Why Dancers Need to Strength Train

Whether you are looking to prevent injury, improve your muscle tone or increase your ability to perform new pole tricks, you should be strength training.

I have been a Personal Trainer for a few years now and it never ceases to amaze me how petrified people are of lifting weights! For pole dancers lifting is especially important to reduce the likelihood of injury and improve your performance.

Let’s a take a quick peek at a few things that strength training does for the body…

Strength training prevents injury, increases muscle mass (which burns fat) and allows your body to develop a hard “toned look”. Contrary to societal beliefs, strength training for women does not make you the “hulk”.


Aside from aesthetic purposes, strength training also increases cartilage thickness around joints (ensuring their stability), helps increase HDL cholesterol and increases bone density. Bone density especially, experiences greater gains from mechanical loading – not from cardio.

In our daily lives, increasing your strength will allow your body to do more with less expended energy. Simply put, life will be easier. Your body will be able to lift groceries and kitty litter with ease. It will keep joints mobile as you age and condition your body to keep up with the little ones.

Have I sold you on strength training yet? You can keep up with your kids, lift heavy objects and look like an athlete?

Lifting heavy keeps me sane

Lifting heavy keeps me sane

When it comes to pole dancing, strength training is just as – if not more- essential. It helps reduce injury by decreasing the stress placed upon joints, specifically the shoulder. It will allow you to perform difficult holds in a less fatiguing state. Lastly, it promotes endurance so that you can continue to work long after your muscles would have originally fatigued.

As pole dancers, we place continuous stress on our joints and muscles, asking them to perform over and over again each time better than the last. By introducing strength training, the stress on your body will diminish and you will be able to perform with ease and endurance. For example, if you train to do a chin up using weighted exercises, think of how much easier it will be to perform using only your body weight.


Without strong shoulders, completing moves like handsprings, ayeshas, cartwheels and butterflies would not be possible.

While pole dancing is a full body workout, it is not progressive enough nor does it provide the mechanical loading needed to activate your fast twitch muscle fibers. It is these fibers alone that provide the “toned” look most people desire, as well as the increases in strength and performance.

So while pole dancing is an amazing form of exercise, I encourage all dancers to improve their pole skills with resistance training. If you’re unsure how to implement some strength training into your weekly routine check me out locally or hit me up online for some help!

Happy Training 🙂