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Summer Workouts with Bad Kitty®

By on June 26, 2017

The summer months bring about new opportunities to exercise in the great outdoors! Here are some of our favorite outdoor workouts that can benefit your pole work:


We all know that polers love their pull-ups! The benefit to your pole work is obvious: increased upper body strength = bad ass pole strength. If your local park doesn’t have a dedicated pull-up bar, try looking to the local park jungle gym! You might get lucky and find some awesome options that will let you do many of the exercises on this list.

If straight pull-ups are tough for you, consider investing in a set of Rubberbanditz (seen in photo example below), or similar rubber workout straps. These can be excellent for training, especially in pull-ups or other exercises that require weight-bearing, as they can be used to take some of the weight and allow you to condition safely.

Planks & Plank Push-Ups

Option 1: Planks on a narrow beam, like a balance beam (a curb or log can also work). Carefully get into a plank position with both hands centered under your torso, at shoulder height, and center one food on the beam. Then, lift the other leg from the hip, keeping it straight. Balance for a 10 count, then switch legs! Repeat until fatigued, OR hold each side until tired before switching to the other side.

Option 2: Plank Push-Ups, done on parallel bars (if you have them), or done on the ground. The bars will force you to balance a bit more, but the ground will work, too.


Skin the Cats

These are a great conditioning activity for your shoulders, and they can be done on pull-up bars, aerial rings, or jungle gyms. To do a skin the cat, you’ll need to grab a bar or rings above the head and lift the legs through the arms, inverting and stacking your torso above the shoulders. Then, with control, try to lower your legs toward your face, pointing the feet toward the ground. Do not overdo it! It can be easy to overstretch the shoulders with this move, and you’ll want to take it slow and steady – even have a spotter, if you can! Ideally, you’ll want to be able to back your body out of this move, coming back through the arms and down the way you began (and this is excellent conditioning), but if you get too far into it, you can also drop to the ground through the shoulders.

Shoulder Shrugs

Another great shoulder exercises for pole and aerial are shoulder shrugs, which can be done from any bar positioned above your head – or even aerial rings! Take care to try to get your hands to be above your shoulders, and not too far in toward each other, or too far outside your shoulder line; also, remember to use the shoulders for the motion, rather than your elbows.

Inverted Sit-Ups

Have access to a pull-up bar? Or a jungle gym? Inverted sit-ups are a great exercise to try! You’ll need to invert and be able to hang comfortably from your knees (remember to point the feet to keep the knee lock safe), and this is an easy one to get a spot on – just have a friend put pressure on the top of your feet, to help lock in your knee grip.

Hand-balanced Leg Lifts

If you want an extra challenge, you can try hand-balanced leg lifts! These require strength and balance through the arms, hands/wrists, and core, in addition to the ab strength to lift the legs. They can be done on parallel bars, or you can also make this a hanging trick and do the lifts while hanging below a bar or aerial rings.

Climbing and Inverting

Climbing and inverting can be done on “fireman” poles at a jungle gym, or if you have access to a rope climb, you can use that, too. The great thing about the rope option is that it usually has more height than a jungle gym pole, which can let you climb higher, but can also let you work on your Circus Climbs, and train both sides! If you just want to train your invert, you can use aerial rings or other appropriate bars, too.


Aerial Rigs & Portable Poles

If you aren’t lucky enough to live in a place that has an outdoor pole like Bondi Beach, or aerial equipment like Santa Monica Beach, it can be tough to do real pole and aerial work outside. But, aerial rigs and portable poles are an option, if you or your friends can afford them! These are pricy, but they’re amazing for working outside in the summer. Just remember that sunscreen and poles don’t always mix, so you may want to invest in a silicone sleeve or grip wrap, to help with your grip and still keep your skin protected (or brave going without sunscreen for the best grip).


No matter how you choose to exercise outside this summer, make sure to rock your Bad Kitty®!

Bad Kitty Blog Editor-in-Chief Claire Sterret with BK Blogger Danielle Christine at Santa Monica Beach. Bra tops and leggings by Bad Kitty

Bad Kitty Blog Editor-in-Chief Claire Sterrett with BK Blogger Danielle Christine at Santa Monica Beach. Bra tops and leggings by Bad Kitty.

Take precautions when trying any and all outdoor exercises described in this post; use good judgement and a spotter whenever possible. All photos taken at Santa Monica Beach, in Santa Monica, CA. Photo credit for all images: Jarad Coats. 

Danielle C.

Danielle C.

Creative entity, cat mom, dog auntie, consumer of too much sugar. Pole and lyra enthusiast, amateur foodie, local explorer. One half of Poleitical Clothing. Read my musings at
Danielle C.

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