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It seems like there is always a new pole or yoga or flexibility or fitness challenge to be found on social media—in fact, the UPA StretchIt challenge is going on right now! I’ll admit I don’t do very many challenges because I have a training schedule that works for me and frankly, it can be tough to work in a new challenge, even just one! But sometimes, a challenge is just the thing for breaking up a rut: If you feel like you keep doing the same things over and over, challenges can help you bust loose!


One of the best things about challenges is that they make you feel accountable. Every day/week there is something you’re supposed to be doing, with associated hashtags and other participants who encourage each other to keep going. Peer pressure is real!

New Stuff

Challenges often have moves or poses you have never tried. Now’s a perfect time to add to your repertoire! Or maybe they have a new way to get into a stretch. You might find it works great for you. Or maybe you’ll learn the name of that nemesis trick you’ve seen flitting around Instagram.

Feasibility and Structure

One of the reasons the Couch to 5K program is so successful is that it’s doable. Every single day has its own mini-goal. Today: run for X minutes, walk for X minutes. Tomorrow: run for X minutes, walk for X minutes. Repeat, repeat, repeat. There’s no questioning what you’re supposed to do. It’s the same with challenges. If you appreciate having a little structure in your training regimen, challenges are a great way to get some.

There are lots of other reasons people like challenges. There’s the social aspect. Maybe your entire studio is doing a challenge together and then you add studio camaraderie to the mix. Whatever your reason, and whatever you want to accomplish, there’s probably a challenge for it!

Happy poling!

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