We know how much you love pole and wish you could do it everyday, but do you know you don’t always have to be on the pole to work on your flexibility and strength.

In this 5-part series, we will explore how pole dancers can use each of the accessories listed below to improve overall performance, even in your own home!

And guess what? You can find the items in our studio as well.

Original list from United Pole Artists.

5 Useful Accessories

1. Pull-up bar.  

You just want to hang but can’t install a pole at home.

2. Stretch Straps

Strength without flexibility or vice versa can cause a pole dancer serious injuries. Get a deeper stretch with straps!

3. Yoga Blocks

Use yoga blocks to progressively get to the flexibility you desire.

4. Spiky Massage Balls

Great for releasing muscle tension via self-massage. Bye bye expensive massages.

5. Foam Roller

Another method of releasing muscle tension.

1. Pull-up Bar

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You just want to hang but cant install a pole at home? The pull-up bar is your answer!

If you can’t install a pole at home, there are always alternatives to train your strength, and one very useful item for this is the pull up bar. It allows us to train similar muscles (Biceps, Lats, Deltoid, Traps, Obliques, and many more)  which we use in pole dancing.

Muscle groups which the pull-up bar trains:

pullup muscle group

Prior to taking up pole dancing, the pull-up bar seemed like an absolutely useless apparatus for many ladies. Over time, you will surprise yourself with the number of pull-up you would eventually be able to do.

Pull-up bars are now easily available at major online or retail fitness stores and typically cost $15-$30. The inexpensive pull-up bar can also be easily be installed without any hacking or drilling.

Spice up that pull-up bar work-out:

1. Plain Vanilla Pull-Ups

Major muscles used: Triceps, Lats, Traps and Forearms(brachioradialis )

How to: Grip the bar with hands spread shoulder width apart, palms facing away from you. Squeeze the bar. Starting with almost straight arms(dead weight), pull up until your chin touches the bar, then lower back to a straight position. Starting with your arms engaged at an angle or ending with your  nose or forehead against the bar is cheating. But a good start nonetheless!

Proper posture/tips and tricks:

Breathe at the bottom. Take a big breath, look up before pulling yourself up. Keep your chest up for proper posture and do not let your shoulders go forward – you can hurt yourself. Squeeze your glutes and drive your elbows to the floor. This involves stronger back muscles. Bend your legs and cross your feet.

Work those bye bye arms away.

2. Chin-ups

Major muscles used: Biceps, Lats and Traps, Anterior Deltoids and Forearms

How to: People with huge ass biceps will find this grip much easier than the pull-up grip. Grip the bar with your palms facing toward you, and feel the burn in your biceps as you pull upward.

3. Knee Raises

Major muscles used: Abs and obliques  and Forearms

How to: Great for training pole inverts. Hang from the bar, letting your legs hang down. Engage your abs and bring your knees to your chest, then slowly lower them until your legs are extended once again.

4. Toes above Bar

Major muscles used: Abs and obliques  and Forearms

How to: Hang from the bar, keeping legs straight, bring them up to touch your feet to the bar. Slowly lower and repeat. Sounds a lot like our aerial inverts into a V/chopper?

Are you ready to level up? More fun with the pull-up bar ahead:

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4. The Climber Pull-up

Major muscles used: Triceps, Lats, Traps and Forearms(brachioradialis )

How to: Do a regular pull-up, but before lowering yourself, shift your weight to the right, then to the left.

5. Windshield Wipers

Major muscles used: Abs and obliques and Forearms

How to: Grip the bar in the chin-up position (palms facing you) and keeping your legs straight, swing them from right to left, mimicking the motion of a windshield wiper. Swing them back from left to right, and repeat as desired. It isnt as easy as it looks.

6. Hanging Reverse Shurgs

Major muscles used: Traps

How to: Grip the bar with your palms facing you and keep arms straight. Moving only your shoulders, try to push the shoulder blades downward and away from your ears.


This youtube video by Bella Forza Fitness has a few similar examples plus a couple more that you can try.

Need more convincing to buy your pull-up bar?

Here is an inspiring female street workout video for you.

Look out for our next installment,  “A pole dancer’s accessories –  Part 2: Stretch Straps”.

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