6 Mistakes That Stop Your Pole Progress … and why!!

Are you at a point in your pole journey where you feel that you’re just not going anywhere, not making any progress? Trust me, I’ve been there, quite recently in fact! The last thing I thought was that I would be making these mistakes.

It’s such a de-motivator when you’re working and training so hard but you’re just not getting anywhere, isn’t it? Well, the first step is noticing that you’re in a rut, the next is to identify what’s gone wrong and how to get you back on track.

Here are 6 common mistakes that polers do that hinder their pole progress

    1. Comparing yourself to others
    2. Skipping the fundamentals & basics
    3. Doing just one trick and then, you’re done…
    4. Attempting tricks that are too advanced
    5. Over eating post-workout
    6. Turning up to class hungry

Comparing yourself to others

This is probably the most important and most dangerous thing you can do! Especially when you are just starting out. I get it, I used to do the same, I would look at someone in my class who picked moves up much quicker than I could, or I’d compare myself to polers on Instagram. It used to make me feel disappointed that I wasn’t as good as them, impatient and also, I lost some motivation and confidence as well.

It sucks, it really does BUT, after sitting myself down for what seemed like forever…I realised that actually, yes, they may be able to get Fang  first time, or they have 0 fear with everything – but, I am good, in fact, I’m great. Everyone learns at their own rate, they are naturally better at some things where others aren’t.

If you ever find yourself comparing again, remind yourself that everyone started exactly where you did, that they put in a lot of work to get where they are now. Most importantly, focus on yourself, your own goals, progress and achievements, at the end of the day, that’s whats most important!

Skipping the fundamentals & basics

Ok, I rave about this so much in my classes and my own training – making sure you have the correct technique, nailed the basic movements is what you need to focus on to ensure that:

  1. You have the proper and safe technique
  2. The right muscle engagement
  3. Lower risk of injury
  4. Less chance of regression when you’re starting to put combos & routines together

If you started a new hobby, you don’t jump straight into the deep end and risk injury, lack of progression, do you? You start with the basics and make your way up. It’s the same with pole too.

When starting to put combos & routines together, it’s important to know the basic fluffy moves such as a pirouette, floor transitions & movement so that you can make your combos flow better and you’ll be more confident doing them too!

Doing just one trick and then, you’re done…

Cardio…yes, that dreaded word. No doubt, one of the reasons you started pole was because you didn’t like other forms of exercise, you wanted to have fun and get fit. However, coming into session, working on individual moves and not combining them together, will lower your ability to progress.

To increase your cardio and stamina for pole, start combining moves together, start small and then work your way up! Other ways to do this is to do cardio outside of your sessions, cycling to your sessions or running is great! Bearing in mind that high intense cardio and running may hinder your flexibility – it’s a great opportunity to stretch more and help flexibility in that way.

Attempting tricks that are too advanced

Okay so, we can all be a bit of a victim of Insta stalking, especially polers. Endless hours of scrolling through Instagram, saving moves to try when you’re next in session!

However, as much as you want to try that ballerina move, you have to think whether your body is ready for that intense move. Can you do the move from the floor? Can you do an easier variation? Have you done the pre-requisite move?

If you try a move that is too advanced for you, the possible risks are:

  1. A lack of body awareness
  2. Higher risk of injury
  3. Overuse and potential injury of your spotter

What is body awareness?

Body awareness includes many things such as how to manoeuvre safely around the pole for entry and exit of a trick, knowing your strengths (are you strong enough to safely attempt the move?) and which muscles to engage.

How do you know if you’re ready?

Firstly, ask your instructor, they are the ones that know your ability and will know whether you are ready to try the move first or not.

Secondly, make sure you have nailed the core moves of the level that that specific move is in, this means that you’re going to have more body awareness and you’ll have the right technique/experience to get into and out of the move safely!

Over-eating post workout

Right, you’ve just done an awesome sweaty and productive session, you get home and what’s the first thing you reach for? FOOOOOOD!

Oh you know you do, all you want to do is stuff your face and reward yourself for doing so well in your session. But, not only does this decrease your chances of fat loss, but you also become dependent on rewarding yourself. This means that after every session your brain is going to go into reward mode and it’s going to be harder and harder to resist that extra biscuit or scoop of Ben & Jerrys!

Ok, so how do I fix this?

First thing to try would be, to make sure you have eaten a filling, healthy and nutritious pre & post workout meal. You’re going to want to look for complex carbs such as, sweet potato, brown rice and pasta (nothing white and refined) and plenty of protein.

A good thing to try post-workout would be, water and plenty of it! Dehydration is a tricky thing, making you believe you’re hungry, when actually you’re just super thirsty. Also maybe look into a protein shake also, a great way to build up your protein intake (which is great for muscle recovery…very important)

Turning up to class hungry

Now, this is super important. You may want to lose weight and therefore your next step would be to not eat, hoping that you’ll burn more fat, right?

So, if you imagine a car, imagine it’s empty or low on fuel, that car isn’t going to get very far. It needs filling up to be able to do it’s job properly!

Your body is the same, yes you may want to lose weight, but, doing this may put yourself at risk to injury and fatigue. I know from my experience that if I’m hungry or tired, there is no way I am able to do anything on the pole. I need to eat something carby to give me the energy I need to do my workout successfully!


So, there you have it! How many did you see yourself doing? Was it more than you expected?

Let us know how you get on and if you liked this post! What do you want to hear from us next too?


Until next time…