Updated: Aug 21, 2021
(and a few non-essentials too..)
June 27th, 2020
Whether you’re just starting out for the first time or a long time pro, these are the must haves of every pole dancer and a few recommended non-essentials. It’s easy to get sucked in by all the gimmicks, so this blog will break down what to go for and what to ignore.
Disclaimer – The Pole Physio is not associated with any of these products and does not financially benefit from their purchase, nor are my opinions swayed by any of these brands. My opinions are purely my own.
To spike or not to spike? Well whether you choose to buy a spikey vs non-spikey massage ball is completely personal preference. Some companies argue the spikes increase the blood flow more than the non-spiked version, but that is just rubbish. And personally, I don’t feel like spikes add any extra benefit to the release and in some cases just makes the experience unpleasant, so I stick to my non-spikey option. Regardless, here are my recommendations for the two:
Non- Spikey: This ball by Ironedge is hands down one of my favourites. Despite appearances it carries a bit of weight to it which allows for firm release. It also has a grippy outer texture that means it doesn’t slip easily when using (RRP $6.60) - https://www.ironedge.com.au/massage-ball.html
Spikey: Slightly larger in diameter, and firm through the core, this massage ball isn’t for the faint hearted https://myphysioshop.com.au/products/massage-balls-9-5cm (RRP $9.90)
This is where the gimmicks start to get real… There’s a normal roller, trigger point roller, tractor/rumble roller or even a vibrating roller to name a few. First and foremost just ignore anything that vibrates - this has be shown to add no extra benefit to muscle release. Now let’s tackle the rest from there:
Tractor/rumble roller: These bad boys just look mean. If they were a person then they would be legitimately angry 24/7. Honest to god, if you want to tenderise your muscle like a piece of meat then go for it. However they are not my first choice of roller. They retail between $40-80.
Trigger Point Roller: a go to favourite of many athletes – possibly because the design is sleek & easy to travel with. Basically the bumps & ridges are designed to feel more like a massage that you would get with a masseur etc in person with low, medium and high zones with differing firmness. This doesn’t really do it for me more for than a standard foam roller, but some people swear by it. These retail for $79.95 https://www.thewodlife.com.au/products/the-grid-trigger-point-foam-roller-black
Foam Roller: Not as portable as the trigger point roller but you do get value for money with this roller. Quite simply, my favourite of the bunch as it’s firm, and somewhat comfortable. If you’re using this guy correctly then you will get a lot out of it. (RRP $31.90) https://www.ironedge.com.au/half-foam-roller.html
Yoga Blocks An absolute must have for conditioning and stretching classes these blocks are a good investment. They can be purchased at your local rubber shop, $2 shop etc, or the good quality ones can be purchased online and range up to $20. https://gaiam.innovations.com.au/p/gaiam-yoga/accessories/27-70122-gaiam-performance-athletic-yoga-block
Resistance Bands There are a few different types of these bad boys, so let me break them down and you can choose what works best for you.
Therabands/tube: These are the cut pieces of resistance bands that are easy to move around. Great for rehab exercises and general strengthening, these can be purchased online or at your local physio. I would suggest having a
few of these on hand as most resistance exercises can be done with them.
Although I would highly advise against buying the cheap version of these as they are stiffer (not ideal) and do tend to snap easier. They roughly cost $10 and the colour of the band determines the resistance. I encourage people to usually buy a variety of colours. Yellow, Red and Green are helpful for the upper body, and Green, Blue or Black are good resistances for the lower body to start.
Booty bands/microbands: The market is flooded with different variations of these from rubber to cotton variations. These bands are much stiffer as a whole so are better suited to leg strengthening although lighter ones can be used for the upper body. They can be purchased individually based on varying strength for $13.99-17.99 at: https://www.thewodlife.com.au/products/ptp-microband-medium. But Luna Lae have recently released a set of 4 pink bands that are $49 and found here: https://lunalae.com/collections/accessories/products/rubber-booty-band-pink-set-of-4
Power bands: These are the beasts of the resistance band world. Not recommended for a baby poler when you’re starting out, but these may be helpful to assist in tricks such as learning how to handspring or iron-X. Again Luna Lae has a cheaper version available for $89 for a 3-set of power bands https://lunalae.com/collections/accessories/products/rubber-training-resistance-bands-set. But if you can afford the investment, check out the iron edge power bands. Ranging from $15-$60 these are the best on the market and the thickness/colour determines the level of resistance https://www.ironedge.com.au/medium-41-power-band-red.html
Weights A series of weights for any pole dancer is helpful. Similar to the resistance bands, I encourage a range of weights progressing from 1.5kg upwards. These can be purchased at your local sports shop.
Now to break down my non-essential suggestions:
A helpful tool to have when learning how to first invert, shoulder mount, Iron X etc… the list goes on. Using a fitball can provide the assistance you need when learning to then make you feel more comfortable without. A medium size ball is usually ideal. (RRP $79) https://www.thewodlife.com.au/products/lifespan-fitness-equipment-194
Slightly gimmicky, but these are a great way to work into the quad, hamstring, shins and calves when you feel like the foam roller isn’t quite doing it for you. (RRP $47.95) https://www.fruugoaustralia.com/the-stick-17-travel-stick-massage-roller/p-10889748-22758512?language=en&ac=google&gclid=Cj0KCQjwirz3BRD_ARIsAImf7LOq2Mvnft4gbX9U0aMqqlaEkbVMgcmsyUvTteSK-LvtPic5iDmjYDAaAhOGEALw_wcB
Sliders So incredibly helpful for splits training and conditioning, I absolutely love my sliders. They just make training so much easier. RRP ($35) https://www.thewodlife.com.au/products/ptp-core-sliders
Peanut Massage Ball/Roller To be fair, two balls could be placed into a tied up sock to replicate this, but if you’re wanting to lash out, then these can be a great way to release the spine and glutes. RRP $20-40 https://www.thewodlife.com.au/products/sklz-universal-massage-roller
So there you have it! Our physio equipment recommendations from must haves to would be nice to have. If you have any questions about any other equipment, feel free to drop a line below or contact myself.
Got a pole related injury?
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