Pole dancing… for fitness?

By KATHERINE FOSSLER

Pole dancing has been featured on Oprah, Tyra Banks and even Martha Stewart (although Martha didn’t actually touch the pole). Pamela Anderson, Tori Spelling and the housewives of every county are touting the benefits of this form of exercise.

Pole dance is a total body workout that burns an average of 400 calories per hour. This unique exercise form combines pole spins, exotic movement and aerobic/cardio benefits to create a total firming, toning, strengthening, and empowering workout. Pole dancing is done to upbeat music often in the company of supportive, inspired women, creating the perfect formula for a successful workout week after week . . . with benefits that go beyond just the physical.

Pole spins are a type of “survival fitness”. If you don‟t use all of your strength to hold onto the pole, you may fly off so you utilize your full strength each and every time. Spins quickly develop tone and definition in your upper body and core, particularly in the shoulder, oblique and transverse muscles.

Exotic movement provides flow and continuity to the dance, creating the overall mood of the routine. For example fast, erratic hip circles with wild hair flips will give a routine an entirely different feel than slow, luxurious body waves mixed with pensive pauses.

The cardio benefit comes naturally as the spins and exotic movements link together for an hour of continual movement. The external physical benefits of pole dance include increased strength, flexibility, endurance and balance. In addition, the flowing, circular movements done in exotic dance can benefit internal organ systems. Women often experience diminished menstrual and pre-menstrual symptoms including cramps, lower back pain and general anxiety. Your digestive system and your metabolism may both benefit from pole dancing and women often experience increased overall energy and more efficient calorie utilization. Some women report less back pain as range of motion and flexibility increase due to an increase in blood flow and movement of spinal fluid.

Pole dance instructors and the women who attend classes say they also experience a make-over from the inside out. With pole dance as a vehicle, women are able to access their feminine essence. They accept themselves in new, unconditional ways, feeling attractive and confident in a fresh manner that has nothing to do with their external appearance.

Pole dancing is definitely starting to find its place in local gyms and fitness centers. Women are finding pole dancing a unique and effective way to get healthier and claim their own sense of femininity.

Katherine Fossler is a certified Pole Fitness Instructor and is founder and owner of Lady Katherine located in Eagan.