When you’re in class, you listen to instructors. You listen to the advice of your fellow students. You listen to the advice of the articles you read and the videos you watch.  You listen to a lot–but are you listening to yourself?
You might feel pain in your wrist or knee after a move, but just consider it “normal.” Your shoulder stays sore for a couple weeks, but you figured you’ve been working hard.  You’ve been practicing for two hours straight, but you won’t let yourself be done until you get that move. If this is you, STOP. Please. Take a moment, and listen to yourself!  That pain and soreness could turn into a strain, sprain, or pulled muscle.
There’s nothing wrong with drive and dedication–it’s what will help you grow in your aerial journey. However, if you don’t listen to yourself and your body, you could create a roadblock in that journey. I did not suffer from an injury, but I know from experience how frustrating a roadblock can be!
To keep a physical roadblock at bay…

  1. Stretch. I have to remind myself to do this every time I come into a class or practice. I’m so excited to be at the studio that I just want to jump right on the pole! I’ll work through the whole class, then clean my pole and leave.  It’s a hard habit for me to break, but I try to remember to stretch before and after class.
  2. Warm-Up/Cool-Down. This is something else I used to avoid when I came in. I wanted to get straight to the “good stuff” instead of bothering with this “warm-up” business. Along with stretching, this has helped me be more flexible and more prepared for what I’ll do in class. As a bonus, I usually feel less sore the next day!
  3. Take regular breaks. This is your time to listen to yourself! Take a moment and assess how your body is feeling. Are you tired? Are you sore?  Take stock of what hurts and what doesn’t. If something does hurt, what do you think happened to make it feel that way? Regular breaks are also a good time to asses how your last move went, so you can do the next one better.
  4. Unsure? Ask Your Instructor. Every instructor at Aerial Dance hold multiple fitness certifications. If you’re unsure of a pain or have any other fitness-related question, just ask them! They’ll be more than happy to help.

Don’t let yourself get in the way of your own success. Listen to your body and you might be surprised at what it will tell you!