If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you recently had a baby. I’m also gonna hazard a guess that in the hazy space between nappy changes, night feeds and milky snuggles, thoughts of pole are beginning to creep back in.
Amongst all the other emotions flying around (as if a tiny new human to look after 24/7, a shockingly sparse-on-sleep sleeping pattern to adjust to and a body you’re not sure you recognise isn’t enough to contend with), it’s perfectly normal to also wonder whether you might have lost your pole powers somewhere around 2am in the labour ward around that 7cm dilation mark. 🙈
Will you still be able to do a reverse grab spin or an invert with perfect control? When you return to pole, will you be back at square one, struggling with a basic climb?
The temptation to jump back into training is real, especially if you have a pole at home, giving you the sexy eye every time you walk past the spare room. But there is a reason your doctor won’t usually sign you off to return to formal exercise until around 6-weeks postpartum.
It’s important to remember that your body has been through a lot. If you go back to pole too soon, you can do more damage than good and core, pelvic floor and postural issues may end up affecting your pole performance for longer than necessary.
This is why it’s so important to follow and trust in a gradual process that will allow your body to heal properly before you start smashing out the spreadies and shoulder mounts again.
Restoring your core for pole
That process begins with:
• Rehabilitation of the pelvic floor muscles;
• Strengthening and re-educating the deep core musculature;
• Returning the abdominal muscles to their correct length; and
• Realigning posture.
There are some safe exercises you can do in the first 6 weeks postpartum that do exactly 👆those👆 things and will help speed up your recovery so you can make your return to pole safely when you are ready!
You can aim to do all of the exercises below for 10 repetitions, 3 times a day, as soon as you are comfortably able to do so. Remember – form, control and focus is key with these exercises, not speed!
**Please always consult your doctor before returning to exercise, particularly if you had a C-section or any complications in pregnancy or delivery.**
Exercise 1: Wall angels
During pregnancy, the body releases hormones which soften ligaments and connective tissues to help your body cope with the demands of pregnancy and child birth. Couple this with a typical pregnancy weight gain of between 9-18kg, the increased abdominal mass caused by baby bump and those newly acquired mega-boobs which create a shift in your centre of gravity—it’s no wonder that the stability of your body’s joints and posture is impacted significantly by pregnancy.
Usually, what happens in response to all these changes is that the pelvis tilts forwards, creating a more prominent curve at the bottom of the spine, which affects things further up the chain, usually resulting in a rounding of the upper back and shoulders, too.
Obviously, correct shoulder alignment and engagement is key for pole as it is such a shoulder-dominant activity. This is why I’ve included wall angels below—this simple exercise will help to realign posture and restore your shoulder function to its pre-pregnancy glory.
Exercise 2: Diaphragmic breathing with pelvic floor contraction
This simple exercise will help you to restore the vital connection with your diaphragm, abs, pelvic floor and core, ensuring you are able to create and release tension in your core and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
Exercise 2: Hip tilts
Another great exercise for re-educating and rebuilding core function postpartum, this exercise also helps to restore range of motion and postural stability to your pelvis and lower back.
COMING SOON! I’m so excited to be launching my fully customised post-natal programmes that will help you get back to full form on the pole safely after having a baby. The programmes will be provided online through my mobile app. They are 100% customised and come with full 1-to-1 support. If you’d like to register your interest, please send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I will let you know as soon as I announce the launch. ~ Neo x