Strength and conditioning work

Pole dancing is great exercise in and of itself–there’s no doubt about that, it’s a workout! But doing some supplemental conditioning work is always a good idea. Some thoughts:

–Handstands (against a wall, against a pole, or if you’re able, out in the open [and kudos to you if you can, I sure can’t…yet!])  are a great shoulder strengthener, and when done properly they help strengthen your wrists, fingers, and core, too! Be sure to spread your fingers to give yourself as wide a base as possible, and prrrrress those fingers into the floor, even out the pressure so it’s not all on your wrists. Don’t do handstands on pillows or mats because you won’t be able to distribute the pressure.

–Plow Pose (, executed with control, is a great core strengthener. Ready to kick some floorwork butt with shoulder stands and shoulder rolls? Interested in doing dead lift shoulder mounts? Get crackin’ on the Plow.

–Flexibility training is a weakness for me. I get bored with it. When I’m diligent about stretching, though, I notice a big difference in not only my everyday flexibility, but also my recovery time after a tough training session. When you stretch, do it right: hold each stretch for ~30 seconds, until your muscles release. Then take a big breath in, and as you exhale, deepen the stretch until your muscles twitch a little. Hold there for, you guessed it, ~30 seconds, until your muscles relax again. Repeat one more time. IMPORTANT: do not “snap” out of a stretch–come back to a neutral position slowly.

–Squats are the exercise everyone loves to hate, but they really are effective. Make sure your knees aren’t creeping out over your toes (stick that butt out, get your legs to 90 degrees) and drop your body down a little or a lot. Keep your heels weighted and push through your heels, hamstrings, and glutes. You might thank me when you see what squats do for your butt!

–Grip strength is vital since those hands have to hold you onto the pole! Squeeze a tennis ball, or a pillow, or one of those spring-loaded grip strengthener dealies. There are also gyroscopes that help with grip strength.

There you go. No excuses, no need for equipment, even. Get yourself moving!  🙂


About Gina

I am a pole and exotic dance instructor at Studio Rouge in Columbus, Ohio. Hear me when I tell you it is the best. job. ever.
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