We all get them from time to time – pole ruts. They are horrible, ugly, dark, yucky places full of self-pity and stale unproductively. So how do we get out of them?

Here is a list of 10 things I customarily defer back to when suffering from pole-rut-itis:

1) SEEK OUT NEW MUSIC:

Generally, if I get inspired in an auditory sense it will move me physically and there’s something about a new song or artist that always sends me running toward my poles.

2) SWITCH YOUR POLE WORKOUT:

If you generally freestyle, try busting out a few new tricks. If you’ve been continually focusing on flow and lines, try having a strength day full of pole-ups, shoulder mount rotations, tucks and pencil lifts. The change of pace changes your internal and external environment. The music shifts, changes in your brain occur requiring you to think differently in relation to the pole and within your body and this oftentimes changes our perspective. We’re generally working very hard towards specific goals and by changing our usual routine it can bring an overall different feel to your pole workout which is refreshing for the body and mind – we just have to remember that this day we spent in change was not wasted because we weren’t working toward our usual goals but that in fact it will, in the long run, get us closer to those goals faster.

3) IF #2 IS NOT WORKING TRY CHANGING YOUR WORKOUT ENTIRELY:

Try some Yoga (Acro Yoga is super fun!) or pick up hula hooping, lyra, silks, juggling or poi… you never know, this fun new side hobby may become your new main event or be discovered as a great warm-up! 😉 The benefits of cross training and trying a new physical exercise are endless from working different muscles to aiding in our balance and flexibility while learning new skills.

4) POLE WITH SOMEONE:

Hook up a Skype date (www.studioveena.com is a great, safe place to meet fellow polers and to make new connections), visit a new studio or have a friend (even a non pole friend) over. Another mind on hand can lead to endless inspirational and learning possibilities.

5) TEACH or INTRODUCE POLE TO SOMEONE:

Teaching or inspiring someone to take up pole can be so rewarding. It continually inspires me, reminds me of my love for pole and helps get me back into the swing of all things pole and the reasons I practice this sport.

6) WATCH KILLER POLE VIDEOS:

Though, most of us have to admit, watching amazing pole videos can sometimes offer up the opposite effect (i.e. bring us INTO a pole rut due to the realization that the awesomeness we just witnessed we’ll never, in seven lifetimes, be able to accomplish and can lead to questioning what we are even doing poling in the first place?) but hey, when your down there’s only one way up …right?! So get inspired! Watch some amazing pole videos – chances are you’ll eventually get inspired to learn that little transition or move you just saw and get back to aspiring towards greatness.

Watch some of your own old videos. Sometimes you cannot see your progress in day to day training but when you take a step back to reflect on your journey, you realize how truly amazing it is that you have accomplished so much in a short amount of time and how far you’ve really come.

7) DANCE FOR A DIFFERENT REASON:

If you generally dance for the camera, dance to an empty room. If most of your dancing is structured in class, go home and freestyle for yourself. Dance for a friend, lover, record yourself, don’t record yourself, choreograph a song, enter a competition… whatever you usually do – change it. Pressing right outside that comfort zone, out of your ordinary, will not only change your perspective but will motivate you. ALWAYS have goals. Goals motivate and push us but most importantly they show us what we are capable of as we achieve them.

8) MOVE YOUR POLE:

Yup, desperate times call for desperate measures… if you’ve made it this far down the list then it may be time for a change of scenery. Move your pole to another room, pole outdoors, seek out that perfect tree to practice shoulder mounts on, go to the park and do some park pole on the play equipment (the kids and parents alike will watch in awe at your superhuman abilities… save the twerking for home).

9) ASK FOR HELP:

If you feel your pole rut may be caused by the frustration of a plateau or being eluded by a certain move etc. maybe it’s time to ask for help. Visit a local studio, book a private, attend a workshop or hook up a Skype lesson with a pole guru. Finally nailing that elusive move, breaking through those barriers, learning something new… this is what keeps us poling, right?! Make some progress, pass it up and pole on!

10) TAKE A BREAK:

If all else fails, take a break. Get outside, finish that project that has been nagging at you, pick up and old hobby (you know all those things you did before you started pole)… sometimes stepping away for a while is necessary not only for our minds but for our bodies and often times it doesn’t take long for that nagging feeling to pull you back to your chrome.

Happy Poling!

`Ava

Please add to the comments anything that has helped you get out of a pole rut!