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Male presenting pole dancer swings horizontally in cup grip.

7 Exercises for Pole Dancers (Part 1 of 3)

Pole dancing is an art form that looks effortless. To produce a graceful, seamless performance on the pole, however, you need to have put in the work behind the scenes.

As well as practicing your pole routine, you need to build the strength required to effectively work with the pole.

As a fifty-something male with terrible coordination, I’ve never actually pole danced. But, having been a gym owner and personal trainer for the past 35 years, I have trained many people who are.

In this 3- part article, I’ll share the 7 most important strengthening exercises for pole dancers. I’ll then put them together into a gym routine that you can follow twice per week to develop the strength you need to excel on the pole.

Why Strength Train for Pole Dancing?

Any type of dance will work your muscles, especially those in the lower body. With pole dancing, however, there is an increased demand on the upper body.

A lot of the moves you perform with a pole will be pitting your body against gravity. The muscles of your arms and shoulder will be relied on to manipulate your body into different positions around the pole. The stronger your biceps, triceps, and deltoids, the more effortlessly you will be able to glide from one move to the next.

The muscles of your back are also involved in many transitional moves on the pole. By strengthening the trapezius, rhomboid, and latissimus dorsi muscles of the back, you will also be working the postural muscles. This will help you to avoid the niggly pains that arise when you’re dancing with poor posture.

A strong back, shoulders, and arms will help you to summon that effortless strength that will take your pole dancing to the next level.

Strong core muscles are also needed to succeed in pole dancing. The core can be considered the hinge of the body. It controls the fluidity of upper and lower body coordination. When it is powerful, you’ll be able to swing your legs and hips in a controlled manner.

A strong core will also help to prevent the lower back stiffness that pole dancing can bring on.

Check out Part 2 for the exercises!

Steve Theunissen
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