Tag Archive | Muscle

Working the Booth at Sexapalooza!

Hello and welcome to my Pole Fitness blog! I’m just an ordinary mom with some extraordinary skills. I’m a bit of a pole fitness nut, it would be nice to call it a hobby but it’s really an obsession!

Lucy(left) and I (right)

Lucy(left) and I (right)

If you’re here from my cards at Sexapalooza then pole fitness must have peeked your interest. Did you see it on the stage? AMAZING RIGHT?! If you haven’t seen it on stage then catch it on Saturday 4:45 and 8:30. Or if you’re there one Sunday catch their show at 2:30! I promise it’ll be one of the most amazing things you’ll see in your life.

I’ll be there tonight, but I’ll be part of the crowd. I worked the booth last night and I am EXHAUSTED! It was a lot more work than I thought it would be. I loved meeting all the people though, talking my face off about pole.

One thing that a girl mentioned was that she didn’t know what to do about the bruising, so I’m going to address this. Yes you get bruised… A lot… but honestly they’re like trophies. They’re awards from getting that especially hard move down that you’ve worked so hard at getting.

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But I can understand that some people just don’t like bruising, and that’s fine too. I actually wrote a post about my top 10 ways to get rid of bruising and I can bet you that at least one of them will work for you.

To get to my post about bruising click HERE!

Did you see me at the booth on the pole? Did you see my favorite move?

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It’s called the extended butterfly! It’s a level 7 move I believe, and here’s a testament to you can do so much more than just your level sometimes because I’m in level 6 right now. If the teacher thinks you can handle something more advance than the level you’re in, she’ll teach you it. That’s what I love about pole. But there are some moves in level 5 I still have issues with, pole is very diverse like that, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.

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Lucy performing the inverted crucifix

So you’ll most likely see me there tonight, but I won’t be working the booth. I’ll be looking like this though and wandering around.

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So if you spot me, come over and introduce yourself! You and I can gush over how amazing pole is! And I can help you find the information you need to start your own pole journey!

Watch out on Monday for my pictures from Sexapalooza!

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Parties, Olympics and…Lemons?

Hope you had a wonderful weekend my lovely blog readers! I had a very busy weekend, wasn’t able to pole at all. It’s my daughters 4th birthday tomorrow and with such a large family she had a birthday party both Saturday and Sunday, and today she’s bringing cupcakes to preschool and tomorrow is her actual birthday so we’re doing activities then as well. It’s the first child/grandchild syndrome, she’s spoiled to all hell!

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Saturday I was so tired after setting up the party, having the party and then cleaning up after the party that I was just too exhausted to pole, and in bed by 7:30. Sunday night I went to my mom’s for the party but I was feeling ill most of the time so when we got home at 6 I was in bed out of fear of missing pilates and pole. So now I’m downing cold FX like it’s the holy grail of medicine! I have yet to miss a pole class since level 1 so I don’t plan on starting now!

So excited news in the pole world, Olga Trifonova, an 11 year old Russian Pole Dancer who won a Russian Talent show will be performing at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympics. She is an amazing talented young lady, with unbelievable skills.

This’ll be a big step in the direction of getting pole dancing into the Olympics. Apparently before a sport is accepted in the committee showcases it to see how people react to it. In my opinion this’ll open a lot of people’s eyes to the fact that pole dancing doesn’t have to be sexual, and often times is not. It’s an art, and an incredible display of gymnastics. I full heartedly believe that after this pole dancing will be on its way to being accepted into the Olympics. And while I feel like I’ll be too old to compete and not at the level that some of these people are at, maybe it’s something my daughter could one day compete in. I would be proud to watch her compete in pole dancing.

It’s about time people separated it from its erotic counterpart of stripping in clubs. So I don’t know about you but I’ll be glued to the T.V this February 7th to watch pole dancing pretty much make its debut into the everyday world of people who had no idea it could be such hard work and beauty.

Hopefully I’m able to get back into pole tonight, I find myself getting an itch for pole if I haven’t done it in a couple of days. I look at my pole and whimper because all I want to do is practice my routine and moves.

Today I’m going to leave you with a delicious new recipe I’ve learned over the weekend.

Slim Lemon Squares

Makes: 16 servings

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup granulated sugar plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 egg
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Directions
1. Coat an 8-x-8-x-2-inch baking pan with nonstick spray; set pan aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour and 3 tablespoons sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Pat mixture onto the bottom of prepared pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in the same bowl, combine egg and egg white. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add remaining sugar and flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water, and baking powder. Beat on medium 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour mixture over baked layer in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until edges are light brown and center is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
4. Sift powdered sugar over top. Cut into 16 bars. Store in refrigerator.

Nutrition facts per serving (1 bar): 100 calories, 1g protein, 17g carbohydrate, 3g fat (2g saturated), 0g fiber

 

Keep an eye out Wednesday for my next blog post! Remember this week I’ve gone down to 3 posting a week, taking it for a test drive, come September I’ll be down to 1 a week due to school.

Until Wednesday mes amours!

But I don’t wanna! Hrmph!

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patpitchaya @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rest days! For some people they’re like “YAY! I get to do nothing!” Those people are usually the people who work, and I don’t blame them. But I’m a full time mommy at the moment so my job is to take care of the little one and the house, so I really enjoy my “me” time which is pretty much spending a couple hours practicing pole. So when it comes to rest days I sit down on my couch to catch up on some T.V that I’ve missed, but my pole is right there… right beside me… calling me, beckoning me to come and take a spin.

It’s like it’s taunting me! “Come on Elise, you know you want to flip upside down on me, I know you want to spin around me, just do it!” Meanwhile my body is like that other little voice on my shoulder going “No! Don’t do it, we hurt, we’re sore, we need rest”. It’s very conflicting! But my mom always tells me how important it is to have rest days when you work out. She taught me that rest days are just as important as exercising. So I dove into some research to find out just why rest is so important!

When we work out we put great strain on our muscles, ligaments, bones, tendons and joints. As you do something like say lifting weights, you’re tearing muscles, and if you don’t give your body the time to rest and repair the tearing then you risk getting some pretty nasty injuries. Or if you jog, that puts a lot of pressure on your joints and bones from the hard impact of your feet hitting the ground, you definitely need your rest days because you risk bone spurs, shin splints, muscle tears, tendon shearing and so much more.

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sixninepixels @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now pole specific you are often working on your core and building muscles by lifting your own body weight. Not to mention the flexibility training that is done, and as we stretch we create tiny tears that need time to heal. If you don’t give them that opportunity then you too will be at risk of injuring yourself, compromising your flexibility and sending it into a regression.

I also just started taking Pilates, which apparently is way more difficult than I thought! I couldn’t take my rest day on Wednesday because I had pole that night even though my abs and legs were killing me. So Thursday became my rest day which I’m pretty sure it will be from now on. I still feel like I got hit by a truck but I’m definitely not as sore as I was yesterday.

You also have to listen to your body, but at the same time don’t make up excuses. Like my thighs are still killing me from stretching so I know tonight I will only be doing light stretching on them so that they don’t get stiff, but I won’t be stretching them hard so that the tears can recover. But my abs are feeling better today which means I’ll work on my core again because that is something that I definitely need work on since so many pole moves require core strength.

So remember ladies and gents, rest days are very important, they allow your body to heal, even if they are incredibly boring sometimes.

I’m also going to be trying something new next week, end of the week videos! I want to use my camera more so this’ll give me an excuse to do so! I will also be changing up my posting schedule, starting next week I’ll be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Until next week mes amours! Have a fantastic weekend and pole hard!

A drop of dew a day takes the slip away!

Good morning lovely followers! I always look forward to this time of the morning. I get to just sit here with my tea and talk your ears off, or eyes in this case.

Last night was pole class, and it was a great class. My actual teacher just got back from the Dominican and she won’t be back until next Wednesday, so we’ve had a sub. A fantastic woman who has this unnatural energy that drives you to work harder and preform more. So as you can imagine my muscles are very sore today, not to mention my trapezuis ( the muscle between your neck and shoulder) feels bruised, which means no shoulder mounting for a couple of days.

 

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So here’s my shoulder mount! It’s still a little sloppy but I’m very impressed with myself.  At one point this was something that I never thought I’d be able to do.

I saw the girls doing it and I stood there whining in my head “I want to do that, I want to be able to flip upside down with such ease”

I kept at it, worked on my core, my arms and my general strength and look at me now!

I’m telling you, less than a year ago I wouldn’t be able to do half of this. I could barely do a push up! And now look at me!

 

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But with a hard practice comes some nasty looking bruises.

And these are just the one leg, I’ve got more on my other leg, not to mention the tops of my feet as well! These ones were from doing the dead lift from handstand, cross ankle release and super girl.

Another exciting moment of last night was that I let go and went into the cross ankle release by myself. For the past couple of weeks I’ve had to have the help of my teachers to help me lay back just out of sheer fear of letting go of the pole.

But last night I laid out the crash mats they have and that gave me the lady balls I needed to let go on my own. That’s also the first time I’ve ever used crash mats, I guess I’ll be trying them out more when ever I’m scared. I really didn’t think it would be that much of a help, but it gave me just enough confidence to try a scary move out.

I’m going to take a moment now to praise an amazing pole product. If you live in a cold and dry climate like Canada, you know how much of a toll it can take on your skin. This in turn makes it near impossible to grip a pole, even a brass pole! It’s not so much my hands that I worry about, if I give them a quick wash before pole that’s usually enough to give me grip, and if that doesn’t work I have my liquid grip. The liquid grip is like a liquid that dries to a chalky consistency, it’s main use is for sweaty hands, just like if you were to use chalk in gymnastics.

My legs are the main worry, the liquid grip works on them, but only briefly. I honestly thought it was going to be impossible to pole in the winter. I use a regimen of coconut oil and vitamin E oil on my legs nightly (I’ll post a blog later on about the miracle of coconut oil) in hopes of helping my skin to not dry out. And while it does help, it’s really not enough.

 

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That’s when I came across this!

Dewpoint Pole grip! It’s amazing, it’s super helpful, although I do find I have to reapply half way through class, that’s a small price to pay for such good grip when I need it.

Word of warning, do not get this on your hands. I’m not sure why but it makes it nearly impossible to grip if it gets on your hands. I don’t know if it’s a mixture of the dewpoint and sweat but just remember, rub your legs together to rub it in, and then you have to let it air dry for 1-5 minutes. I usually give it somewhere in between that.

The spray comes in three sizes, I have the middle one because it’s kind of expensive but again totally worth it. If your studio doesn’t sell it (You should probably convince them to) you can buy it online!
If you’re living in the states you can get it off of amazon.com, if you’re from Canada you can get it off of Ebay. They were really good for shipping on time and it got here quickly.

 

 

Well that’s all for today folks, today is gymnastics day!

Improve your lower flexibility!

Good day wonderful people. You will never believe the internet troubles I’ve been having since Thursday night! Thanks to that I was unable to post on Friday, so I apologize! While my internet’s still not working 100% I’m still going to attempt to connect using my phone as a hotspot for just long enough to put up this post. There’s also a guy coming today to fix my interwebs, I’m going crazy without it! Do you know how much I rely on my internet? For e-mail, gaming, SHOPPING… I can’t shop! I had to shop on my phone the other day to get my daughters Christmas gift on sale. Very irritating!

Anyways down to business, today’s blog is all about improving your lower flexibility. I’ve put together a few stretches you can add in to the routine you have already. Best done after cardio (Remember, never stretch cold muscles) they’re easy and feel great. Remember, I’m not a fitness instructor (yet) so follow the following exercises at your own risk, and don’t forget pushing yourself is good, but not to the point where you may potentially injure your muscles.

The first stretch is the basic toe touch!

With feet apart, around hip width, maybe a little wider if you are just starting, bend down until you feel a stretch in the back of your legs.

If you don’t feel that stretch try standing your feet a little closer together, the closer they are the harder the stretch is.

Hold for 30 seconds, don’t forget to breath!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The next stretch is the deep glute stretch. I really enjoy this one! The pictures to the right is the same leg being stretched, just from two angles just to give you a better idea of what you’re doing.

So lay on your back, cross your leg onto your knee, the arm on the same side of the crossed leg goes through the hole in the middle, your other arm holds onto the outside.

Now you want to pull back the leg you’re hanging onto until you feel the stretch through your glute of the crossed leg.

Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs and repeat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

image[2]This is called the cross over hamstring stretch. Again the picture is one leg from two angles to give you a better idea of the stretch.

So with one leg straight, cross the opposite leg over and then you’re going to want to reach out on the same side as the standing leg.

Reach as far as you can, remember to breath, and then when you think you can’t reach any further, breath out slowly and reach further! Do it! I know you can!

Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The next is the butterfly stretch, and the seated hip stretch.

The butterfly stretch it’s pretty straight forward, feet together and try to pull your knees to the floor using your muscles, not your arms.

The seated hip stretch is not a contest to see if you can touch your head to your feet, I can touch my head to my feet, but the point of this stretch is to push your chest down as far as you can until you feel the stretch in your hip sockets

Hold each of these poses for 30 seconds each!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image[4]Lastly are a hamstring and oblique stretch, and a hamstring stretch.

With the hamstring oblique stretch make sure your chest is facing outward as much as possible, less than it is to the floor. You’ll feel a nice stretch through your side and your hamstring. Remember to switch legs after you’re done holding that pose for 30 seconds.

After is the basic hamstring stretch. Again this is another move in which it’s less about getting your head to your leg, mainly because that’s simple with the help of your neck, really you want to be touching your chest to your leg as much as you can. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs!

 

 

 

 

And that’s it! If you want to go even further with your stretches you can include the thigh stretch, inner thigh stretch, hip flexor stretch and go into your front splits. All of these are included in my Pole cool down routine which you can find here! 

Until tomorrow mes amours!

Post pole cool down! Lets calm it down!

Good morning wonderful people! It’s a beautiful day here! For the time being, we’re also expecting a snow storm later on. And I have to do groceries, go figure. As promised I am now going to include you in on my super top secret (but not really) cool down, we do these in my pole class and it always feels great to end an intense workout with these stretches. And for a pre-pole warm up click HERE. Now remember, I am not a trained fitness instructor (yet) so follow this routine at your own risk, and don’t push yourself too far with the stretches, remember stretching is for your muscles not as a competition to see how far you can go.

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First off we have the tricep stretch, lightly pulling your elbow, give that tricep a good ol’stretch.

Hold it for 10-15 seconds and then switch arms.

Next we’re going to move on to the thigh stretch, hold it there again for about 10-15 seconds before moving on to the next leg.

 

 

 

 

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The next stretch is a bicep stretch!

Thumbs down, push your arms back until you feel that stretch right through your biceps. I really like this one just because you rely so heavily on your arms while doing pole.

Afterwards stretch one arm over to do the forearm stretch.

Hold it there for 10-15 seconds before switching over to the other arm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Next is the frog stretch!

Make sure your feet are pointed outwards.

And try and sit back as far as you can, you’ll feel the stretch, trust me.

The second picture is just a side view of the same stretch.

I usually hold this one for 30+ seconds.

After the frog stretch go into your center splits (which I forgot to take a picture of) hold for about a minute.

 

 

 

 

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Now go into an inner thigh stretch, hold it for 15 seconds and then switch to the opposite leg and repeat.

 

 

 

This one I’m pretty sure is a hip flexor stretch. Again this is another one I love, it feels so good to do.

Push forward on your front leg.

Hold for 15 seconds and then switch and repeat with the opposite leg.

 

Next we’re going into the front splits, now I can’t do it, but I’m working on it. Make sure your front foot is flexed to get more of a stretch.

Also breath, make sure you’re always breathing. I usually breath in and then try to push my splits a little further on my breath out, it’s all about relaxing your muscles. Hold for a minute on each side.

Don’t push too far because you can really pull your muscles on this move, and the horrible thing about that is that you won’t be able to stretch it properly for the next couple of days or even weeks. You put your muscles into a regression.

 

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Lastly we do the bridge. My bridge is actually better than picture but with only 10 seconds between my cameras timer and getting into the move, I had no time to fix my form.

When you’re in bridge you’re going to want to try and walk your hands to your feet until you feel a good stretch. Again this is another one you don’t want to push too far until you’re able to. I don’t know if this happens to everyone but for me, if I push it to far my back muscles cramp up, kind of like a foot cramp, and it really hurts.

 

 

 

After you’re done the stretch roll up into a ball and rock back and forth a little to stretch your muscles the other way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not pictured is a wrist stretch and a toe stretch so make sure you do those, they are equally as important! And always remember to stretch after your exercises, no matter the exercise. Until tomorrow good people! Tomorrow is pole day! YAY!

Pre-Pole warm up! Get those muscles going!

Good morning lovely people, I don’t know about you but here today it’s so dreary and gross out, I’d rather snow. That’s right! I said it! I’d rather the beautiful white snow then dull dark rain. But lets be honest, after Christmas, snow can just go away. I’m not a snowboarder or skier and not really a cold person in general, snows beautiful, but from inside a nice warm house, in front of a nice warm fireplace.

Speaking of warm, lets talk about getting those muscles warmed up before you hit the pole, well before you start spinning. Now keep in mind I am by no means a fitness instructor (yet) and if you choose to follow the routine I do, you do at your own risk! This is a mix of the warm up routine I was taught at the studio and some ones online that I just like. But it gets you nice and warmed up before you start so it’s perfect. Alright lets move on to the first move

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Alright so I have no idea what half the moves are actually called so I’m going to give them my own names!

I call this one, lean back!

You start with your feet together, then lean back while sucking in your belly button and keeping your core tight.

You then bring yourself forward, head to your feet and repeat!

I do this one about 10-15 times.

Easy right? Well that’s just the first one!

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This is called the crunchy thingy!

Balance yourself, knees bent, for about 10 seconds, then switch to legs up in a V position, hold for another 5 seconds!

Then you’re going to lean back, don’t lie down and keep your legs up off the ground, and then come back up into starting position.

Repeat the crunching action of the last two about 10-15 times.

Alright, alright, a little bit hard right?!

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The side butt crunch!

Very similar to the above exercise, but instead of balancing on your full butt, you balance on  a cheek.

Do 10-15 times, and then repeat on the opposite side!

image[4]Now you’re going to lie back and do some (I know the name of this one) reverse crunches!

So lay on your back, your legs can either be straight up, or for an easier version, knees slightly bent.

For this exercise you’re only going to come a couple of inches off the ground. The whole point is to use your stomach muscles to crunch up.

No cheating! If you feel like you’re using your arms, stop it! USE THOSE STOMACH MUSCLES!

Do about 10 of these.

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This is called the dive bomber, start in the downward dog position (do it better than I am in the first picture)

Then you’re going to drop your chest down into a push up position.

Followed by your butt and then bring your chest back up and push yourself back up into downward dog!

Repeat 5-10 times! This one makes my shoulders crack every time but they’re super good for your arms.

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This is a shoulder mount prep move.

Lay on the group and grip the pole as you would for shoulder mount.

First bring your knees up, then back to the first position.

Next bicycle legs, one on the left, one on the right, and then back to first position. The lower your legs on this move the more you’re working your muscles.

Lastly leg lift both legs up, bring your butt a couple of inches off the ground and then slowly and with control, lower your legs back down to first position.

Rinse and repeat as many times until you really feel the burn in your lower stomach muscles.

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Lastly, one of my favorite moves, the pole squat. I just find this one so much better because the pole forces you into a proper position.

Like everything in pole dancing, it’s done on the tips of your toes.

So it’s pretty straight forward, start standing, hands behind the pole. Then drop down into squat position and come back up.

Now make sure you’re using your legs for this exercise and not pulling yourself up with your hands.

To finish up this routine make sure you adequately warm up your shoulders with shoulder rolls and arm circles, and your wrists with wrist circles!

And that’s my warm up routine! Simple, sweet, but effective. And don’t forget to cool down, that will be my post on Tuesday! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I have a baby shower for my best friend this Sunday so lots of preparation. I also have a CFL party at my parents on Sunday, why couldn’t one of these things be on Saturday, I have nothing to do Saturday. Anyways, until Monday mes amours!