Let’s talk about BRUISES, BURNS, RIPS AND MUSCLE FATIGUE…

If you’re new to pole, just getting back on the pole or training hard, you’ll know all about pole kisses, rips, roasties and achy muscles. Even if you’ve tried out just one class you’ll have left with an obligatory pole kiss. And whilst post-pole class euphoria can leave you feeling pumped, empowered and ready to conquer the world, we all know that feeling the next morning… when you can barely lift an arm to brush your teeth.

Of course, everyone is different so the intensity of the injury, how you experience pain and how you deal with it will be different. And unfortunately you can’t avoid muscle soreness altogether. It is a part of getting stronger and healthier. But overall there are a few things you can do to prevent and ease the aches and pains.

Pre-pole warm up

Mobilise your joints and warm up your muscles, get your heart rate up and the blood flowing. This prepares your muscles for the intense activity that is to follow and helps to avoid injuries.

Post-pole cool down

Stretch the whole body, targeting specific areas that were under particular strain during training and areas you know to be a problem for you. Cooling down helps remove lactic acid that gives you that muscle burn during exercise, and stretching can help prevent a pulled muscle.

Take it easy but keep moving

After a pole session keep your exercise light – go for a walk or do yoga the following day. Do something that gets you moving but doesn’t cause more strain. Light stretching will increase blood flow and speed up the delivery of nutrients to damaged muscles, easing soreness.

Rest up

We can’t stress enough how important good quality and adequate sleep is. Nothing helps your body recover like rest!

Massage Therapy

Massage helps stimulate blood circulation, it speeds up the healing process and reduces inflammation. It doesn’t even have to be a professional massage… working with a foam roller can also help.

Eat well

Drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet can be a great way to minimise wounds and help with a quick recovery. For example:

  • Good quality proteins provide the amino acids needed for muscle detoxification and repair
  • Leafy vegetables provide your body with vitamin K, which is key to blood clotting
  • Fresh pineapple contains anti-inflammatory bromelain
  • Citrus provides Vitamin C and bioflavonoids that help with wound healing by strengthening small blood vessels. If you regularly eat sugary foods you’re more likely to be deficient in vitamin C because the two have similar chemical structures that compete with one another for absorption in the body
  • Omegas provide essential fatty acids that are critical to healing wounds quickly and regulating inflammation, amongst other things
  • Raw ginger is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories and non- pharmaceutical painkillers. It’s great in tea and juices

Check out our blog on healthy eating for pole progression for more inspiration.

 

Supplements and other things

  • Whilst overall, the best source of vitamins for your body should come from wholefoods, you can also take a multi-vitamin if need be.
  • Consider magnesium supplements or spray for muscle ache.
  • Epsom salt baths will also help your muscles feel better (sorry Capetonians, obviously not for you in the current drought crisis…)
  • Arnica cream is amazing for bruises, just don’t use it on open wounds!
  • Grape seed extract has been shown to reduce swelling, bruising and increase connective tissue formation for faster wound healing.
  • Aloe Vera gel soothes burns, is anti-bacterial and encourages tissue regeneration.
  • Calendula oil is another great remedy for skin damage. It stimulates blood flow and promotes tissue regeneration. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • And whilst you’re advised against moisturising before a pole session, after a practice is a must! Don’t allow your sensitive, healing skin to crack. A non-fragranced, non-greasy aqueous cream is best.

Talk to the hand

We suggest you stay away from the likes of Aspirin and Disprin as they thin the blood and could prolong your healing time. If you must, use products where the active ingredient is paracetamol or ibuprofen.

And limit your alcohol, sugar and caffeine intake!

Right, you’re all set… off you go to pole class 🙂