1. There’s an immediate reward for your effort
I’m not saying you’ll get a six pack after one lesson. No. I’m saying that each time you put effort into pole dancing, you are almost instantly rewarded. At the start of a class you can’t do a fireman spin. One hour later, you can.
Unlike many forms of exercise in which you create generic or distant goals, such as ‘to win a tournament’ or ‘to run for half an hour’, in pole there’s always a new move that’s just within reach. This leads us straight into the next reason pole dancing is great exercise…
2. Tangible goals make it highly motivating
Fact: Concrete, achievable goals, with highly desirable rewards, increase motivation.
Pole dancing provides you with an endless supply of attainable goals. To climb to the top of the pole. To do a hands-free outside leg hang. To string 5 moves together without stopping.
And each time you achieve a pole goal, you have something real to show for your hard work. It could be a new trick, or an impressive routine – and you might want to show it to your partner, your pole class, or simply your mirror. Whatever it is, having attained something that you can see and share is a very powerful incentive.
3. It combines SO many types of exercise
A pole class typically involves some spins, some climbs, some dance moves and sometimes floor work as well. This combination of intensity levels means pole dancing can be classed as an ‘interval’ workout. Interval training is defined as a period of intensely difficult exercise maneuvers followed by period of rest. Interval training is acknowledged to be one of the best ways to burnt fat and drastically improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Pole dancing is both an isometric and isotonic workout… rolled into one!
Isotonic contractions are exercise movements in which opposing muscles (such as biceps and triceps) contract throughout a controlled movement. For example: lifting weights or doing pushups, or pulling yourself up into a pole spin.
Isometric contractions are exercise movements in which your muscles push against a solid object, while a static position is held, and the angle of the joint does not change. For example, holding the prone bridge (aka plank) position, or any aerial pose on the pole.
4. It’s fun and exciting
This has become somewhat of a cliché in recent times. But guess why? Because it’s TRUE! And because people can’t stop talking about it.
Pole dancing is so much fun that you truly want to turn up to class and exercise! This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons women flock to pole as a form of fitness, and also the reason why so many stick to it! The same can be said about many styles of dance, of course – which is why dancing (pole or otherwise) is my favourite form of exercise.
5. It’s addictive!
Because pole dancing is so enjoyable and rewarding, it quickly becomes an addiction! Your self-esteem sky-rockets, you feel great, you look great – and the sweet taste of victory quickly becomes addictive.
Each time you accomplish a move, you are inspired to do better, to push harder, to achieve more tricks. It’s like a little dangling carrot in front of your nose and it works wonders for motivation. This is fantastic, because it means you WANT to work out! (Imagine that!)
6. It Targets Your WHOLE Body (I promise)
Pole dancing is fantastic for your thighs and your butt. It’s amazing for your arms, your back and your shoulders. It will shape your legs, tone your stomach and will work out all those flabby areas that are hard to target at the gym. Pole dancing even works out the little muscles too – like the ones in your ankles and wrists. Check out my article ‘What muscles are used in body dancing?’ for more information.
7. You’ll Keep Your Body Guessing
Because pole classes can be different every week, you’re constantly pushed out of your comfort zone which brings faster results. It’s impossible to work out only one muscle group during pole – so you’ll be using your muscles in different ways and in a different order with each routine you do.
This helps you avoid the dreaded athlete’s plateau. Pole dancing is mostly strength based training but the dance and movement side of things allows for cardio too. (So don’t forget to work up a sweat doing the transitions and not just the tricks!)
8. There’s something for everyone
This isn’t a sport that you need to start at 5 years old, or an industry in which you’re past your peak at 30. Pole dancing is so delightfully versatile that it’s for every man and woman, regardless of shape, size, background or age. In fact, many international pole dance champions were beginners as adults!
Such versatility allows for all kinds of people, with a variety of diverse passions and backgrounds, to enjoy something different through pole dance. There are those who do it because they want to feel sexy again, find their inner goddess or build their self esteem. There are those who are driven to perform impressive circus-style tricks, and there are those who prefer to skip the dance part and simply want a grueling workout. Many people also love to pole dance for artistic expression and some even use pole as vehicle to worship!
9. It’s wonderfully liberating
There’s something about holding your own weight, while you fly around a pole, that makes you feel fantastic. The word ‘empowerment’ is thrown around a lot in pole dancing circles, and it’s something that a lot of people don’t believe – until they feel it for themselves. The way that pole dancing can liberate a person is a topic that I think deserves a post all of its own, so stay tuned!
10. It’s versatile and adaptable
A pole is quite literally a piece of equipment. It is an apparatus that can be used in a multitude of ways.
Many existing exercise movements (for example squats, push ups, chins, crunches) are easily transferable to pole, and many movements from other dance styles (ballet, hip hop, salsa, break dance, belly dance, just to name a few) can be adapted to pole too!
You are limited only by your imagination.
This is one of my favourite things about pole – we can draw inspiration from so many places, and take pole dancing in so many new and exciting directions!
Pole Dancing: The Ultimate Workout
Pole dancing is classed as strength-based interval training, it combines isotonic and isometric movements, and provides an all over body workout. You are rewarded for your efforts in more ways than one, which helps to keep you motivated. It is fun, addictive, anyone can learn, and you can make it whatever you want it to be!
I wouldn’t give up pole dancing for the world!