Am I too heavy to lift myself up on the pole?

by Sylena

I'm about 190 & I was wondering if I would be able to pick myself up during the Dance. And what all do I need to work on to be able to lift myself?

Susan from PDFF says...

Thanks for the question Sylena.

I'll start by saying that your weight alone is little indication of whether or not you'll be able to lift yourself up on the pole during a dance.

I've address this in other posts, but basically, without knowing your height and your body composition (lean muscle to fat ratio), I don't have an accurate picture of your build, your fitness or your strength. So allow me to generalize somewhat, in the interest of providing some guidance and encouragement.

More than your current body weight, what's most important is your strength. And more accurately, your sport-specific strength.

What I mean by that is that you could be the fastest runner on earth but you may have lousy core and upper body strength, which is mainly what's needed to lift yourself up a dance pole.

As well, keep in mind that even if you were relatively fit and strong in the upper body, if you'd never done any aerial pole work before, you'd still need to train your muscles to execute a specific lift. That's what I mean by sport-specific. So in that sense, you're no worse off than someone who's 5'2" and 110 lbs.

Of course, that brings us to the second part of your question, exactly how to build up the strength needed to lift yourself up a dance pole.

If you don't already have a pole at home, and are looking to prepare for your first class, you'll want to focus on core and upper body strength. I gave some specifics in this popular post, so I'll refer you there for some suggestions for exercises you can do.

If you have a pole at home, and/or are attending classes, you'll be building strength just by practicing moves that require the strength you're trying to build. I know that sounds very Zen-like!

Essentially, what it boils down to is that in order to get better at something, you need to do the thing you want to get better at.

I'll be blunt. At first, you'll probably suck. You sucked at walking when you stood up and tried that for the first time. But hey, now you're so good at it you don't have to give it a second thought, right? I rest my case.

If you still feel that you need some help building pole-specific strength, I made a DVD especially for this. It's not a pole dancing DVD, but rather a program to help you build strength for pole dancing, using a dance pole. You can check it out here if you like.

I hope this helps give you the confidence to get yourself up on that pole Sylena!

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