The exotic feeling, seductive form of dance known as pole-dancing is not one of the first things that spring to mind when most people think about leveling up their fitness game. However, this intense total body workout can be a fun way to motivate yourself to work out, embrace your sensual nature, and boot your self-confidence along the way to increase fitness.
Though pole dancing utilizes nearly every muscle group throughout the body, its main focus relies on upper-body strength. Requiring you to lift, hold and control your own body weight, it forces you to build your shoulders, biceps, triceps, and forearms as you tighten your core as well as your upper and lower back.
History of Pole Dancing
While it is commonly thought that pole dancing originated in strip clubs, this is a misconception. In fact, the art has been around much longer.
Dating all the way back to the 12th Century, pagans held a fertility celebration called Maypole dancing, performed by dancing and twisting ribbons around a wooden pole.
Around the same time in India, a male-dominated sport called Mallakhamb was played wherein tricks were performed on a wooden pole. The English revived this practice in the 19th century, calling it “pole gymnastics.”
The Chinese had a similar sport, but theirs involved a pole covered in rubber to provide an easier grip.
The origin of US pole dancing begun in circuses of the 1920s when dancers would use the middle pole of the circus tent as the “dancing pole.”
Pole dancing didn’t move into the burlesque clubs until the 1950s, and it wasn’t widely popular until the 80s when strip clubs took off.
How to Perform a Pole Dance Routine
Pole dancing classes can involve uniform dance routines that follow a specific sequence, or they can encourage you to form your own routine. Here are some basic beginner pole moves:
- Back moves such as the back arch, backbend, and backslide
- Pole spins including the fireman spin, front hook spin, martini spin, stag and reverse stag spins, and the backspin
- Hooks like the Ballet hook and the hook and roll
- Sits such as the pole sit and scissor sit
Benefits of Pole Dancing
Pole dancing delivers many benefits to the mind, body, and spirit, including:
- Efficient calorie burner
- Builds self-confidence
- Reduces stress
- Personal enjoyment
- Relieves stress
- Increases agility and flexibility
- Improves mental strength
- Strengthens bones and joints
- Improves Heart Heath
- Enhances spatial and body awareness.
- Tones and strengthens entire body
- Engages the core
- Encourages libido
There are several other types of workouts that focus on principles of dancing and/or body suspension, such as:
- Floor dance workouts such as Zumba
- Aerial workouts
- Trapeze classes
- Gymnastics-based workouts
Embrace Your Sensual Side as You Get Fit
It can be hard to keep ourselves motivated to work out, especially when most of us spend many hours a day doing things we don’t want to do. Working, cleaning, doing laundry, and adulting, in general, takes enough out of us without the obligation of exercising regularly hanging over our heads.
By the time we’ve done all our work and met all our daily obligations, we want to enjoy doing something that feels like a release, just for us. This is a major reason why pole-dancing has become such a fitness craze. Its inherent forbidden nature makes us feel like we’re getting away with something, and yet it’s a great way to maintain total body health and fitness.
As an added bonus, you may just pick up some sweet moves for the bedroom.