Start sweatin’ in 2019 with five of our fitness favorites.
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If you’re feeling a little cooped up during quarantine, right now might be the perfect time to channel those J. Lo Super Bowl halftime show vibes—especially when it comes to your workout. We’re talking about killer dance routine, rock-solid abs, and yes, sexy AF pole-inspired moves. Sound a little scandalous? Trust us, (virtual) pole fitness classes are a social distancing game changer.
Pole fitness can turn your at-home workout routine upside down, from a sweating inducing, confidence-boosting, muscle-burning perspective. Incorporating elements of dance, cardio, HIIT, and strength (just to name a few), pole fitness can help you work on everything from toning your triceps to feel-good flexibility. But do I need a pole to get started? What should I expect? And what will my S/O (or roommates) think of my new workout? We’ve got all your pole dancing insight so you’re prepared to slay the day—and your next virtual class.
Whether it’s a twirl or a curl, a crawl or a crunch, pole fitness taps into every muscle group. I mean you’ve seen J. Lo’s banging body, right? By blending elements of dance, acrobatics and athleticism, pole fitness offers a total body weight, cardio blasting workout, with or without a pole—because most of us don’t have one hanging in our home. Studios have pivoted their virtual classes to fit your equipment, your experience, and your routine. Through a variety of exciting coordinated movements versus isolated exercises, your body is working together as one. Plus, pole fitness is supposed to be fun and it’s suitable for all fitness levels, so you might just find yourself streaming a class with your momma in Montana.
Do you have two left feet? Worried you don’t own a pole? Girl, you can do these workouts, anywhere. Pole fitness is all about inclusivity, acceptance and a kickass challenge, no matter how you move and groove or what gear you own. If you’re looking to book a virtual pole fitness class, keep in mind most instructors have modified their routines to focus on floor moves that you’ll need a yoga mat, socks, and heels (optional) for. You’ll want to wear pants to cover your knees and whatever else has you feeling comfortable (and even a little risqué, because why not have fun with it?). Remember to read class descriptions before you book, though—some virtual workouts still do require poles. You could say a lot of studios are thinking outside the pole when it comes to shoulder rolling, twerking and twirling from the comfort of your hone.
Since we are practicing social distancing, traditional pole fitness studios are taking their classes online— and getting creative how we traditionally define a pole-dancing workout. On Mindbody, you can discover hundreds of virtual pole fitness classes around the world. From Syndey to LA, London to NYC, you can punch that travel ticket by streaming some of the best virtual pole workouts from top instructors. TIP: Change your location to anywhere you'd like to explore! Not sure what studio you want to start with? Here are a few of our favorite studios (and go-to classes) that are offering virtual workouts right now. So, are you ready to spin, tone, and smile?
Class: Work the Floor (Home Edition)
Try wearing heels for a little extra "lift” as you tighten and tone your legs and abs.
Rockstar Pole Fitness
Class: Floor Flow All Levels
Glide across (your) floor as you learn new techniques that will have you feeling extra fine.
Beehive Pole Studio
Class: Sensual Conditioning
A more mindful take on movement as you strengthen and lengthen.
ATX Pole Fitness
Class: Tone and Twerk
A cardio explosion where you’ll learn twerk techniques and a mini routine (that you can download!).
Ecole de Pole London
Class: Online Tricks (Beginner to Elementary)
Learn fun tricks for all levels, including flirty floorwork sequences that will have you feeling strong.
Positive Spin Pole Dance Fitness
Class: Freestyle and Flow
Pole-free movements are taught in a very small class setting of four people (max).
Class: Legs & Core Workout
Blast that booty and burn out your core as you focus on flexibility.
The best thing about pole fitness? It’s so much more than just classes to help you climb and glide a physical pole (even though that’s one hell of a workout). From learning new dance moves to finally nailing that split, pole fitness is a general term used to search a plethora of body confident classes. You’ll find yourself working harder than you might have expected as you move, stretch and flex to the beat. There’s also something empowering about bonding with other individuals (even virtually) as you learn to work your body in new ways. PS: Don’t forget to invite your friends! It’s about time you channeled your inner vixen, because it is about to go full-on Queen Bey during quarantine *as I flip my hair.*
It’s natural to feel nervous or intimidated before trying a new workout. Good thing pole fitness instructors are some of the best in the biz when it comes to welcoming all shapes, sizes and fitness levels. Whether you’re learning to glide, bend, grind, flip, flex, crawl—every move in pole fitness is created to challenge your coordination and focus, both mentally and physically. There’s no doubt that you’ll feel a new sense of accomplishment after your first class. Learning to love your body more is another amazing side effect of pole fitness. You’ll discover a sense of empowerment and pride for what your body is capable of, one J. Lo-inspired move at a time.
Staying connected to fitness during social distancing? Taking your first pole fitness class? Show us your new moves! Tag @mindbody so we can see how you’re powering your well-being, one shoulder roll, one fierce flip at a time!
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.