So we’re all stuck at home now – might as well keep training, right? This is NOT – and I repeat NOT – a post about the virus that must not be named. This is a post about making the most out of home training from someone who has a pole in her house, and who often spends long periods of time having to train by herself outside gym / studio facilities while at home in the Italian stinking summer heat. Here’s how I kept up my strength and worked on my training from home (or from a variety of homes).
I’m a pole dance instructor and I have a pole in my house in London and one in my garden back in Sardinia, Italy. While this post does have a bit of a pole dance inspired home training focus, it can be applied pretty much to anything you’ve been struggling to find the will to do from your digs. Enjoy!
My Experience With Training At Home
If you read this blog, you probably know that pole dancing has been a life-saver for me during a difficult time. The issue is, I didn’t get to it with any dance background, and I wasn’t particularly talented. Three and a half years later, I’m now a pole instructor and I’ve competed in a variety of pole dance competitions. Again, this is not because I’m particularly talented – I just really wanted it. Pole made me feel so good that I wanted to do more and more of it.
So by the time I left Australia, where I was doing a Master’s degree, and moved back to London, my financial situation had changed and as a full-time PhD student, I couldn’t afford a pole studio membership anymore. As soon as I found a place where I could live by myself and put up my own pole, I did it and spent a year and a few months training almost entirely by myself, including a summer spent back home in Sardinia where it was too hot to train too much.
So this is why I think it might be helpful to know how I kept up my motivation to both train at home when I had the opportunity to use a pole, and in a scenario where I had to focus on other stuff. Especially in our current circumstances, I’m assuming most of us will want to somehow stay sane and strong – but finding the will to train when everything’s a mess and you have so many things to do and opportunities for distraction may be tough.
Here’s What How To Find The Will To Train At Home
Set Out A Time During The Day and Stick To It
I don’t know about you, but working from home for me isn’t an excuse to chill. As a PhD student and academic, I actually work more from home than I do elsewhere and I have to tell myself to chill. And I’m not the only one: a variety of workers are more productive while WFH.
But whether you’re lazier or hyper-productive at home, it really helps to block out a time window and add that into your calendar, planner, brain, whatevz and say: THIS IS WHEN I AM WORKING OUT. NOTHING WILL EVER STOP ME. And by that time, you put your phone on silent, close 80% of your tabs or hide them, pump up Spotify and you train like there is no tomorrow.
Work As If You Were About To Go To A Studio / Gym
This is similar to my last point, but you wouldn’t show up to a class late, would you? That way you’d miss the warm up and be a nuisance to everyone else.
So start getting ready for your training about 20 minutes before. Prep what you’re gonna wear and your playlist. Put all the items you need in place. Fill a glass with water. Go pee. And then start bang on time.
I always try to work out as if I’m about to post a video on Instagram. Sometimes I match my outfits to the songs I’m listening to, or I put on some nice make-up. Other times I try to think of sets I haven’t worn in a while and I make an effort to put them on.
It sounds really silly, but when your motivation is taking a hit, getting creative really helps. And if you have an Instagram profile to keep up and are sick of posting mirror selfies while self-isolating, a workout wearing something different might just do the trick.
Work On Something You Wanted To Put Together Anyway
Remember that time you said you were going to create a new routine for a competition? Or a performance? Or a showcase?
Yeah me neither. Life always gets in the way. What with teaching, other jobs, and general anxiety, I never end up working on nice little concepts I’ve wanted to take on stage for ages. So now this is your time.
Whether it’s the floorwork bit of your routine or, if you have a house pole, your routine combos, this is when you can do it. Plan your weekly training so that at least some of it is geared towards that routine you needed to create and STICK TO IT.
Work On Those Flexibility Goals You’ve Been Putting Off
“I’m gonna work on my splits,” said literally everyone at some point in their life. We don’t always get to it though.
Which is why, especially if you’re forced to work from home, this might be your time. Look up flexibility guides, like this Indi one. Read this old post I wrote last summer. Look up YouTube tutorials. The main thing is: be careful, don’t overstretch yourself, remember you don’t have an instructor advising you – and if you have access to one, book a flexy private class with them.
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My splits look better than ever (considering I’m a troll masking as a pole dancer 👹👹👹) and I can finally touch the floor on both sides as well as in my box splits! I’m no Bendy Wendy so I’ve written a blog post about how I improved my flexibility – TL; DR: by going to fucking classes and WERKING. For more info, #linkinbio 🤸🏻♀️special thanks to my house in Sardinia for this background 🇮🇹 (shared with my dad’s brothers who where definitely judging me while I was doing this 😂)
Pole Dance Inspired Training At Home – Things You Can Focus On
Strength Goals and Moves
While I was trying to keep up my strength without the possibility to pole for too long in Sardinia, I worked on planks, headstands, handstands and chest stands. That way my arms and core stayed strong, and I could always use those moves for a routine.
If you do have a pole, do exercises targeted towards getting the moves you’ve been dying to get. If it’s an ayesha, work on your caterpillar and extended butterfly. If it’s an invert, work on your core, with tucks and ab exercises. You got the gist.
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Achievement: unlocked ✅! Managed a half-decent upside down twerk in an Ayesha (more visible in the second video). Gonna spend this weekend at home looking after myself but I guess all I needed yesterday was a bit of home training and the @spotify Covid 19 playlist 😂 pretty sure the beginning of the scream from Down With The Sickness is what helped me get the move 😛
I actually got my deadlift in the summer, when I was poling way less and having to focus on maintaining my strength instead. So there’s something to be said about taking a step back and working on each element of your body instead of hitting it in all directions.
Floor Transitions and Acro
If you don’t have a pole, work on getting really smooth floor transitions that will woo the judges at your next comp. Stalk your favourite polers and dancers and try those moves on your own, or let your body move and play by itself.
It’s also a great opportunity to experiment with chairs – safely. Many polers – including yours truly – will be offering chair tutorials so book one of them for the first time, and then work those moves by yourself after having been safely instructed on how to pull them off.
Choreograph To A Song You Really Like
Songs can be tricky in pole. At competitions especially, some songs might have been overdone and the judges might hate them, or they might not suit your style of dancing. It doesn’t mean you can’t play with it or experiment with it in your own time from home though!
Essentially, this is your time to dance to that song you loved, or to choreograph to it, or to wiggle to that awks playlist you don’t wanna be seen dancing to. Why? Because you’re in the comfort of your own home. And literally no one is watching or judging. Do it. You don’t know what might come out of it.
Support Your Favourite Studios and Pole Dancers By Booking Private Classes and/or Group Online Classes With Them
I’ve said this already, but your studios and your favourite polers will be offering online classes and 1-1s. This is your opportunity to try different styles from people you like across the world but that you wouldn’t normally have access to. So take advantage of that, and support people in the process.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a private twerk, lap dance, conditioning or pole class to do from home via Skype / Zoom / FaceTime.
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Given that we’re all trying to limit our time outside while also not going completely nuts, I am going to take up a few requests I got in the past and start to offer 1-1 classes via #Skype, #Facetime or #Zoom. Please be aware that this is SEPARATE from my home studio – so if the government orders studios and gyms to shut, you CAN’T convert your Exotica package into a private with me. You can look at the studio IG for updates on freezing your membership and to see we’re still open, but this is something I am doing separately to support myself. Things I can offer: 1️⃣ Lap dance 1-1 2️⃣ Floorwork 1-1 3️⃣ Conditioning 1-1s for pole 4️⃣ 1-1s For My Style of Twerk If you have a #homepole, I can also help with pole combos and small #exotic routines. Pick a song – this was chosen by my first Skype private student and it’s @theweeknd’s Call Out My Name – and I’ll do a choreo to it. If you’re not based in #London / #Hackney and you’ve ever wanted to learn from me, this is your chance – DM for rates! 📩 I will also be doing some short, free videos to keep yourself active in a sexy and fun way even if you’re self-isolating. This is to keep myself and all of you sane 💕 thank you to my lovely student @shaye.lo for filming 🥰 🇮🇹 Se siete italiane/i e vi state annoiando in quarantena inizieró ad offrire lezioni private su Skype, mandatemi un messaggio per i costi e info 😘
The studio where I teach, too, will be running group classes via Zoom – you can see our online schedule below, together with my explanation of the classes I’ll be leading below.
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We’ve worked really hard all weekend to put together an #onlineclass schedule for you – and you can start your classes from tomorrow! 💪🏼 We’ve included classes you can do with a pole and a series of new classes to keep you fit and sexy even if you don’t have one – from twerk to #floorwork, from lap dance to anti-desk #stretching, from chair dance to handstands, from #heels dance to #conditioning, you just have to take your pick ❤ These classes are drop-in and are separate from your studio packages which we’ve frozen until all of this (hopefully) ends. 30 min classes cost £5 and 45-min, 1 hr and 1,5hr classes cost £10. The classes are non-refundable and require you to download #zoom to join – we’ll send you a Zoom link after you sign-up so you can join. At the end of classes the instructor will send you videos to work on what you learnt 📲 A little perk for those of you #selfisolating in flats with other people: we will charge by connection to Zoom, so if you live in the same flat and want to join a class together, we’ll only charge you once. Excited to see you all from our screens ❤ sign up via @mindbody or our website selecting “Exotica Pole Dance School Bermondsey” ❤
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Exciting times ahead! At @exoticapoledance we’ve cooked up a whole schedule of group online #danceclasses + #fitnessclasses you can do from home – with or without a pole! I’ll be teaching some of them on Mondays and Tuesdays starting today. Monday 1️⃣1: 30 PM Twerk (45 min) 2️⃣ 5:30 FloorWERK (1 hr) : A new class for which you just need heels and to get ready to WERK every surface of your house – Walls, chairs, tables, floors etc) 3️⃣ 7 PM Exotic pole (1 hr) for everyone who has a pole at hole Tuesday 1️⃣ 1 PM Twerk (45 min) 2️⃣ 7 PM Lap Dance (1 hr) : A lap dance choreography to make the most out of self-isolation if, unlike mine, your partner is in your house 😅 Head over to Mindbody or to our website to book! I’ll also still be teaching 1-1s where you can pick a song and I’ll do a choreo to it for you – already got 2 of those on this week on top of all of these classes. Pray for me 😂