Pole dancing is an intense physical activity which works out the whole body. As for any intense physical activity, it is important to get the body prepared before getting into a training session. Perhaps you are late at your pole dancing class and think it is okay to miss the warm up or perhaps you have seen a new exciting move in a video on the web that you just cannot wait to try.
In any case, it is important to always warm up before jumping onto the pole.
This post is going to explain the importance of warm up before pole dancing and how warm up is beneficial to your pole dancing skills.
What is a warm up ?
A warm up in a series of exercises combined with stretches performed before an intense physical activity. Exercises in a warm up usually consists of light cardio vascular exercises and stretches. The cardio vascular exercises will increase the body temperature and the heart rate while the stretches will aim at warming the muscles to get them ready for the moves that you are going to perform in your pole dancing session.
What kind of exercises do you do in warm up before pole dancing ?
Warm up exercises generally consists of light cardio vascular exercises and stretches. For pole dancing, you can adapt your warm up exercises and stretches according to the training or class you are going to have. For example, if your next pole dancing class is going to involve moves with splits, your warm up before that class would include mostly stretches of the legs focusing on the hamstrings and the hip flexors. If your pole dancing class is going to have you perform bendy back moves, then your warm up is going to focus more on the back.
The cardio vascular exercises can also consist of active flexibility stretches such as leg kicks.
Personally, there are exercises and stretches that are always part of my warm up before each pole dancing training session. Exercises and stretches of the shoulders, neck and hip flexors for example are important as these are the areas of the body that you always use in pole dancing, no matter the moves that you are going to practice.
As you will progress during your pole dancing journey, you will naturally learn about your body and its needs. You will then learn to also adapt your warm up.
While it is not a must, using some equipment such as yoga blocks and stretching bands during your warm up helps to make the warm up more effective. When stretching for splits, using yoga blocks help in giving you support to hold your splits longer. Stretching bands is an excellent accessory to use to warm up the shoulders.
It is also important to get to know your body as everyone is different. If you think you are not very flexible in your legs for example, you might want to spend a few more minutes on stretching this particular area of your body during your warm up.
How long should a warm up last ?
A warm up will usually last 10 to 15 minutes. But again, depending on the class and training you are going to have, sometimes, it could last a little longer.
If you are practicing pole at home, you might want to spend more time in warm up as well.
How Is Warm Up Beneficial To Pole Dancing ?
Warm up may last only 10 to 15 minutes yet they are very beneficial :
Enhanced performance – With light cardio vascular exercises during a warm up, the heart rate increases as well as the blood flow. This results also in an increase in the body temperature and more oxygen being released in your blood to your muscles. Warm and well oxygenated muscles automatically help to deliver a better performance.
Mental preparation – During warm up, we slowly take our minds away from our daily thoughts and distractions. We bring focus on the training we are going to have and have a better concentration on our exercises.
Injury prevention – If we skip a warm up before pole dancing, it means we practice and work out cold and this can result more easily in injury. The reason why we need to get our muscles warmed up before an intense activity is that warmed muscles are stronger and makes them more difficult to tear. During a warm up, the joints are also being lubricated, which facilitates movement and gives more elasticity to the tissues.
If it happens that you are late at your pole dancing class or have limited time to practice, make sure to do at least 5 minutes warm up. Although many of us have busy and tight schedules, we cannot rush to work out. It is simply not effective. Pole dancing as well as any other physical activity requires time to work out and to progress. So, it is more rewarding in the end if we get ourselves organized so that we can dedicate sufficient amount of time to our training.