clearly an amazing way to get fit - I have muscles I never knew existed! I can now over split on 4 yoga blocks. But I'm also very competitive, I compete whenever I can and constantly strive to improve myself. That's where fitness mixes with sport. And then in a routine you have to be expressive and tell a story. So much emotion can be put into one routine! I love it - it's the best feeling! When you’ve trained hard, thought competitively and danced with your soul on stage - pole is an art, a sport and a fitness regime all in one!

4. Describe your ideal pole training schedule.

As well as teaching & training pole, my personal training focuses on  flexibility. I love contortion and including back bends in my pole tricks and choreography. Flexibility is definitely my strength, and you always love doing what you’re good at! I stretch ALL the time!

5. What advice would you give to new pole dancers to help them reach their pole goals?

Never give up. I personally get really frustrated if I can't nail a trick, but I'll leave it for a week and then persist again. You will have your bad days but you will also have days where you nail everything first go... If it's a bad day, put on your favourite song and just dance.

To see what Kristy Louise is up to, follow her on Instagram!

Photo courtesy of NSW Pole Championships & Chi Chu photography.


Elbow tendinopathy - a common injury in the pole dance world June 10 2014, 2 Comments

elbow tendinopathy

By indi spokeswoman and physiotherapist, Phoebe. See her profile by clicking here.

Elbow tendinopathy (which leads to elbow pain) is quite common among pole dancers. I've had it in both elbows….at the same time….while trying to train for a competition! As a physio and a poler I often get asked for advice, so hopefully some of the tips I share here will help if you are suffering elbow pain or prevent elbow tendinopathy in the future.

I've found that most pole related elbow pain is caused by disruption of either the forearm flexor and/or extensor tendons. A little anatomy lesson: The muscles on the anterior surface of your forearm (the same side as the palm of your hand) are the forearm flexors. Most of these muscles all join at one point (smaller than your little fingernail) at your elbow. If you have your elbow by your side, this point is the closest boney prominence to your body. Similarly with the forearm extensors all the muscles on the back of your forearm (hairy side) attach at a single point at the boney prominence on the furthest side of your elbow in relation to your body.

So what you ask? Well, as we are gripping onto the pole and contorting our bodies into weird and wonderful positions the muscles of our forearms are working overtime to assist our hands to grip, as well as stabilise the wrists and elbow joints while they carry the full weight of our bodies! The muscles of the forearm are pulled from the small attachment point at the elbow towards the hand, and this can create strain on the attachment point, which can then lead to elbow pain.

How do we fix it? There are a few techniques which I've found to be super helpful in relieving elbow strain and pain.

Myofascial release – The best thing about it is that you can do it yourself! As discussed the cause is the muscles being pulled to the hand away from the elbow...so, we can reverse this by using your fist to massage TOWARDS the elbow in one motion to give the attachment point some slack. I do this throughout my training sessions mostly but can be done when not training. In my experience this is by far the most effective technique. It will take time, weeks to months for the pain to completely alleviate but don’t be disheartened - you will return to your former glory!

Bracing – You can buy elbow braces for around $30 from most chemists or sports clinics. They are a band that fits around the top of the forearm just under the elbow and acts to offload the attachment point. They can work to alleviate pain while training but may not fix the cause and can get in the way while training.

Ice – this is good after training sessions if the elbow has been stirred up or inflamed. This will not fix the cause just reduce the inflammation caused by the latest training session.

Heat – this can reduce pain in between training sessions, however it will actually increase blood flow and inflammation to the area so avoid using it just after a training session. Again it will not treat the cause of injury.

Stretching and strengthening exercises – Stretching can help but can also stretch the forearm muscles the wrong way pulling the muscles off the elbow attachment point which is what we want to avoid. Eccentric strength exercises are suggested by research, however I find these only aggravate the elbow so these exercises should be saved for after the pain has resolved.

And lastly....

Rest – um... but who wants to rest from pole?

Hopefully this helps shed some light on elbow pain for polers! Let me know if you have any other helpful tips!

Phoebe xxoo

P.S. Large poles (e.g. 50mm) can be a culprit, especially if you have little hands. Try using a thinner pole if available. Or give yourself a break from moves or positions that cause lots of pain, just train something else and come back to it SLOWLY.

 


Raw, healthy chocolate bars May 25 2014, 0 Comments

raw healthy chocolate bars
 

These are a fantastic alternative to store-bought muesli bars & they taste a million times better! Perfect as a snack when you're running between work, training, school, and as a post-workout snack! Best of all they contain lots of nuts & seeds which means you'll be getting your daily dose of good oils and plenty of vitamins and minerals! Almonds and pumpkin seeds are great sources of magnesium, manganese, vitamin E and protein, while figs are a great source of healthy carbohydrates and fibre. Best of all, there's no cooking or baking required!

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almonds

1 cup roughly chopped figs

1/4 cup coconut oil (we use jt's coconut essence cold pressed oil)

1/4 cup maple syrup (more or less to your taste)

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1/4 cup dried raspberries

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1 tablespoon chia gel (chia seeds soaked in water for 30 mins or longer), optional

 

For topping:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup (more or less to taste, we use Absolute Organic)

2 tablespoon of cacao powder (we use Loving Earth raw organic cacao powder)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. In a food processor, roughly chop the almonds.

2. Add chopped figs, coconut oil & maple syrup to food processor and process until the mixture comes together into a sticky paste

3. In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin seeds, blueberries, raspberries, shredded coconut & cacao nibs.

4. Add the sticky almond/fig mix to the dry ingredients & stir or use clean hands to mix thoroughly.

5. Add chia gel & mix. The final mixture should be sticky but not runny (add seeds or shredded coconut to make it more dry, or coconut oil or water to moisten).

6. Press firmly into a loaf tin (e.g. 10cm x 20cm or larger) lined with baking paper.

7. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

8. For the chocolate topping, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (sit a glass with the oil in hot water for a few minutes to melt the oil), add 1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup (more or less to taste) and 1 tablespoon of cacao. This should form a liquid chocolate. Pour over base & smooth to cover.

9. Refrigerate for an hour then cut into 12 or more bars.

 

TIPS

Keep your muesli bars in the fridge and they'll keep for up to a week (longer in the freezer)! The type of nuts, seeds and berries you use can be varied to suit your taste.

If you're watching your sugar intake or want to reduce the sweetness add less maple syrup to the base and topping. You may also want to omit the chocolate topping or drizzle the chocolate topping instead of coating it.

Or if you're a chocoholic you can also add 1 tablespoon of cacao to the base mixture for a double chocolate hit!

You may also want to cut them into a mix of smaller and larger bars for portion control!


Tips for pole dance - flexibility tips to help you get your splits May 05 2014, 1 Comment

splits

Having a flat front split is a key goal for most pole dancers, for good reason - splits look beautiful, on & off the pole! Here we share some of our best tips for working toward a flat front split on the floor. We will deal with centre/straddle splits in another tutorial.

Firstly, which muscles are we targeting when we stretch our front splits? Gaining flexibility in our hamstrings and hip flexors is most important when we're trying to get our split. Most positions in which you fold forward while your leg is straight will target your hamstrings, while bending backward slightly while in a lunge position will target your hip flexor. Tip 5 is a link to stretches that target these muscles.

Top tips for front splits.

1. Practice often, even for short periods. While a long stretching session is ideal, sometimes we just don't have much time between pole classes to devote to stretching. Often, I'm surprised how much progress students can make when they implement even just 10 minutes of stretching at regular intervals. Developing the habit of stretching is just as important as doing each stretch correctly. Reflect on your daily routine - you'll most likely find that you have 10 minutes a day in which you could incorporate stretching. Stretching while sitting in front of the TV/working on the computer/checking facebook really works! I often eat dinner sitting on the floor in straddle! If you're stretching without a prior warm up, be extra gentle, never push to the point of pain.

2. Relax your MIND. Your body should still be active during splits, but to develop a deeper stretching practice it's essential to train your mind to relax. Once this happens, your body will start to accept stretching, you will progress faster, and it will be much more enjoyable. Start by holding your splits for 15 seconds, then with time, work up to holding them for a minute or even two. Try focusing on your breath & notice where you're holding unnecessary tension (e.g. shoulders, face). Slow your breath down & listen to your internal dialogue. Be aware of negative thoughts, but don't hold on to them.

3. Keep your hips square. Keeping your hips in line with each other as you face forward is important for stretching the hip flexor of the leg that's behind you. By keeping your hips square, you will gain flexibility more quickly, and your body will remain evenly balanced. Balance between the left and right sides of the body will be important when you start to do standing splits/leg mounts/needle scale/handstands. To keep your hips square, focus on keeping the hips in line as you go down. When you start to feel the hips opening out sideways, draw them back into line using strength & stop here until you feel you can go lower with your hips square. Use yoga blocks to rest your hands on for support, so you can relax your shoulders. When you're performing or are on the pole, you might let your hips open out to get a deeper split, but keeping your hips square during training will get you on the floor in splits much more quickly.

4. Start practicing oversplits before your splits are flat on the floor. Many students think they need to wait until their splits are flat on the floor before they start oversplit stretching (splits with either the front or back foot raised). Not so! In fact, oversplit stretching can start when you are 10cm (4 inches) or more from the floor & will help your splits become flat much quicker! Use a foam yoga block to raise your front foot of the floor (heel resting on the block). Place yoga blocks or other supports under your hands, keep your hips square & relax your shoulders. Repeat with the back foot raised (top of the foot resting on the block). Once you've stretched your oversplit, take the block away and stretch your splits on the floor again. You might be surprised how much closer you are to the floor!

5. Target your hips & hamstrings. Here are videos of stretches that target your hips and hamstrings by master trainer, Kit Laughlin. This video shows an excellent wall lunge targeting the hip flexor and here is another video showing a lunge hamstring stretch. Both are excellent stretches to do prior to going into full split.

6. Always train both sides!

Happy poling!

From indi @ indipolewear


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