When Spin City was forced to close due to Covid-19, you were probably training multiple times a week and feeling strong. During lockdown you may have done some exercise, or maybe you’ve done no exercise either way we’ve all been forced to take a long break from the studio.
So why should we come back and start at the beginning when we used to be able to do more advanced moves? Stef has shared her experience from her maternity leave.
Those who know me, will know that I’m an advanced pole instructor and recently have had some time off due to maternity. Before giving birth I was quite fit and continued exercising late into my pregnancy. From December until early March I didn’t touch a pole, when I finally came back to pole, it was around 8 or 9 weeks after giving birth.
As soon as I entered the studio my brain believed I could do everything I could before I was pregnant. I would come into the studio and have an urge to invert, pull up, or handspring. My brain remembered everything I needed to do and it felt like my body did too. The problem is my muscles hadn’t done anything for a long time. They weren’t as strong as they used to be and jumping into what I was training before would have been dangerous. It could have resulted in a fall off the pole or an injury to a muscle. So being strict with myself, I came back initially with my first lesson being with Katy (I knew she’d keep me from doing anything stupid) and I attempted to climb for the first time. Climbing that used to be second nature was all of a sudden very challenging. Lifting my legs as high as I could before was HARD, I had to really think about how to engage my stomach muscles. When I attempted basic spins I had to physically remind myself to engage my shoulders and core, to push and pull and it was mentally quite exhausting!
Engagement was difficult, my skin was sore quickly, my stamina was poor and if i’m honest although I knew it would be hard, I left feeling quite shocked at some of the areas which I struggled with. I knew inverting would take some time to come back but because I was able to spin and climb up until I stopped training, I believed that these skills would be easier – oh how I was mistaken!
Now obviously the situations are slightly different; this is not a post attempting to scare anyone into how hard it’ll be to come back. This post is more of a reminder about being realistic and taking it slowly as this will ensure you minimise your risk of injury. Let’s face it, after so much time off, the last thing we want to do is come back and then have to take more time off due to injury! We use a specific set of muscles while we do aerial fitness which is different to a lot of other conventional exercise and therefore if we jump straight back in we can easily cause ourselves harm.
So what are the positives about taking it back to beginners?
- Lower risk of injury
- Everyone is at the same level – no comparisons
- Less focus on what you used to be able to do but maybe aren’t strong/flexible enough at the moment – Focus on something different
- Opportunity to even out both dominant and non dominate sides.
- Perfect different skills such as pole flow
- Work on areas we may have missed in our initial aerial journey
- Work on conditioning to build those muscles back up
- Work on flexibility – we may have neglected them over the last few months
- Build up the skin conditioning
Due to the government restrictions we aren’t able to provide our normal spotting in our classes, and therefore we need to minimise the risk of a fall. Hopefully after a period of time of beginners classes, more restrictions will have eased, but please recognise that this is also part of the reason why all classes are going to be beginners, this will allow for us to provide the safest classes for you. The amount of hours that have gone into preparing the policies and the studio to allow us to open as soon as we could is astronomical.
Please make sure you are familiar with all the policies so there are no nasty surprises when you come back, please do not ask an instructor to go against these policies – they must adhere to them and it is in the interest of everyone’s safety (students and instructors). Please don’t complain if an instructor is asking you to do something which is different – we’re trying to get used to these changes too and it is difficult for everyone, but we must do this to allow classes to take place. Enjoy coming back to classes, every one of our instructors can’t wait to welcome you back!