One Painful Move?

Do you have that one painful move that for some reason or another, gets the best of you? I’m pretty sure we all do!

We were talking in class last night about those moves that just don’t get better. For some reason or another you can’t quite fight through the pain. So how do we progress?

It’s hard enough fighting against the pain on the pole, but it’s even harder when you have to fight against your brain as well. If you think you can’t (or don’t want to) try a move before you do, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get it. Trust me, I’ve been there.

So first we need to believe that we can do it – or at least get rid of the negativity and then we can give it a go.

What About The Pain?

We all know about pole pain, and that moves can really hurt. With most moves, the more you do it the less painful it gets (or perhaps the more used to the pain you get!) And then there are those moves that for some reason or another never seem to get any less painful.

I’ve had a few students feel this with their Cross Knee Release and Inside Leg Hang.

We were trying to figure out the best way to deal with this. People know the move is going to hurt, and usually get half way into it and have to give up. The pain is too much and they don’t want to go any further. Having to stop half way through means that you never really get to the point were the move feels okay – either in terms of nailing it, or pushing through the pain.

It’s usually the ‘lean back’ part of the Cross Knee Release that is the painful part. Try and breathe through it and go for it. If you go slow or only get half way it will only be more painful. When you lean all the way back it actually feels less painful. If you always get to the same point and stop you will never progress. You will also tell yourself that it’s only going to get more painful, which isn’t true.

What About Moves You Can Do?

Sometimes you can do a move but it’s so painful you come out of it – you can’t hold it any longer or transition out of it. This one is probably more frustrating as you know you can do the move, and so it’s the pain holding you back.

For me it was the Floating Butterfly. (Pictured) I could get into it but had to come out of it almost immediately due to the pain. No matter what I did, it was always super painful… and in multiple places too. I’d get to the point where the pain was bad and figured it could only get worse – so I came out of it. For such a long time I would get to the same point and stop.

I realised that it was my brain stopping myself, rather than my body physically not being able to get into the move. Of course our brain and body register pain so that we know to change the situation and look after ourselves, but I guess it can be different in pole.

I could already get into the Floating Butterfly position, so all I had to do was hold it. Over time I managed to hold it for a good, slow 5 seconds, and even dismount gracefully from it. Success!


With most moves, I want to add something on or find a nice way to come out of it, which is always my motivation for sticking with it. I never just want to crumple out of a move. So when I do come across a painful move, I make sure I stick with it. I hold it for as long as I can which is often not long at first. When I can hold it for 5 seconds while breathing and with a smile on my face, I then start working on a nice transition out of it.

Know your limits and listen to your body. Sometimes we know it’s bad pain and we should avoid it, and other times we know it’s pole burn. Of course pole burn can be bad so stay safe and don’t over do it. Even if you try one a day or one a week, it will get easier.

What moves are causing you pain?

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Comments From the PoleFreaks Community:

  1. Ballerina, when I do it I get the most horrendous muscle pain just under my ribs and it takes an average of 4 days to heal. Do I really NEED to do Ballerina? Nope, I think there are some moves our bodies just say “no thank you” to.

  2. For me it is the swoop (scorpio with free leg crossing the knee on the pole, then letting go of the upper body so someone can take my hands and hang on me). When my partner’s weight is on it, it is ridiculously painfull but even if I do it myself, I mostly cannot stand the pain. Usually I am not good at ignoring pain and my scorpio/gemini is painless for years already. So I keep wondering why this swoop is sooo painful, even after 6 months of doing it. I decided to do it lefthanded so that I can use my other leg for all other moves the rest of the week 😛 It might be that I turn my body before my legs are positioned properly? I will keep trying!

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