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Pole dancing is a high-impact workout that requires every inch of muscle in your body.
This is why it’s important to warm your body up before you jump onto the dance pole. Warming up prepares your muscles and reduces the chances of getting injured.
The Importance of Warm-ups
Warm-ups help improve blood circulation in your muscles by gradually increasing your body temperature and speeding up your heart rate. It’s common to experience body aches after the first few sessions in pole dancing. This is because your body is not yet used to the muscle stress the sport brings. By warming up, you can reduce the body pain you may experience after your intense workout.
Effects of Not Warming Up
When you don’t warm-up, you increase your risk of getting injured while pole dancing. You’ll also feel more pain in your muscles due to the shock you give to your body without any warning. Stretching your body too much when it’s not yet ready may also lead to injuries that will force you to rest for a few weeks to a number of months. You surely don’t want this to happen.
Stretching as a Warm-up
It’s advisable to do stretching as part of your post-workout routine. Stretching is best done when your muscles are already warmed up. It’ll be easier to stretch them with lower chances of injuries. However, light stretches are also important during pre-workout which is why they take part in our 10-minute warm-up routine.
The 10-minute Pole Dance Warm-up
We’ve created a 10-minute warm-up exercise every pole dancer can follow. Thorough research and ample work have been put into making this short guide.
Whether you’re already an expert or you’re just a beginner in pole dancing, you’ll surely benefit from this simple pre-workout routine we’ve formulated. Share this with your pole dancing friends to help them as well.
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1) Light Cardio Exercise (2 minutes)
Just like in any other exercise, the first thing you should do when you warm-up is to give your heart rate a boost. You can do anything you’re comfortable with as long as you can do it for at least 2 minutes without taking a break. This length should be enough to warm up your muscles and keep your blood pumping.
Here are a few ideas you can do for your 2-minute cardio warm-up:
- Jumping jacks
- Step aerobics
- Skipping rope (You can still do this without the actual rope!)
- Punching while jogging
- Stationary bike
You can spice things up by mixing any of these within 2 minutes. You can do jumping jacks for the first 20 seconds, then proceed with skipping rope for another 20 seconds and then jogging on the spot for the final 20 seconds to complete a minute of your warm-up. You can repeat this or do a different mix for the next minute.
Remember, the goal is to sweat, increase your heart rate, and warm your muscles up. Avoid doing intensive exercises that can instantly deplete your energy levels during this phase.
2) Medium Cardio Exercise (1 minute)
After your 2-minute warm-up, continue your last activity for 1 more minute. This time, however, you have to speed up your pace to up to twice as fast as your previous pacing.
After a minute of doing this, you’ll surely be sweating and your muscles will all be ready for heavier exercises. It’ll now be easier for you to perform your main routine as compared to when you go straight onto the pole.
3) Joint Rotation (3 minutes)
Pole dancing is an intensive, full-body exercise. It puts a lot of tension on the joints, hastening wear-and-tear if preparations are not made properly. Warm-ups help loosen the joints and stretch them enough to the reduce damage caused by sudden stress.
Starting from your head, slowly rotate each and every joint in your body. Here’s a short guide you can follow:
1. Rotate your neck slowly, moving it around in circles. Relax your neck and keep it from getting too tensed while doing this. Rotate a few times in one direction and then do the same in the opposite direction.
2. Roll forward your shoulders for a few times and then roll them backward.
3. Put your arms above your head. Swing forward your arms, making large circles in the process. After a few repetitions, do the same process but in the opposite direction, similar to how you do a backstroke.
4. Do the same exercise in number 3. But this time, swing forward only one arm while swinging the other backward.
5. While holding your arms out in front, gently twist your wrists in a circular motion
6. Rest your hands on your knees and do a circular movement with your knees as if you’re playing a hula hoop. Do it in the opposite direction afterward.
7. Grab something solid. Your pole or door frame will do. While holding the pole for support, slowly bend one of your knees towards your chest. From that position, slowly extend it upwards and stretch it until your toes are pointing at the ceiling. Slowly return your leg to the starting position and do it again using your other leg.
Remember to not ëflick’ your leg up just to complete this exercise. You’ll get the best results when you do this in a gentle and controlled manner.
8. Move each of your ankles in a circular motion.
Now that we’re done with the joint warm-ups, let’s get to exercises that will help condition your muscles for the pole.
4) Crunches and sit-ups (1 minute)
Many people think they’re properly doing their crunches, only to notice that they’re not strengthening anything after several repetitions of this exercise. Poor form is the most common mistake people do.
When doing crunches, ensure that you don’t strain your neck. Avoid using it to pull your whole body up. Try staring at the ceiling without letting your head drop every time you do your crunches.
Doing crunches is not a race. It doesn’t matter how many you can do in a minute. As long as you do it properly and slowly, you’re good. For first-timers, we expect you to complete around 20-25 crunches.
5) Squats – Strengthen your legs (1 minute)
Similar to crunches, proper form and technique are required in this exercise. When you squat, make sure to keep your back straight while you lower your butt. Your goal is to achieve a pose similar to your position when sitting on a toilet. Make sure your knees don’t get past your toes. Keep practicing this to improve your overall balance.
Again, it’s not a race to determine who can do the most number of squats. It’s best to take it slow and in the proper form. In fact, the slower you do your squats (and crunches), the greater their impact on your muscles.
6) Plank – Work the abdominal (1 minute)
Planking has a lot of benefits. Try holding yourself up for at least a minute. You can either do a bent arm or a straight arm plank for this exercise. Remember to keep your butt low and your back as straight as possible to achieve optimal effect.
After the exercise, you’ll feel the burning sensation in your arms and core muscles. These muscles are the most used body parts during pole dancing. This is why planking is an ideal exercise to help strengthen them.
To close our warm-up routine, a light stretching would suffice.
7) Light stretching (1 minute)
After giving your muscles a jolt, it’s best to gently stretch them. You only have to stretch these muscles for a few seconds.
Deep stretching is part of the cool down process which is usually done after you’re finished with your workout routine.
Here are some light stretches you can do:
1. Put your arms across your chest and stretch them.
2. Put your arms in front and stretch out your wrists.
3. For your back and stomach, do the cow or cat yoga poses
4. For your calves, start by putting down your palms flat on the floor. Walk backward until you feel that stretch on your calves. When this happens, push your heels into the floor.
5. For your hamstrings, sit in a straddling V-position. Gently lean forward until your elbows touch the floor.
6. Stretch your neck by tilting it to one side. Use your hand to add a small resistance when you lightly stretch your neck.
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There you go! All in all, that’s a total of 10 minutes. Your body should be more than ready to hop onto the pole after you’re done with this routine.
Which of these exercises is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.