Is it me or is life feeling even more like groundhog day than ever at the moment? Winter is dragging on big time, the days are grey, cold and spent hibernating away indoors, as we are currently in week six of lockdown number three here in the UK (ugh, someone pass me the whiskey please!). If anyone from Australia or New Zealand is reading this I am beyond envious of you and your normal existence – you lucky bastards!
One way we can attempt to add some much needed variety and structure to our days at the moment is by hopping back on the home training bandwagon. However, even home training can feel like a bit of a rinse and repeat process after a while if you keep training the same old shit week after week. Therefore, I’ve created the list below of stuff you can do to spice up the old home training schedule and hopefully get you all motivated to smash out some quality training again.
Switch up what you’re training
If you’re just focusing on trying to achieve a certain combo or tricks on static pole, you’re going to get fed up pretty quickly – I know I do! If you’re fortunate enough to have a pole at home, I cannot recommend enough being a well-rounded Wendy and training both static, spinny pole and floorwork and flow too. Not only will you be an absolutely shit hot and versatile dancer when the studios inevitably open again, but you will also have a varied training schedule that won’t be getting boring anytime soon. A win-win if you ask me!
Try new skills
Don’t just limit your home training to all things pole related. As much as pole is very much my comfort zone, I am determined to face my fears and develop some new skills, some of which are completely alien and others straight up terrify me. For example, it’s no secret how much I despise handstands, but I’ll be fucked if I’m not completing good old handstand February this year! Also, I’m stepping way out of my comfort zone this coming Saturday and attending an online lap dance workshop with the fabulous Annie Norris. My last lap dance experience involved necking a bottle of whiskey, grinding terribly on my friends’ lap and face planting the floor half way through, so learning how to give a semi decent lap dance is probably a skill I should acquire!
If handstands and lap dances aren’t your thing, many pole studios are running other online classes such as dance and chair classes, so have a look and see what your local studio has on offer.
If you’re on a break from pole don’t just do one form of exercise
I made this mistake at the start of lockdown one! I didn’t have a pole at the time and my only training for weeks involved going for post work runs with my husband. This resulted in my poor knees being absolutely shagged and my leg flexibility taking a turn for the worst too. Therefore, I switched up the relentless running schedule for some much needed flexibility, floorwork and body pump/ strength and conditioning classes. My body was beyond grateful and the decent level of cross training helped me jump back into pole classes with not too much difficulty when the time came.
Also when it comes to cross training, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get your creative hat on. One of my best pals is seeing cracking results in her strength training from taking up a combo of roller skating and skipping, so have play around and see what type of training you enjoy – no pole, no problem!
Get fucking bending
Now, as someone who is not naturally flexible I know how painful stretching is, but I must admit I have seen noticeable improvements in my flexibility when I commit to a decent, regular stretching schedule. It’s hard as fuck and I am definitely not always motivated to train, but when I suck it up and get my bendy on, the results do come in.
I think literally every pole studio is offering online stretching classes in one way or another, so get googling and see what you can find. An added bonus is that due to the extra free time we have on our hands (I’m counting the positives where I can at the moment) many studios are letting us really deepen our flexibility training and are offering specific stretching classes for the areas we want to work on (eg separate classes for front splits, box splits, back and shoulder bending etc.) so if you want to really concentrate on upping your flexibility game, now is the time to do so!
Train with your favourite pole dancers
A massive perk in the rise in online classes is that we are now able to learn from badass pole dancers across the globe in the comfort of our own homes. Since April last year, I have been taught by pole dancers from LA and Australia, which are opportunities I may not have otherwise had had it not been for a boom in online lessons.
Furthermore, if there is a pole dancer you have always wanted to learn from but haven’t yet had the opportunity to, have a look and see if they’re offering online classes and give them a try! There has never been a better time to support our favourite pole dancers, so do get on it and see who is out there you can learn from. I have been fortunate enough to take online classes with three of my all-time favourites Lauren Elise King, Jordan Kensley and Felix Cane online in the past year, which were epic experiences indeed. Of course it is imperative that we support our local studios too, but if you’re stuck in a rut and have the chance to learn from one of your favourite pole dancers then don’t pass that up either.
Arrange some Zoom jams/online practice sessions with your mates
Yes it sucks hairy toad turd that we can’t see our buddies right now, pole training aside there is nothing I want more right now than to be sat in a pub with my pals, five pints deep and chatting shit. Anyway, back to the point. Yes we may not be able to see our mates in person at the moment, but there’s nothing stopping you setting up an online training session together. Be it a pole jam, stretching session or a cheesy aerobics dancercise, training with our friends can help to give your motivation and enormous boost
Treat yourself to some new pole wear!
Last but by no means least, treat yourself to some swanky new pole wear! I find nothing gets me quite in the mood to dance like treating myself to some new pole wear and shoes if I’m feeling extra fancy. In fact, I have recently treated myself to a new Hoodlum Fang to add some extra pizzazz to my pole wear collection and hopefully encourage me to practice more. As an added bonus, if you fancy treating yourself to some badass Hoodlum Fang gear, you can use my discount code CHROMEFOX10 for a crafty 10% off.
So those are my top tips for spicing up home training and helping yourself stay motivated. If you have any foolproof tips that I haven’t mentioned. Drop them in the comments below!