Pole & Aerial

Pole and Aerial Progress and Surviving the Dreaded Plateau

I’ve finally climbed myself out of the dreaded plateau! For around month and a half I just couldn’t for the life of me nail any moves, I had no motivation or energy and I was getting pretty disheartened by the whole thing.. I even threatened to quit it all. I was shattered after just one invert, I couldn’t grip and I was as bendy as a wooden plank. My confidence was knocked a tonne and I fell into a weird state of anxiety, it got to the point where I was close to setting an appointment up with my GP as I couldn’t cope with how anxious I was feeling about everything. Pole and aerial are my passions, my life has been 100% times better since finding those sports, so the fact that I was close to quitting was very unlike me.

Fast forward 2 months and I have finally got my mojo back, *the angels sing hallelujah*. Every week I’m learning new moves and surprising myself with my new found confidence on nailing some scarier moves. The main thing that helped me out of my plateau was joining bootcamp classes (which I have written about here). Until I have my own place and can set up my pole there, I was only attending one pole class and one aerial class.. which isn’t really enough for me as I’m not naturally strong. Bootcamp has giving me a new lease of life for the last 10 weeks.. and some minor gains, which is huge for someone who has never had any muscle definition, and also a weird love for weight training (who knew that would happen eh?).

I thought I’d chat about some of the moves I’ve learnt recently in both pole and aerial classes and what helps me when learning them:

Crescent Moon:

This move has been on my ‘to do list’ for years and I blame Instagram entirely for that, this move just looks so damn beautiful on everyone. I was hesitant at first as I have only recently nailed my cross ankle release lay back and hadn’t practised it an awful lot. I’m lucky to have a pole instructor that really pushes us to try moves we are worried about, she always stays with us to spot so we don’t fall on our heads though! Having the comfort of knowing someone is spotting me really helps me try moves I’m scared of and I got my Crescent Moon on the first try.

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Straddle on the Hoop:

I forever scapegoat my ‘heavy bum’ as the reason I struggle to do certain moves, which is complete crap let’s be honest. I was trying to straddle straight from the floor without a little boost from jumping, I’m not strong enough (or graceful enough) to do this yet, so the little jump is a life saver. Also when my feet are near the hoop I push off again slightly just to give me an extra boost so my bum is higher up, which gives me more balance.

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Bow & Arrow:

This was terrifying! Ever since I can remember I’ve always had a fear of hurting my head, so this move that has you being completely upside down really shits me up. But I did it.. with a lot of guidance from my instructor, but I did it. The fact that there isn’t an easy escape route from this move is hard to get your head around, your arms are behind your back grabbing the pole and your one foot is the only limb holding you up. As graceful as ever, when I wanted to come down I just slide slowly down.. the silicone pole taking my skin away from me in the process.

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Flying Dutchman:

The Flying Dutchman is probably my favourite aerial silk move, not only is it named after something nautical (which I’m obsessed with) but it’s such a fun, spin move. The only advice I have for this move is to not get too over excited with the spinning when you come out of the move, I ended up getting super tangled up as I forgot how many spins I did in the first place.

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Pole Knot:

Through some searching on Google I don’t think ‘Knot’ is the right name for this move, maybe it’s a variation.. if anyone knows the proper name please hit me up! Whatever it is called, this was an unexpected move to love, I never heard of it until my pole lesson. It looks confusing as hell to get into but all it really involves is an outside leg hang, swing your free back leg over to your face and lean it on to your other knee, your left hand grabs your right leg and your right hand grips your left foot.. and voila!

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Trapeze:

When I think of trapeze, I think of two crazy aerialists swinging and grabbing hold of each other 50ft in the air.. thank god we didn’t have to do that! Luckily the Trapeze at my aerial class (Secret Circus in Poole, look them up if you happen to wonder down to the South Coast) is a static one so it doesn’t move too much. I thought static trapeze would be a breeze as it looked similar to hoop moves.. boy was I wrong. Not sure if it’s the ropes that threw me off or the fact you aren’t essentially in a giant circle anymore. Was fun when I got used to it.. even though I nearly got stuck as I couldn’t free my knee from the grip of the bloody trapeze rope.

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Duchess:

Ever since the start of my pole journey I have been counting down the days until I could at least try to nail a Jade Split, I got close, instead of splitting both my legs I just split the one.. resulting in a Duchess. This move looks amazing on everyone, even with my not so flat leg. I’m not going to lie, this move hurts.. like a bitch, but it’s so satisfying knowing you are one step closer to nailing a move that all the pole big shots include in their routines.

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As well as practising these moves more, I really want to start to get somewhere with my shoulder mount as that is my main nemesis. Also I’ve started practising getting my superman, double footlock and allegra.. let’s see what the next couple of months bring!

Thanks for reading! What’s your fitness goals for the rest of the year?

xox

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