There comes a time in the journey of every pole dancer when you end up asking yourself the inevitable question, “shit the bed what the fuck have I got myself in to?” It could be a move that consists of intense, burning pain that’s made you ask said question (I think I may have asked it when doing my first ever pole sit actually), or something terrifying or bloody complicated. Just be safe in the knowledge that at some point, at least once, you will ask yourself what the fuck you’ve embarked upon.
Recently, the time has come for me to ask that question to myself once again. This time whilst on my great flexibility mission, as I have been training the absolute bastard that is the needle scale.
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Last time I properly trained a needle scale was October 2018. Last year I barely stretched just maintained what I’d worked on and got stronger and fitter. This year I’m back to stretching and I forgot how much needles hurt mentally and physically 🙃If you want to stretch with me you can purchase my splits tutorial (message me) or come to one of my classes 🥰 — @dragonflybrand @gymshark — #bendythings #bendygirls #ballerina #ballet #flexible #flexibilitytraining #circus #circusskills #fitspiration #gymnastics #aerial #acro #dancer #contortion #contortiontraining #fitgirls #lyrical #crossfit #stretching #yoga #yogagirls #yogainspiration #yogaflow #fitnessleggings #gymshark #march #gymsharktrain #gymsharkwomen.
As mentioned in the post above from the awesome Daisy, needle scale’s do indeed fucking hurt mentally and physically. They look absolutely, drop dead stunning and are guaranteed to make non-pole people practically gurn in amazement, however the process of mastering one is turning into a quest of mammoth proportions.
As previously blogged about, on a good week (we all know life gets in the way of training occasionally) I’m getting four, hour long stretch sessions in, with two of those focused on back and shoulder flexibility. As someone who has spent the past seven years as an office worker, hunched over a desk for eight hours a day and used to jog home with a heavy backpack strapped to her back, Christ on a bike are those back and shoulder sessions are needed! Anyway, I digress. Every other Wednesday, one of the back and shoulder flexibility classes over at Maya Dance and Fitness’ Silver Cloud Studios is focused on working on our needle scales.
I approached the needle scale challenge as usual with equal parts of both fear and excitement. I’ve always wanted to be able to master one and whilst I’m not a mega bendy Wendy just yet, I’m definitely a damn site better than I once was, so I figured it was time to bite the bullet and conquer the bastard.
First off, holy shit needle scales stretch everything! Your hip flexors, hamstrings, all areas of your back and shoulders, the whole shebang is getting a good old dose of pain in a needle scale. Which means that whenever you attempt a needle scale it’s important to stretch like a mad cunt and have a good, proper warm up of everything first. One positive thing about this big old beast of a move I guess is that it is a full body exercise trying to get into one, so not one thing gets neglected when you train it.
And let’s not forget that training your needle scale is a balancing act too. As well as trying to pull your leg into a swanky standing split behind you whilst holding onto your foot, you’re trying to do it all on one fucking leg! Now that’s the part I really struggle with. Like I said my flexibility is plodding along at its own pace and getting there, but try busting out moves on one leg and I’m shaking like a shitting dog. Whenever I attempt the needle scale I have to do so with a wall or ideally my bed in front of me, so when the inevitable happens and I topple over, there’s something there to break my fall and I don’t go crashing into the hard, unforgiving floor.
Anyway, after all that description, if you’re dying to know what my needle scale attempt currently looks like, this is it…
Heck. I mean it’s not entirely terrible but fuck me that stretching band is very much needed. As you can see my hands are approximately 7 miles away from my foot, so I need to work on keeping my back upright and walking my hands up the band. I’m hoping and wishing that with regular practice they’ll reach my foot one day, but getting bendy takes fucking years (months if you’re lucky in my opinion) to achieve, so I’m well aware that I’ve got a long, painful and needley shaped mountain to climb ahead of me. Come on needle scale you bitch, I’m ready for you!
If you have any experience or top tips on training the needle scale, please be a babe to those of us about to embark on the mission and drop them in the comments.