Get the Right Heel Height
A big part of pole dancing is the shoes. Not only are they fun to wear and make you look gorgeous and sensual as you dance, but they also help with your performance. The sky-high heels are often intimidating to beginners, but there are many reasons to take the first step to wear them.
Taller shoes help you get higher on the pole more quickly. This will help you to perform inversions at a greater height. Higher platforms are also heavier. They act as a counterweight for your spins and give you extra momentum. They also help you achieve a deeper stretch when doing tricks because they weigh your foot down. The heel and platform also help your legs to look extra long and sexy!
Find the Right Shoe Material
If your routine includes a lot of climbing and inversions, make sure to choose shoes that stick to the pole to make them easier. Vinyl and patent leather shoes have good grip — something you need when you’re hanging upside down! Boots are stickier than sandals, if only because they have more material to hold the pole with.
Avoid soft leather and suede, as these materials provide no grip and will make climbing very difficult. Also, don’t wear shoes with metal studs or clasps if you do pole work. These can scratch up the pole and make it harder to use. They can also end up scraping your arms or legs during a trick. If you do want a specific look in your shoe, for example as part of a costume, make sure to design your tricks and routine around what will work with that shoe.
Best-Selling Pleaser Shoes For Dancers
Our Flamingo-808 heels are one of our best-selling shoes. They feature an 8” heel with a 4” platform and made of vinyl to easily stick to the pole. Choose from a wide array of colors to match all of your favorite outfits. They are available in women’s sizes 5-12. For boots, we recommend the Flamingo-1020. They feature the same 8” heel and 4” platform of the 808s, but with the additional stability that boots provide.
Be sure to check out our blog on the best shoes for floor work if your work or routine includes that style of dance!
Get Fit and Strong
It’s no secret that pole dancing is physically demanding. To perform well, you need great upper body strength and a strong core, not just the right shoes. You’ll need arm and back strength to climb the pole and your core to hold poses.
Start with a strong core. Since your abs are your holding and stabilizing muscles in pole work, you need to practice isometric ab exercises. Planks are a good starting point. Rest your forearms and toes on the mat and press up. Hold your body in a plank position for as long as you can. Work up to a full minute of plank for each rep. You can also incorporate side planks, which exercise your obliques and lower back. For a side plank, balance on one hand or forearm and raise the other arm up to the sky while stacking your feet.
Another series of good ab workouts are the hollow body hold, boat pose, and V sit. All three of these exercises involve your body balancing on your butt with your arms and legs out. For a hollow body hold, rest your whole back on the floor while holding your arms above your head and your legs out. In boat pose, you sit just on your butt with your knees bent and lower legs out straight, and your arms reaching past your knees. For a V sit, it’s nearly the same, but your legs are straight.
Work Your Upper Body
Don’t forget to exercise your upper body, too! Stay on the floor and do a set of push-ups and a set of tricep dips. Tricep dips are like upside-down push-ups. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor and lean back with your hands pointing towards your feet. Push up and down. Try not to rest your butt on the ground.
Then, grab some weights or water bottles and practice bicep curls. Hold one water bottle or weight in each hand with your arms straight down, then take turns bending at the elbow and pulling up to your shoulder. Work your triceps by stretching your arms straight above your head then bending at your elbows so your hands are by your neck. Hold a weight between your hands and do reps of straightening your arms and folding back down.
Recover After Hard Work
Just like any exercise, you need to cool down, recover, and relax after pole dancing or home workouts. Do light stretching to relieve muscle tightness. You can even try a gentle yoga or restorative yoga class, sometimes called yin yoga.
Foam rollers provide a light massage for tight muscles. Put one on the floor and lay your back on top of it and roll slowly back and forth. You can also use them under your legs and arms.
Heat helps sore muscles, too. After a particularly strenuous workout, treat yourself to a hot bath with Epsom salts, which are known for their restorative properties. Even a nice, hot shower can help after a night on the pole. You can also invest in a heating pad for relieving especially sore muscle groups.
Make sure you take time to yourself and relax, because, before you know it, you’ll be back on that pole!