The fitness industry constantly seeks out new and innovative ways to address the needs of exercise enthusiasts and to keep up interest.  Whether you run, spin, swim, aerobicize, dance, cycle, walk, or lift, there is a pattern – do it once, do it again, and then repeat.

Yes every form of exercise has benefits ranging from improved cardio vascular endurance, increased muscle strength, reduced stress and anxiety, weight loss, and elevated HDL (good cholesterol) blood levels.

Recently, something different and exciting is becoming not only popular but a trend: Fitness Pole Dancing.  There is no denying its colorful roots in exotic dancing complete with intense sexual innuendo. It is a legitimate form of dance that dates back thousands of years, but belly-dancing, the Rumba, and the Tango explore a similar vein.

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The modern version of pole dancing, thought to have started in Canada sometime in the 1980’s, has now made its way into the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Today a pole dancing fitness class uses a vertical pole, combines many of the older techniques like spins, acrobatics, and twirls with dance, theatrics, and athleticism. Some participate in heels, albeit a little risky or is that risqué?

Pole Sport is rumored as a future Olympic event, and classes, studios, and competitions are popping up everywhere and with good reason: it is not easy but an incredible amount of fun, and even men are getting involved.

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The 3 top Reasons to give the fitness pole dancing a try

Total Body Workout

Few sports recruit every aspect of fitness the way a Pole Class does.  The average calorie burn in a 30-minute class is similar to any other aerobic activity. However, because of the spins, climbs, and inversions the entire upper body needs to be able to lift and balance while the legs grip or swing. The routines also use movements based on Yoga and Pilates that flow from one to the next building stamina, flexibility, and endurance.

Increases Confidence

There is a learning curve and a totally new skill set, so everyone starts as a novice and definitely shy. Make sure to let the instructor know that you are new, and after just a few classes, skills improve allowing for expression and confidence not only physically, but emotionally and maybe even intimately too. Pole Fitness is sensual and sexy as well as an exploration of freedom.

Power to the Core

The variations in body positions necessitate total control over your core through the slow and steady movements in order to stabilize. The abdominals, lower back, and gluteal muscles are engaged almost the entire time but in completely different ways than normal fitness classes, which improves posture, strengthens bones, and defines the core muscles.

A Pole Dancing class is a celebration of self, a great way to get fit, and with its slightly unconventional routines can be empowering and transforming. Drop the stigma and give it a try.

Lead image by Francisco Osorio, internal image by mihhailov.

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