Lets talk knee pads! As far as safety protection gear goes, knee pads for pole dancers are a must. Whether you are doing floor work or pole work as a beginner these babies will help protect you knees. There are many different styles and colours of knee pads on the market, a colour for every outfit! Aside from looking good, they need to do the job, be practical and comfortable.
The best knee pads for pole dancers that we love are the velcro fastening kneepads with sticky dots. They provide freedom of movement whilst full knee protection. The dots help you not slipping off the pole and the velcro fastening means not having to take off your heels to put them on or remove them.
We all know that knee pads for pole dancers can help with protecting the knees but there are many more things that can go wrong. Pole dancing is a great sport and the euphoric feeling of getting that move for the first time is insane! Injuries occur in all sports and with pole dancing these can be serious and painful. Bruises, rotator cuff injuries, sprains, fractures to name a few.
Types of Injuries
Lets take a look at a few of the more common injuries, how to prevent them and the cures to help. I am not a doctor so any major injuries we will not cover, this is just a few things that you can do to help in your pole injury journey minor injuries!
A bruise is caused when skin has had some trauma and blood vessels rupture becoming visible through the skin. They look and feel painful but generally will disappear within a few days to a week.
Everyone gets a few bruises from pole dancing, beginners are especially prone to them more than advanced students. Generally they are found around the ankles, upper arms and inner thighs, think about skin to pole grip and that where they are! Learning to climb the pole, spin and invert are the main culprits. They are more commonly known as pole kisses between pole dancers.
There are a few things that can help the healing process and pain associated with a bruise.
- ICE – By applying ice immediately after an injury reduces the blood flow around the area. As a result reduces swelling and appearance of the bruise. Frozen bags of peas are great because they maneuver easily into place upon the area. An ice brick is too solid and not pliable so not as effective. Don’t forget to wrap it in a towel and ice for 10 minuets at a time, wait 20 minuets between reapplying.
- ELEVATE – Hold the bruised area above the heart to drain the fluid from the affected area. Its helps with pain and you now have the perfect excuse to put your feet up!
- COMPRESSION – Wrap an elasticated bandage around the wounded area to prevent the blood vessels from leaking. This will reduce the severity of the bruise and help with swelling.
- CREAMS – Too many to list them all but here are a few:
- Aloe Vera – It has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. Use a pure Aloe Vera gel and apply to the effected area.
- Arnica – A homeopathic herb that is said to reduce the swelling and aid with the healing process. Use the ointment or gel a few times daily for best results
- Vitamin C – Known for its wound healing properties and one of the few remedies that tastes delicious. Try a vitamin rich smoothie or a plate full of fruit and veggies.
- Comfrey – Derived from the comfrey plant, you can either apply a cream or steep the leaves in boiling water , strain and wrap in a cloth and use as a compress to the affected area.
Sprains (pulled Muscle)
As this is a pretty big topic, we will cover it in more detail in another article . Sprains happen when you overstretch or tear your muscles. Generally if you are over training, not engaging your muscles correctly or over stretching injury will happen. A pulled muscle is very painful and you will be out of action for a couple of weeks.
- Pain – sometimes severe and sharp
- A tightness or knotted feeling
- A reduced range of movement
- Muscle spasms
Cures for a pulled muscle
Firstly a visit to the doctor may be necessary if you have a serious sprain, you may need medication, physiotherapy or surgery.
If in doubt always seek medical advice.
Immediately after the injury for self care apply the RICE method
Avoid activities that will cause you any pain, swelling or discomfort. You can still move, its not advisable to avoid all physical activity.
I – Ice
Ice the area even if you are seeking medical help. Use ice packs, frozen vegetables or an ice bath slurry. This should be repeated every couple of hours for the first few days
To help prevent swelling apply an elasticated bandage. Start at the end that is further away from the heart and don’t wrap it so tight that you stop the circulation! If it starts to feel numb or swelling below the wrapped area occurs then loosen or remove the bandage.
E – Elevate
If at all possible elevate the injury above the heart especially at night to allow gravity to reduce the swelling. This can be difficult if its your ribs but for other areas, if at all possible it will help.
Have a little bell, a good movie on Netflix and a partner to wait on you hand foot and finger whilst you recover!
As pole dancing is a high impact, every muscle used sport, a good warm up routine is vital to help prevent injury. There are a number of great blogs and videos out there that you can browse and create something that works for you.
Warming up is helps to circulate the blood in the muscles by gradually revving up your cardiovascular system and increasing your body temperature. A good warm up routine should be around 10 minuets and include
- Light Cardio – Skipping (with or without a rope), jogging (can be on the spot) star jumps, spin bikes
- Medium Cardio – The same exercises you did in your light cardio but faster and with a higher intensity
- Stretching and Joint Rotation – Concentrating on the arms and shoulders essentially as these are the joints that you use a lot and can be damaged easily if not suitably prepared pre class.
- Abs & Legs – Engage those abs by performing planks, crunches and sit ups. Legs can be activated by a series of squats and lunges.
Your warm up routine should consist of a mixture of the above for approximately 10 minutes, try mixing it up and do different exercises each time to find something that works for you personally.
Lets not forget to stretch, once you have woken up the muscles and they are warm some light stretching should be sufficient before you can jump on the pole. Longer stretching sessions should be done after your pole class cooldown.
The jury is still out on if stretching after your workout helps with soreness and tight muscles. The experts do agree that it helps with flexibility and range of motion through the joint. With pole dancing requiring a full range of movement, stretching may improve your technique and performance and save you an injury. Not to forget the knee pads for pole dancers are the best protection for one of your most important assets!