Pole fitness tipsThinking about giving pole fitness a try yourself? Instructor Pam Thorson and one of her students, Jessica King, have a few pieces of advice.
Thinking about giving pole fitness a try yourself? Instructor Pam Thorson and one of her students, Jessica King, have a few pieces of advice.
Start with the basics
The first time you work with a pole, you won’t be doing any crazy stunts or upside-down slides. In fact, when Thorson throws pole parties, she doesn’t even let beginners climb on.
“They’re just not ready,” she says.
You can start with basic exercises to build upper-body strength, like “pole-ups” – pull-ups using the pole – and use the pole as a balancing tool for exercises with your feet on the ground as you work your way toward more advanced moves.
Invest in a quality pole
Thorson says many outlets sell cheap poles that amount to little more than props. Using those can be dangerous; Thorson describes a girl in the New York area who broke her jaw and collarbone after a low-quality pole she had been given broke while she was using it.
How much should you expect to spend on a good pole? “My rule is, don’t do anything below $300,” Thorson says.
Put some music into the routine
As a dance tradition, pole is enhanced by a soundtrack.
Thorson says anything energetic works – she’s worked with clients who prefer anything from ’80s rock to country western. King’s personal pole mix includes selections from the Black Eyed Peas (“Let’s Get It Started”), Christina Aguilera (“Lady Marmalade”), and Katy Perry (“I Kissed a Girl”).
The most unusual choice Thorson’s heard of is a male pole dancer from the Chicago area who dances to the heavy-metal band Pantera.
“I didn’t know anyone who could do pole to that,” she says.
Pole fitness might be an unusual hobby, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Thorson says members of the pole community have a knack for connecting with one another.
A pole-themed birthday party she attended recently drew pole fitness enthusiasts from a handful of different states, all drawn together for support and encouragement.
Because pole fitness still draws strange looks from some people, she says, those who enjoy it “are all in this together.”
Don’t get discouraged
A few awkward moments and embarrassing falls are inevitable, says King. She says she fell flat on her face more than once while learning the ropes.
In time, she says, the stumbles and fumbles get ironed out, and the process of improving becomes its own reward.
“That’s one of the reasons why it’s so addicting,” she says.
To contact Thorson about pole fitness training call (701) 200-1024.