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Pole Dancing Exercises to Boost Your Training!

Pole Dancing Exercises to Boost Your Training!
Picture this – you're at the circus watching a tightrope walker balance along a very tiny rope, very high up in the air. If you look carefully, you can see the concentration and focus hidden behind the dazzling smile. There must be so much to think about as they perform incredible tricks for their amazed audience. Throw in some 8-inch boots, tiny booty shorts and an apparatus that runs vertically and you have yourself a very similar situation – just with the addition of a heel slam or two!
The brain of a pole dancer works overtime when performing crazy tricks, flips and splits on and off the pole. Much like the tightrope artist, pole dancing requires bold-ass balance – but of a different kind. We need to be able to balance our training to grow across all levels.
There is ALWAYS going to be something to practice as a pole dancer, from strength and endurance training to working on the conditioning and flexibility for splits and back bends. Plus, there’s dance, acro, base work and floor work – so many things to squeeze into an hour or two! But before your pole training starts to turn into a circus of random tricks and laying on the floor watching Instagram stories, we are here to help. Start your pole training sessions with some key conditioning exercises that will get you strong in no time – even if you spend the hour after that scrolling YouTube.
Here are our favourite pole dancing exercises that can boost your strength training at home or at the studio. They are perfect to squeeze in after your warmup before getting distracted and falling off the tightrope!

Core Conditioning

If we had a dollar for every time our pole instructor yelled “engage your core!” we would be billionaires (and would spend most of that on AMBR, obviously). Fleecy sweaters aside, pole dancing tricks usually require some level of core engagement which is why starting with a core workout that you do at home can help you so much in pole class!

Most pole dancing studios run core conditioning classes which we highly recommend because it’s so much more fun to feel the core burn together! But if you’re looking for some simple at home exercises for pole dancing try these gems out:

Candle sticks:

Lay down with your back on the floor, belly button engaged pulling down towards your spine, closing the arch between your lower back and the floor. Lift your legs and point your toes up to the ceiling. Try to rock back and lift your booty off the floor, aiming to push UP towards the ceiling. Use your arms to help stabilise you, by having them by your side or holding onto the pole above your head. Try 5-10 repetitions of these!

Crunches and Sit Ups:

Sit on the floor facing the pole and wrap your legs around the pole, squeezing the pole between your knees. If you don’t have a pole, tuck your toes under the couch to help anchor you. From here, do a sit up thinking about lifting from your chest rather than rocking with your neck forward. Slowly lower down and then sit up quickly again. Practice full sit-ups or crunches and ensure that there’s no arch in your lower back. Try 5-10 really clean, strong sit-ups!

Russian Twists for Obliques:

Sitting down, lift your feet off the floor slightly and rock back to hold a dish position. Twist side to side, thinking about rotating your whole torso rather than just your shoulders. For a challenge, hold a full drink bottle or weight as you twist! Try 12-15 reps for a burn!

Arms, back and shoulders:

You will notice a huge improvement in your upper body strength once you start pole dancing classes! One of the benefits of pole dancing is just how strong your arms, back and shoulders become. You will be doing plenty of conditioning in pole class to help you with this, but here are some exercises you can try at home – without a pole. Just pick up some Therabands and you’re set!

Bicep curls:

Stand in the middle of the band with your feet hip width apart and hold onto the looped ends. Keeping your elbows tucked by your side, curl your arm to lift the band and engage your bicep. Hold the band lower down to increase the resistance. Try 6-8 reps on each arm.

Lateral Raise

Stand with a foot on one end of the band and hold the other end of the band with your hand (on the same side). Keeping your arm straight, try to lift your arm out to the side aiming to get your hand to shoulder height. Control the lower down and stand tall in this exercise. Try 6-8 reps on each arm!

Internal & External Shoulder Rotation

Tie the band to your pole or a door handle at home and tie it at waist level. Stand with the pole/door next to you. Keep your elbow tucked to your side and try to pull the band across your body and away from the pole/door to strengthen your external rotation. To strengthen the internal rotation, face the other way so that the pole is on the same side as your “band” hand. With elbows tucked, try to pull the band into your body. Try 4-6 of these on each arm!

Legs and booty

Believe it or not your legs and booty are so important when performing pole tricks. If you have strong legs, hip flexors and glutes, you can use your legs to create dynamic movement or to open into a split easier! Strong legs will be more willing to hit those splits, so make sure you don’t forget about conditioning those luscious legs. There are SO many exercises you can do for this – even a pole dance class can help boost your cardio and get your legs working hard! For some exercises you can do at home, try the ones listed below.

Leg lifts and extensions

Holding onto your pole or a chair, lift your leg straight up and control the lower down. Keep your supporting leg engaged by squeezing your quads and booty. Watch that your hips stay square. Try 8 reps on each leg, with pulses at the end!

Calf raises

Holding onto a pole or a chair, push up onto the balls of your foot, trying not to bend too much through your knee. Slowly lower down and repeat! Try 8-10 on each foot!

Squat jumps

Get dynamic and build a booty! With knees facing forward and slightly past hip distance apart, sink low into a squat and launch to jump up. Land in a squat and repeat! Focus on creating explosive power to get those legs working. You can also try this jumping forwards and landing in a squat. Try 10-12 reps and GO!
Try and add some of these exercises into your practice sessions after your warmup. Smash them out at the beginning before you get distracted with pole tricks or splits! Consistency is key and a little bit can go a long way, so get started today and watch how much stronger your pole dancing tricks become!
We know that the tightrope can seem long and distant, but just like our circus friend, all you need to do is start – stepping one foot in front of the other towards your pole goals! Let’s go Angels!


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