8 benefits of pole fitness for men : Pole dance and fitness are becoming more mainstream and socially acceptable as a form of fitness. You may have read or seen about how it can empower women, but nobody really talks about how it can benefit men. Just to clarify here a moment, I am a woman, but what I am about to write is taken from the experiences of my male students. So here are some things that you might not expect.
Benefits of pole fitness for men
1. It’s an all body workout.
You may look at pole dance and fitness and wonder why any man would want to spin prettily around a pole. But it is so much more than that. From your very first lesson you are lifting your entire body weight with your arms, the entire lesson. You won’t notice the energy expended though because you’ll be having fun.
2. You’ll get stronger.
This is just a by-product of pole fitness. Sure some people train with weights to increase their strength faster, but mostly, it’ll happen on its own. If you are consistently lifting your own body weight you get stronger. Like with any type of callisthenic exercise. Except in pole, the strength gain isn’t the focus of the exercise, just a resulting happy accident.
3. You will lose weight and gain muscle.
Okay, so that’s a bit of a blanket statement. You may initially gain weight as you gain muscle and then lose inches. The result is still a trimmer more defined muscular version of your former self.
4. Your flexibility will increase.
Most of my male students started off about as bendy as a brick. They moaned about stretching after class, even though they understood it’s important for ‘resetting’ your muscles and for staving off DOMS. Suggest they sit in a straddle on the floor and bend forward, and you’d get legs poised at a 45 degree angle to each other, and the most they could bend forward was an upright sit. That’s not good guys. It’s not good for your hips, for your backs, or for future mobility.
Lack of flexibility will do weird things to your body, particularly if you spend most of your days sitting in an office. None of my male students can do the splits, it’s not something they aspire to, nor train for. However, they have now all got increased range of motion in their shoulders, backs, hips, and legs. Which will be of benefit to their future health and well-being.
5. You will (by default) gain a better understanding of women.
Pole classes are still primarily a female dominated environment. You’d think we might get shy, since we dance in very little (we need maximum skin bared for safety reasons). However, due to the nature of the classes, you end up getting very up close and personal with other class members. Soon you’ll be privy to all types of things that normally aren’t shared with men on the whole. Sometimes you may feel uncomfortable as a man while surrounded by women talking about their menstrual cycles, mood swings, idiotic things their partners have said etc. If you are wise, you will take it all on board. Who knows it might even make you more successful in your relationships as it may prevent a thoughtless response on your part.
6. It’ll open your eyes to other forms of fitness.
As much as I love Pole dance and fitness, it opened my eyes to many other skills that build strength in a similar way. These come under the umbrella of Circus arts, and include Aerial Silks, Aerial Hoop (Lyra), Gymnastic rings, Ropes, and Trapeze. And men have a natural strength (I call it the testosterone advantage) that means you’ll be able to get fairly good on these apparatus fairly quickly.
7. Pull Ups will become easy.
I am talking about full pull ups with a full straight arm hang with a wide grip, getting your whole face about the horizontal bar, not the cross fit style pull ups where your arms aren’t fully straight in the lowered position.
To be fair, I had never tried to do a pull up, or a chin up until a couple of years ago. I had already been pole dancing for 6 years at that point, and I didn’t get why people found them hard. I had seen an article on SAS training and how they had to do 20 pull ups, and how they were reducing it to 10 for women or some such rubbish. It became a social media ‘thing’ where pole dancers around the world would post videos of themselves banging out 20 pull ups like they were nothing.
That could be you, because let’s face it, when you can suspend your body horizontally in a plank, just from your arm grip on a vertical pole, then pull ups will seem easy. I still have to swing my legs to get into a full muscle up, but the guys in my class don’t. Darn that testosterone advantage.
8. You will gain a supportive community.
One of my guys Chris posted on his Facebook page a progress photo. After 12 months of doing pole, he had lost three stone, packed on muscles in places he said he didn’t know muscles existed, and was starting to change his life in other ways. Now I am sure this doesn’t apply to any of you reading this, as I know you are all open minded and accepting individuals.
But he was slated and made fun of on Facebook by his non-pole dancing friends. In the time frame of ten minutes, every female pole dancer he knew had defended him and challenged the people who had so rudely taken the piss. We look after each other, we take no nonsense, and we defend each other in all circumstances. And as Chris commented, who doesn’t want to get fit and healthy surrounded by beautiful, strong, scantily clad females? Plus, a pole studio generally smells a damn site better than your local weight room at the gym.
Sarah Myers is owner and chief pole instructor at Vertical Fitness & Vertical Joy fitness and dance studio, Sarah has been pole dancing 8 years and can also be reached at her facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Vertical-Joy-309031055936240/
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