Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Pole Dancing?
Pole Dancing is a form of dance and performance combined with gymnastics in which a person uses a vertical pole (fixed or portable) to perform tricks, spins and maneuvers.
It can be performed on either a spinning or static (non spinning) pole and is usually performed for the entertainment of a crowd or a person but it can also be a personal hobby.
What Is The Difference Between Pole Dancing & Pole Fitness?
Pole Dancing is a form of dance and performance and also a form of entertainment while Pole Fitness is a form of Pole Dancing that focuses on a variety of stretching and conditioning exercises to help improve strength, coordination and flexibility.
Pole Fitness focuses purely on the athletic side of Pole and strives more for health & fitness exercise than dance, performance and sensuality.
Is Pole Fitness Suitable For Me?
If you're interested in trying it then yes absolutely!
Pole Fitness is great no matter what your age, sex, weight, strength or flexibility.
Your instructor will teach you step by step from the ground up starting with the very basics working through every new technique.
What Should I Wear?
It's fine to wear regular fitness clothing although a tank top and pair of shorts is the best option.
You will need a good amount of skin contact with the pole for many maneuvers and too much clothing may stop you from achieving some of the exercises.
A lot of brand new students start in leggings or other pants and soon find this is very limiting.
Jewellery is a big no no for two reasons:
- Health & Safety: Jewellery can wrap around the pole, get caught, pinch your skin and cause you to slip.
- Pole Damage: Rings and jewellery worn on the wrists, ankles and toes can scratch, wear and damage your pole.
For these reasons you should also avoid wearing clothes with buttons or zips and bras with metal clasps. Sports bras are highly recommended.
You should not wear any creams, gels, lotions or oils on the day of practice (in fact I avoid them entirely). Sweating releases these moisturising oils from your skin and will cause you to slip and slide off the pole.
Unless you are very comfortable in them I would start off barefoot instead of starting with any kind of heels.
What Will I Need For My First Pole Fitness Lesson?
It's handy to have a towel or two with you either to dry yourself, the pole or both. I would strongly recommend using a separate towel to dry the pole especially if you are sharing it with a buddy.
It's also advisable to have a bottle of water with you in case you get thirsty and some people like to have a yoga mat with them although this is not a requirement.
What Are The Benefits Of Pole Fitness?
Pole Fitness has many physical and psychological benefits.
Physically you'll be developing endurance, fexibility and strength resulting in reduced fat and flab, toned muscles, strong core and better posture.
Mentally you'll have increased self-esteem, confidence and motivation. The variety of techniques and styles of pole will keep you interested and eager to learn more and you'll have skills you would never have believed you could have in no time at all.
To top it off, Pole Fitness is also lots of fun and helps to reduce stress levels!
Am I Too Old For Pole Fitness?
You are never too old for exercise and the same is true for Pole Fitness. Everyone works at their own comfortable skill level and there is no need to push further than you wish, you are not required to do somersaults on the pole!
In the pole community people of all ages, shapes and sizes train together, support and encourage each other and students range anywhere from around 16 to 70 years young.
Do I Need To Have Upper Body Strength?
No. It's a commmon misconception for new starters that they are too weak to start because they have no upper body strength and although it certainly wouldn't hurt it isn't necessary.
Pole Fitness lessons are a form of strength training in themselves and will build your muscles up gradually as you progress while improving your overall fitness and flexibility.
Can Men Take Pole Fitness Classes?
Pole Fitness is for both men and women.
You can even find a great selection on pole wear for men online!
Do I Need A Background In Dancing?
No you don't. You can learn everything you need to know from absolute beginner and work your way up when you're ready.
Some people even choose not to incorporate dance into their fitness regime and focus solely on strength and flexibility - although dance and floorwork is required at a competition level.
Am I Too Out Of Shape For Pole Fitness?
Nope! Beginners Pole Fitness is what it says on the tin - for beginners of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels.
You'll trim down and lose fat and flab as you go seeing more muscle definition over time.
Pole Fitness is a fun full body workout that will get you in shape and improve your muscle tone and flexibility!
Do I Need To Be Flexible To Take Pole Fitness Classes?
No. Pole Fitness classes are structured in a way that will steadily develop your flexibility as you move through the various skill levels and techniques.
Should I Start With My Pole On Spin Or Static?
Static poles are recommended for beginners because spinning poles require a more developed muscle strength.
When buying a pole it is advisable to buy one that has the spin function for when you're ready.
For more information about buying the perfect pole for you, please see my complete guide here.
Is The Pole Strong Enough To Take My Weight?
Yes! All of the well known brand name poles have been specifically developed for this high impact workout and can handle a lot of weight and force.
What matters more in pole stability though, is that it is properly installed - especially at home.
That is why it is important to find the correct place and install the pole properly, routinely checking whether it is still secure before use.
What Skill Levels Are There?
There are 5 main skill levels in Pole Fitness; Basic, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert or Professional.
It is recommended that you start with the basic fundamentals and move gradually up through each level.
What Does A Pole Class Consist Of?
Most classes have a similar structure usually including; A warm up to suit skill level, strength and conditioning exercises both on and off the pole.
Then depending on skill level they will include; floorwork, spins, climbs, inverts, tricks, combinations, routines and then finish with stretching and a cool down.
How Long Will It Take For Me To See Results From Pole Fitness Classes?
This depends on you and how often you practice. You can practice as often as you like but most people do start to see results from going as little as once a week.
Of course many people become passionately addicted to Pole Fitness and are soon practising two or three times a week which of course will mean seeing faster results!
Is Pole Fitness Safe?
Like any other form of fitness or sports it is possible to injure yourself with Pole Fitness.
The likelihood of injury is significantly reduced by following a safe and well structured training program, you can read more about common pole dancing muscle injuries here.
Muscle strength and flexibility is gradually increased through each skill level and proper conditioning exercises should be implemented to avoid injury.
If you are a beginner practising alone at home you should remember to take regular breaks for a few minutes at a time every 3 moves or so to avoid over straining yourself as those practising in groups would usually have 3 or 4 to a pole allowing for breathers.
As with any exercise Pole Fitness is safest when following the direction of an instructor and of course it is important that you do not try to progress too quickly for your body and work at the correct skill level.
You can also find out more about how injuries occur in my article revealing the most common beginner bad habits!
I Have Joint Problems, Can I Still Take Part In Pole Fitness?
If you are unsure about whether you can start Pole Fitness classes on a medical level you should always seek medical advice as you would for any other sport.
Do I Need A Pole At Home To Start Pole Fitness?
No, you don't need to have a pole at home to start classes at your local studio but you will progress a lot quicker and more easily if you practise at home as well.
If however you don't have any studios in your local area or are simply too shy to begin in front of a crowd then you should think about taking online lessons. In this case you would need to have a fitness pole at home.
What Kind Of Pole Do You Use?
At the moment I have one of the leading brands of pole: X-Pole. The one I currently use is an X-Pert (spinning) Chrome 45mm Pole.
Where Can I Buy A Fitness Pole For My Home?
If you purchase your pole on Amazon please be sure you are using the official X-Pole store.
For more information about buying a pole please take a look at my guide to buying a fitness pole for your home.
Are There Any Age Restrictions For Pole Fitness?
No! People of all ages can practise Pole Fitness although parental permission is usually required for those under the age of 18.