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10 Reasons Pole Dancing is The Best Workout

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!


Photo credits: and Girlfriend Fun and Fitness

Reader Feedback

30 Responses to “10 Reasons Pole Dancing is The Best Workout”

  1. [...] this sums it up. LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  2. [...] 10 Reasons Pole Dancing is The Best Workout Written by Fern on 12 February 2011 [...]

  3. Nikki says:

    I agree!! Especially about achievable goals! It really feels great to nail a move you were struggling with only a short while ago – you realize you really can achieve anything!!

  4. Damiana says:

    Loved the article!!! That’s exactly waht pole is all about!!!

  5. Lynn says:

    Fantastic post! Absolutely love how you have worded this to explain the truly diverse nature of pole in modern society;) thank you!:)

  6. [...] working tonight so I’m going to nap. Stripping is physically demanding you know? Oh, I’m your girlfriend just [...]

  7. Amy C says:

    Let’s be realistic. How likely is it a person that say, weighs, oh, I don’t know….185 lbs versus someone who’s 110, is going to enjoy the class? Do you have “before/after” photos of women who’ve done classes that have lost weight doing this? I honestly can’t imagine a person weighing 185, 200, 250+ lbs doing pole dancing as an exercise. I’m just curious is this really is for “everyone.”

    • me says:

      i am 190 ibs and enjoy pole dancing. i am in level eight in my studio which indicates i am pretty advanced. the number on the scale does not mean anything

  8. [...] Pole dancing is one of my favorite forms of fitness. You won’t get a six pack the first time you take the class, but the more effort you put into your classes, the more immediate the rewards would be. Pole dancing is sexy, sensual and exciting. There’s no need to slide down a pole at the beach, but I can’t think of any more fun and addictive way to get into shape and feel like a goddess at the same time. [...]

  9. Mia says:

    I am actually 206 and I loved the class. I was skeptical about taking it because I figured I needed to continue to lose weight first. However that is not the case. I was surprised that I was able to do more of the moves then I thought I would be able to. There were some things that were harder then others, but not necessarily due to my weight. Some of the moves just takes more practice then others. You get a complete body workout, and I plan on continuing to do so ,along with other classes and exercise as well. Give it a try.

    P.S. Yes there are some moves that would be easier when I get smaller, but I am not worrying about that. Just trying to have fun, and continue to lose weight and become healthy.

  10. Denise Weddell says:

    Been doing this for about 15 wks and bloody enjoying it never thought i’d be able to do some of the moves………

  11. xenalynn says:

    I started pole dancing when I was 205 lbs. I go no less the twice a week and now 12 weeks later I am down to 168 lbs. No I am not the skinnest girl on a pole but I feel more confident, fit, and empowered then ever before. The rewards are instant and you are always being challenged so there is something to work towards. This truly is something everyone can do!

  12. [...] 10 reasons why pole dancing is the best workout [...]

  13. [...] Pole dancing must be the most famous of the x-rated exercises. You can casually learn pole dancing as part of a gymnastics routine, but usually the sexual background of the sport is the reason why people take it up. Swinging in sexily tight gym suits around a pole and striking dashing poses in front of a mirror does wonders to your self esteem. We all know that self esteem is crucial when it comes to good sex. Also the moves you learn in pole dancing classes can help you perform something nice for your partner to turn the heat on when you want to. [...]

    • arianna says:

      What a load of crap. There is so much more to pole than just the sexy side. And
      you can’t perform the moves on your partner. Unless they are a pole.

  14. [...] Vertical pole exercise is an empowering, sexy way to lose weight, tone your body, and learn a skill that can help put some spice in your relationship at home. There are pole exercises that work on nearly every part of your body including your stomach, abs, thighs, legs, arms, butt, and more. [...]

  15. [...],,,, [...]

  16. [...] Pole Fitness No, you don’t take your clothes off for this. Pole fitness does use a pole, but focuses on core strength building and coordination, using a comination of gymnastic and dance moves. Image courtesy of The Heart of Pole. [...]

  17. Jo Ellis says:

    I love this article! What a great overview of the many different attractions of pole. I have taught all ages, sizes, shapes and both genders and can genuinely say that there is something for everyone. I am particularly looking forward to your empowerment post as that is what my pole school focuses on.

  18. sarah jayne dinsmore says:

    Timea how r u babe? where is ur pole dancing studio? i wanna come check it out and do some classes and i will bring some girls

  19. zipzip says:

    I love pole dancing, don’t get me wrong, and I wish I could stop it. It’s addicting. But, I couldn’t disagree more with those who say that it shapes your body. It doesn’t. Since I started pole dancing, my body changed for the worse. Very muscular upper body but the ass and legs got flabbier. Why? because, no matter what people say, pole dance is all about core. There is NO gluteus involved, almost none. Plus, pole dancing causes stretch marks from all the gripping and ripping of the skin. Think about it. When you do a sit, for instance, with the legs crossed around the pole, you only have your skin to hold you and that is an immense trauma to your skin. That is why you will end with stretch marks from pole dancing

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  22. Magnifi?ue article une fois de plus

  23. ?umm êtes vous sûr de ce que vous affiormez ??

  24. I love this article, pole dancing is the ultimate workout! I never go to the gym anymore thank God! I hated forcing myself to go to the gym.

    I love dancing pole dance routines though!

    Now I just use these online pole dancing lessons at home:

    Its so much fun I can’t stop!

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