This pole stretch can help you gain flexibility in the hips, hamstrings, adductors (inner thigh) and low back. And of course, if a side split is on your bucket list, it will definitely help with that! Some people call this a pole V stretch because of the shape made by your legs.
Start this pole stretch by sitting on the floor facing your dance pole with your legs comfortably wide apart in a V, and your knees straight.
Sit close enough so that you can easily reach your pole without rounding your back, then grasp it with both hands at about chest height.
Sit tall, relax your shoulders, and keep your back straight. Imagine that your tail bone is attached to a string that's gently pulling it toward the ceiling.
Now that you're in a comfortable starting position, slowly and gradually pull your upper body towards the pole.
Focus on keeping your back straight, your shoulders down, and on bending from the hips so that your body "folds" forward.
Think of bringing your body forward toward the pole rather than down towards the floor.
Depending on which muscles are tightest, you may feel this pole stretch in your inner thighs, your hamstrings (back of the legs), and/or your lower back and hips. Wherever you feel it, remember that stretching should always feel good. If it's painful, or you're holding your breath, ease up a bit! Flexibility takes time to develop, so be nice to yourself as you develop in this area.
When you reach the point where you can feel a comfortable stretch, hold that position for 30 seconds. Continue to breathe and relax into the stretch. Then release and relax for 15 seconds before repeating once or twice more.
Depending on your current level of flexibility, you may not be able to bring your body very close to the pole. That's OK! As you practice this stretch regularly, you will soon see noticeable improvement.
This set of Pole Dancing Fitness DVDs has more pole stretches, plus cardio and toning exercises too!
If you're already quite flexible, you may need to move farther away from the pole so that you have more room to bring your body forward. Once you can come forward as far as possible, then you can start moving your hands lower to bring your body towards the floor.
Using your dance pole to perform this stretch allows you to maintain proper form and get the most out of it. For many people who need to improve flexibility in these areas, doing this stretch correctly without something to hold onto can be difficult.
This is because it can be a real challenge to keep your back straight and move into the stretch position without something to help you maintain correct form, and to provide support.