In pole when we work on a spin it’s quite obvious when to stop the spin. It can happen naturally if we run out of momentum but it will also happen when we come to the floor.
You can always try to give yourself that little bit more momentum to keep it going – lean into the move, use your arms more, add on a transition move.
When it comes to holding static poses i.e. Gemini, Thinker, Flatline Scorpio, Iron X etc, it’s a little more difficult to tell how long we should hold it for.
Some moves we could probably hold as long as we wanted – Seats, Peter Pan, Ball, or many moves where the blood is not rushing to our head.
With other moves it is a lot harder to tell.
When we work on a move in class, I try to encourage people to hold it as long as they can. On the first few attempts, as you would expect, this is usually shorter than 5 seconds. It can take a lot to get used to the move itself, figure out how and where you’re holding yourself, and getting used to the pain.
When we can do the move, we aim to hold for a slow five seconds – not the kind of five seconds you count as you’re sliding down the pole. 😉
Usually after this, we transition either into the move or from the move, which adds on to the time spent on the pole – which we want.
In the World Pole Sport Championships you have to hold each move for a minimum 2 seconds if you want it to count towards your score. Of course there are a million different rules that go along with this but generally speaking, two seconds is where it’s at. This may not sound like a long time, but it’s a normal two seconds, which is probably slower than we all count, and the move needs to be perfect.
Why Hold It?
If I’m performing it’s nice for the audience to have a visual break. You can be showing trick after trick but they really need a break to let it all sink it. If you’ve done an amazing combo or drop, you’ll need to have a break to show them a beautiful move. You’ll probably also need some time to breathe too.
Different people are impressed by different tricks too. I find non polers love a good Cross Knee Release, so I’ll spend time showing that off if it’s appropriate. Sometimes there are certain moves that spread like wildfire on the internet and every poler every where is trying it, so it gets a little dull (even if the move is fantastic) so I wouldn’t spend a whole 10 seconds in this move, even if you want to show off how hard you’ve worked for this.
When you are holding moves in class or practise time, it’s super important to hold it. If nothing else, it will make you super strong! Pretty much every move can be used to help you in another move. If you get strong holding an Outside Leg Hook (Gemini) then any move you transition into using that knee hook, you will be strong in. It’s amazing to have already built up the strength for a move you haven’t tried yet.
You will be more confident in your moves. If you transition from a new move into a move you can hold, you will be more confident trying the transition, as your body will naturally want to go into your ‘go to move.’ This automatically makes scary new moves a whole lot easier.
You will be working towards your power moves like Iron X – and who doesn’t want that? For those super strong power moves where it looks like you’re being held up by magic, you will need a whole lot of muscles. Any thing you can start working on now will help you get to that goal.
For a lot of our moves our arms are often in the same position. Think of how you have you arms in a Butterfly. If you are strong in this grip, you can start to get your body away from the pole into an Extended Butterfly. From there you have an Inverted D, Ayesha and yes, an Iron X. They all start from this one position. Of course there are many ways to do these moves, but think about the possibilities when you are strong in your Butterfly.
And if nothing else, it looks good if you can hold it!
How To Hold It
Practice is the obvious answer here! The more you go over your moves, the stronger you’ll get and the easier the moves will be. I like to count to 5 – sometimes in my head and if I can, out loud as it helps to make sure you breathe in moves. If you are breathing you’ll be able to hold it for longer as well!
If you focus on counting, you will hopefully forget about the pain or the intense need to hold and just start to relax into the move, which will make it look more natural and much easier to hold.
So let’s try out our new moves – and count to five while we do! 😀