Pole dance for fitness

Getting fit through pole dancing

Pole dancing offers a sound way of improving your body’s health and fitness with tricky mental maneuvers complementing physical strength. Here’s our guide on how pole dancing could be the exercise to send you on the path towards a healthier and more active lifestyle.

An introduction to pole dancing 

Although traditionally perceived as consisting of a host of scantily clad women performing for middle-aged men, pole dancing is now widely recognized as a highly beneficial form of physical and mental exercise.

Available as an aerobic and anaerobic workout, pole dancing combines physical artistry with strength and endurance. Pole dancing moves incorporate climbing, spinning and body inversions. Twirling and swinging routines are also common but the emphasis of modern pole dance classes is on having fun, rather than trying to be too seductive.

Key fitness benefits of pole dancing

Pole dancing has many health and fitness benefits, in addition to those already associated with dance exercise. Benefits of pole dancing include the following:

  • Pole dancing tones key muscles groups – Many forms of dance are brilliant for toning and streamlining the body’s muscles. However, pole dancing takes this a step further as it frequently requires the participant to support their entire body weight with a single arm. It also builds stomach strength, as well as toning the thighs and lower leg muscles.
  • Burning calories through pole dancing exercise – Pole dancing for a sustained period of time can burn as many as 250 to 300 calories, equivalent to a short bike ride or jog. If you’re struggling to find exercise motivation, this fun and energetic dance style could be perfect for you.
  • Pole dancing helps overcome mental stress – As with other forms of exercise, pole dancing causes the body to release endorphin hormones into your brain. These endorphins make you feel happier, healthier and – theoretically – more energetic.
  • Pole dancing improves posture – If you find yourself slumped in front of a computer every day at work, with your spine resembling a squashed banana, pole dancing could be the exercise to get you standing tall once again. Stretching and toning the entire body, it offers great exercise for those wanting to improve their natural posture.   

Key styles of pole dancing

Unlike other dance exercises, pole dancing is not sub-divided into different styles. However, there are a number of key moves that you can expect to try out if you go along to a lesson ...

  • The wrap-around move – One of the more basic pole dancing moves, the wrap-around sees the dancer mount the pole and spin round it, with one arm supporting the whole of their backward-arching body. Once you can master this novice maneuver, other routines can soon be built upon it.
  • The cradle spin – This spin sees the dancer mount the upper end of the pole and slowly spin round it, moving downwards whilst using both arms for support.


  • The back-hook spin – This move requires the dancer to spin around the pole in a similar style to the cradle spin. However, the dancer’s head is arched backwards here, with their legs hooked behind them in an upward direction.

What to expect from your first pole dancing class

Beginner pole dancing classes are usually an all-female affair, although some instructors will offer teaching for men too. Initial classes serve to highlight some of the key pole dancing moves, setting them to funky, rhythmic music. However, before you even begin pole dancing, your teacher will show you how to correctly mount the pole — something which is not as easy as it may sound!

Overall, pole dancing classes are about fun and foxy exercise where you’ll soon learn the ropes in a friendly and sociable environment. Just watch out though, as some classes offer a hint of striptease and table dancing tuition as an added bonus!

Key pole dancing tips and more information

Although pole dancing is tainted by its strip club reputation, you really shouldn’t have any concerns about going along to a beginner session. These days, pole dancing is a recognized form of good exercise and is hugely popular amongst people of all age and social groups. It’s also one of the few forms of exercise where you can get away with wearing both hot pants and high heels. So what are you waiting for? Give pole dancing a shot today to really give your body a ‘pole’ in the right direction!

Sources of further pole dancing information include:

  • Basic Pole Dancing Fitness (DVD)
  • Pole Dancing Fitness, Volume One (DVD)
  • Pole Dancing by Rebecca Drury (book)

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