There is an increasing number of polers out there who now have there own pole at home. Weekly, I get asked my advice on which poles I would recommend to my students. I love to be able to share my knowledge of my favourite poles, where to get them, what is a good price… and which poles to avoid if you actually want to be able to do any moves on them! 🙂
While I can ensure that my students are safe in my classes, I obviously can’t go around to all of their houses making sure they are safe. Obviously when they are out of my class, I can’t be held responsible for them, but I would like them to be safe. The other day I got asked a question that made me want to write this article.
Upside Down Poles
One of my students told me about her friend (who isn’t a student of mine) who had to put her X-Pole up, upside down as there was not enough room on the ceiling to put it up correctly. She wanted to know whether this is safe or not. While I do not work for X-Pole and can’t accurately answer on their behalf, I told her that it wasn’t safe and managed to reel off a number of reasons why, and came up with a solution for her.
When I used to teach pole for hen parties, I went along to a studio I had never taught at before where two gentlemen there were setting up the poles for me. It came as a big surprise that they were putting them in upside down. As I had never met them before, I assumed that there must be some reason for their madness… there wasn’t. I felt a little guilty about asking them to allow me to turn them the other way round. They assured me that all of the other instructors put it that way up as well. All I had to do was show them how dangerous it was to walk around the pole and step on the ‘ceiling’ dome and they helped me put it right.
I can understand the theory of trying to put it up the wrong way round, but it makes me shudder to think people might hurt themselves by doing this. I hate to think of all the other things people are doing at home that might potentially hurt themselves. It is odd to think that anyone with enough money can buy a pole and start learning. While I’m sure there are a lot of people who have done this and go from strength to strength, I know there are also those people out there who do hurt themselves. Sadly this has become a well searched term of ‘Pole Dancing Fail’ – the kind of thing that anyone anti-pole will refer to in order to try and make a poorly researched point.
Are We Safe In Other Ways?
I sound like I’m writing an essay when I say it depends what we mean when we use the word ‘safe.’ There are so many things that we should be doing… but time, money and experience can make us brush over these. We all know that we should be warming up and cooling down with every workout that we do. That said, I know there have been many times (when my pole was in the living room) that I would just jump on the pole and have a quick spin or try out a move without a warm-up.
While we all put down mats when we try something difficult in class – what about at home? Is it a case of ‘I’ll just try and be careful?’. I know a lot of people who have poles at home, but so far do not know any who use mats at home. I do wonder how much of a risk we are in. Is it a case of if there is no-one to blame but yourself, then it’s okay?
I’d say that about 90% of the people I know who pole at home don’t have enough space around the pole for it to be safe to use. I have a lot of space around my pole but have to choose where I invert in order to do an extended butterfly. I also have a wardrobe which means I have to be careful when kicking around the pole.
When you’re in class you have mats around you and people to spot you. When you are at home, would there be anyone around you to help spot you, and are they well enough informed to be able to spot you correctly?
And All The Other Little Things
Sometimes we don’t always know when we’re going to be able to pole, unlike knowing when our next class is. Sometimes this means that we’ll potentially be covered in moisturiser and might not have our pole shorts on.
I’m sure that some of you reading this are doing everything correctly, which is really great. I’m just trying to make people think about making themselves safe.
Do you treat your home pole workout as a ‘proper’ workout? Do you warm-up and cool down properly. Do you drink enough water? Do you make sure that you’re not tired when you’re poling?
It’s really important to treat your pole workout seriously – while it should be fun and rewarding you should always keep safe and never risk your health.
Just a few things to think about 🙂 Safe Poling xxx