Pushing Yourself Too Hard

In the last few weeks and months I’ve been pushing myself as hard as I can. I have specific pole and flexibility aims – I know I want to get my deadlift and full splits by the end of 2015, which I think is a realistic aim given where I am now.

The problem us dancers have is pushing our bodies too hard. We know what are bodies are capable of and we make sure that it happens. We are known for pushing our bodies to extremes in new and difficult ways, more so than in other sports.

Let’s face it… If we have a move that we want to nail or even splits we want to achieve, we will quite often work through all of those niggling little pains and push through to get results. What happens when those pains get too much?


I see a physio as often as I can but realistically that’s not as often as I should. The right side of my body is super tight and often needs working out. Before Christmas I went for a massage and asked her to check out my right hamstring.

Turns out that I’ve aggravated the belly of my hamstring. The good news is that with a few simple exercises, stretches and 6 weeks to recover, I will be fine and my leg will feel better. The downside, is that I’ve done this to myself.

Day to day we just push ourselves in a variety of different ways and you never know what injury is around the corner. The problem I had was that I’ve hurt myself while either doing weighted squats, lunges, split squats or using the adductor and abductor machines in the gym… or even just from stretching. Therefore I have no idea exactly what I did and as such, I can’t stop that one thing.

I have been trying to get my legs stronger in order to help with my levers on the pole and having stronger muscles means I can use them more to help me get into my stretches. I only really notice a problem when I try to split with my right leg in front. As I know I want to get these flat, I have to rest and slowly strengthen my hamstring. Luckily for me, this advice came when I got a break over Christmas so it should be easy enough to rest my leg.

What Have You Done?

I tend to always work through the pain and wonder what other people do? I know I shouldn’t but a lot of the time I only feel and remember the pain when I’m doing certain moves or exercises. I tend to think that my body will always just sort itself out. Our daily aches and pains come and go and it can often be difficult to tell which is a real pain to get looked at.

I’m lucky I only have to avoid weights for 6 weeks – who knows what the consequences would have been had I left it longer.

All I can say is that your body is your machine. It’s awesome and is capable of so many great things. Treat your body like a prized possession. Keep it safe, strong and healthy and it will respect you. You will achieve greatness. Stay safe and happy poling 🙂

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Comments From the PoleFreaks Community:

  1. What exercises and stretches are you doing to help with your hamstring issue? I too am very tight on my right side especially in my hamstring but also at the bottom of my buttocks, around my right hip and up towards my rib cage!! Stretching on that side is very painful.

  2. Hi Kathy,

    I’ve got to strengthen mine first so I’m using resistance bands to make it stronger before I can use more weights / stretch further. I have to put the band around a table leg and then do various exercises – lifting and holding, moving forwards and backwards and then sideways about 30+ times! Seems simple but does wear you out!

    For stretching, I use both Alethea Austin and Cleo The Hurricanes flexibility DVDs.

    I hope that helps 🙂


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