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Rest It, Don't Push It!

Pole can be a dangerous sport as we all know, There are so many ways you can injure yourself. It can be scary learning a new move when you are aware of the potential of a slip and the potential for injury.

What's more terrifying is when you witness an injury actually occur, or when, if you're really unfortunate you're the one who gets injured.

I was unfortunate to have hurt my arm. It was, from what advice I was given, tendinitis. And yes, that is as painful as it sounds!

How did I do this? I over-trained. Pole is something you love, and if you're as fanatical as me, you want every day to be a pole day. I started with one lesson a week and increased to two. Next minute I was training three times a week, with just a days rest in between and even had my pole up at home to practice. This coupled with chin-ups every day and the result was a very sore forearm. Guess what? I decided I was clever, and "worked through the pain". Against my better judgement and advice from both my instructors at the time, I ignored them telling me to rest.

I ended up going to a class one evening, inverting, performing a straight edge and my bracing arm (the injured suspect) decided enough was enough and it crumpled and gave way. Luckily, I had dropped my legs and landed in a standing position. However, the tears poured down my face. not only was I now in excruciating pain, I also realised I had waited until my body had forced me to stop, before I listened. I cried a lot that night knowing I had damaged my arm worse than I thought I could, and knowing I now wouldn't be poling for a while.

Over the curse of 6 weeks, I massaged my arm throughout the day, most days, wore a support bandage and used a lot of ice and Deep Heat. I watched my Facebook news feed fill up with my classmates pictures and videos and looked on longingly knowing I was missing out.

Sue spotting Kelly in Knee Release at Dream Fitness

My advice? For what it's worth, firstly always listen to your instructor. They DO know what they're talking about and they've seen it all before. If they tell you to slow down or to rest, then listen to them! They are an expert on pole and a good pole instructor will be have anatomy and muscle knowledge and if you couple that with their pole knowledge, they really will know what they're talking about!!

I'm not saying only do one lesson a week, but if you do what to increase it, make sure you do it slowly and not suddenly increase to 3 or 4 lessons a week without a break or an intake of essential vitamins or protein repair.

Talking of protein, have a look at protein shakes or foods which help repair muscles after training. There's loads of advice online or talk to your GP or a nutritionist and see what you should take or do.

If you do get an injury then make sure rest. Isn't it better to rest for 1 or 2 weeks than be out for 6 or 8 or potentially do long-term, irreparable damage?

Always make sure you have a spotter if you're not feeling confident with a move, or feel a bit slippy or you're not quite sticking. I'd rather not break my leg than have a great photo until I'm confident in a move. Remember, your instructor is there to help, to train and to keep you safe. So, as before, listen to them but also ask their advice, They may warn you against doing that Russian Layback or be able to help you with some great stretching or training techniques to improve that allegra safely or hold your straight edge without damaging your arm!

Keep safe ladies (and gents!).

Sue spotting Amy in Superman at Dream Fitness

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