Preventing Poi Injuries

Posted on November 5, 2012 by

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Poi Injury Prevention TipsAs someone who was diagnosed with repetitive stress injury (RSI) in her 20’s, Temple of Poi founder Isa GlitterGirl Isaacs has spent over a decade using poi as both a rehabilitation and her primary form of strength, endurance and exercise training. Because of her keen awareness of the challenges that arise from overuse (which caused her initial RSI injuries), this article it intended as a means of helping artists committed to their poi practice maintain their body health. Here are 3 tips for preventing some common issues that arise with poi:

  1. Turn with hips your flowers. If you’re working on flowers and you’re trying to generate the momentum fully from your shoulders, stop! This form is often injurious and thousands of our clients agree. Opening the hips will prevent this from being an issue. This means if the right arm is back, turning the right hip back/when the left arm is back, turning the left hip back will alleviate the rotation one needs to do in their shoulder and allow artists to work with the natural flow the body needs to support the move.
  2. Soften your elbows. Second on our list of common problems is locked elbows during flowers. This creates unnecessary tension for the tendons in the arm, especially below and above the elbow. If you’re feeling pain in your forearm and you’re doing a lot of flowers, ensure you have a bent elbow.
  3. Engage in supportive posture. Mom told us to stand up and not hunch over when we were kids, but not all of us really engrained solid posture into our bodies and, as adults, often have to correct our form. Poor posture can lead to lots of challenges while spinning often caused by locking the knees, disengaged core, lack of pelvic tilt and not keeping ones weight under them. These postural defaults also lead to people leaning forward so that if you looked at them from the side view, they have what we call “down hill skier” positioning — leaning forward, usually on the balls of their feet. Here are some tips for helping ensure your posture supports your practice:
    • distribute your weight evenly throughout the feet
    • bend the knees
    • engage the core
    • tilt the pelvis
    • ensure the ears are over the shoulders, hips and heels
Posted in: Health & Fitness