Working on "bad" side - Need motivation and tips

PoleAdventures Paid Member
Hi Veeners

I pole about 4 years now and I am at an average intermediate level I think. I do cross train yoga and bodyweight training for strength.
So my BIG problem is that I was really guilty of using only my dominant side for most of my tricks. I can do basic spins and holds on my "bad" side but thats it. When I freestyle I mostly use only my dominant side. So this led to some pain in my back and an muscle imbalance. I have the ok from doc and physio with the advice to work on my bad side to balance it out to prevent further pain and injury.

So the thing is...I absolutely KNOW what to do.... but I am so unmotivated und frustrated to work on my weaker side.

Do you have tips to deal with this? And how you train this?
Should I start a blog here with the progress? (Feeling like I am at the very start again)
Should I track with videos or writing a journal?
How do you motivate you to train the other side?
Should I only train the weaker side or like 5 reps weaker side, 2 reps dom side?
Should I stop progressing on my dominant side?

Halp! :)
May 4, 2021
StrangeFox Paid Member
Sorry to hear about your injury but I'm glad to hear you're recovering and you know what you have to do! I'm with you on bad side training - I hate it and have little time or patience for it while I'm learning new things. I think many of us feel this way even though we know we should always train both sides.

A really great bit of advice I got from the "The Pole PT" by Neola Wilby was that you don't have to actually do every trick on your bad side, so long as you make sure you're conditioning/strengthening the same muscles targeted by the trick on your "bad side."

That said, it's definitely good to make sure you can do most tricks on your bad side. Some combos will end on your bad side, and sometimes your bad side is your more flexible or stronger side for a trick.

What works for everyone is going to be different, but what I find works for me is to take it slow. I'm working on building a solid foundation on my bad side before I move onto more complicated tricks. And I make sure I don't spend an entire session working on my bad side. Just giving a trick a couple of tries before switching to conditioning helps me gain strength without getting me discouraged or sucking the fun out of my training session. I also keep a journal and take pics/videos so I can track my progress.
May 5, 2021
As long as you're doing conditioning and strength training that works both sides you should be fine. Don't be afraid to buy some weights and go heavy!

Honestly the biggest reason I encourage everyone to work on both sides in the lessons is because you never know which side will feel most secure. When learning a new moves people often do things on what they "think" is their "good" side but regularly I see people get a move on what they thought was their "bad" side.

I almost always butterfly on the same side, but I do like to work my opposite side when breaking down a lesson because it gives me insight to struggles that might come up.

Moves like Thigh Hold, Gemini, Scorpio, Hip hold are great to learn on both sides because it allows for easier transitions between moves.
May 5, 2021
amelia2000 Previous Paid Member
I'm terrible for bad sides but what helps me is gemini climbs. Great strength builder and it means you have to use your bad side too.

I also have the Pole PT like Strange Fox but I would like to add that sometimes combos need us to train our bad side sometimes. I was working on a scorpio to brass monkey transition recently. I had to go from "good" scorpio to "bad" brass monkey, or vice versa.

If I want to first invert and then go into an aerial shoulder mount, I also have to start with a bad side invert too. So for certain combos it's good to be able to do both.

Recently I set myself a target of a static freestyle using mainly mz "weaker" side- was actually good!

Plus little motivation- my "bad" side elbow ayesha actually looks better than my good side- think because on my bad side my right is the pushing arm.

Regarding documenting it, I find generally it helps to post stuff on insta. Great visual diary!
May 10, 2021
monica kay Previous Paid Member
i second the Gemini climbs! another fun conditioner that can help balance polers out is the devils point shuffle.
May 12, 2021
I just wanted to drop you a note because I continue to be impressed with your lesson plans. Not only to your attention to details, but your focus on preventing injury.
more testimonials