Home » Pole Dancing Tips » How to get Upper-Body Strength for Pole Dancing

How to get Upper-Body Strength for Pole Dancing

Upper body strength for pole dancing

This article may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission if you use one of these links to make a purchase. Read the full disclosure.

Pole dancing certainly requires a lot of upper-body strength. Actually, it is a complete full-body workout! Pole dancing works your upper-body, core and your legs to help you build strength quickly.

Many people often think that they can’t learn pole dancing because they’re just not strong enough.

We hear this a lot, it’s very common for those who are keen to learn, think that they need at least some existing natural strength, to begin with.

This is simply not true.

Sure, having some natural strength or having gained strength through doing another form of workout can certainly be beneficial, but it doesn’t matter if you’re not super strong when you’re just getting started.

Regular pole dance sessions will help you build strength over time – but there’s definitely no need to overdo it, especially if you’re a beginner.

In this article, you will learn…

    • How to improve your general fitness and your overall upper body strength
    • Different upper body exercises you can incorporate into your fitness regime
    • Why you need to focus on the entire upper body, not just arms, for pole dancing strength
    • How to perform upper body workouts at home or in a gym and weight-training to get stronger faster
    • How to take safety precautions to avoid injuries while building your upper body strength for pole dancing

    As a beginner pole dancer, it’s unlikely that you’ll have your own pole to practice with in-between classes straight away. It’s a good idea to invest in your own dance pole, but that’s not always an option for people when they’re just getting started.

    However, there are loads of other exercises you can do at home to get stronger and subsequently progress with your pole dancing journey.

    This is called conditioning your muscles.

    Conditioning means that you’re preparing your muscles, or training them to get better at pole dancing.

    Upper-body strength is only a part of what you need to be a good pole dancer. Pole dancing is a full-body workout, so you need to think about strengthening your entire body.

    Pole dancing on a regular basis will help you gain all-over strength, including your upper-body.

    How to Build Upper-Body Strength for Pole Dancing

    Here are our tips for building your upper-body strength to help you become a better pole dancer.

    1. Improve your General Fitness

    As a beginner pole dancer, now is a good a time to think about your overall fitness. All forms of exercise will help your progress on the pole.

    There so many workouts to compliment your pole fitness work, such as yoga, cross fit, weight training, circuits and cardio.

    Incorporate exercises for your upper-body into your new fitness regime.

    Related: Is ‘Twisted Grip’ Bad For You?

    2. Eat Healthy Foods

    It may seem boring, but having a healthy diet is key to helping your muscles grow.

    Try to maintain a diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, with lots of unprocessed/complex carbohydrates for energy. You also need protein, which means fish, lean red meat, eggs and poultry. If you’re a vegan, then this means quinoa, tofu, nuts, beans and pulses.

    You should also make sure you get plenty of vitamins and minerals in your diet, again, from eating whole/unprocessed foods!

    Related: Should Pole Dancers take Vitamin Supplements?

    3. Focus on your Entire Upper-Body

    Gaining upper-body strength for pole dancing is not just about having strong arms.

    You need to look at the bigger picture. Your arms do need to be strong, so do your shoulders, your chest, your back and your wrists. In order to be strong, you’ll need to work the entire upper-body, rather than just your arms.

    There are small muscles to build up, such as the rotator cuffs in your shoulders, as well as larger muscles like your biceps.

    Related: 12 other workouts for pole dancers to try

    Male pole dancer - Iron X
    A male pole dancer demonstrates a perfect Iron X

    4. Upper-Body Workouts to do at Home

    There are plenty of fitness routines you can do at home that will build your upper-body strength.

    • Push-ups (targeting the chest muscles (pectorals), triceps, and shoulder muscles (deltoids).)
    • Diamond Push-ups (targeting the triceps, but also engage the chest and shoulder muscles.)
    • Tricep Dips (targets the triceps, but also engage the chest and shoulder muscles)
    • Pull-ups – You’ll need a pull-up bar – (Primarily targets the muscles in your upper back (latissimus dorsi), but also engage the biceps, shoulders, and forearms.)
    • Plank (targets your core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis, but also engages the arms and shoulders as stabilizers.)
    • Yoga can target a wide range of muscle groups, including the core, arms, legs, and back.
    • Grip strength training (targets the muscles of the hands, wrists, and forearms, including the finger flexors and extensors, wrist flexors and extensors, and the muscles that control grip strength – all super important for pole dancers!)


    If you can’t manage a push-up, then go on your knees rather than your toes until you get stronger!

    5. Weight-Training to do at Home or in a Gym

    • Bicep curls – Bicep curls work the front part of your upper arm, specifically the bicep muscle, which is responsible for bending your elbow and rotating your forearm.
    • Overhead press – The overhead press is a compound exercise that primarily works your shoulders (specifically the anterior and medial deltoids), as well as your triceps and upper back muscles.
    • Tricep rows – Tricep rows target the back of your upper arm, specifically the tricep muscle, which is responsible for extending your elbow.

    Related: How to get Better at Pole Dancing

    6. Avoiding Injuries

    Gaining muscle takes time, especially for women. It’s important that you listen to your body and don’t overdo things. You know your own body and what it can handle, so don’t get tempted to do anything that could result in injuries!

    If you do get injured, you’ll have to take a break.

    Breaks are big setbacks for pole dancers and it feels worse if these injuries are self-inflicted!

    So, whatever fitness training regime you choose for your upper-body, you shouldn’t do anything beyond your physical ability. Difficult/more-advanced techniques need to be worked towards, not jumped into straight away.

    Related: How to deal with pole dancing related injuries

    7. Keep on Pole Dancing!

    Even if you don’t feel strong enough. Pole dancing itself is a strength-building technique. Some moves may seem impossible at first but the more you Try, the stronger you become.

    Focus on strength-based pole tricks such as knee-raises and pull-ups as part of your general warm-up and you’ll soon notice an improvement.

    Try pulling yourself up into spins, climbs and inverts instead of spinning or jumping (you really shouldn’t be jumping into spins anyway!)

    Also, ensure that you practice all tricks and spins on both sides. Everyone has a preferred side that they tend to use. You don’t want to end up imbalanced – so force yourself to practice moves on both sides!

    Related: How often should you practice pole dancing?

    So, those are our top tips for building your upper-body strength for pole dancing! What did you do to improve your strength? Let us know by leaving a comment below – we’d love to hear from you!

    Want to become an amazing pole dancer?

    Access to more than 450 high-quality video lessons with the lifetime access option
    Excellent value for money when compared to the price of local pole dancing classes
    Suitable for beginner, intermediate, advanced & expert pole dancers


    Use the code polefitfreedom to get 10% off Pole Dancing Lessons with Open Dance Academy. This is an exclusive offer for readers of this blog!

    Happy poling!

    Pin this Post

    Use this image to Pin this Page to your Pinterest Boards to save it for later!

    Pole Dance 101 - How to get Upper-Body Strength for Pole Dancing

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Pole Dance Silhouette

    Get Pole Dancing Tips Sent to Your Inbox

    Join our mailing list to be the first to know about the latest pole dancing news and products.

    We only include the best content for subscribers (includes marketing related to pole fitness)

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Scroll to Top