Breasts and pole dancing? Isn’t this site supposed to be about exercise and fitness?
Over the past few months, I’ve received quite a few questions from women worried about whether large breasts are a problem for pole dancing.
The short answer is no. Whatever your body – and breast – size, you can get a lot out of pole dancing.
But you may need to be a bit more careful in some circumstances. Libby, instructor on the /on-the-dvd/”>Pole Exercise DVD and 34FF, is all too familiar with these issues, and she draws on her experience to cover the most important points here. Although principally aimed at the more amply-endowed lady, her tips will hopefully help everyone get the most out of their pole dancing experience!
These days, most doctors believe that breast is best. A lot of men would agree. And it seems that, when it comes to making you and your new top curve in all the right places, bigger can be even better.
But, let’s face it ladies, big breasts and exercise have never mixed particularly well. Remember the aerobics class where you faithfully followed the instructor, but your boobs bounced along to a completely different beat? Or the hours spent searching for a sports top that holds you well enough to make a real difference? Or perhaps even missing the ball in tennis because of an obstruction across the arm – now there’s an excuse you don’t hear at Wimbledon!
Unfortunately pole dancing is no different: the big breasted amongst us just have to work a little harder sometimes. But there are some serious practical (and of course aesthetic!) advantages to a generous cleavage too, and I’ll be covering both the plusses and minuses here next.
Looking after your back
The back is an incredibly complex structure of bones, nerves and muscles. It needs to be strong, bend in any direction and – ever since we evolved to walk on two legs – must cope with the additional stresses of supporting the head and upper body too. Perhaps it’s not surprising that back pain is so common!
Human females are unique amongst primates in having permanently enlarged breasts. Relative to body size, they are also much larger than any other mammal’s. And while the purpose of this is still unclear, it certainly wasn’t done for the benefit of your back.
Breast tissue is about as dense as water, so if you are well endowed you could easily be carrying a few kilos more than your smaller-breasted friends. This extra weight on your front puts extra strain on your back, and the sudden weight shifts as you run through a series of gravity-defying spins and holds can certainly exacerbate the problem.
Build your core strength
As you become better at pole dancing and your strength increases, it’s important to focus on building up your core muscles, particularly in your lower back. A great way to do this is through some simple Pilates or yoga exercises. A basic workout only takes a few minutes and, if done a few times a week, will really help with your pole – and general – fitness. Have a look at one of these sites for a quick introduction.
Pole dancing itself can be good for your posture. When I first started pole, I noticed a significant change in my stance: I developed the confidence to hold my shoulders back, which lifted my chest. I believe this is good for my health and (I imagine) good for my figure too compared to the slightly hunched posture I adopted before!
Many pole dancing moves strengthen the chest and upper body, which can have the nice side effect of lifting droopy boobs. And of course generally getting fit through pole can help you lose weight and tone your bust.
Lucy’s talked about /2007/06/29/how-to-avoid-bruises-when-pole-dancing/” title=”How to Avoid Bruises when Pole Dancing”>bruising and pole dancing before. Breasts, of course, are not immune and can bruise quite easily as they are made of softer, more delicate tissue.
I’m sure I don’t need to say it, but look after your boobs! If you find certain moves hurt, take a break and try something else for a while. If you’ve pushed things a little too far, don’t forget to rub some arnica cream into the sore areas. I find the /images/moves/flag-pole.jpg” title=”The Flag Pole” rel=”lightbox”>flagpole can be uncomfortable if I accidentally pinch a bit of skin between the pole and my arm, so I’m always extra careful when launching into that one.
Problem pole moves
When it comes to breasts and certain pole moves, you certainly can have too much of a good thing! The /images/moves/icon-splits.jpg” title=”The Icon Splits” rel=”lightbox”>icon splits and the /images/moves/knees-variation.jpg” title=”The Knees Variation” rel=”lightbox”>knees variation are a couple of holds that can be disrupted by an ample bosom.
If your breasts do seem to be stopping you from nailing a move, try breathing out sharply as you jump into it. As you exhale your lungs will deflate and cause your breasts to lower on your chest, which may just give you the extra space that makes all the difference.
However, there are pole plusses to big boobs too! Having a larger surface area at the front can really help with certain moves – as your boobs stick out further in front than other girls’, you can’t help but have more contact with the pole. Poses such as the /images/moves/armpit.jpg” title=”The Armpit” rel=”lightbox”>armpit and /images/moves/flag-pole.jpg” title=”The Flag Pole” rel=”lightbox”>flagpole (and sometimes even /images/moves/climb.jpg” title=”The Climb” rel=”lightbox”>climbing) can be a lot easier because you naturally grip the pole more securely between your inner arm and chest.
Sometimes it seems that larger breasts seize on even the slightest provocation to make a determined bid for freedom. And though you won’t be running and bouncing around as much as in an aerobics class, the combination of gravity and pole dancing means it’s still important to keep your chest well supported and held in.
Consider wearing a sports bra to keep things in check, and a top with a high neckline is usually a safer option better than a sexy plunging one. (Though feel free to disregard this advice if you’re performing for someone in particular!) A couple of good sports bra suppliers are Figleaves and Bravissimo. (We’ll be talking more about bras and pole dancing soon.)
The last word
Many sports dictate a certain body shape: long distance runners must be lean and lightweight, swimmers need huge upper body strength, shot-putters must be strong and heavy.
Pole dancing is different. Anyone can do it. Any size, any shape, either sex can excel – all you need is an open mind and the determination to keep going. Whether you’re an A cup or a J cup, pole dancing is there for you. Give it a go!