You read the title correctly – I took a pole fitness class. Yep, that’s a class with a pole and booty shorts. And yep, it was ridiculously fun.
This weekend, I grabbed my sister (thanks, Mandy Jane) and went to Bella Forza Fitness Studio in Lexington, Kentucky for a Pole Fitness class.
Boutique Fitness at its Best
First things first, this place is super cute. And, the ambiance is very chill and kinda funky. It’s like New York loft meets Cirque du Soleil meets Golds Gym – trust me, it’s a combo that works. There’s aerial silks hanging from the ceiling, yoga mats, an aerial cube hanging in the corner and the pole fitness poles all shiny and tall….just waiting for me. Today’s instructor (and owner) Jessica Johnson, greeted me at the door. And she is quite possibly the most adorable thing ever. (Seriously, you just want to put her in your pocket and take her home with you.) But it didn’t take long into the class to realize this little pint-size girl is deceptively strong. You’ll see why in just a minute….
Entertaining….and a Solid Workout
We started by learning some basic spins and climbs. Things like the fireman, pirouette and front hook spin. Awesome names, right? It didn’t take long into the class before one thing was quickly apparent – these moves aren’t as easy as they look. To complete each move, it took a good combination of strength and technique. (We actually worked a long time just to get this basic spin.)
After we worked on the basic spins and climbs, we got to try a few inversions. Yes, that is me upside down on the pole. And yes, it is as hard as it sounds.
We messed up. A lot. We did it wrong. A lot. And, we laughed….a lot.
We kind of muddled through the class a little clunky and awkward, mostly because each of these moves take technique and strength and a lot of practice to master. Certainly more practice than just one class. Jessica said the normal progression for anyone that starts in the pole fitness classes is to start in the beginner class for a few months until you master the moves, then move to the intermediate and eventually advanced classes (they even have student showcases for pole routines – how cool?)
A Workout for All Shapes and Sizes
Curious if all the girls that took pole fitness classes looked like Jessica (that tall, skinny frame) she surprised me by saying a quick “no way.” She said the ladies that take the pole fitness classes range in all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness abilities. But, she did say that in order to get to the most advanced pole moves, it takes someone well-rounded in a lot of different areas: strength, cardio ability and flexibility. Isn’t that the goal for any well-balanced athlete? It sure is mine.
A Fun Way to Cross-train Core Strength and Flexibility
I used a lot of different muscles during my class: shoulders, arms and definitely my core. The other thing that was quite apparent in the class was the need for flexibility. At one point, Jessica suggested putting my knee on the pole at hip level. That certainly pointed out an area that I’m lacking in – flexibility. But, what a fun way to work on cross-training my core and flexibility than by spinning and climbing on a pole?
I was pretty surprised to hear Jessica didn’t have a background in dance (she’s like a graceful swan on the pole, I was more like an awkward gopher.) Jessica was actually an athlete playing softball and volleyball. She got into pole for a way to cross-train and stay active. She took up dance classes afterwards to help her become more graceful (so, there’s hope for me yet!)
Since this little spitfire straight owned the pole, I asked Jessica what she does to stay in the shape for her pole fitness classes now. She said she trains by doing Pilates, taking dance classes, deadlifting and squatting. (She even showed me her squat rack there in the gym – I knew I liked her…)
Did Someone Say Girl’s Night Out?
After Jessica showed us a few of her ridiculously impressive pole moves (check out her video below or HERE on Youtube) she said they even rent the room out for private parties. A Girl’s Night pole class? Yes, please. Side note: To all my girls, go ahead and mark your calendars for our next Girl’s Night…cause I can’t wait to go back.
I had a blast in this pole fitness class. And, I can see where you could totally get hooked on pole fitness classes. It was challenging (hello, core and arm workout) and super fun. And, you did feel kinda graceful doing the moves. (Although, reviewing some pictures after class, I think there may have been a little difference between how I thought I looked and reality.) 🙂
My Review on Pole Fitness
If you’re looking for something new, perhaps a fun and different workout, I would totally go give it a try. Want a fun way to cross-train your core strength and flexibility? Definitely give this a shot. I bet you have a blast. Check out their website for all the details on times/prices, etc (and while you’re there, check out the list of all the other classes they offer: aerial yoga, partner acrobatics, aerial silks – so cool.)
And, before I sign off, I thought I’d leave you all with one more thing. I ran across this little gem while Googling info on pole fitness classes. And, well, quite honestly I just can’t NOT share THIS…..(I love the internet.)