Are you exploring ways to get a toned and fit body? If you’re sick of the typical gym workouts that feel like work, It is time to step out of that boring comfort zone and add some spice to your workout routine. Go on and try pole dancing!

Woman in Black Sports Bra and Black Shorts Doing Posing on a Dance Pole
Photo by Konstantin Mishchenko from Pexels

The Three Faces of Pole Dancing

It is often stated that there are three faces of pole dancing – 

  • pole dancing as an art
  • pole dancing is sexy and sensual
  • and as a sport

As an art, a simple vertical device, such as the dance pole, is appealing as it allows for a lot of imagination and creative expression. Many stories of movement can be told through pole dancing and this is why we can see various forms of pole such as Chinese pole and acrobatics in the circus.

In addition to barefoot dancing, many pole dancers have also included modern dance, props, and costumes in their acts. The pole dancing performance itself, plus the performer’s effort, makes it an art.

The sexy and sensual side, is the side of pole most are familiar with. It is pole dancing as part of exotic dancing, bachelorette parties, and fun nights out. The movements are sensual, bold, and, erotic.

The third face is an evolution of the latter, pole as a sport; pole fitness. You can read all about pole fitness here.

Woman in Blue Sports Bra and Black Shorts Standing and Holding on Dance Pole
Photo by Konstantin Mishchenko from Pexels

How To Use Pole To Get Toned And Fit

Pole is a full-body workout. It is a combination of cardio and resistance training, and it improves flexibility. Pole dancers do acrobatic maneuvers by balancing on the pole or propelling their weight around it. 

Climbing a pole is a feat of strength that is beyond belief, it requires the calisthenics task of lifting your own body weight. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the majority of pole dancers say they have never looked or felt better in their lives.

Cardio Helps You Get Toned & Pole Is Cardio!

Whenever you pole dance, you are working your entire body and engaging all of your muscles; this improves the blood flow to your heart and brain. Pole dancing thus promotes the health of the cardiovascular system and releases those feel-good hormones.

You have a lower risk of developing heart disease and other diseases if you are physically fit and a decent workout is also beneficial to your general well-being. So while you are getting toned and fit, you are improving your general well-being.

You also improve body coordination and rhythm while pole dancing. You may be clumsy at first, but your natural rhythm will kick in whilst listening to the music you are dancing to; this is where sensual movement and being in tune with your body come into it.

Cardio, Toning-up, AND Losing Weight

Cardio, Toning-up, AND Losing Weight
Photo by Fitness Purity from Pinterest

People who start pole dancing do so with little or no experience in exercise or intense strength training. Because your motor skills and muscle memory are not yet accustomed to the apparatus of a vertical bar, you will face a fresh obstacle from the first class.

Pole dancing is a fantastic full-body workout that requires a lot of strength, flexibility, and general strength and conditioning.

Pole dancing workouts involve all of these factors compared to weight lifting, cardio exercise, or even calisthenics training.

Pole requires you to challenge your strength, stamina, and flexibility to grow and push over your present level. 

Although some pole poses also target the inner thighs and quadriceps, the actual leg work comes from completing dynamic stretching exercises, which not only work your butt but also make you more flexible.

How to use the pole to get toned and fit?

Cardio, Toning-up, AND Losing Weight
Photo by Tatiana Case from Pinterest

People’s core strength as they learn to operate the pole dancing gear is well-known in pole dance workouts. You may have outstanding upper body strength, but many pole movements will be challenging without a strong core. 

One of the elements that make pole a full-body workout is this. Even a beginner’s pole routine will require the legs, core, and upper body to execute the movement patterns properly.

Pole dancing takes a lot of strength training. When most people start pole dancing, they believe they aren’t strong enough and find it difficult. 

You’ll most likely go home with (or wake up to) sore arms for the first few sessions. Your strength will naturally improve and increase as you progress through your classes and activities. 

In the beginning, specific strength training is usually disregarded. As you learn more, you will realize its importance in the foundation of pole fitness. You’ll wish you had done more strength training earlier on as you get to more complicated, more advanced routines.

Starting with Strength Training: Make These Moves!

Group of Women Doing Exercise Inside The Building
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

You have to prepare your body through strength training for the first step. Here are some activities to warm up and do strength training. Do three sets of exercises around 15-20 reps each.

• Chin-Ups, bicep curls, triceps dips, and bicep curls 

• Press-Ups on the chest (Wide & Narrow) 

• Rows and Lateral Pull Downs in the Back 

• Shoulders: Lateral Raise, Shoulder Press 

(Many variations), Plank, Side Plank, and Sit-Ups (Core). 

• Squats, lunges, and step-ups for the legs

Hop Into the Pole and Do These Exercises!

After your warm-up, you’re now ready to hop into the pole. As a beginner, what will you do first? Pole Asana shared some pole exercises for beginners on her YouTube channel. She modeled the moves you can do to start that pole exercise and tone your body in her video. 

(Note: All photos are sourced from the exercises demonstrated in Pole Asana’s video.)

Hop Into the Pole and Do These Exercises!
Hop Into the Pole and Do These Exercises!

Oblique pole crunches

Position your legs and stand comfortably near the pole. Lift one leg and hook your knee on the bar. Lean on the side and form your body into an “L” position with your hands holding by the ears. Do crunches five times, and repeat on the other side.

The oblique pole crunches will strengthen your obliques while familiarizing your knee to the hook and improving your balance. 

Oblique pole crunches
Oblique pole crunches

Pole Hold

Hold onto the pole as if you are holding a baseball bat. Roll your shoulders down and lift your legs one at a time. Hold for five seconds. Repeat the move with your other hand positioned on top.

Doing the pole hold will improve your grip on the pole, engage your shoulder, and teach you control of your grasp.

Pole Hold

Split Grip Hold

With your thumbs pointing in opposite directions, grip the pole and lift your feet. Hold for five seconds. Your rib cage shall be rested on the lower elbow for support. The move prepares you for more handed moves and improves balance.

Split Grip Hold
Photo from

Boomerang reps

From the Split Grip Hold position, lift both legs and crunch. Repeat them five times. Once you master your boomerangs, level up your steps reps and do them without touching the floor.

Boomerang reps are a good core workout that will bring out those abs and work your butt. Remember to do it on both sides for balanced output.

Boomerang reps

Side hold

Lift your legs to your chest from the baseball grip position and hold. Instead of kicking into it, engage your core when making a move. 

Side hold reps

Once you’ve mastered the side hold, it is time to do some reps. Like the boomerang reps, the challenge is to make the moves without touching the floor. This workout will make your whole body movement from your arm muscles down to the core and legs.

These are the basic moves you should learn to get toned and fit when using the pole. Once you discover your grip, it is time to level up your skills. The better you get, the more moves you’ll be doing, the more toned and fit your body will be. 


What’s In Your Pole Class Bag? Check Out Some Of My Recommended Essentials:

These are my must-haves!

Do you have any pole gear you cannot dance without? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to follow us on Pinterest & Instagram!

For more quality content like this, be sure to check out the Pole Model Youtube Channel!
See you there 🙂