My Typical Pole Workout

While many people are able to go to classes, a lot of people pole by themselves. It can be difficult to stay focused, motivated or to see any improvements. I wanted to give you an insight into the typical pole workout that I do when I’m poling alone to see how our workouts differ. While my personal workout may not suit everyone, its perfect for me!


I find warm-ups very important – otherwise I know I’ll pull a muscle or be in pain the next day. I usually cycle 20 mins or walk 40 mins to the studio just to get my body moving. In the studio I warm up every part of my body individually:

  • Head – Looking up and down, left to right and head rolls.
  • Shoulders – Roll backwards, roll forwards.
  • Arms – Circle the arms back and forwards and swing around the front and back of the body.
  • Isolations – Chest, hips and bum – front, right, back, left etc.
  • Leg stretches – Lunging forward, leaning down for a further stretch, splits – normal and box.
  • Upside down stretches – I always do a headstand against the pole, hook one foot over it and try to bring the other foot towards the ground.
  • Other stretches – Some days I feel parts of my body need more of a stretch so I make sure I do this as well.
  • Sit ups – Usually a few hundred – only takes a few minutes. I do normal sit ups, side sits up, ones with my legs up, some with my legs on the floor, some with cycling legs, and normal sit ups to finish. I do 10 reps of each on both sides, 3 times through with a  small rest in between sets.


Every time I workout, I know which moves I’m going to try.  I always start my workout with spins as it gets my body warmed up and ready for a proper pole workout. I choose different spins but make sure that I do them through a couple of times and always do them on both sides. The great thing about doing spins this way is that it takes the pressure off learning them. Your weaker hand will naturally get stronger and you will get better at the spins – almost with out trying.

I usually keep my socks on until trying new or advanced moves that I need grip for. This is partly because the floor I use can be tough on the feet. It also makes my arms work harder on some of the climbs and spins that I do. This can be quite dangerous and so may not be advisable!

I then usually do a few easier climbs and upside down moves. Usually a pole climb to sit to cross leg release to pencil pose and down.

Once I feel warmed up I start working on the moves I want to improve on. I usually do each move 3 or 4 times on each side and move on to a different move. The moves I am currently working on improving are:

If I ever feel frustrated, in pain or need a rest, I either stretch or I go back to my spins. Spins are moves I enjoy and can always do, so it is nice to go back to them in times of frustration. I’ll usually try and workout for about an hour – sometimes this isn’t always possible so I really have to make the most of the time that I do have.

Cool Down / Stretching

It is very important to stretch after working out as this is the time your flexibility will improve and stretching will make a great difference.

  • Arms – I place one hand on the pole, with my arm straight and turn my body away to feel a stretch.
  • Arms and back – I place my hands on the pole at hip height and walk back until my arms and back are in a straight line.
  • Shoulders and back – I place my hands on the pole as if shoulder mounting and walk my feet behind the pole and look up to feel the stretch.
  • Leg stretches – lunging forward, leaning down for a further stretch, splits – normal and box.

Post Pole Workout

If I have enough time I like to go for a run just to get the heart pumping and to work up a sweat. I then either have my cycle or walk back home. I try to workout in the studio 3 or 4 times a week. I also have my pole up at home so I can always try out a move or two.

What Is Your Pole Workout Like?

I tend to stick to the same type of workout – warm-up, spins, work on moves, cool down stretches. This seems to work well for me. Do you pole in the same way or is your workout very different? Let me know!

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Comments From the PoleFreaks Community:

  1. Wow! You do a LOT. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that my workout is about 100 notches easier than yours. I need to work harder.
    I must admit that I’m terrible at practicing on my opposite side. In fact, today at my lesson we worked on static (which I never do) and on opposite side. It was VERY difficult and I’m already sore.
    I guess I just got lazy. Now, I regret not having been working on the opposite side. Everything was much more difficult on static too.
    Now I have a couple new challenges.. Static and opposites.

    I’m going to try your sock trick, too. Makes sense. 

    Thanks for sharing this. Makes me realize I need to learn proper warm ups and cool downs, along with retraining my body to be able to do both sides.

  2. I have most definitely learnt from my mistakes! It is sometimes hard to see the importance of working with both sides of the body..

    A long way back I wasn’t very well and took a few months off pole classes. I came back to find they did a quick warm-up routine which was made up of a few easy spins BUT they did the routine twice – so they could practise with both sides of the body. It felt like taking a massive step back having to remaster a move I had already learnt but on a different side… it was not a good feeling, so now I always train on both sides.

    I don’t often enjoy warm-ups and cool downs… I like to just get on the pole and try tricks. This way gave me quite a few aches and pains that could have been sorted out by a proper warm-up.

    When I upped my pole training for competitions I worked out a lot more (twice a day!) but found this made my shoulders and back ache a lot. I had to go to a physio who said that I had got so many knots and built up stress and tension that my shoulder blades were like rocks – and not from muscles. She also said that I was lucky to still have as much flexibility with my head and neck due to this. I instantly got scared and was shown many stretches to sort me out and stop this building up even more. I have never looked back. She also noticed that my right side was built up so much more than my left – my early pole days coming back to haunt me!

    I honestly didn’t realise the importance of having a good warm-up and cool down until recently and I’m glad I’m on the right track to looking after myself.. and my back!

    1. Stretching is so difficult for me… Although I know it’s a MUST.
      I’ve also noticed my right side being a lot tighter than my wrong side (haha).

      I’m certainly going to ALWAYS work my wrong side from now on…

  3. I’ve been sitting in on a beginners course to see what they teach and I’ve found some of the moves challenging because I have either forgotten them or I had only bothered to learn I do the move on one side! Yup!
    So I’ve realised that sometimes it’s good to go back to basics and re challenge myself that way too!
    I had a pole at home (until I moved recently) but I never used it unless I needed a picture of something for my blog! …now I have a studio nearby that I can use anytime so I hope that motivates me to get some more pole time in! 😉

  4. I started pole dance 3 months ago. My work out is very similar to yours, and I tend to see improvements quickly. My only real difference is that after working on my current list of “work on”, I actually do about 25 to 30 minutes of dancing (that includes spins/sits/etc that I already mastered) and then I cool down.

  5. hi holly i’m a pole dancer from brazil and i’ve been following pole freaks for a while now. i particularly like your workout tips, so this post is already bookmarked for life hehe :p

    since reading workout stuff in english is kinda new to me, i’m not sure if i understood what kind of exercise are the spins, i mean translation wise. so could you give me some visual tips of what it is exactly?

    thanks in advance! 😉

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