Flexibility Training for Pregnant Pole Dancers

By Jane Blair

Posted: Wed 18 May, 2022

Flexibility Training for Pregnant Pole Dancers

You’ve probably heard that you might become more flexible while pregnant, however this is only partially true, and can be a deceptive concept. Sure, you may suddenly be able to get into the splits easier than pre-pregnancy, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing if you don’t understand the underlying mechanism of your newfound flexibility and how to manage it. 

So why do some people become more flexible during pregnancy, and how do you work with your new flex safely?

Hormones released during pregnancy relax your ligaments (all over the body, not only around the pelvis) in preparation for childbirth, making your joints more mobile, but also potentially unstable. If you stretch into end-ranges of flexibility you’ve never been able to achieve before during pregnancy, your joints can be irritated or even damaged, which can lead to pain and inflammation – particularly in the low back and pelvis, which can be extremely uncomfortable and cause problems down the track. 

Here are some tips and precautions for avoiding injury while stretching during pregnancy: 

❤️If something hurts, stop immediately.

❤️Supplement your flexibility training with stability and strengthening drills. 

❤️Technique matters. Make sure you understand what you are attempting to stretch, how to do it correctly, and how far you should take it. 

❤️Avoid backbends or similar positions that stretch your abdominals to their extremes, especially if ab separation is present.

❤️Seek guidance from your women’s health physio and listen to your body. 

❤️Prevention is the best solution. Pilates exercises designed for pregnancy can help strengthen the muscular structures that support the pelvis and reduce the risk of instability and pain. 

❤️Avoid any stretching, split moves, cupids or any movements that you find irritate your low back or pelvis during pregnancy until you’ve fully recovered postnatally.

❤️Opt for gentle, pregnancy-safe mobility rather than extreme flexibility training. 

❤️If you are experiencing pain, book in with a health professional immediately. 

❤️Remember that the experience is different for everyone – some polers are ok working with deep flexibility during pregnancy, but many do find they need to pull back, so listen to your body.

And if you want even more guidance on the dos and don’ts of training during your pregnancy journey, our course Pole Mamas: The Ultimate Course for Pregnancy, Postpartum and Pole includes a whole module focusing on stretching, mobilising and rolling out your body safely during pregnancy and is presented by our experts Eley May, from Flexersize and Julia Vo from The Pole Physio.


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By Jane Blair

Jane is a PoleSphere co-director and the founder of APDM, Australian Pole Dancers Magazine, which she first published in summer 2013. Jane represents Bottoms Up Burlesque in Melbourne and had her bright and beautiful light officially recognised when was crowned the "Sparkliest Dancer" in 2017, winning the Sponsors Choice award from Shimmy and Sparkle at Dance Filthy.