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How To Build Upper Body Arm Strength Pole Dancing For Fitness

by | Jul 18, 2016 | 6 comments

(Last Updated On: February 12, 2021)

I hear it all the time and its very common for women to feel discouraged or worry about how their lack of upper body arm strength will impact their decision to use pole dancing as exercise, especially when they are exercising at home.

It is very normal to make the assumption that you need good upper body strength to pole dance, you do, and it’s not rocket science to figure that one out.  But there are many average everyday women who can’t do a single push up or pull up that want to pole dance for exercise.  Don’t worry, you can get stronger for pole dancing very easily!

If you are one of those women who can’t do a single pull up or push up, FEAR NOT!  You are not alone and You can do it!

Women frequently attribute their ability to do a pull-up or push up by how much they weight.  Your logical mind will tell you that if you are fat or overweight, then you will have a harder time than the skinnier girls…… SO NOT TRUE!

 Here’s why:

Your ability to do a pull-up or push is relative to how well your individual muscle capacity can carry the load of your individual body weight.  Typically, shorter girls with a stockier build will have an easier time than a very tall and skinny girl.  The reason this happens is that in a smaller person, their muscles mass is not spread out across longer limbs and they have a shorter distance to go in order to achieve the execution of the move.  The longer your limbs, the farther you have to go to execute and the more muscle you may need.

I have had girls approximately 75 pounds overweight come into class with the upper body strength to immediately invert and hold their own body weight on the pole with ease.

I have also seen skinnier looking more “fit” girls who can’t even hold their own body weight on the pole for 5 seconds.

Again, it’s all relative to your individual strength and built.

Typically speaking, over 75% of the woman I see in class are everyday people who are moms our of shape.  Many don’t go to the gym on a regular basis.  Most of those girls cannot hold their own body weight on the pole.  In addition, rarely will they be able to do one Pull Up on the dance pole.

So relax!!!  By the end of 8 weeks practicing pole, you will notice a big difference in your strength, the body adapts faster than you think!

Here are some suggestions to help you get through this common problem:

  1. Don’t give up and just let some of your discouragement go as if it would a natural phase of learning pole, just like puberty, it sucks but it will pass with time.
  2. Try different grips and don’t be afraid to combine them.  People have different skin types and sweat differently, find your unique blend.  BUT remember, grip aid is a tool and should never replace the strength you need in your hands to grip.
  3. Give yourself time to develop strength in your hands.  Muscles need time to grow so keep trying by gripping with BOTH hands on the pole at all times.  Just trying once or twice a day will make a HUGE difference in a few short weeks.
  4. Be sure your pole is squeaky clean and don’t use ANY body lotions, don’t even use it within 24 hours of doing pole.  Oils from the lotions are absorbed into the skin and will seep back out after you start to sweat.  Simply washing the lotion off your skin is not enough.  If you can’t live without lotion during these times, consider switching to 97% pure aloe vera gel for moisture on your skin.  The pure aloe vera gel can be used up to 10 minutes before you pole dance.  For those of you with dry skin, it may improve your grip on the dance pole.
  5. Do pole “pull-ups” exercises three times a week to develop strength.  Once you get stronger, the life of pole dancing will be easier and more fun!  In the meantime, you can enjoy learning floor work, and grounded turns like pirouettes, half-turns, backslides, and plies. (FYI, all those videos lessons are in the PoleBody® Complete Home Edition – Home Pole Fitness Training Course.)
  6. Lastly but most importantly, don’t skimp on the nutrition.  80% of you success to drop weight, gain muscle, and be more fit is in your diet, not your exercise regimen.  Learn to eat healthier for fat loss, get quality lean protein, and ditch junk carbs like sugar, bread, pasta, and desserts.

Here is a quick video with tips to strengthen your upper body for pole dancing:


==> If you want more strengthening exercises for pole fitness dancing, then try the PoleBody® Complete Home Edition – Home Pole Fitness Training Course.  It’s loaded full of videos that will take you from ultra beginner to a strong dancing woman in 8 short weeks.

Please leave me a comment below and let me know if this helped you!!!  Thanks!


  1. Rachel Christensen

    I haven’t been able to find tips for building strength for full bracket. Any tips or places to go look online?

  2. Pole Fitness Dancing

    Hi Rachel! I am not sure of a place to look for them online off the top of my head however, that strengthening videos for both full and half bracket should be in the Home Pole Dancing Lessons For Everyday Women. Have you checked there?

  3. Rachel Christensen

    Upper body strength has been my biggest challenge but it is slowly getting better and better 🙂 love your articles and videos

    • Danna

      Thank You <3 It's a big challenge for most everyone lol! Hang in there!


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