How to build strength for pole dancing

How to Build Your Strength for Pole Dance (Free Training Plan)

The thought of strength training makes many women want to run a mile in fear of developing bulky, manly muscles.

However, to improve on the pole, it is very important to include strength elements in every pole workout that you do. You’ll find that doing so will help you improve very quickly on the pole. Bonus!

The truth is, that to make serious improvements on the pole, you don’t need to be pumping iron!

In fact, doing so will increase the likelihood of becoming more muscular. If it’s the bodybuilder look you want – then go for it 🙂

Instead, most of us want to develop the toned, slender, sexy look that is synonymous with pole dancing.

To achieve this, bodyweight exercises (on and off the pole) and light resistance exercises will produce great results.. while making you stronger in your pole moves.

Build Your Strength for Pole Dance


Why is Strength Training Important?

Strength training for pole dancing is very important. When most people start, they think that they aren’t strong enough to pole dance and find it a struggle.

For the first few sessions, it is likely that you’ll go home with (or wake up to) very sore arms. As you continue in your lessons and workouts, your strength will naturally develop and increase.

In the beginning, this effect of getting stronger by simply practising the pole moves, is the reason why specific strength training is overlooked.

But… at some point we all reach a plateau. When our strength (or lack of) becomes the limiting factor in achieving more advanced pole moves. Getting “stronger by doing” is no longer enough at this point.

As soon as you move onto harder, more advanced moves, you will soon wish that you had done more strength training earlier on.

When you work on strength moves such as the Ayesha or moves like The Flag or any Deadlift, you may find it a struggle.

It can feel like you are starting to learn to pole dance all over again. You will feel like you are not strong enough and may worry that you will not be able to get these moves – you have to re-train your muscles.

Starting your strength training early on in your pole dancing workouts will help you to improve in all areas of your pole dancing – and you will be especially happy that you did, when you are working on more advanced moves.

Build Your Strength for Pole Dance


How Often Should I do Strength Training for Pole Dance?

Rule 1: Pole Comes First

While it is important to make sure you do your strength training, it should not take anything away from your actual pole dancing.

Rule 2: Little & Often

It is important that you still keep the element of fun and enjoyment when you pole dance. For this reason you only need to spend a short amount of time every workout on strength training. For example if you are working out for an hour, you should spend about 10 minutes training. While this does not seem like a lot, imagine doing press-ups or sit-ups for 10 minutes. Ouch!

Rule 3: Remember to Rest!

It is important that you do not over train your body. While it can be tempting to train every day you must give yourself at least one day off a week to recover. Giving yourself a rest allows your body to fully repair and recover from the previous training and workouts that you have done.

It’s during this rest time that your body heals and gets stronger!

Rule 4: Be Creative

If you do not have a lot of time to work out, work your strength training in with your attempts at pole moves.

For example, if you are trying to master an Air Walk, you can train accordingly for this, while trying to practise the move. Place your hands on the pole as you would, if you had climbed up the pole. Practise taking your legs off the ground, lifting them to the side, holding it for 5 secs and then putting them on the ground again. Repeat 3 times. Change your arms around and repeat again. The whole of this exercise may only take 1 minute but if you were to train like this for every move, you will find that you will quickly improve and feel stronger.

What Strength Exercises Shall I Do?

The Strength Basics:

Here are some exercises for you to try as a start to your new strength regime. As a rule of thumb try 3 sets of 15-20 reps for each exercise. Some YouTube searching will help you with technique!

Arms: Bicep Curls, Tricep Dips, Chin-Ups

Chest: Press-Ups (Wide & Narrow)

Back: Rows, Lateral Pull Down

Shoulders: Shoulder Press, Lateral Raise

Core: Sit-Ups (Many Variations), Plank, Side Plank

Legs: Squats, Lunges, Step-Ups

Functional Strength for Pole Dance:

These exercises relate to the moves that you want to do. These aren’t necessarily moves that you want to do now -they can be moves that you want to master in the future – such as a deadlift. For a Deadlift you can twist your strong hand and place it high on the pole. Place your weaker hand lower on the pole. Take your legs out the side, and stand on your tip toes. From here practise lifting your feet off the ground and holding for 5 secs. Repeat 3 times and then repeat on the other side. This is a great way to prepare for when you eventually are ready to try a Deadlift.

This technique can be applied to many moves. If you look at a move you want to do, figure out the first step, whether this is lifting your feet off the ground or holding yourself up by your legs. Whatever the first move is, practise holding your body up in this way and make sure you can confidently do this on each side. You can strengthen your whole body this way as you are often working more than one muscle group at a time. This is also brilliant for those moments of frustration when you don’ t want to try that particular move again – simply work on some strength training.

What Are Your Favourite Pole Strength Workouts?

Let me know your thoughts! 🙂

6 Awesome Bodyweight Exercises for Pole Dancers | Pole Athletica

Bodyweight exercises are a really effective and easy way to strengthen your core and complement your pole training. These types of exercises get results partly because they involve compound movements, meaning numerous joints and muscles are involved with each move. Bodyweight movements have been shown to be extremely effective for strength gains and performance improvements.

Our Studio Director, Jennifer Grace has put together a short, complete body workout video including six of her favourite exercises. These exercises are specifically designed to build strength for pole and a great way to cross-train. She recommends going through all six exercises as a circuit and then completing two more circuits. Start with 5 reps per exercise and work your way up to 10 or more. 

Click on the image below to watch the video and continue reading for her hot tips corresponding to each exercise.

Target area: This exercise works the entire body but is great for building strength through the shoulders and arms.
Things to keep in mind:

  • Don't let your lower back sag or butt stick out.
  • Tuck the hips under and pull your lower abdominals in towards your spine.
  • Imagine balancing a broomstick along the length of your body so you have a beautiful straight line from head to toe.

Modification: If this exercise is too difficult or you're feeling pain in your lower back, lower your knees to the floor and work your way up to the more advanced version.

Target Area: Obliques aka side abs and shoulders
Things to keep in mind: 

  • Legs should be bent at a right angle. Thighs are flat to the front and shins flat to the adjacent wall.
  • Stack your shoulder directly over your elbow.

Modification: The bent leg version is the modified version. If you're finding this version too difficult, place your top hand on the floor to assist with pushing up.

Thread the Needle Variation: This can be done with bent legs if the straight leg version is too difficult.

Target area: Lower abdominals
Things to keep in mind: 

  • It's SOOOOO easy to cheat in this one! Try really hard not to swing your legs towards your face to get those hips up.
  • The lift of the hips is really small. Pull your lower abdominals down towards the floor to initiate the lift of the hips.

Target area: Upper and lower back, butt and hamstrings
Things to keep in mind: 

  • Push your pubic bone down into the floor to maintain a good position of the pelvis throughout this exercise.
  • As you lift your upper back from the floor, slightly squeeze the shoulder blades together.
  • Think of broad collar bones to keep the chest and shoulders open through the front.
  • Legs should be at least hip-width apart. If you have lower back issues, then widen the legs a little further.

Modification: If you're finding it too challenging to lift both upper body and legs at the same time, separate the two movements. Focus on lifting the upper first and then try lifting just the legs. 

Target area: Hips, thighs and butt. This is a great hip mobility exercise.
Things to keep in mind: 

  • Focus on keeping a straight back throughout and not pitching forward in your squat.
  • As you lower into your squat, keep your weight back in your heels. A good test for this is to keep toes lifted off the floor throughout the whole exercise.
  • Make sure your knees track over the 3rd and 4th toes as you bend and straighten the legs.

Modification: If you're struggling to keep your heels down on the floor as you lower, then prop a folded yoga mat under the heels for a little elevation. You might also want to try widening your stance. Make sure your toes are slightly turned out.

Target area: Biceps
Things to keep in mind: 

  • You want your arms to really do the work in this one!
  • Keep your chin slightly tucked in.
  • Keep your tummy engaged throughout the whole exercise
  • Don't forget to breathe!

Modification: Pull up half way if you're finding it difficult to pull all the way up to the top. In time, you'll build up more and more strength through your arms. The most important thing is to NOT GIVE UP! 

As you develop more strength and stamina, work your way up to doing the entire circuit 2-3 times per week.

If you'd like to join us for a pole specific strength and conditioning class, we run a CoreFit Athletica class every Saturday and Thursday. This is an open level Pilates style class on the fit-ball. It's a fun unique work-out to strengthen and tone the abs, butt, thighs and back.

10 most spectacular pole dancers

Pole dance is the name of a modern pole dance that combines choreography, elements of gymnastics and acrobatics. Many people who do not understand the nature of dance confuse it with striptease. Professionals do not like this approach. Moreover, they often classify pole dance as a sport that requires discipline and willpower.

We present you 10 girls living in different cities of Russia, who are united by their love of dancing and beautiful toned bodies. nine0005

1. Prorokova Anna, 30 years old, Samara.

Anna always knew that she would be doing pole dancing. Remarkably, she began her studies on a thick static water pipe installed in the "Skvoznyak" bar in the city of Samara. After some time, she took up pole dancing in earnest. Since 2011, she has been working as an acrobatics and pole dance coach. Currently, the girl is the head of a dance school and claims that her students are the best inspiration for her: their successes make her develop as a dancer and as a teacher. Anna claims that the most pleasant thing in such work is to watch how from clumsy and shy girls students become flexible, plastic, beautiful and relaxed. Anna says about herself: "This is the very happy occasion when a hobby coincided with work. I do what I love and enjoy it." nine0005

2. Anastasia Galetskikh, 29 years old, Novy Urengoy

Anastasia was born and raised in Tyumen, where she studied dancing and performed as part of show ballet. One day, the girl ended up in a club, where she saw how the dancers not only walked around the pylon, but performed power tricks, which fascinated her. Anastasia firmly decided to learn such dances by all means and gladly went to classes at the only pole dance studio in the city. After some time, she had to move to Novy Urengoy, where they did not hear about pole dancing. The girl decided to correct such a deplorable situation by opening the first studio in this city that specializes only in pole lessons. About herself, Anastasia says: “I love the teaching process itself: I like to watch how my students grow, how happy they are when they get this or that element. I am pleased to realize that I am directly involved in this, revealing talents and discovering eyes on their possibilities. nine0005

3. Alisa Kostromeeva, 24 years old, Rostov-on-Don

For the first time Alisa saw a pole in a nightclub where she was invited to work as a go-go dancer. The girl was so impressed by the dances of the striptease program that the very next day she rushed to them for a rehearsal. At that time, the direction of pole dance was not widely known. Alice taught elements from disks, books, sketched elements from the TV show "Striptease Star". After a couple of years, competitions, master classes began, and for the dancer everything acquired a completely different meaning. Now Alisa is the head of her own studio, coach and choreographer with vast experience. The girl says about herself: "My students inspire me every day. Coming to classes, they trust me with their health, time and mood. I am glad to see smiles on their faces - this is the main thing for me." nine0005

4. Solovieva Nadezhda, 23 years old, Simferopol city.

Nadezhda's mother was shocked when her daughter, at the age of five, announced that she wanted to become a stripper. Of course, as a child, Nadezhda did not imagine what meaning this word carries. An innocent dream of becoming the owner of the same beautiful costumes that my mother sews to order for dancers, turned into a road filled with bruises and abrasions. At the moment, Nadezhda is a pole dance coach. At first, much did not work out, since the girl did not have sports training. However, diligence, perseverance, dedication and regular training have paid off. Nadezhda believes that the name "pylon acrobatics" is more suitable for such a complex type of dance. In Simferopol, pole dancing is quite developed: a large number of studios and those who want to learn how to dance. nine0005

5. Kurochkina Tatiana, 29 years old, St. Petersburg

Tatiana was inspired to pole dance by the result of her friend, who lost a lot of weight from dancing. Following a similar example, the girl dropped 11 kilograms from the day of the first workout. The first impression of the classes was ambiguous: interesting, but difficult and almost impossible. However, having rethought her attitude to dancing and approach to business, Tatyana decided to be guided by the three rules she created: understand the technique, let the skin get used to the new element and gain strength. These rules helped the girl achieve first place in the Miss Pole Dance Championship Russia 2013 competition. At the moment, Tatiana's pole is not only a hobby and passion, but also a job that brings her satisfaction and joy. Despite the few injuries received in the course of coaching, Tatyana continues to inspire the girls with her example and claims that the best reward for her is the result of the students, one of whom lost 30 kilograms in her training. nine0005

6. Lyasheva Alina, 26 years old, Krasnodar

While looking through different styles of dancing, Alina came across a video with Felix Kane (the current world pole dance champion). The dancer caused Alina a flurry of emotions and delight. Literally a few days later, the girl went to training and did not stop there. In November 2009, Alina opened the first branch of the dance school in Krasnodar, and by the end of August 2015, the fourth branch will be opened. Now pole dancing is everything for her: a hobby, work and a means of self-expression. nine0005

7. Khotenova Valeriya, 20 years old, Orenburg

Walking past the children's palace of creativity 5 years ago, out of curiosity, Valeriya decided to drop in on the class and first got acquainted with dancing. Today, the hall with a pole is the second home for a girl, and pole dance has won her heart. Valeria is a teacher at the Podnebesye dance studio. In Orenburg, this direction is only gaining momentum, but rather quickly. For Valeria, pole dance is a mixture of a masculine sport and a very feminine dance. The girl says: “It combines two sides of my character: a tough nature, ready to go to the end and a thin, sincere, vulnerable nature, under which all the burden is hidden. Through dance we communicate, talk about something, flirt, want someone then please, we tell our spiritual anxieties. Inspiration comes from the desire to speak out to the world, to show oneself. " nine0005

8. Olesya Gilyazova, 25 years old, Ulan-Ude

As a student of the Faculty of Economics, Olesya was looking for a part-time job. Her friend suggested an open position at a local club then called the Metro. The choreographer of the club noticed the girl and offered to attend her classes at the Maximum dance academy. Olesya accepted the offer and stayed, and now pole dance is the main work of the girl. About herself and her occupation, the dancer says: “In our city, this kind of sport, I repeat once again, sport, and not anything else, began to develop only now. More and more people want to try this extraordinary hobby. I have always been inspired by pole dance exotic direction, because in it you can not only look beautiful, but also get aesthetic pleasure. nine0005

9. Elena Koroteeva, 23 years old, Moscow

Elena wanted to practice the popular go-go dance direction, but by chance she saw dancers rehearsing pole exercises not far from her gym. The girl was seized with interest, and an irresistible desire to learn how to move also beautifully, prompted her to take up pole dance. The most difficult thing in such a hobby, according to Elena, is to combine flexibility and strength. She has been a trainer at a Moscow dance school for 5 years. According to the girl, there are no shortcomings in this hobby, although, of course, with a professional approach, injuries cannot be avoided. The most important advice for beginners in pole dance from Elena: "do everything gradually, do not do the exercises if you are not ready for them yet." nine0005

10. Tatyana Shvedchikova, 23 years old, Nizhnyaya Tura.

Tatyana has been dancing since the age of 5, and after graduating from school she entered the institute as a choreographer. It was there that she began to sort out in more detail all types of dances, one of which was pole dance. Tatyana is inspired by music. The girl is always in search of something new, unusual and interesting. Having passed the last exam at the institute, Tatyana opened a studio called SHVEDA, which is popular among residents of the city of Nizhnyaya Tura. The dancer says about herself: "I try to take part in all kinds of competitions and events that contribute both to my development and the development of my students, and also give an incentive and desire to work further." nine0005

Pole dancing: what is pole dance? How to start pole dancing

Not what it seems

Help on the shore: pole dance is not a striptease, but a full-fledged dance and sports direction, a mix of choreography, acrobatics and gymnastics. The direction originated already at the end of the 11th century in India and at first it was marked “men only” (well, or as they said then), that is, for the development of strength and endurance. Then circus performers got down to business: they traveled the world, adopted the experience of different nations and came up with acrobatic performances on a pole. And it turned out to be a great show! Since 2003, various championships and competitions have been held in pylon sports. The rules are black and white: it is forbidden to be naked and show erotic elements. It is heard that the inclusion of the direction in the program of the Olympic Games is not far off. And we are glad. nine0005

Not only dances

Pole dance corrects the figure for one or two. In one lesson, each muscle group has time to turn on: from the arms and back to the press, legs and buttocks - a great alternative to monotonous exercises in the gym. Since you have to stay on the pole in different planes, with each movement you feel a rather big load. You really work, get tired and spend a lot of calories. And flexibility, plasticity and stretching are also developing.

Another huge plus: you won't be able to "pump". nine0122

The work, although difficult, has to be done with the weight of your own body - hello to the aesthetic relief. As well as a possible reduction in the manifestations of cellulite due to the work of the muscles of the legs and the activation of blood circulation. That's it, nothing more to dumbbells.

Not only sports

There are several varieties of pole dancing. And if the direction of pole sport is a story about power elements and tricks, then pole dance and exotic pole dance are, first of all, dances. In the last version, the focus is on choreography in characteristic high heels, on musicality and sexuality, while tricks on the pole are supposed to be at a minimum. From the point of view of psychology, many dancers note the positive effect of dance on self-confidence, femininity, sensuality, getting rid of negative thoughts. Additionally, you are charged with adrenaline: after all, tricks are performed at a height of a meter, and clinging to a pole and simultaneously holding on to it is not so easy. nine0005

How to prepare?

The official answer is no. I mean, you don't have to prepare. Absolutely everyone can practice pole dancing, no matter how many cups and medals you have in gymnastics. It will take two to three months of regular training to start feeling confident in performing tricks and stop being afraid of heights. The first meeting with reality is harsh: bruises and calluses are inevitable, especially at first. While this argument can be applied to literally any fight-calorie endeavor, whether you're cycling or trying on boxing gloves. A professional was asked to continue the checklist. nine0005 Kristina Levandovskaya,

head and teacher of the Moscow branch of the school of dance and acrobatics on the My Pole Space pylon:

“It is important to understand that the pylon is not exercise therapy. In the classroom, we immediately begin to work with the weight of our own body, and not with small dumbbells of 2-3 kilograms. Therefore, if you have serious problems with the musculoskeletal system, it is worth solving these problems before classes.

And such a fear that before practicing pole dancing you need to pump up or stretch somehow, this is superfluous. Not waste your time.

A competent trainer will select the appropriate exercises that correspond to your particular training, and the development of the necessary strength will take place under the supervision of a professional. The entry-level elements do not require or imply any outstanding flexibility.

Please bring short shorts, sports top, tank top or t-shirt for class. To warm up or while waiting for a lesson, you can take leggings or pants. Sneakers are not needed - the lesson most often takes place barefoot or in socks.

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