CORE: THE FOUNDATION OF POLE DANCERS’ STRENGTH

Blog #2 of 7 in series by Angelica Avolio

Pole dance is a highly technical sport, with a combination of static isometric work and dynamic spins. And both require you to have an incredibly strong core to be executed correctly and with proper form. So if you decided to sign yourself up for a pole fitness competition, you need to make sure you dedicate some time to strengthen your core, which is not the same as strengthening your abdominals. In this article we will explore the difference between abdominal and core training, the importance of developing a strong core and how to do it.

superman pose at the minnesota pole competitions

ABDOMINAL VS CORE TRAINING: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

Abdominal training may appear to be the same as core training, but between the two there are some fundamental distinctions that can make a difference in overall core strength. In fact, abdominal training is focussed on developing the more superficial muscles on the abdominal wall – essentially those muscles that give us a visible six pack! But developing these is not enough to improve your overall core strength. In fact, core training focuses on developing the strength of the more internal muscles of our abdominal wall, which is what ultimately gives us strength. 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A STRONG CORE?

Having a strong core, in general, allows us to keep our upper body up, keeps our organs in place and supports us through breathing along with the diaphragm. In pole dance however, it does much more. This sport in fact, as mentioned above, is highly technical, and part of its complexity is due to the strength required to perform different skills, including spins, inverts and combos. In an invert for instance, you are required to get yourself upside-down on the pole by kicking your legs up on the pole – now, when you’re new to them you can help yourself by using the momentum, however, as you progress, it will ultimately be your core strength that allows your legs to be moved up and link to the pole. And don’t forget the static poses when you’re spinning! You must keep your body in an isometric hold flawlessly as it spins around. Not so easy, especially if your core is weak!

vortex pole move at the minnesota pole competitions

HOW TO WORK ON YOUR CORE STRENGTH

If you are getting ready for a competition and want to perfect your combos and tricks to wow the judges, then you need to improve your core strength or at least keep working on it. A great exercise to strengthen your inner abdominal wall muscles, is to perform weighed planks, weighed sit ups or hanging leg raises. However, these muscle also get stimulated when performing strength training exercises, such as squats, lunges or even standing over head presses. 


As you could see from this article, developing a strong core is vital to get better at pole dance, especially if you are training for a competitive event where you will be judged on your performance. If you improve your core strength, you are also likely to see an improvement in your tricks execution and you will also be able to progress faster in your pole fitness journey. 


REFERENCES

Esteban-García, P., Rubio-Arias, J.Á., Abián-Vicen, J., Sánchez-Infante, J. and Jiménez-Díaz, J.F., 2020. Core Stability and Electromyographic Activity of the Trunk Musculature in Different Woman’s Sports. Sustainability, 12(23), p.9880.

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