This pole dance bruises map might seem a little humorous but bruises can be ugly, hurt and get in the way when you are still trying to get that move down!
Bruising and 'pole burn' the feeling you get when first starting to learn to sit on the pole and hold it under your arm are somewhat to be expected at first.
I remember a huge ugly purple bruise I first gained when I learned to finally hold myself in a Scorpio...I had to press my thigh into that pole to get the hold...but it went away and has never returned when I do that trick now.
Why do I bruise so easily when pole dancing?
Pole dancing involves holding onto metal with the softer parts of your body like the inside of your thighs and you cannot protect it with clothing since that would totally defeat your purpose! So how can you prevent them?
Luckily, pole dancing bruises lessen as you gain skill at pole dancing. You will learn how to engage yourself with the pole in such a way as to not unnecessarily bang your body parts against it. Control and skill come with practice so the bruises will most likely come at first but will lessen as your skill and control increase.
Your skin will thicken somewhat like a callous would and the muscles and tissue underneath will toughen naturally in response to this necessary trauma you are inflicting on it.
How can I try and prevent pole dance bruises?
Watch, listen, learn in your mind and study the move before you attempt it.
Your instructor (or dvd instructor) should give you tips on how to properly execute the move.
Try it in slow motion first such as in learning a spin or part by part if you are learning a trick or pose.
Go through the move in your mind also, although your body will have its own memory of how the move feels once you learn it.
Build your strength slowly and well so that you rely less and less on the stickiness of your skin to hold you onto the pole
What will be your points of contact? This is important to know since these will be the places that you are most likely to bruise. Some videos or lessons such as Studio Veena's will outline all points of contact and how to execute the move properly as to try and avoid bruising. She also outlines which other moves to learn beforehand so as to make sure that you have the strength and skill to move forward into more difficult tricks.
I think I'm gripping the pole too tightly...my wrists are chaffed!
Don't use the 'death grip'! If you hold too tightly to the pole such as when learning a spin, your wrists or arms will bruise because you are not allowing them to move.
If you find your wrists bruising too much, use a sports wrist band to help with sliding when doing spins.
Don't over practice a move. If you get a bruise from a new move, don't keep repeating that move for days. Give the bruise a few days to heal then go at it again.
Prevent bruising on your legs and shins by wearing thigh or at least knee high vinyl boots to protect your feet and legs. These should not be used all the time. You still need to learn to climb the pole barefoot or with heels.
I have blisters on my hands from gripping the pole. What can I do?
You can prevent blisters on your hands by using fingerless pole gloves with tack
There are also a variety of other home remedies for troubles with sticking to the pole
Pole burn HURTS!!!
When I first learned to sit on the pole I felt like my skin was being ripped from my body!!! It hurt like hell and I let a four-letter word slip out in class! (I wasn't alone in that, either!) But four-letter words won't do anything to make it feel better so all you can do is practice, practice, practice!
You can soothe your skin post workout with aloe vera plant gel, either fresh form a leaf or from the drugstore. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath will help also.
I have an ugly bruise! What can I do?
Using an ice pack to reduce swelling is a simple treatment. You can use a frozen bag of peas so that it will conform to whatever body part you are icing. Ice the area 3-4 times a day for 10-20 minutes.
Another effective treatment is to use Arnica cream or gel which can be purchased at your local drugstore. It reduces swelling and pain. There are also a lot of other natural-type bruise balm products on the market or sports balms that help with the pain of bruises.
Soak in a warm Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts works wonders for your skin as well as relieving muscle soreness, aches and inflammation. A few drops of lavender oil are also calming and relaxing.
Eat fresh pineapple. Pineapple contains anti-inflammatory bromelain! Also, don't take too many aspirins as it thins your blood and can reduce bruise healing time.
Overall, your skin will stay lovely and the purple and green marks will go away as will any awkwardness, pain you feel when performing tricks.