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How to do Fitness Cross Training for Pole Dancing

Often times as a pole dancer I hear prospective students say things like “I have no upper body strength,” “I have no core strength,” or “I’m too big to hang upside down.” Aside from the ‘big’ factor, I had these same apprehensions when I first started pole dancing. For me, though, I didn’t care. I wanted to still do it anyway. But for a lot of people, these fears are very real. I loved that almost every studio I went to also offered classes geared towards helping your body get (and stay) ‘pole fit.’ These classes would focus on things like stretching (always important!), abs, and strength training.

Sometimes, though, with busy schedules and lives, it’s hard to always make it to the studio and/or we just want to go for actual pole classes. There are many simple things you can do at home that aren’t cumbersome or time consuming. Personally, I wake up and do forty jumping jacks, run in place for about a minute while doing arm stretches, and at some point in my day, I’ll do a short ab workout. My ab routine consists of 30 crunches, 30 sit-ups, 30 leg raises (sometimes scissor sometimes regular) and a minimum 30 second plank. All this takes five minutes or less to do. Usually I like to turn some music on or watch TV while I’m doing my abs to keep me going.

Another few easy things to do from home are squats, wall squats and using weights or kettlebells. Weights and kettlebells are a great way to build up your arm strength and you can do them also while watching TV, talking to your roommate or boyfriend or while on the phone. They’re also relatively inexpensive to purchase. I picked up a 10 pound kettlebell from TJMAXX for like $10.

If per chance you do have a pole at home, there are other great exercises you can do as well to stay ‘pole fit.’ My personal favorite are pole crunches! I like to do ten on each side followed by flying eagles on both sides. If I’m still feeling energized thereafter, I may do some pole squats as well.

Really any form of cardio is also great training to help your body be ready for the pole. If you enjoy running, other forms of high intensity working out or dancing (Zumba, hip hop, cardio yoga, etc.), whatever it is you like just keep doing it!

A lot of people will grumble and say it’s hard and time consuming to stay in shape but you just have to make yourself a routine and stick with it. It can be hard to get started at first but once you do it every day, it will become second nature.

Hope this helps!

Check out our free and paid workshops at PoleCon that focus on conditioning!

Lily T.
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