I am always open to new experiences and I find it integral that we must constantly push ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally, to be able to grow as people and become a stronger person. I try to adopt this attitude in all aspects of my life. I am known by my friends and family as: “the adventurous one”, and so I was the first person my friend came to when she wanted to try out a new fitness regime: Pole Fitness.
When most people hear the word “Pole,” they immediately associate this word with pole dancing, seduction and strippers. Telling my group of friends a week later after I tried the class, caused this reaction: “Oh that’s a bit saucy Vicky,” and “Are you training to be a stripper then?” Yes, I’m not going to lie, I am pretty damn good at winding and grinding around one, but being on one? No way. But, this is not the case with Pole Fitness. The emphasis of what this class entails is on the latter half of the title, “Fitness”. I stressed that the class was not about dancing, but rather about balance and core body strength, much to their disappointment.
Turning up at the class with my friend, I felt out of my depth. We first were taken through a series of exercises “to warm up” which in the past, when I did little exercise, I would have struggled with. However, now I have started running and enjoy exercise (feel free to look at my previous post on running) I was eager to start work on the pole.
Being the only beginners in the class, myself and my friend chose to be at the back where we were taken through the introductory steps to pole fitness; which involved swivelling around the pole by hooking one leg and spinning with the other, as well as balancing against the pole whilst doing the splits, upside down. These were the introductory steps. You can imagine my horror that these were the simplest tasks of the whole class. At first I began to laugh to myself out of sheer desperation when imitating these moves from the instructor. I felt like the ugly duckling compared to the graceful swans that I was surrounded by, elegantly balancing mid-air with straight legs poised.
We were assured by the instructor who led the class that it would just take commitment and practice to get to where the others were. Pole Fitness is all about muscles and your core body strength, as you learn to hold up your entire body weight on a pole, sometimes just with your thigh! The instructor then went on to tell us that men were lucky because of their advantage of strength, which can be used well within Pole fitness, “but they’re not as flexible as us so certain moves are different, but they can hold the strength stuff so much longer and it’s really impressive when they do it.” Within Pole Fitness, both men and women play on their various assets, strength and flexibility, to excel in certain areas with this sport.
Speaking to other members after the class, Ziggy said that she could notice a massive improvement in the whole of her body: “I’ve got abs now, my arms are no longer bingo wings, my legs are a lot more stronger and firmer”, whilst Ellen, another member stated, “I have never enjoyed exercise ever. I don’t like sports- “traditional sports,” but I love doing this”.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the class, I learnt a lot about the physicality behind such a sport and would recommend it to anyone who wants to develop their muscles and strength, or just want to try something new. It definitely is interesting and exciting, as you create beautiful shapes with your body and the pole, as well as getting fit at the same time. Although I have not returned to the class, my friend has and does so every week, with enthusiasm and an aim to reach a new target on a new move. If you feel like sports isn’t necessarily “your thing”, think again. Maybe you’re just thinking of “traditional sports”, think outside the box and try something new, like Pole Fitness. Even if you never return and you giggle throughout, at least you have had the experience of trying it.