Injury Mitigation

Injury mitigation is the reduction of injury risk.

Today I want to show you an easy way to bring body awareness to your training by using the planes of movement.

Planes of Movement
  1. Transverse plane splits the body between the upper and lower.
  2. Sagittal plane splits the body between left and right.
  3. Frontal plane splits the body between anterior to posterior, the front and back, of the body.
When we talk about injury mitigation, we are thinking about training as evenly as possible, not because being symmetrical is the be all and end all, because our sport is inherently uneven so this is a great way to even things up from training asymmetrically. Thinking about these planes of movement give a nice and easy way to think of this.

Lets talk about the transverse plane first. In my opinion, this is the big one that as an industry we don’t have enough awareness of or at least we don’t push the importance enough. Pole is classed as an ‘upper body sport’, I would refute this and say that this really depends what you are training. Just a quick insight into lower body pole training and examples as to way strength in the lower body is hugely important.

Flips are an obvious one, landing off the pole with high force and velocity… If our legs aren’t stable and strong then we could roll ankles, suffer from knee injuries or hip problems. Hooking our legs on the pole, fully relies on leg strength, lifting the legs up in various straddle, pikes or tucked positions, all movements then require leg strength and flexibility. Jumping on the pole for power spins, holding poses like squat and lunge positions. The list could go on!

The sagittal plane, this is the one we all know about! Side to side! By becoming more aware of this we can do our best to do the same on both sides. This doesn’t mean we have to train completely even on both sides. We can just do what we can, for example, if I am practicing my ayesha on one side then it might be unsafe to throw myself in to that on my other side. However, I can train my butterfly or crucifix or even just my invert. The point is, you are doing what you can and you can build up the strength as you did in your preferred side.

Finally, the frontal plane. Pole is a very front heavy sport: spins, inverts, arms only, climbing all require strength in the front of the body. This can cause weakness so we need to think about strengthening the posterior areas of the body. Common areas of weakness are the glutes, the mid back, between the shoulder blades and the posterior rotator cuff.

This principle applies to flexibility, not just strength. For example, having one hamstring much more flexible than the other (how many of you have a preferred splits side?!) can pull on the pelvis, increasing risk of injury.

If you are at beginner level then start now, you will be prepared for when you get to the higher levels! If you are advanced alreasy, it is never too late to take this principle on. Try it and see how much quicker you progress!

Happy Training!
Kassia x
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