So here I am in Mallorca sitting on a sun lounger by the pool. The thing that you don’t know is that although it is lovely and warm, it is pouring down and has been for a few days!
Not one to be disappointed, I turned the rain into a great opportunity.
The gym here at the hotel has made me unbelievably happy. Not only do they have all the usual gym equipment, but they also have wall bars 😀
I love wall bars. I’m not really sure why as I’ve not played on them since I was at school (many moons ago) and I’m not sure quite what to do with them, but I figured I could do something poley on them!
I referred back to Oona Kivelä’s wall bar video for some much needed inspiration.
Here It Goes…
I happened to be passing the gym when I first spotted the wall bars. Egged on by my mischievous partner, I decided to try a handspring. That was my first mistake. I couldn’t get up and almost fell off. I skulked back to my room and had a re-think.
My Second Day
This was the day I learned to love the wall bars. I managed to do my Russian Splits (pictured below) as well as a few good strength and flexibility moves.
My Russian Splits felt a lot more secure on the bars than on the pole, as I had a more secure grip with my foot and hands. This then allowed me to stretch further on this move (I need to stretch even further now though!). It was hard to move my hands lower as I would have had to take them off to put them on a lower rung… So my hands pretty much have to stay on the rung they start on.
Next to an invert. Being so used to inverting and handsprings, I thought it would be easy to get upside down. I wasn’t thinking about how as polers we are used to having as much space around the pole as we need, to get up. So the only way I could get up was to climb!
While this wasn’t graceful at all, it served a purpose. I managed to get upside down and hold, while attempting to lever out.
My grip felt more secure as I physically couldn’t slide down the pole but it was a lot more painful on the hands compared to what I’m used to the pole.
Once you get over the initial difference between pole and wall bar grip then it’s easy enough to hold.
On To The Flexibility
The following is a clip of me stretching my hamstrings. As you can see, my head is going between my legs! I definitely feel I’m getting more flexible 😀
There is always a scary moment where I’m not sure if I can get back up, but so far I’ve had enough strength to do so!
There are so many more moves to try, but for now I’m loving this one – although I don’t know what to call it!
Now To The Strength Work
So, I tried to hold myself out (successfully) as if I were about to go into a Deadlift Ayesha (not successful – mind you, I can’t do this on the pole yet!)
The problem with the walls bars is that as standard, they have missing rungs in the top half section and this is the height I would usually put my arms. So, I had to climb up. Again, having to have my palms facing down (or up), rather than sideways onto the pole. This weakened my grip and made me twist but it helped me to work different muscles in my arms and to generally work on my strength.
I kept just trying to hold my body out for longer each time. I also got my partner to help take my weight as I attempted a deadlift so I could feel where my body needed to go. It kind of ended up with him cradling me!!
I then tried levers. So I laid on my back and held onto the wall bars above my head, quite low down. From here I lifted up into a shoulder stand. Trying to keep my body in a straight line, I lowered myself to the ground. I tried one leg straight and one bent, and then switched sides. I also tried both legs straight. This was a really great and safe way to try and get my core strong enough to lever down… I could definitely feel it the next day too!
My Verdict On The Wall Bars
I love wall bars 😀
I’m not 100% sure on what to do with them, but I managed to do enough to see the benefit. I know I could get stronger and stronger in a safe way, and this strength would translate directly to the pole.
I managed to get myself tied up in many knots and it’s quite funny when you’re stuck… Well maybe after you’ve figured out how to get down.
I also managed to teach my partner how to do a Iguana which he now loves and can’t wait to try on the pole.
Now I’m trying to figure out where I can put some up 🙂
Have you experimented with wall bars? Do you have any good moves for us to try?!