This week the girls are chatting about injuries. Whether it's just a bruise or something that definitely 100% needs amputation, pole (and hoop) can easily lead to people getting hurt. As with any active hobby, you need to be really careful when training! Now let's hear from the girls!
Injury def. Every competitor's worst fear.
My worst injury during my time doing aerial started in November last year. Not sure how it happened but I noticed my left shoulder wasn't feeling great. It continued to not feel great for a few weeks until I gave in and visited a physiotherapist. I'd damaged my rotator cuff. I'd learned to fear this injury through my time as an archer at uni as it has a reputation to take ages to heal and then it never heals fully. I was pretty confused because I always warm up and try to do things properly; I guess this time I did something a bit wrong. So, unhappily, I had to stop everything (aerial and climbing) except the exercises given to me by the physio for 2 months. He knew what he was talking about, that time off combined with the exercises and deep massage worked! I just wish I'd gone sooner. That injury put me back a bit in aerial and I had to enter beginners pole rather than intermediate in Solent. The time off also led to me to hurt my hamstring by doing an optical split one too many times that I don't think my body was prepared for. (Always beware of follow-up injuries!)
During my training for the final my shoulder has been a bit uncomfortable at times, it tends to tell me when I've been overdoing the training. To ensure that I don't repeat the injury I've been making sure I warm up my shoulders completely, try to keep them loose using massage, and don't do anything silly when it's feeling bad.
My other shoulder hasn't been having much fun either. 2 weeks ago I ended up with a trapped nerve after a kettlebells session. I couldn't look or tilt my head to the right. Zorena really helped me during the monday classes, keeping the weights low in body sculpture and loosening the muscles with a quick massage. After the previous 2 days of pain this combination along with a stretch class really eased it :) it goes to show that rest isn't always the answer (although it is sometimes, consult those in the know!). I'm only left with a small lingering pain when I tilt my head to the right a lot but thankfully it won't affect the competition!
We're all used to the bruises and scrapes that go hand in hand with pole and hoop and these must worn with pride! But we need to take care to avoid those bigger injuries where possible; good warm-ups and cool-downs, making sure we can do move progressions before trying the final move, always letting our instructor know about any relevant previous or current injuries, and being aware of our limits. Have fun and train safe(ly)!
So...injuries...injuries wise I've been quite lucky, although I have had many burns cuts bruises etc. I have always found a way of working around them. Well first option is to rest and let them heal👍🏼however I don't have time!😂 So mainly just avoid the move that irritates the injury most, my worst injury would be when I pulled a groin muscle and never let it rest, to this day my hip still pops and clicks and every now and then plays up, but I don't let that stop me! The worst bruises I had were learning new moves as we tend to "Just try and see what happens"...aside from this it shows all the effort and hard work/training that goes into what you do and I am proud of these bruises I've gained...and I must say I'm very lucky to just have the cuts and bruises to show my dedication and hard work, as I know a lot more damage can be done especially learning new things or training for a competition!
Training is hard enough without being injured, and with active hobbies it is so easy to get hurt! I have been very lucky so far not to have anything go horribly wrong (touch wood) although I have had to train around certain things. Most recently I have hurt my shoulder and it has meant that I can't do certain things that are still in my routine. On hoop this is particularly frustrating because I am at the stage where I am practicing over and over, and I am having to avoid pushing into a reverse scarab, which is an easy move that I know I can do! Knowing what to do when you are injured is difficult, I never know whether an injury needs time to heal or whether I need to work through it and keep it moving! I bruise very easily which often means when I am training pole especially I end up with bruises all down my legs and on the inside of my arms. I have been asked questions by strangers before about what my bruises are, which is always a bit awkward when I say they are from pole dancing! All in all I think that bruises are just a sign of a new move, which is always fun! I only have one scar from pole which I personally think is quite impressive, I scratched my leg trying to learn how to shoulder mount flip about a year ago and it's still there! We are now only a couple of weeks away from the competition and I am starting to get really nervous! I am hoping my shoulder gets better soon so that I can really push for the next couple of weeks
It's well known among my SAAS friends that I'm incredibly clumsy and sometimes the injuries I get that affect my ability to train aren't even from training in the first place. I never really thought about how important your hands were in pole and hoop until I injured them! I stupidly managed to slice into my hand with a knife whilst trying to remove a stone from an avocado, and it happened to be at the worst angle for doing either spins on the pole or gripping the hoop in general. There wasn't really much I could do as a workaround particularly for pole and we had our SAAS showcase coming up so I just washed it thoroughly afterward training and hoped it would heal quickly! I've been lucky not to have any serious injuries, mostly just bruises / the odd sprain and normally in lessons if I've injured myself to a point that I can't do a certain type of move I'll just miss that one or or do it on the other side! I'm far too addicted to the studio to stay away, so touch wood things continue the way they are! And never underestimate the power of deep heat!
So training around injuries… As with anything doing the same move/moves repeated can leave that area quite tender, bruised or with a lack of skin left. But with the competition looming there isn’t much chance of slowing down training. Luckily and unluckily for me I have just come back from 2 weeks in America so at the moment I’m ok, but also means I have lost 2 weeks of practicing. I have however hurt from foot whilst I was away so trying to be careful not to make it worse. In the past I have had many injuries and scrapes that have prevented me training on occasions from ripped calluses’ and blisters on my hands and when training hoop plasters never stay on, tried bandaging that didn’t work either so I was having to do what I could without my hands and just running through it in my head. Fingers cross/touch wood and all those other sayings that with the competition just around the corner that injuries stay to a minimum so I can jump straight into practicing my routines and getting them stage ready.
So this week's topic....injuries and overcoming physical obstacles. How very appropriate as I've managed to strain my ligaments in my foot just 3 weeks before the comp....so frustrating. For me the last week I have been using the RICE method and seeking advice from my instructors. I have been able to do the odd thing but no where near as intense as I would like being so close to performing. For me it's the mental barrier an injury can inflict that is worse than the physical side as I am worrying rather than relaxing in the run up. That said I am very happy with my routine and looking forward to being able to perform. I think that there will always be things I could say I could have done better....like concentrating on walking properly rather than rolling my foot! Haha. However, I feel that i am getting more and more movement in my foot and i am more determined than ever before in doing well.
As a cheeky little bonus for making it to the end of the blog, here is a picture of Giovanni, our bruise gingerbread man! The best way to make the most of bruises is with hyper friends and a sharpie!
Staff and students of Julie's Dance Studio, based in Sholing, Southampton.