If you’re a pole dancer you will know the importance of having a strong core. It’s not only important for pole but for life in general.
If you’re looking to build some strong abs there are a few abdominal exercises you can do at home, the gym or in the pole studio. This will complement all the ab work that you do during your pole workout. Yes all those pole crunches, cross ankle release sit-ups really do help your ab muscles.
Your Pole Performance Could Soar
According to Sports Medicine, frequency and volume are two key factors in developing muscular strength and endurance. If you do ab workouts every day you can improve your endurance in all four abdominal muscles according to Livestrong.
When doing an ab workout you need to make sure that you include all four ab muscles in your workout. This is because all of the muscles have important jobs that contribute to strength, stability and protection of your spine and organs according to the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.
The Abdominal Muscles
Our abs include four distinct muscles that make up the front and sides of your torso.
- The rectus abdominis – the ever-elusive “six-pack.” This long, segmented muscle extends from your pubic bone to your upper ribs.
- The transverse abdominis – the deepest layer of the abdominal muscle. It wraps around your torso and keeps your spine stable.
- The internal obliques – rest beneath the external obliques.
- The external obliques – run from your hips to your ribs on the sides of your torso.
The Ab Workout
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides.
- Lower into a squat position and place your hands on the floor in between your legs.
- Jump your legs back into a plank position.
- Jump your legs forward to return to a squat position.
- Repeat steps 3-4 until the time is up.
- Start lying on your back
- Extend your arms overhead on the floor
- Extend your legs straight resting on the mat.
- At the same time, engage your abdominals and with control, lift arms, head, shoulder blades, and legs off the floor.
- Hold for 20 seconds then return to starting position. Rest for 10 seconds.
It is important not to let your lower back come off the floor. If you can’t keep your lower back on the floor lift your arms and legs higher, you can even bend your knees. It still gives you a great core workout.
This is a very humbling exercise.
This is a brilliant exercise for training the core for inversions. Start by laying on your back. Lift the legs into the air so that the knees are over the hips and the lower leg is parallel with the floor. There should be a 90* bend at the hip and knee joints. Next, engage the abs and tap one toe and lift it back up, tap the other toe. Repeat. If you need a more advanced version tap both toes at the same time.
Like with the hollow hold, the lower back should stay in contact with the ground. Make sure that you pull your belly button into your spine.
Again you start by laying on the floor, knees above the hips and calves parallel with the floor. A 90* bend at the hip and knee joints. The lower back stays in contact with the floor. Squeeze the legs together and lower the legs toward the floor on one side. Using your abs raise the legs back to the start and lower to the other side. Repeat.
Start on hands and knees, extend the legs out behind you. Engage the core, push through the arms, push the heels to the back of the room and squeeze the glutes. Maintaining a neutral position for your lower back, keep your trunk still as you lift and lower one leg behind you. Repeat on the other leg.
Beginners should lift alternate legs and those that are a little stronger do 12 leg lifts on one side before swapping to the other side.
Best Ab Products to Buy
If you think some equipment would be useful to help you get stronger abs then ab rollers, fit balls and pull up bars can all be very useful to have for working out at home whether you use them for your abs or otherwise. We’re going to review these products shortly so check back soon for our guides.
Sophie Green has been pole dancing and aerial arts at home and in studios around the world for over 13 years. She’s taken a number of instructor courses in pole and aerial. Plus attended a course on rigging. She takes part in lots of exercise.