Pole is a sport which is highly misunderstood. It has different names and different connotations attached to it – not all good unfortunately. Some call it pole dance, some call it pole fitness, I personally call it either but the classes I go to don’t contain a lot of the dance aspect. If you tell someone you do pole dance the first image that pops into most people’s heads is a strip club and I totally understand why as up until recently this is the only place you really saw pole performers.
Pole has really come into it’s own over the past couple of years with national competitions and social influencers such as Angelina, Anna-Maija Nyman and Emily Laura showing the strength, flexibility and bottle needed to take part in pole. It is a hard sport and takes a lot of strength training along with the nerve to hold your whole bodyweight on a 45mm metal pole!
To me pole is a mix of gymnastics, strength training and dance. You need flexibility to contort yourself into different shapes, fluidity to move gracefully from one pose to the next and strength to hold yourself up in the fist place. Self confidence is also something I love about doing pole. It makes you appreciate your body and how much you can actually do with it when you put trust in it.
Where to start?
Pole has become pretty big over the past couple of years, so you are bound to be able to find a class local to you. Take a look online and on social media at what to expect as that will make it less daunting to step into your first class.
Is it hard?
In a word, yes. But it is so rewarding and the strength you build up is phenomenal. Strength training outside of your pole classes will help you immensely so I would recommend weight training and stretching to increase flexibility.
What do I wear?
Strictly speaking you need as much flesh on show as possible so that your skin sticks to the pole. Typically I wear shorts and a sports bra, however I will wear a vest if I am not feeling comfortable in just a bra. No shoes or socks are required and I’d advise to take some liquid chalk with you to help with grip.
I would recommend pole to anybody, whether you want a new way to workout or you are looking for a confidence boost. Have you ever tried pole before or would you give it a go? Let me know in the comments 🙂