Can you imagine men doing twirls around a pole with leg extensions, aerial splits, back bends? Well, imagine no more.
The burgeoning pole fitness industry has caught the eye of men in South Africa, although this exercise craze has been growing globally for several years.
David Rutherfoord-Jones, who is a competitor and instructor with Pole Dance Cape Town, sat down with News24Live to chat about how he got into the sport and why he encourages more men to try the extremely difficult discipline.
Like most people, he said that he was under the impression that pole dancing was mainly for women.
"It is quite an unusual thing for a man to do especially in Cape Town," he admits before explaining how he was introduced to pole dancing. "My ex-girlfriend ironically got me into it. I went to a party and they had a pole there."
Rutherfoord-Jones said a former studio owner of Pole Dance Cape Town was also at the party and after "messing around with the pole", she gave him 6 months of free classes to perform in a show case. "That is pretty much how the journey started."
Commenting on his first experience, Rutherford-Jones said that it was really tough. "I was dying quite badly in the first class and I realised that this is quite a challenge".
He went on to explain that the stigma associated with the sport for men is that either you're gay or a stripper. However, he added: "I don't really care. I really enjoy the sport."
Watch: Rutherfoord-Jones does the splits while on the pole!
He also shared some advice for other men.
1) Stop caring about what everyone thinks.
2) Just give it a go and come to one of the classes that I teach.
"I haven't met one guy who has lasted one class through to the end so there is a challenge out there to anyone who wants to come and take a try."
There is a range of fitness benefits linked to pole dancing, said Rutherfoord-Jones.
Cardiovascular activity is a key element to pole dancing routines, which is also a very upper body intensive sport. That means that your arms, shoulders and abs will be the first to tone up.
"A huge amount of back and shoulders is worked on and obviously core is worked on all the time."
Certain poses also work the inner thighs and quads as well but the real leg work out come from doing dynamic stretching exercises so your flexibility will also reap the benefits.
Overall, pole dancing not only targets your body, but also happens to be good for the mind and soul. It allows one to build stamina and strength, can improve circulation and body posture, as well as provide tips and tricks for the bedroom!
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