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Aradia Instagram Fitness Challenge

Aradia Instagram Fitness Challenge:

Core Strength, Flexibility and Balance

Aradia Instagram Fitness Challenge

At our studio, you often hear us talking about developing a strong core, functional flexibility, and balance. All of these take hard work and consistent practice, and they are especially important if you want to progress to more challenging moves and choreography. 

Since we are not able to be in the studio together, we have designed the Aradia Instagram Fitness Challenge. A series of quick videos (you’ll find them on our Instagram) will walk you through a variety of exercises you can do at home. Following the various exercises over the next thirty days will allow you to progress safely and effectively through these three series:

Series #1: Front Splits (with Demetra)

Whether you are a pole dancer or not, becoming more flexible is essential for your overall health and wellbeing. Stretching helps your body repair after injuries, and it reduces your body’s muscle imbalances. An additional benefit is that you significantly improve your physical performance in every sport you do. For pole specifically, doing a jade split requires a flat active split to accomplish that trick fully. 

 In this series, you will learn:

  1. Sun Salutations (Variations)
  2. Lunge to Hamstring Stretch
  3. Lunge Lift & Pigeon
  4. Scissor Kicks
  5. Leg Lifts
  6. Leg Circles
  7. Front Split

If you commit to these front split activities daily, you will see a significant change in your flexibility in a matter of weeks. After a hamstring injury a few years ago, Demetra worked on these main exercises for months (she trained at a slower pace due to her injury). She was so happy to achieve the splits once again. It took work, but it was well worth it!

Series #2: Headstands (with Robin)

There are lots of reasons why we should practice our headstands. Yogis suggest that being upside down improves mood, reduces stress, increases core strength, and even delays hair loss! Sure, these are all great reasons, but really, being upside down is fun.

While seeing the world from a new perspective, you will be strengthening your core and improving your balance, which will enhance your performance in any activity you choose. 

In this series, you will learn:

  1. Neck Warm-Up
  2. Wrist Warm-Up
  3. Tabletop Hold
  4. Handstand Slides
  5. Tripod Stand
  6. Alternate Knees Off Elbows (to Tuck)
  7. Stand
  8. Pike Lifts

Practice these exercises daily, and you will quickly be able to pop right into your headstand. A fun party trick, but also extremely useful in pole, aerial, and general health and wellness.

Series #3: Core (with Monika)

A strong core benefits everyone, not just athletes and aerialists. At our studio, we are focused on functional core training. We use a variety of exercises on and off apparatuses to ensure students are building the strength and stability they need to perform movements safely and efficiently. We work the entire lumbopelvic-hip complex, which is everything from torso to hips.

Core muscles are stabilizers in a lot of situations, whether you are a pole dancer, aerialist, climber, runner, etc. The core is one of the essential components of inverts and aerial deadlifts (but not the only element). Working on core exercises will also improve your posture, reduce back pain, and give you better movement and coordination overall. 

In this series, you will learn:

  1. Bent Hollow Body Hold
  2. Sky Touches
  3. Bent Hollow Body Ankle Touches
  4. Windshield Wipers
  5. Plank Shoulder Taps
  6. Pike Leg Lifts
  7. Ab Crunch (with Broom Stick)
  8. Knee Tucks (with Broom Stick)

These core exercises barely touch on the variety we do in our studio. However, these are all exercises you can do at home right now without equipment. If you want to see progress, you should train three times a week. You’ll be able to push for time, start adding weights in some cases, and increasing reps.

Below are links to download the printable tracking sheets for each series of exercises. Put this up on your fridge to remind you to check us out on Instagram from April 20 to May 10! Tag us (@aradiafitnesscalgary) in your Instagram stories if you want to show off your progress during our Instagram Fitness Challenge 🙂 . 

Front Splits Tracking Sheet

Balance Tracking Sheet

Core Tracking Sheet

We have online classes! There are over 40 live classes per week and you can attend as many you like.

Instructor Feature – Felicia

This week’s featured instructor is Felicia Salzmann, one of our versatile instructors who teaches everything from silks to pole, to Exotic choreos and tricks. Felicia has been practicing pole for ten years and aerial on and off for nine years. She became an instructor at Aradia Fitness Calgary in December of 2017, but she began teaching years before that. While she lived in Florida for school, Felicia was part of the Florida State University Flying High Circus as a Spanish Web performer.

At our studio, Felicia is well known for her heart-pounding, sexy, and intricate tricks in her Exotic Flow classes. Her Exotic Tricks classes are also very popular. The classes she teaches are always challenging and have you coming back for more. She’s also the person to go to if your heels need some love after all the work they put in at our studio. Felicia customizes and glitters up heels to make them look as good as new or even better. Please give her a follow on Instagram and keep reading to get to know more about her.

Aradia Fitness Calgary featured Instructor Felicia Salzmann in Iron Cross on silks

What surprised you the most about pole fitness?

What surprised me the most is how it keeps growing and evolving with new styles and new tricks. Just when you think you’ve learned it all, there’s something new to learn! 

What is your current favourite pole/aerial move?

My favourite move will always be the classic inside leg hang or a fun yogini drop.

Do you have a favourite off the pole conditioning exercise?

My favourite off the pole exercises to do usually involve mobility and bodyweight training, yoga, contortion, and hand balancing. As well as classical forms of dance to keep up on cardio.  

What are your current pole and aerial goals for yourself and for your students?

My current goal for me and my students is to just keep growing and exploring the movement art and function behind pole.

How would you describe your teaching style?

My teaching style is, in two words fun and hard. I like to keep it light hearted in analogies and metaphors to help translate the language of pole into something the average person can understand while also presenting a physical and mental puzzle of interesting moves and combos to keep things exciting. 

What do you think students gain from being members at Aradia?

Students gain a number of things from coming to Aradia but I think the most important part is personal confidence and great support group.

Can you provide one piece of advice for students working through their pole journey?

My piece of advice – Never compare your chapter 1 to someones chapter 5. Pole/Aerial is a personal journey and everyone is different in when/what/how they progress.

Aradia Fitness Calgary featured Instructor Felicia Salzmann performing bridge on pole


Instructor Feature – Tatiana

We are reaching the point in our instructor features where we are getting to some of the people who have been pole dancing for almost a decade or more. They’ve been hooked in and their passion for pole fitness keeps them going. Tatiana Vladimirovna has been a pole dancer since September 2011 and she started instructor with Aradia Fitness in 2013. Aradia wasn’t her first foray into instruction.

Tatiana has been a fitness and martial arts instructor since 2006, when she was still living in Russia. Did you know she holds a 4th Degree Black Black Belt in Taekwon-do or that she is a Canadian National Champion in female sparring? Tatiana actually runs her a martial arts school, Taurus Taekwon-Do SW, where students from kids to adults learn ITF style Taekwon-Do.

Tatiana brings her own style into her classes, and like all strong instructors has been continually developing herself. To work on musicality and dancing skills, she has been taking lessons in contemporary, dance hall, jazz and chair dance. Check out what Tatiana has to say about Aradia and training in pole!

Aradia Fitness Calgary featured instrcutor Tatiana Vladimirovna in front splits on the floor

What surprised you the most about pole fitness?

It can be challenging but rewarding at any level.

What is your current favourite pole/aerial move?

I have many favourite moves – drops and flips are fun. I think Iguana is my favourite move for now.

Do you have a favourite off the pole conditioning exercise?

Sparring, running, dancing and swimming. Or if you are asking about in class but off pole – plank  and variations are my #1.

What are your current pole and aerial goals for yourself and for your students?

My current goals are to teach more advanced classes. To start creating some dance routine and pole combinations, try to perform on my own later when I am ready and develop some musicality.

For my students they are to create a positive experience in every class, encourage students to be persistent and not to give up even when it is very hard. To have fun and enjoy themselves.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Dynamic, strong and sensual (sexy).

What do you think students gain from being members at Aradia?

Aradia Fitness offers a new modern and fun way to exercise. On top of fitness goals our students can gain confidence, built self-esteem and discover some sensuality. 

Can you provide one piece of advice for students working through their pole journey?

Just enjoy what you are doing and don’t give up when it is hard.  And when it is hard – ask instructor for help. We are here for you in this journey.

Aradia Fitness Calgary featured instructor Tatiana Vladimirovna demonstrating a Taekwan-do high kick

Photo by Robert Scott

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