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Get a Grip - Pole Conditioning (Part 3/3)

Updated: May 20, 2023

Improve your Grip Strength - Part Three

October 24th, 2020

Welcome to the final blog of 3 that focuses on different ways you can improve your pole grip. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the first two blogs here (one) and here (two).

Pole grip strengthening

There’s nothing quite like using the pole to actually improve your pole related strength! It’s time to use some pole basics to work on your upper body & grip strength. Check out each video below to see a few variations of different ways you can strengthen. Don’t forget to train both sides!

1. Showgirl Spin - Focus on engaging a pull through the upper arm and a push away in the bottom arm as shown to correctly engage the muscles of the shoulder and back. Try the variations shown and see how many different variations you can come up with as well!

2. Split Grip Spin - Pull down with the down up & push away through the bottom shoulder for correct shoulder engagement. Tense the quads to keep straight legs & point those toes! Try see how many rotations you can do of the pole.

3. Spinning Pullups - Start off with just a pencil hold and within no time you can focus on pulling your body up to your hands. Ensure you are constantly engaging the shoulders by pulling the blades together throughout. Try not to ‘hang’ from your arms in this position. And don’t forget that with any pullup the lower down must be slow & controlled too.

4. Prance - For beginners trying to get their showgirl spin, work on the double arm version focusing on getting your feet off the ground for just a moment in time. For more advanced polers try this with just one arm on the pole. Can you float around the pole with just one arm holding on ??

5. Pike/Seated Climbs - Trying to keep straight legs the entire time (unlike me in this video - whoops!), pull through the shoulders to climb yourself up. For beginners this exercise is best done in pole shorts for extra grip. For advanced polers, try with extra clothes on for a challenge. Also don’t forget to keep it slow on the lower back down.

6. Pantera Climbs - A constant work in progress for myself, these are a great way of strengthening for advanced polers. For an extra challenge try to keep your legs straight and don’t allow yourself to ‘hang’ from your shoulders without active shoulder blade engagement.

7. Modified/Kneeling Split Grip - For anyone trying to improve their split grip/bracket grip these exercises are a nice way to reduce the initial load & focus on the upper arm. If you don’t have slides you can swipe them out for hand towels. Progress to a starfish if you’re able to or even a standing split grip (exercise 12).

8. Knee tucks - A great strengthening move also for inverts/straddles, pull down through both arms whilst leaning to the side for a knee tuck. The pole should end up resting on your high hip/pelvis, not your mid thigh as you are tucking.

9. Standing Front Row - Harder than it looks, this exercise is suitable for all levels to strengthen then rhomboids & mid traps. Squeeze through the shoulder blades as pulling the elbow back.

10. Standing Lateral Row - similar to the front row, this exercise is harder than is looks. Focus on engaging the muscles of the shoulder blade as you pull the elbow back.

11. Inverted Pole Row - Another great exercise to strengthen for inverts/straddles. Engage through the rhomboids & tuck in through the pelvis as you lift your body weight up. Progress to straight legs or even elevate the legs on the chair to make this exercise more challenging.

12. Split Grip Leg Lift - An advanced strengthening trick for the arms an the legs, the upper arm must engage correctly here to de-load the lower arm, otherwise you risk pain or injury in the wrist or forearm. Only try this one after you have mastered the kneeling split grip (exercise 7). Don’t forget to keep those legs straight & point those toes!

And there you have it! That’s a wrap for our three part series of grip strengthening exercises, all the way from the foundations to the gym and the pole. The above exercises can be modified to suit all forms of aerial apparatus.

Got an injury or wanting tailored guidance and rehabilitation for your grip strength?

Online telehealth appointments can be booked with the Pole Physio via our ‘Book Online’ page that can be found here. Assessment and tailored rehabilitation are provided in accordance with best practice and evidence-based treatment to help you unleash your 'poletential'.

Until next time, train safe.

The Pole Physio


Disclaimer: This information is not tailored to you as an individual and do not constitute as medical advice. If you have medical or injury concerns, then please individually consult with a medical professional.


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