Pole Dancing: The Newest Fitness Craze?

I’m not talking about dancing naked, kids. I’m actually talking about real pole dancing, which has, over the past several years, become one of the hottest fitness trends for both women and men.

According to the US Pole Dance Federation, “Pole dancing is a sensual athletic art form, where creativity meets physical strength.” Bluntly put, pole dancing includes gymnastic and various dance styles such as hip-hop.

There are actually competitions around the country that focus solely on pole dancing as an art.

Don’t believe me? Check out the video below, a compilation of performances at the 2009 US Pole Dancing Competition. (And no, there isn’t any nudity!)

But pole dancing isn’t just for the competitors. Classes have sprung up across the globe that offer to teach basic exotic dance techniques to any and all that are interested in learning. For some, this is a great way to stay motivated to work out and get in shape. While exotic dancing does give a great workout (you’re sure to be sweating buckets after your class), it’s fun. If your form of exercise is actually fun and you enjoy it, you’ll have more motivation to return in the future.

Asbury Park Press interviewed a frequent pole dancer, Sophia Juarez, who says, “It really does give you a workout. I feel it in my abs, my arms. It’s a lot of upper-body work.” And no, Juarez is not a stripper. She’s a part-time student, part-time animal hospital worker who just loves to dance.

And pole dancing isn’t just for women, either. Pay attention, guys! Male-centric pole dancing studios and classes have been popping up across the nation. Crunch Fitness on South Beach is just one gym that has begun a male pole dancing class. Roya Siroospour, Fitness Director at Crunch, recently spoke with Tampa Bay-based WTSP about the recent pole dancing craze. “The pole takes a ton of core strength and upper body strength. It also takes leg strength because you are gripping the poles with your legs and arms,” he said.

Sounds challenging—but fun. If you’re in the market for a new fitness method, give pole dancing a shot.

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