Strength and Weight Training
for Pole Dancing

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There is no better method to add sexy curves and have muscle definition than strength and weight training.

Bodybuilding doesn't do for women what it does for men (at least without going to gladiator woman extremes!) Lifting weights does not make you bulky or too muscular; what it DOES do is help your body burn fat more efficiently, be able to see your six or eight pack (yes!) and to be able to perform those strength-demanding pole tricks that you so badly want to be able to perform with ease.

Bodybuilding Queen Rachel McLish

Having and building your strength is important! Building your strength will also increase your stamina and endurance, two things that you desperately need to have in place when performing a routine in pole dancing, an almost 100% anaerobic exercise - opposite of aerobic or cardio exercise. 

One of my favorite all-time books that helped me get into bodybuilding is Flex Appeal by Rachel McLish, (pictured here) a female bodybuilder who has an incredibly lithe and lovely figure that was carved out by lifting weights. She is proof that women can use strength training to look and be better at their chosen sport.

How do I start strength and weight training?

  • Use a book or video to start learning the exercises. There are several books and videos that you can use on your own; 
  • Hire a fitness trainer. Many gyms have trainers that will also be able to help you out in designing a weight lifting regmine. 
  • Some pole dance studios also offer classes that incorporate body-building moves and exercises because they know the value of a srong back and core in pole dancing. Check with your local pole instructor

I have two other books that I use when putting together a strength-building workout: Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength by Bill Phillips (very simple and easy to learn moves that require only a set of dumbells) and Get Strong, a more sport-focused book that will show you the proper ways to use machines and larger weights if you so choose.

I don't have a pole yet...what can I do to get stronger to be ready to do tricks?

Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the demanding workout that pole dancing can be. If you start to prepare, even if you don't own a pole yet, you will lessen your frustration when starting.

  • Start by building your upper body strength and grip with body weight exercises
  • Start actively working on your flexibility with 15-30 minute sessions as you would a workout. 
  • Start working on the strength of your core, one of the most important areas of your body in performing pole tricks
  • Begin with a pull up bar. You can get one at Wal-Mart or online, the type that you can mount in a door frame. Try to grip the bar overhand and pull yourself up.If you are unable to do even one pull up on a bar, you are going to have trouble with the exercises. So keep that bar in place!
  • With 2 to 3 sessions a week on the pull ups and push ups you should be ready to start Pole Ups, a type of pull up and hold on the pole. This exercise works your muscles differently than on the pull up bar.
  • It is suggested that you be able to do 2 sets of 8 pull ups before you start doing any pole tricks.You also need to be able to do 2 to 3 sets of push ups. A set can be 8.
  • These are all body-weight exercises and will give you a running start on the pole. This will help improve your upper body strength. It also helps with your grip, especially the pull up bars.

I don't think this is all necessary...can't I just do pole tricks and get strong that way?

You absolutely can get strong just from doing pole tricks. But what about when you are starting out learning a new trick and you just can't seem to get it? You just can't keep that hold? What then?

Building your strength for the pole with these other types of exercises like body weight training and weight lifting will help greatly. 

Women seem to seldom focus on those lat, shoulder, pec and back muscles that all the guys want to build up on their own bodies. Being able to haul around your body weight is absolutely necessary in poling and if you have a weak upper body, meaning your arms, back and core have not been toned for muscle strength it will make this more difficult and you will be more prone to be injured.

It is easy to injure your back or shoulders if you do not improve your overall strength. And, not as if it needs to be mentioned, you can also fall from the pole!

Pole Power: A Strength Building Program for Pole Dancers eBook is a great resource to get you started with strengthening your muscles and holds on the pole.

These exercises will help you get your leg and hand grip better as well as strengthen your rotator cuff, hold your self in inverted positions better and also lose weight!

Strength and Weight Training > Strength Training for Pole

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