Upside down? Don’t forget to breathe!
This is the last post (for now, anyway) on how breath control can help your pole dancing in a BIG way. I’ve written about general breath control, the importance of breathing in spins, how breathing can help you climb … now let’s think about inverted work.
Controlled, smooth inverted work (and it should *always* be controlled and smooth!) requires SO MUCH CORE strength and balance. There’s just no way around it. So why not use good breathing techniques to help you maintain that strength and balance that you worked so hard to get?
A basic invert is a huge feat–think about the vast majority of the population who look at the most basic of inversions with awe. With nothing but muscles and determination, you’re magically lifting your hips over your head. Seriously. And it just gets crazier from there.
Working in an inverted position is not for the faint of heart … or the faint of breath! If you hold your breath in moves or poses you’re creating problems for yourself on two fronts (at least!):
1) your body needs oxygen in order to sustain it during combinations, so if you hold your breath your stamina (and thereby your ability to do mind-bogglingly-long trick combinations) will decrease dramatically
2) if you hold your breath you’re robbing your body of the full capability of its muscle engagement, just when you need your fully capability of your muscle engagement
“But inverted work is so hard!” you say. “How can I be expected to hold myself upside down, keep everything in the right place, and remember to BREATHE???”
The short answer is this: you have to. You have to breathe or you’ll run out of steam. Worst case scenario, holding your breath will make you lightheaded and weak–which is definitely an undesirable thing when your head is the closest thing to the floor!
Using breath control in inverted poses can be as simple as understanding when you need the most muscle engagement, and making sure you’re inhaling before you need to fully engage, then exhaling as you engage and hold your pose. There, that’s not so nutty, is it now?