You probably hear pole dancing and immediately go to some dark and seedy place. Don’t. Sure, it’s one sport with a split personality, but its story is so much bigger than that.
Listen, if you’re in that “my workout is so boring” rut then this will certainly snap your attention awake. Pole dancing as a sport is downright fun, quite challenging, and will tone your tush in ways you didn’t know possible. In larger cities across the country, standalone pole classes exist in their own studios and some dance studios even put pole on the schedule. Think of these like you would a one-hour yoga class where you kind of let it all hang out — and you bring chafing powder instead of a mat.
“I took a class in Portland once and felt so ridiculous,” remembers Brandi Koskie. “I approached that pole with all the grace of a two-by-four.” That feeling doesn’t last forever though. Other women in her class were attending once or twice a week in place of other studio- or group fitness classes. They were as reserved at the start and quickly loosened up in more ways than one. Fifteen minutes into this intense class, she was sweating, stopping for water breaks, and feeling the burn.
Do you need a better invitation to get on the pole?
You can burn nearly 500 calories during a one-hour pole dancing fitness class, wherein you will crawl, climb, shake, spin, slide, and dance. It’s a functional approach to fitness that requires upper body, lower body and core strength.
Because your body is moving the entire time, Marks says your heart rate stays elevated which contributes to the calorie burn. As well, she explained that pole offers an intense resistance workout. “You must suspend your weight and control your body in ways that other more traditional forms of exercise don’t ask of you. Pole dancing also builds flexibility and mobility in your muscles and joints,” she explained.
She went on to say that this requires every muscle in your body — including the core — to be engaged just to climb the pole! “Pole dancers are performing maneuvers that require amazing amounts of strength and body control.”
If you’re serious about your new pole dancing hobby, you’ll need to cross-train like any other athlete. Marks recommends focusing on the core outside of the pole, which will give you more control on the pole, require less straining of the arms and legs, and open up more maneuvers that you can perform. Low-impact yoga and Pilates will contribute greatly to core strength and overall flexibility.
When you take on the sport of pole dancing, you have to leave your inhibitions at the door, but trust that there will be plenty of giggles in your first few classes. The payoff is well worth it!
Note: For pole dancing, we suggest the ENELL SPORT bra (versus the LITE) as there is a higher neckline and it will keep everything in place when gravity tries to do otherwise!
Would you ever try pole dancing/fitness?