History of Pole Fitness
Pole dance is a form of performance, which has recently gained popularity as a form of fitness and mainstream entertainment, practised by many enthusiasts in gyms and in dedicated dance studios. A wide range of amateur and professional competitions are held in many countries around the world.
Since the mid 2000s, promoters of pole dance fitness competitions have been trying to change peoples’ perception of pole dance and to promote it as a non-sexual form of dance and acrobatics. Pole dance has furthermore been influenced by Chinese pole, a form of acrobatics that is most notably performed in circus. Competitive pole dance competitions are by and large performed in a non-prurient fashion which combines a range of dance styles and/or gymnastics.
Pole fitness requires significant strength, flexibility and endurance. It involves athletic moves such as climbs, spins, and body inversions using the limbs to grip. Upper body and core strength are required to attain proficiency, and rigorous training is necessary.
Pole Fitness is now regarded as a form of exercise which can be used as both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. Recognized schools and qualifications are now commonplace.
Other people such as the Calisthenincs community, Parkour community and Freerunners are mixing up their strength training and incorporating pole fitness into their mix of tricks and training.
The use of pole for sports and exercise has been traced back at least eight hundred years to the traditional Indian sport ofmallakhamb, which utilizes principles of endurance and strength using a wooden pole, wider in diameter than a modern standard pole.
The Chinese pole, originating in India, uses two poles on which men would perform “gravity defying tricks” as they leap from pole to pole, at approximately twenty feet in the air, further information can be seen in the old vintage documentary series of mallakhamb, by yasho purush film on YouTube.
Chinese poles are vertical poles on which circus performers climb, slide down and hold poses. The poles are generally between 3 and 9 metres (10 and 30 ft) in height and approximately 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) in diameter.
Some poles have a slightly larger pole that rotates around the static central pole using ball bearings. This rotating pole allows a performer to spin on the vertical axis, giving a performer the ability to incorporate rate of spin into what would otherwise be static moves. Bringing the body closer into the pole causes the performer to spin faster. A few Chinese pole tricks have been incorporated with pole dancing techniques.
The poles are sometimes covered with rubber to improve grip. However, the rubber can cause friction burns on parts of the Chinese pole artists' bodies. Acrobats often wear multiple layers of clothing to prevent such burns and bruises.
The most famous trick is "the flag" where the artist hangs straight out from the pole with his or her hands. This requires a very strong upper body. A few people are able to do push ups in this position, and even fewer can rotate the legs around in a circle—this requires enormous core strength.