Here at TRAIN for HER, we want you to have fun AND a killer workout, so we went in search of some of the most enjoyable alternate classes around. We’d tell you to enjoy but we already know you will. First up: pole fitness.
For many, the term ‘pole fitness’ brings with it visions of badly lit strip clubs and hen dos where women, decorated with feather boas, giggle as they try to do a fireman’s spin. Although these connotations will probably never disappear completely, pole fitness is finally beginning to leave its controversial reputation behind.
What is pole fitness?
In essence, pole fitness is a combination of aerial art, gymnastics and dance, all wrapped up into an impressive package of butterflies, flatlines and iron-xs.
It boasts full body benefits, that leave you both aching and bruised plus plenty of flexibility and strength training. Pole fitness is a workout for anyone who wants to ramp up their overall fitness, be a part of a supportive community and post some killer Instagram pictures.
Who can do pole fitness?
While many assume this physically demanding sport is only practised by the young and slim, it’s a workout that anyone and everyone can try. Classes start from beginner level, where many fitness novices attend. They progress to intermediate and then advanced classes where many with backgrounds in gymnastics and acrobatics jump on the pole.
‘It is especially popular among women and attracts all age groups. I have students ranging from 16 through to 68 years old,’ says pole fitness instructor and 2014 British Pole Superstars Champion, Caroline Rees.
Attendees vary in ability, backgrounds and gender. Yes, that includes men. Although they aren’t as active in the community as women, they certainly aren’t absent. In fact, many of the most talented pole artists in the world are men, which means you don’t have to be afraid to ask your male friends or partner to join you for a class.
What does pole fitness target?
You’ll leave each class feeling drained of energy and sore but this is more than just a workout. It’s resistance training and cardio in one. Each bodyweight lift will tone your muscles and every trick will open your hip flexors, which will see your splits closer to the floor.
How much does it cost?
One thing that stops people taking pole fitness up as their exercise of choice is that it doesn’t come cheap. It will cost you around $10-$40 (around £12-£30) per session depending on the studio. Most studios offer free or cheap taster sessions so you can try before you buy.
Alternatively, you can buy your own pole from around $200 and use YouTube videos to teach yourself, however this is not recommended for complete beginners. If you do decide to self-teach, you should buy some mats and always have someone to spot you when trying something new.
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