I know a lot of people dance to mix up their work out routines (great idea, by the way!), but fitness has always been just a nice plus of pole for me.
I mean… I’m the type that gets really frustrated when my muscles start giving out because dang, I wanted to practice that one thing one more time!
But the weird thing is, it’s always super random muscles that get tired from pole. Last night I had to give laybacks a rest not because my legs were giving out, but because my big toe was cramping.
Seriously big toe? You’re going to play me like that?
As our instructors like to say though, you can’t ignore even the little muscle issues because a toe cramp can definitely screw with your leg muscles, which can in turn screw with your grip.
Which can then screw with your head. Because you landed on it. OH SNAP.
But seriously, cramps aside, here are weird muscle groups I’ve noticed I’m accidentally keeping in top condition:
1. Inner thighs
Okay this is actually pretty awesome. I remember being in middle school and finding out what “thunder thighs” meant for the first time, staring at my legs for a bit, then frantically doing leg lifts out of my mom’s Jane Fonda book.
Eventually though, I realized “spot reducing” is kinda BS, and resigned myself to a little inner thigh chub. NBD, right?
NOT UNTIL YOU HAVE AMAZING INNER THIGHS. Holy crap, trying not to die while hanging upside down from your thighs is like, the best training ever, apparently, because my inner thighs are looking boss. I mean, I guess I’ll take it?
This kinda pisses me off, because I assumed that pole dance would trick out my arms. Nope, just the shoulders.
In fact, the contrast between my super tight delts and loose, ever-so-floppy triceps just makes the whole arm situation look worse. Damn you, fiercely toned delts. Damn you to hell.
Can’t pretend to be angry about this. “Imaginary high heels” at all times (ie. standing on your toes) makes for some awesome, accidentally toned calves that look baller in real heels.
Downside: the shame of running in shoes with lifts in the back. The guy at the shoe store was horrified by by my apparent muscle imbalances, so that’s what I ended up with.*Shame*.
4. Forearms, wrists, and hands
This is kind of a do or die situation, really. After I weaned myself off Dry Hands (grip aid’s a hell of a drug!), my wrists and hands had to get stronger… because I couldn’t really spare any more skin rubbing off, and they must have known that.
I mean, I guess my forearms never really looked fat or anything, but I can the difference. I find myself giving very intimidating handshakes. Though that could also be the cray cray callouses I have, that are scary people. Whoops.
ROCK ON, I love my new side abs! Kinda wish the rest of the abs would catch up, but I’ll take what I can get. I think it’s all the leg swinging, twisting, and wrapping, but I can actually see individual, Bat-man ablets happening along my rib cage. That’s DEFINITELY a pole perk.
6. Upper back
Holy god is all I can say about this. In addition to posture improvement, my upper back is mighty fine in the muscle department. I think it’s safe to say that this is where the majority of effort is coming from in pole, not arms (at least with spins).
7. Feet and ankles
Weird, right? But all the push offs, the climbing, the ankle hook make their mark. I’m hoping this helps with running, since the top of my feet tend to get tired. Is there a word for that muscle? Moving on.
Okay this is not a weird muscle. But yes, climbing and inverting will tone the shit out of it.
Any weird places you’ve noticed firming up with pole?
How about muscles you WISH would get stronger, to help with dance?
I work with a lot of personal trainers at my day job so I’m thinking of asking them for help with a strength building routine. If they give me a baller work-out, I’ll be sure to share!