How to warm up for pole class – at home and at the studio

A proper warm up is necessary in order to avoid injury. It also "wakes up" your muscles to prepare them for the activity you are about to participate in.

In order for a warm up to be effective, it must last at least 8-10 minutes and be sufficient to increase your heart rate and blood flow to your organs and muscles. Your heart rate and body temperature will be increased to bring more blood flow to your muscles and organs, warming them so that your body is ready to begin your workout safely.

Note: Students who arrive at class having "just left" working out at the gym are not still "warmed up" as their heart rate will have slowed down and their body temperature have returned to normal. Additionally, you should have done a proper cool down before you even left the gym!

The warm up:

8-10 minutes of aerobic and limbering movement utilizing ALL areas of the body as pole dancing uses ALL parts of the body.

Limbering movement: Full range of motion of all parts of your body. This is simply moving all your body parts around fully in all directions, without stretching, to get them limber and warmed up.

*Stretching should never be done until the body is fully warmed up. Short static stretches of less than 20 seconds each (non-moveing stretching) might be done after the heart rate and body temperature has been increased toward the end of your warm up.

  • Breathing – in through the nose and out through the mouth. Reach your arms up overhead as you breath in and bring them back down to your sides as you exhale. Repeat x 2
  • Roll down your spine – dropping your chin to your chest and fold your spine slowly forward until your hands reach the floor or until your hands are as close to the floor as possible. Slowly roll back up. Repeat x 2
  • Isolated rolls/circles of the head, shoulders, wrists, elbows, ribs, hips, knees and ankles.
    (Note: only drop the head and circle forward. Do not circle to the back – looking up at ceiling. Instead, lift your chin straight up dropping your head back and look directly at the ceiling. Gently close your mouth, stretching under the chin, then relax and return your head to upright position)
  • Lengthening full body movements such as arm swings or full circles from shoulders, leg swings, reaching and bending sideways, twisting at the torso


Are you ready for class/dance?

Do you feel limber and loosened up? Is your heart rate up? Are you warm or are you still feeling chilled?

Remember, if you stop moving for more than 5-10 minutes your body can cool down and you are back at risk for injury! Stay moving and stay warm even when it's not your turn on the pole!

"Movement Rehearsal"
is an effective way of limbering and preparing for activity. Rehearsal is the same movement you will be doing during your dance or exercise but at a slower, less intense pace. Pole dancing without lifting into spins or inverts but simply slow grounded movements is an effective warm up if done for the proper length of time. This is also a great way to warm up before you dance at home!


Cooling Down

Cooling down helps your body slow effectively so that your heart rate and blood pressure do not drop rapidly after vigorous exercise. If you have just finished dancing and are breathing hard – don't just sit down and STOP moving. Keep moving over on the side of the class room until your heart rate has slowed down and you have cooled off a bit and you feel more comfortable to avoid dizziness or stress on your heart/body.

After class stop to do a bit of stretching before you leave. This will help alleviate potential injury and lessen muscle soreness the next day. These stretches should include all areas of the body and last for less than 20 seconds on each part.