Here are four surprising facts about the practice that may surprise you.
1) There’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t love it.
In fact, pole dancing has been a great therapy, said Dr. Joseph Marouaneh, a therapist at the New York College of Dermatology, in a phone interview.
“People who are going to do this do it for fun and they enjoy it greatly,” said Dr. Marouaneh. “It’s part of their personality, part of their self-image.
“The bottom line is, it’s great fun and it puts you in a very fun situation. It helps you look good and helps you feel good.”
2) It makes your brain stronger.
In a 2008 study, a group of scientists tested the strength of the cerebral cortex, which helps control attention and coordination, at 11 different points in the body during the routine.
Researchers found that the muscles that are used in handstand, like the quadriceps and the hamstrings of the knee, did not change when participants walked around a room. (They did, however, become stronger when some muscle groups were pulled into place during the walk.)
3) People who enjoy pole dancing gain weight.
As Dr. Marouaneh put it, “People tend to lose weight when they do this. This puts less strain on the joints.”
It’s not clear why weight gain occurs, but many experts thought it may be possible for those who try to do leg extensions to develop a muscle called the gastrocnemius, which is used for holding and moving the thigh of the leg extended out into parallel space. (This muscle also assists with leg extension.)
“Because all of the weight in the body is in the hamstrings and gastrocnemius, you might think the hip and the knee would gain weight with this,” said Dr. Marouaneh, “but there is not a change in weight distribution.”
4) If you need a dance partner, you can have her.
One study of men with knee osteoarthritis found that their performance on the pole dance partner question dropped by one-third with their partner’s help.
Researchers tested dancers who were dancing and told them they would need to dance to get more mileage out of their partner.
Half of the dancers did the dance by themselves, while the others were paired with a partner or were not asked
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