While pole dancing was popularized in modern America in traveling fairs in the 1920s and later in night clubs in the 1980s, it has once again piqued our interest…but this time as a pursuit for the general public.
Pole dancing has become a preferred workout at home and in-studio. It’s not only a whole lot of fun, but it brings a broad range of health benefits.
1. Targets Most Muscle Groups
Your treadmill, stationary bike, or stair stepper will work your lower body, but we love pole dancing because it draws on muscles from head to toe. Why settle for traditional gym workouts that hit one set of muscles when in a 30-minute pole dancing session you can feel the burn throughout your body?
Pole dancing involves defying gravity, climbing up a vertical pole (with no footholds), and suspending yourself in the air. This requires extreme upper body, core, and lower body strength. Pole dancing has been proven to show quick results and multiply your strength.
2. Quick Calorie Crusher
Pole dancing burns as much as 300 calories per hour and rivals most aerobic and calisthenic programs in its intensity. And what’s even better is that the calorie burn is fun! No more counting the seconds until your run is over.
This form of exercise is similar to cross-training and circuit workouts meaning not only are you burning fat, but also building muscle. A killer combo!
3. Builds Up Your Self-Image
There is a strong mind-body connection. A healthy body leads to a healthier mind. And for the majority of Americans struggling with confidence, pole dancing is a great way to build up that body image and trust in your own movement abilities.
4. Increases Endorphin Output
Since pole dancing involves moderate-to-high-intensity exercise it leads to the release of endorphins. Endorphins have a wide variety of roles in the body, including serving as a natural painkiller. Have you ever been in a workout and thought, “There is no way I can do a minute more”? Well, after endorphins are released that feeling of pain fades away. It is closely associated with the “runner's high” where pain fades away into enjoyment.
Endorphins also reduce stress. Stress in the body is caused by a build-up of adrenaline and cortisol and endorphins reduce these hormones. This “feel-good” chemical also increases sleep, which has been shown to likewise reduce stress and anxiety.
5. Sense of Community
Humans are naturally social creatures and crave a sense of belonging. That belonging isn’t just a nice luxury in life. According to Mayo Clinic, being socially connected can lower our risk for depression, sharpen our memory and cognitive skills, and may even help us live longer.
For many people, pole dancing provides that all-important sense of community. Pole dancers create a judgment-free zone that welcomes people in. They applaud you for taking responsibility for your health and support you as you try a challenging new form of exercise and expression. There are countless Facebook and Instagram groups devoted to pole dancing and creating a community of caring and passionate individuals.
6. Improves Flexibility
Pole dancing is similar to other forms of dance in the sense that flexibility allows more movement opportunities! Almost every spin can be done with extended legs (a mid-air box split) and pointed toes. As you improve the craft of pole dancing, you will work your way up to these gravity-defying spins!
Increased flexibility also translates to your everyday life. You are more graceful and nimble in your actions. And your balance increases as well. This means less tripping over the air and more cat-like reflexes.
7. Supports Heart Health
The number one cause of death in America is heart disease. This can be prevented through regular cardiovascular exercise. Pole dancing is a great way to keep your heart healthy. This moderate-to-high intensity exercise gets your heart rate up quickly. Increased and consistent exercise leads to low blood pressure, a slower resting heart rate, and decreased stress levels (and, thus, stress on the heart).
So, what does this mean? It means regular, heart strengthening pole dancing can decrease your risk for a heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
8. Helps You Stay Dedicated
Are you tired of just doing bicep curls or lat pull-downs for arms? Or just squats and lunges for legs? Or even going on boring runs every day? Then you’ve got workout burnout! And the solution? Pole dancing.
The variety is endless. With classes for beginners to experts, it is almost impossible to get bored. Every class or even at-home practice is filled with fun and active movement. Plus, you get the same burn and muscle gain as a “traditional workout.” When you are taking part in exercises you actually enjoy, you are more likely to stick with it and engage in consistent workouts.
There’s also the side benefit of stylish, customized pole dancing clothing. You’ll have added incentive to get to the gym when you know you can rep your own style in sexy sports bras, bodysuits, and more.
Whether you’re after easier, more effective weight loss, stress relief, or another avenue of expression, this fun form of exercise will keep your mind and body the healthiest they can be.