Sunday Bumday!

sb2We are seeing more and more butt selfies taking over social media. Sunday rolls around and every pole dancers across the globe is snapping pics as they squat it out, strut towards the pole, or just lie in bed in sexy lingerie.

But, what do you really know about your butt?

It wasn’t until I was forced to see a physio for my hamstring injuries, that I began to learn about the importance of working my glutes – for stability, strength, and mobility.

My rehabilitation involved lots of glute strengthening to ensure that my now scarred hamstrings would remain stable and safe even after they healed.

So let’s break down our derrieres.

There are three muscles that are called glutes:
The gluteus maximus, gluteous medius, and gluteous minimus. There is also a muscle called the tensor fasciae latae (not to be ordered along with your cronut!)

They all have different roles to play in helping your leg move in the hip socket, including rotation, lifting, and abducting. The condition of your glutes also influences your posture, and the chance of you developing back, hip, and pelvic pain.

The gluteous maximus helps us extend and externally rotate the leg.
You engage this muscle when
– creating a turn out
– swinging your leg back behind your torso
– lifting you leg while holding a plank
– doing donkey kicks
Squats and hip thrusts, can also exercise the gluteus maximus.

The gluteous medius assists in external rotation, and also works to help internally rotate the leg. It’s third job is to abduct – the action of lifting your leg out to the side, like lateral leg raises or a clamshell exercise.

The gluteous minimus teams up with the TFL to internally rotate the leg, as well as support abduction.

 has great Gluteal Exercises to see and feel all of this in action. Using your hands to feel the muscles working, especially in the butt, can be enormously helpful in understanding what is activating and when. Imagine it as a hands on way to talk to your body and tell it what to do, physically creating a pathway from the brain to the butt while the neural pathways are being formed.

If you are having trouble with certain poses on the pole, you may need to think about strengthening your glutes.


Case in point – Cupid

cupidYour top leg is hooked on the pole, gripping and pulling with the pole behind your knee. Your bottom leg is straight, pushing against the pole through the foot.

Hip mobility will play a role in how this shape looks on your body. Your crotch might be close to the pole, or your top leg might be more a right angle. Either way, to be stable in the pose, and eventually be able to take your hands off, you will need to be activating your glutes. Instructions such as “push your hips forward” and “squeeze your bum” may help you connect to the muscles that need to be engaged, but learning how to engage the three different glute muscles when off the pole will help with your muscle memory when you return to the pose.

Even beginner spins, require a certain amount of glute engagement to create nice lines. Play with a stag leg back spin and see the difference when you actively pull your back leg up with your glutes.

Yoga and Barre involve many exercises that will help train your glutes, and don’t be afraid to take it slow while you consciously think about engagement and activation. Make it a regular part of your pole dance training and join the #SundayBumday movement with tush that you’re proud to show off!

Can’t get enough? Now there is #SaturdayLaturday too!

Cross Training for Aerial – Part 6: Barre

flat lay barreWhen someone asks to “meet you at the barre” you might want to check their spelling! Don’t get the barre confused for a place of cocktails and canapes, this barre is a place of strong toned women who are training like ballerinas!

I have blogged about joining ballet classes before, as a way to compliment pole dancing, foster elegant lines, correct body alignment and engagement. The barre originated in a ballet studio, but has now made friends with Pilates to create a burn in you core and legs that you have never felt before!

Joining a barre class on a Sunday morning I foolishly thought it would be a great way to double up in the studio. A long warm up in barre to prep for an advanced pole technique class. About 15 minutes in, however, I realised that my stamina for this kind of exercise is truly lacking. My legs did not want to participate in the following pole class.

My complaining aside though, if you’re up for the challenge a barre class is a great way to cross train and perhaps add some balance to our upper body strong pole dancer bodies.

Here’s what’s being served at the barre:

Warm up in the middle of the room, getting in touch with your breath and tuning in to the body. A little bit of yoga with some general loosening up of shoulder, hips, back, and neck.

Wine Course
The barre is set at the perfect height for balance. While you squat, plie, and do leg lifts, try not to grip the barre with white knuckles, we are aiming to be graceful ballerinas after all.

High Balls
Be careful with those mixed drinks. They taste sweet and fruity, but really hide a devilish cocktail of hard liquor. With a ball held behind my knee I aim to look poised and in control as I lift the ball up and away and out to the side. It’s not the squeezing of the ball that hits me, but the effort required to stablise through my standing leg, especially after all those squats and plie’s. How many shots in this drink again?

A little bitter-sweet, we are then offered resistance bands. The relief of now working our arms and back, quickly turns sour. The movement intensified by the requirement to stay in a squat, everyone begins to pant and moan as we work though three songs of shoulder blade squeezes, bicep curls, and arm raises. Surely it’s time to call last drinks?!

Now we are all legless and can no longer stand up at the barre, we best lie down – for crunches, dips, push ups, and planks that is! I sweat my way through the final countdown, and then struggle to my feet and make my way to the door. The DOMS hangover for this class is going to be long.


This review has been written with all respect for barre instructors and enthusiasts. Let’s leave the drinking to the real bar and rise to the challenge!