Male pole dancers are often overlooked as pole dancing is culturally associated with women. However, as form of fitness pole dancing is for everyone – men included.
- Can Men Attend Pole Dancing Classes?
- Want to become an amazing pole dancer?
- Which Pole Tricks Should Men Learn?
- Things For Male Pole Dancers To Consider
- Your Body Hair
- Your Strength As A Male Pole Dancer
- Your Flexibility
- Your Lower Body As A Male Pole Dancer
- What Do Male Pole Dancers Wear?
- Final Thoughts
In fact, modern pole dancing is highly influenced by 800+ year old sports such as Mallakhamb and Chinese Pole which were exclusively performed by men for hundreds of years!
In this blog post, we will share loads of helpful pole dancing tips for men and also provide you with all the information that you need to get started.
You will learn:
- How to find a suitable studio where you can learn pole dancing in a suitable environment
- What to wear as a male pole dancer
- How to condition your muscles for pole dancing
- Specific tips for men who are learning to pole dance
Whether you’re new to pole dancing or have been practicing for a while, we hope that this post will provide some useful tips and inspiration for your pole fitness journey.
Can Men Attend Pole Dancing Classes?
YES! Men can pole dance too! Men can attend pole dancing classes but it’s important that you find a studio who offers mixed classes where men can attend.
Many pole dance studios offer classes to women, but allowing men into classes may make it difficult for some women to attend.
Due to the nature of pole dancing, bare skin is required to grip the pole so lots of women wear very few clothes in pole class because they feel safe to do so in an all-female space.
Therefore, as a male pole dancer, you’ll have to enquire at your local studio to find out whether there are mixed classes or male-only classes for you.
When you think of pole dancing classes, you’re probably imagining an all-female affair. I first started teaching pole dancing in 2011 – all my classes were female only for the first 18 months.
However, men started signing up for lessons and there were several existing female students whose religion prevented them from attending mixed workout classes, so we had to arrange a schedule of classes that was inclusive for everyone.
Your studio should do the same.
Alternatively – you could ask about 1-2-1 lessons, but this may be more expensive than joining a group class.
Find A Suitably Qualified Instructor
As a male pole dancer who is at the beginning of your pole journey, you’ll definitely want to find an instructor who is experienced in teaching other men this sport.
Even better if you can find another male pole dancing instructor!
You should start by enquiring at local gyms and dance studios to find a suitable instructor.
There are several male pole dancing instructors on the Open Dance Academy Online Pole Dancing Course, which is well-worth checking out and even comes with lifetime access.
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Which Pole Tricks Should Men Learn?
It is important to recognize that both men and women can benefit from the physical and mental challenges of pole dancing and that it is a form of fitness that is suitable for everyone.
Although pole dancing is often associated with tricks that accentuate the female body, almost all pole dancing tricks are suitable for both men and women to perform.
There are not ‘set’ tricks for men and ‘set’ tricks for women – we can all learn any pole trick if we work hard enough at perfecting our form and technique 😉
Things For Male Pole Dancers To Consider
Once you’ve found a class, here are a few other things for you to consider before you get started:
Your Body Hair
Body hair is a bigger issue with men while pole dancing than it is for women.
Gripping the pole creates friction that helps you hold onto it, but body hair can reduce this friction and make it more difficult to grip the pole.
Also, gripping the pole can pull on your body hair slightly, especially if it’s on the longer side, this can be uncomfortable.
Hair in your armpit, around the nipples and on the back of your head are potential hazards when performing tricks on the pole.
In fact, your body hair may become a hazard, as it’s extremely painful when your hair gets pulled due to grip on the pole!
See also: Hair removal methods for dancers – which is the best?
What can you do?
Our advice is to trim any longer patches of body hair that cause you discomfort when using the pole.
Be aware that hair removal methods such as shaving, waxing, plucking and laser can cause immediate irritation, ingrown hairs and other issues that can affect your comfort when using the pole.
Your Strength As A Male Pole Dancer
Men generally have a higher level of natural body strength, which can allow you to see quick results and progress in completing certain moves.
However, it’s important to remember that proper form and technique are also crucial for success in pole dancing.
Even with a higher level of natural strength, taking the time to focus on proper form and technique can help ensure that you are able to complete moves safely and effectively.
Throwing yourself into a move to check it off your list is not the right thing to do – even if you have plenty of upper body strength to start with.
Take your time and go slowly into each trick or spin, concentrating on hand placement, points of contact and your body position at the same time.
As women take longer to build the strength to perform moves, they have the advantage of being able to work on their form technique as they grow.
Try to not rely solely on upper body strength and remember to perfect the technique correctly, according your your instructor’s guidance.
See also: Classic pole dancing tricks for all beginners to learn
How To Condition Your Body For Pole Dancing
Besides trimming your leg hair – there are a few other things you can do as a male pole dancer to prepare your body.
Here are some exercises for you to start doing a few weeks before your first pole dancing class to condition your muscles.
These are all bodyweight exercises and do not require any equipment.
- Pull-ups: Pull-ups are a classic exercise for building upper body strength, particularly in the upper back and arms, which you’ll be using a lot when you’re pole dancing
- Push-ups: Push-ups can also help to build strength in the upper body.
- Planks: Planks are a great exercise for building core strength and stability, which you’ll definitely need as a male pole dancer!
If you already go to the gym – it’s also a good idea to include any exercises that target the muscles used in pole dancing, such as the latissimus dorsi (lats), biceps, triceps, and core muscles.
Work on your flexibility by stretching regularly, this will be essential in allowing you to pull of some of the more movement based pole rather than just strength orientated.
Stretching is a must, mens bodies – while naturally stronger – are not as flexible as a woman’s body.
Having strong and flexible hip flexors are key to success on the pole.
The hip flexor muscles are an important area to work on if you want to get more flexible. They are the Holy Grail; the “hidden survival muscle” in your body that will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked. If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, then we are healthy.
The #1 Hip Mobility Stretch Mistake
See also: Learn How To Unlock Your Hip Flexors
Your Lower Body As A Male Pole Dancer
Pole dancing isn’t all about upper body strength! Many pole tricks are full-body exercises that will use your core and leg muscles too.
You’ll also probably notice that many pole tricks involve having your hips and groin dangerously close to the pole. So, it’s normal to be concerned about your ‘junk’!
In fact, it’s quite common for women to hit their pubic bone on the pole when learning new tricks (especially spins) so the chance of this happening is similar for both men and women!
However, there is an added risk for men when spinning on the pole that a knock or a squish in the wrong place can be seriously painful!
Protecting Your Junk
For male pole dancers, it’s best to tip your hips back slightly when performing highly dynamic movements and spins on the pole.
Some men pole dancers also wear a jock strap or dance belt for extra protection from pole related groin injuries!
If you didn’t already know, men actually sweat more than women. But, this is down to more than just hormones alone.
As a man, you have a higher natural muscle mass than women do.
More muscle mass = more heat when working out.
Too much sweat can cause problems when pole dancing as it makes it much harder to grip the pole. However, a small amount of sweat can actually be a good thing if you have very dry skin.
Fortunately, grip aid products exist!
Best Grip Aid Product For Male Pole Dancers
If sweat is your main problem affecting your grip then there are few different grip aid products that can help:
However if you have dry skin and want a grip aid product that feels tacky, you can try:
You can also apply certain grip aids to the pole itself if you don’t want to apply powders or lotions to your skin.
Grip aid is required for so many different sports, including most sports with a bat or racket, also climbing, weightlifting and golf.
Pole dancing grip aids are not exactly a gendered product, and we’ve written extensively about grip aids on this website and we’ve reviewed dozens of different pole grip products.
If you’re a male pole dancer who is concerned about excessive sweating or grip problems then you should definitely check out these articles!
What Do Male Pole Dancers Wear?
As a male pole dancer you can wear whatever clothes you feel comfortable in while working out on the pole.
As a general rule, pole dancing requires bare arms and bare legs from the thigh down.
Male pole dancers usually wear gym shorts or cycling shorts with a workout vest or basketball top. When it comes to pole dancing footwear, barefoot is the top choice for men.
You may want to wear sneakers and a hoodie during the warm up and cool down portions of the class.
Pole dancing as a sport is well-suited for both men and women. Men tend to have natural levels of upper body strength which means you’ll be able to progress with strength-based tricks fairly quickly.
However, you’ll also have to work on your flexibility, core strength and legs in order to perform the full range of pole dancing tricks, spins and combos.
As you progress, be sure to pay attention to proper form and technique, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance from more experienced dancers.
Above all, have fun and enjoy your pole journey!
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