Strength Training Outdoors

November 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm

As most of us have limited access to a pole, it can be highly advantageous to be able to work out in a way that benefits your pole dance training, without being at The Gym or Pole Studio. While you may not have much time, money or workout space, you should hopefully be able to find a local park or green space in order to do some circuit training.

You can do this workout with a partner to help motivate each other, or by yourself to fit it around your own schedule.

All you will need is a safe space (approximately 150m is ideal) for you to run, and a park bench!

Example Workout

Start by having a warm-up jog to local park (or similar space) as long at it is relatively close. Begin with the first exercise. As you do this, have your partner sprint the 150m distance (as hard as they can) and then walk briskly back to the start. This walk provides a short recovery period.

When your partner gets back to the start, swap over so that they do the exercise and you sprint. Repeat this until you have both completed each exercise 2-3 times.

If you are doing this by yourself do each exercise for 2 minutes. The most important thing is not to allow yourself a break, and to keep going until the end. Hard work, but you will benefit from it in the long term!

Try These Exercises

Forward Lunges

Interlace your fingers behind your head. Lunge forward onto your right foot. Make sure that your knee does not go past the front of your foot. Repeat on the left. When you do this exercise for the second time, bring your arms down to touch your front ankle or heel and then take them back up to your ears.

What are the benefits?

This exercise really works your glute muscles and your thighs. You may feel these muscles working hard at the time, and you will definitely feel muscle soreness (the good kind) the next day!

Bench Press Ups

Start by placing both hands on the top of the back of the bench. Walk your feet out so that your body is kept straight, at a 45 degree angle. Keeping your core strong, bend your arms to move your body in and out. Do this at a slow and steady pace.

What are the benefits?

As you will no doubt feel, this exercise really works your arms, triceps in particular! It gets harder the more you do it, but your arms and core will get stronger from it.

Bridges off a Bench

Sit on the edge of the bench and lower yourself towards the ground. Walk your feet out until you can rest your head and top of your back on the bench and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Slowly lower your bum to the ground and then raise it up. When your body is in a straight line with your bum, squeeze your bum and hold for 3 seconds. Lower your bum back ground towards the ground and repeat.

What are the benefits?

This works your glute (butt) muscles really well. When you go to sprint you will be able to feel that you have just worked out, but you will really be able to feel it the next day.

Hand Step-Ups

Get into a press up position with your arms straight, directly in front of the bench. Keep your body as straight as you can and hold your abs tight. Put your right hand on the seat of the bench and then your left. Place your right hand back on the floor and then the left. Repeat with the left hand first. Keep repeat the move on both sides.

What are the benefits?

This works both your abs and your arms. It can get tough so you need to push through the pain. Take it slow so as to get the full benefit from the exercise. Make sure you hold your abs tight and don’t allow your body to bend.

Press-Up (or Plank) Knee to Elbow

Place your hands on the floor keeping your arms straight. Walk your feet out so that your weight is evenly distributed between hands and feet. Bring your right knee in to meet your left elbow and place it back on the ground. Then bring your left knee in to meet your left elbow. Repeat.

For more of a challenge, this exercise can be done at a higher tempo than the previous exercises.

What are the benefits?

This really works your abs. It is great as it works muscles that aren’t often worked during sit-ups. You will feel this one as you go!


Exercising in this way can often be quite a refreshing change to going to the gym.

You work with the weight of your body, as you do in pole dancing and so build up your strength according to your body weight. The key is to not allow yourself to cheat the rest periods. Your walk back after each sprint is all the rest period you should need.

You work your body much harder pushing through, than if you have breaks. With a lot of these exercises you will really feel it in your body the next day – which is great to know you have done a good work out.

If you want to work a particular muscle group you can swap exercises in and out to tailor it to your needs. To increase the difficulty you can repeat 4 of the exercises 3 times.