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Alternative WorkOut of the Week: Pole Dancing

July 5, 2011

Remember when Carmen Electra started hawking a stripper-pole and pole dancing became a workout craze? Well, it’s  become a mainstream fitness activity and is marketed as a “way to improve their confidence and self-esteem while building strength and grace.” This workout helps you

  • build and tone muscle
  • burn calories for weight loss
  • increase your flexibility to help prevent injuries
  • and improve body awareness to help you look and feel your best

There are group pole dancing classes offered now in most cities, private lessons that you can easily find online, and DVDs available if you happen to have your own pole just hanging around and you’re ready to put it to good use.

I will confess that once upon a whim, I decided to try a pole dancing class while living in Missouri. I somehow connived my lesbian roommate into joining me and upon arriving at the studio, we knew we had made a bad decision. Most of the women in our class were well-prepared with heels and tiny outfits, as we stood cowering in the corner in our workout clothes and sneakers. And let me just say: this mess is much Much MUCH harder than it looks. Almost every pole exercise the instructor had us do I found virtually incomprehensible for my body and it was impossible to keep myself from cracking up at my own buffoonery. I came away from that class with a ridiculous amount of bruises all over my body (and to my ego), almost no dignity, and a very distinct sense of failure as a woman and ‘sexual being.’

But, if that sounds enjoyable for you, then by all means have at it! It is an incredibly toning and strength oriented work out, and you may just discover that pole dancing is your calling! A work out to make your mother proud.

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