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How to Rest.

By on May 10, 2014

You are an obsessive, overachieving, type-A personality. I know. That is why you are reading this. Or rather, you are taking a break between watching pole videos and posting about pole and training on pole to click on this. I understand.

And I don’t expect that to change about you, which is why you need to listen to me when I say: Honey, you need to rest. Yes, you do. No, you do.

And I know that you know, on paper, that you need to rest, but you can’t right now, because you have this Thing coming up, and you’ve almost got this move, and you just discovered a new favorite song and you need to dance. Unfortunately, if you don’t treat rest with the same discipline with which you treat the rest of your training, you are going to underperform, or even hurt yourself. (See Pippi’s Pole: Are you overtraining?)

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However, before you despair completely, consider that there are many variations on the concept of rest, ranging from total bed-rest to cross-training. The trick is to be honest with yourself about what your body needs. Are you resting because your wrist hurts from pole? You can still go for a jog, or maybe take a non-aerial dance class such as jazz or ballet. Are you resting because you just had surgery? GO BACK TO BED. Your body needs breathing room.

There are plenty of in-between areas. If you’re sore and tired, should you do some stretching or gentle yoga? I’d say it depends. If hardcore stretching is a part of your normal training routine from which you are trying to recover, I don’t think continuing it on your rest day will provide the benefits your body needs. If you don’t normally do much stretching, you could use it as a form of cross-training. But remember that you can get sore from stretching just like you can from lifting, so take it easy.

Relax with elegance

If you need to actually rest and not just cross-train, and you are the kind of person who I think is reading this post, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to find something else to do in place of training. You know how smokers take up chewing gum to help them quit? Similarly, if you are addicted to pole, you need something to fill the void. Here are some suggestions:

  • Go to a spa or sauna. Not the kind where you get your nails done, but a Korean mega-spa or Russian bathhouse. You know, the kind of place with 8 kinds of saunas or where you get beaten with oak leaves. Make an outing out of it; even go with your girlfriends. Just make sure you are comfortable seeing each others’ boobies, as that is often the scenario at these places.
  • Take a hot bath. Soak in some Epsom salts with some nice scented bubble bath. If you’re the kind of person who gets impatient and jumps out after three minutes, put on a podcast or audiobook to make the time pass more quickly.
  • Meditate. If you’re never done it before, it’s a pretty easy hobby to pick up. You can do the kind where you just silence your mind (there are plenty of instructions online for this) or you can pick up guided meditation CD with instructions.
  • Have bodywork done. This can be as simple as getting a massage or going to a chiropractor, or you can go to a specialist in a technique such as Feldenkrais or Alexander. However, I don’t recommend visiting a practitioner for the first time the day before a performance or heavy training. You don’t know how your body will react yet, and you don’t want to be thrown off before a big day.
  • Do some myofascial release. Rolling around on a foam roller or a lacrosse ball can be a nice way to spend a rest day (and I like it because I’m too cheap to pay for a massage). Just don’t overdo it—you’re supposed to be resting!

Whatever you decide to do, try to do it around the same time that you usually do your pole training. This not only keeps you from temptation, but also reinforces the idea that rest is a part of your training. Just like poling, strengthening, and stretching, rest and cross-training are part of a balanced pole diet.

Image By Umberto Salvagnin (originally posted to Flickr as Sleeping) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Pippi Parnasse

Pippi Parnasse

Pippi Parnasse has over 10 years of experience both in pole and in writing professionally. She lives in "Witch City" Salem MA.
Pippi Parnasse

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2 Comments

  1. c'est moi

    May 23, 2014 at 1:55 am

    what is the best home pole for a full figured girl,,, also what is the best pole that i can use in a apartment without causing damage,,,, ugh,,,

    • Pippi Parnasse

      Pippi Parnasse

      May 24, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Any of the professional-grade poles should work, although they do have weight limits if you’re going to do things off the ground (like inverting). Removable poles shouldn’t damage your apartment if you install them very carefully!

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