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5 Quick Tips to Get The Most Out of Your Pole Workout

By on May 19, 2017

Over the last ten years I have been a pole dancer, and many students have asked me for tips on helping them to get stronger, achieve that next pole trick, or even how to overcome certain mindsets that can hold them back. Here are some of the tips I often share with my students.


Do it right. Form is key

Proper form is essential for success and injury prevention in everything we do. It is the quality of your training that will influence your progress, more than the quantity.

Shoulder engagement is often overlooked when you are working on one arm spins, climbs or inverts. Focusing on correct form will ensure muscle balance, prevent injury and improve performance. We need to consider scapular retraction and shoulder depression. How do we do this? Firstly focus on drawing your shoulder blades together and then dropping your shoulders away from your ears. A great way to learn this position is in a simple push up. In a plank position focus on drawing your shoulder blades together (scapula) which should create a small hollow between your shoulder blades and then relaxing your shoulders away from your ears.

Again with everything you do focus on the quality of the movement not the quantity. Yes there are times it is temping to push through bad form for one more rep. However remember good form will always supersede more reps with bad form.



Believe that  you can

If you want your body to do something (like nail that latest pole trick) you have to want it and know that you can do it. If doubt enters your mind you need to acknowledge it and then let it go.

Create an internal word or catch phrase that you can consciously say to yourself when your mind tries to sabotage your positive intentions. Choose to believe in yourself with positive, “can-do” thinking.



Focus on the eccentric phase

In pole dancing we use all three kinds of muscle contractions; eccentric (muscle lengthening under load), concentric (when the muscle shortens under load), and isometric (no change in the muscle length) where the muscle is held in a static contraction.

Focusing on the eccentric contraction where the muscle lengthens under load helps account for the long strong muscles pole dancing is known for. In an eccentric contraction a muscle lengthens as it resists a force and returns to the resting position. An example of this would be an invert on the pole. The eccentric phase is the lowering phase as you return to a standing position. Think of this as putting on the brakes as you lower from your invert. You are basically slowing the descent instead of allowing your weight and gravity to pull you down.

By slowing down the negative phase of your invert (or any other pole move for that matter) you can help your muscles build greater strength. So the next time your instructor tells you to control your descent you’ll know you are not only reducing chance of injury but also helping you achieve the moves that take time to build strength.



Always warm up

We all know that warming up isn’t as fun as the workout itself, but it is an extremely important part of your workout and injury prevention. Not warming up the relevant muscle groups for your next pole workout dramatically increases the risk of injury, and if you are injured you cannot workout, thus impeding your progress. So make sure you arrive on time for your class in time to warm up properly before every workout, and if you are training at home or on your own be sure to warm up the muscle group/body part that you will be using during that workout.



Fun is important!

This is critical; I am constantly reminding my students that having fun should be first and foremost in your class or pole training session. If you are not having fun in your workouts, you are less likely to continue long-term, thus denying yourself all the great physical, emotional and mental benefits of long-term exercise. Plus when you have fun, you smile and laugh, and those two things can change your day!


If you want to get the best from your workouts every session, follow these simple steps every time to make it happen.



Peta Howlett
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Peta Howlett

is a specialist in fitness for both the mind and body. Peta is a qualified personal trainer and frequent speaker and writer for Motivational and Fitness events, columns and blogs.Peta is also the founder and owner of Studio Exclusive Pole Fitness Studios, with two locations in Sydney at Chatswood and Drummoyne.

Peta lives and breathes her passion for building community, improving mind and body fitness, and creating empowered and confident women.She opened her first studio in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since.

Peta combines her extensive experience and specialized knowledge, with her absolute commitment to transforming the minds and bodies of women, to awaken the potential in each and every individual.
Peta Howlett
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