“How do I get rid of aerial and pole bruises?” is one of the most common questions that I get asked at the studio! Whilst every skin type and body is completely different, most of us will bruise as a beginner in pole or aerial hoop class, or when learning new tricks.
However, there are a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way on how to treat pole dance bruises that I wanted to share. It’s just a fact that some people bruise more easily than others but I want you to know that it’s totally normal. Trust me, I’ve had enough bruises to show you all up! Before we get into the 7 ways on how to treat pole dancing bruises, we’ll first look at why we get pole dancing bruises and how to avoid them. And as much as I mention pole bruises, it counts for Aerial Hoop bruises too!
Why do we get pole dancing bruises?
It might seem strange to get bruises from exercising but that’s what happens with the physicality of pole dance and aerial classes! You’ll probably be using muscle groups that you’ve not used in a long time and don’t forget you’ll be clinging onto the pole or hoop for dear life to begin with!
Most of the bruises we see in pole and aerial classes are pink bruises. You know when you’ve finally nailed that move and your bare skin is gripping onto the pole or resting up against the hoop? That’s when you’re most likely to discover a bruise the next morning (we call it pole/hoop kisses). They’re mostly painless unless you press down hard on them and honestly, your body just gets used to them.
You’ll most find them around pressure points that we use the most in class: between your thighs, around your knees, and under your armpits. It’s some of the most delicate skin on our bodies so sometimes it feels like it bruises far too easily! However, within a day or two, the bruises should hurt less to the touch and you’ll be fine for your next class. Again, some of you will bruise much easier than others. If you bruise frequently or rarely, both are absolutely normal!
Even the most experienced pole dancers and aerialists will get bruises when trying out new routines and tricks or even just gripping slightly differently. The more experience you get, the less you bruise. But that’s not to say that you’ll never bruise again!
Of course, if they feel particularly painful or don’t seem to be fading after a couple of days, please get yourself checked out by a doctor because you don’t want it to develop into a full injury. Unfortunately, with such a physical activity, bruising and injuries do happen but we do try to be as safe as possible in class, such as making sure you’re fully warmed up before getting on the pole or hoop and progressing slowly towards trickier moves.
How to avoid bruising while pole dancing or on the hoop
We hate to break it to you but there isn’t really a way! However, there are a couple of tips on how to get less bruising when taking a pole dance or aerial hoop class.
Good posture and technique
Whilst it won’t help you to completely avoid bruising, it can help to reduce the number of bruises you do get! Again, it might seem obvious but if you can hold your body up properly, you’ll feel more secure on the pole or hoop and will tense your muscles less. There are a few various exercises and classes to take to help with your technique:
- Ballet – for your posture, balance and fluidity in your movement. Also, very good for core, leg and ankle strength.
- Yoga or Pilates – for stretching and elongating your limbs and muscles. Holding a pose for a minute or so will also improve your balance.
- Flex – for more stretching and suppleness all around. Some classes focus on specific flexibility, others are more general.
Don’t forget with our monthly memberships you get access to our free online Pilates and Flex classes, to help round your training out!
Warm up and cool down properly
Whilst it might not exactly prevent you from getting any bruises at all, it does help when your body is fully stretched, limber and warm before attempting any tricks. All our classes include a warm-up section but if you’re attending an open session, make sure you do those dynamic stretches and a bit of cardio before you get on the equipment. If there’s a class on you’re always welcome to join in their warm up too.
A cool-down is also important but here, you should focus on static stretching. This is a great time to work on any splits, yoga poses, and quad and hamstring stretches. Give yourself a few minutes to relax and let your body cool down.
Unless you’re in serious pain, the trick is to just keep going. Over time, your skin does get used to changing pressure points and friction between the skin and the pole or hoop. It’s perseverance and progress that will eventually see you get fewer bruises. Rely on your instructor and don’t try to do too much too soon.
How to treat pole and aerial bruising
We might not be able to stop you from bruising after every class but we do have some tips that we’ve picked up along the way on how to treat bruising. Remember we’re not medical professionals, so any tips are followed at your own risk etc etc.
As soon as you see a bruise developing, stick some ice on it. Whether it’s an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas, they all work the same! Your bruises won’t usually show up until the day after a class so the following evening should be full of relaxation and recuperation. This should reduce any swelling and hopefully will speed up the recovery process.
An Epsom salts bath
One of the perfect ways to relieve pain is to have an Epsom salts bath. There are so many benefits of using them, from reducing inflammation to improving muscle and nerve function. They’re inexpensive too, where you can find 1kg for a few pounds. I’d recommend this to anyone who works out frequently!
The best-kept secret when treating pole and aerial bruises is using arnica. This is a herbal treatment, often as a gel and it’s anti-inflammatory and will help to reduce swelling. You can buy it over the counter in most pharmacies and beauty stores too.
Find some aloe vera
Another natural product is aloe vera, which is perfect for soothing bruises but also regenerating new cells and reducing scarring. It’s an ingredient that is probably in quite a few of your skincare products too so you can usually use those on your bruises first to see if it works for you.
Consume more vitamin C and K and iron
Both vitamin C and K help to reduce inflammation so make sure you’re stocking up on fruit and vegetables. Iron is also great for boosting your energy, so get on the spinach!
Drinking lots of water will never be bad for you but aiming for around 2 litres of water a day, more if you’re a really active person, will keep everything moving inside your body! It’s good for your brain and bones!
Change up your training
If all else fails and you’re sticking to regular classes, mix up your training a bit – we’re huge fans of cross training, so try out a fabrics class or some of our other classes that are different to your usual. Keep increasing your strength but using other body parts!
The more experience you gain and the more progress you make, the less bruises you will get. We can’t guarantee that you’ll never get a single bruise from a pole or aerial class again but here are some good things to try out whilst you’re newer to the discipline!
Ready to get some feel good from class?