Which Muscles Does Pole Dancing Work?
Pole dancing isn't the taboo activity it used to be. The strength-training nature of it has gained attention among physical fitness experts, and many gyms offer classes. Some people even have poles installed in their home. Pole dancing works most of your body's muscles while burning calories and building coordination. Talk to your doctor before beginning a pole dancing routine.
Many of the moves in a pole dancing routine require jumping, pivoting and squatting, all of which work the muscles in your upper and lower legs, including your hip flexors, hamstrings, calves and quads. Climbing the pole and supporting yourself during hands-free moves are additional lower-body perks that pole dancing offers. If you want to use pole dancing to tone your legs, pole presses are especially beneficial. To do one, stand in front of the pole, legs hip-width apart, body pressed against the pole and hands gripping the pole. Lower into the squat position, lift your legs into the air and wrap them around the pole. Additional moves that challenge your legs include icons, sits, high kick holds and serpents.
Any moves that require balance challenge your core muscles, making pole dancing ideal in this regard. Many of the exercises involve being upside down, which also works your abdominal muscles. Pole dancing moves also provide resistance to your stomach area, enhancing the benefits. Most choices are beneficial for your core, but spinners, chairs, floaters, inverts and ab pullups are good options.
Arms and Shoulders
Pole dancing is primarily an upper-body workout, despite its benefits for other parts of your body. Most moves require you to use your arms to maneuver on the pole, building strength and endurance in your triceps, biceps and forearms, as well as your shoulders. Spinning and climbing moves are especially beneficial because they work all these muscles at the same time. The Eye Opener is a common move. To do them, mount the pole with your arms and legs holding you up. Lean back until your arms are straight and extend your legs upward, crossing your ankles. Place one hand under your buttocks and spread your legs into a V. Shoulder mounts, handstands, supermans and presses are additional moves that create a challenge for your arms and shoulders.
Your back, including your deltoids and trapezius muscles, are challenged during many pole dancing moves, creating definition in the upper and lower portions as well as increasing strength and endurance. Climbing the pole works your upper back muscles, while reclining on the pole and kicking works the muscles in your lower back. Combine these types of moves to ensure that your back gains strength proportionally, which reduces the risk of an injury while pole dancing.
Pole dancing poses a risk of overuse injuries, particularly to your shoulders, according to the Pole Dancing for Fitness website. To counteract this risk, start slowly and add to your routine as you gain strength and endurance. Take a day off between workouts to allow your muscles time to recover and get stronger. If you feel pain or discomfort in any of the muscles in your body while pole dancing, stop and contact your doctor.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.