If straddles hurt your outer thighs, READ THIS

Hey guys,

Enjoying summer?

I’ve been taking some time out to do summer stuff and generally chill in my time off, instead of spending it hunched over my computer as during the work day. So pardon my hiatus!

I did want to drop a quick line though because I haven’t stopped training (though I’m mainly doing flex, ballet barre, and poleography–no hardcore pole right now because my favorite teacher hasn’t been in in a while and I’m STILL having bad experiences with other peeps. *SIGH* Just want to get through a Level 2 without wanted to cry y’all).  Anyway, I love my other classes, and as usual when I take class with my utterly fabulous, professional, knowledgeable, infinitely patient, etc etc teachers I I LEARN SO MUCH.

Our flex teacher (WHO I LOVE, OMG YOU GUYS, SHE’S THE LITERAL BEST) asks for requests sometimes, and I recently issued a weird one: butt stretching.

Here’s the background: I have a horrific time with frog/straddle stretches. I’m used to some intense stretching, but while other people say they feel these stretching in their inner thighs, they make me feel like my outer thighs as well as hips are being broken. Like, wishbone-being-pulled-apart style.

This cannot be normal, I thought, so I googled “are straddle splits impossible for some people.” Because it feels that bad to me, and I have seen NO progress, despite making visible gains in all my other flexibility–including shoulders, aka fixing my dinosaur arms. (whaaaaat? I know! Miracles happen.)

This is a T-band stretch.
This is a T-band stretch.

What I discovered from a gazillion message boards is, sometimes the issue with painful straddles is not necessarily the muscles that straddles stretch (inner thighs) but the opposing ones: hips, outer thighs, and glutes. By targeting these muscles with stretches like figure four or T-band stretches (I don’t know the name for them but they usually involved turning your leg out and pulling it across your body), you have a better shot at getting to the muscles you actually want to stretch: yo inner thighs!

Class was mostly the typical order of operations, with straddles at the end. I don’t notice anything different, except that our figure fours and T band stretches (I admitted to the teacher when I asked for “butt stretches” that I actually didn’t know any besides these, the ones we were already doing) came right before we went into straddles.

This is also a T-band stretch.
This is also a T-band stretch.

Then a miracle happened. My straddles/froggies hurt like a bitch (lol what else is new), but for the first time ever I felt the pain in my inner thighs!!! Then we did some rolling of the hips and weight shifts and sure enough, I was able to go a little deeper. ie. I MADE PROGRESS.

I asked the teacher after class what did we had done differently (because that was MAGIC), and she said nothing–we had just changed the order. We weren’t doing any additional or different stretches, we were just doing those outer hips and glutes ones right before center splits. The teacher said she felt a difference too, and that she going to do her class like that from now on, which made me feel like less of a wackadoo for asking for “stretches for your butt” while others were requesting classy things like “heart openers.” #elegance

Figure Fo'
King of the Butt Stretches: Figure Fo’

So what’s going on with y’all? I definitely didn’t bother with the flow challenge like I thought I would because my air conditioner has just not been keeping up with this heat. When I get home I just sit on my couch and pant like Jabba the Hut, it’s pretty attractive.

I have been learning some cute combos in class though–I’ll post some poleography clips in another blog. But for now, look at this HAWT routine I saw at “Shtick a Pole in It.”

Shtick a Pole in It is a combo pole/comedy show. No, the dancers don’t tell jokes and the comedians don’t pole haha–they alternate! The comedians were surprisingly hilarious and the dancers were top freaking notch. Like, SICK.

I had two favorites performances but in one of them the dancer (terrifyingly) fell so I don’t think they’ll post it. She was fine and actually resumed the routine after a quick break to wipe the pole down, but it was really too bad because she was obviously a pro and her performance was out of this world until her fall. To her credit she was doing an insane trick combo at the time, so I guess it just goes to show that a slippery pole can strike anyone at any time.

Anyway, here’s my other favorite. My friend said she’s a NY Poler and her name is Anna. You can’t see it in the video, but she had a really lovely ease to her dancing and cute facial expressions which took an already sick routine to the next level. I’m fangirling here but I don’t even care because it was perfection.

Check her out!

And if you’re New York in September, catch the next show! I think they said it would be the last Sunday of the month, but that have yet to post. Check the Facebook group, I’m sure it will be up soon!

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8 thoughts on “If straddles hurt your outer thighs, READ THIS

  1. So that figure 4 thing – of you have an open section of wall, to the side edge of a couch or something, try this lay on your back on the floor, bend a knee and put your foot flat on the wall/couch, so your knee is at a 90 degree angle. Then cross your other ankle over that knee. You will likely engage the wall-touching leg enough to keep your ass off the floor due to the insane amount of stretch but then if you hold that for about a minute you’ll see that your leg is relaxing and your butt is dropping, stretching that outer hip. Breathing deeply also helps.

    1. interesting!! I think I have a flexible butt (?? can that be right?? haha) because I don’t usually feel f4s much, but my teacher recommends arching your back and thinking about pulling your hips into the floor, and that helps me feel it. More and more I’m starting to think that if a stretch is “easy” for you you’re doing it wrong haha.

  2. Hey there, I have just come across your blog. Very interesting read and helpful. I am new to pole dancing and will be attending my fourth class tonight. Do you have any advice that could help or tips? I would really appreciate it.

  3. Nice! Now this is a very useful post, thanks for that! Struggling with my straddles/middle splits, I prefer to focus on them (and shoulder stretches) in summer when it’s hot and poles get slippery anyway.

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