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Fit Minute: Pole Fitness not what you might think it's for

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- When you hear the term 'pole dancing,' your eyebrows might raise a bit. While it seems a bit too risque for many, it's actually a great form of exercise.

When you walk into the exercise room at Flow Fitness in Wilmington you'll hear catchy music and see, well, poles.

"When you take a pole class, they're like, 'Oh what's that for,'” said Lindsey Bridges, who takes Pole Fitness classes.

But, it's definitely not for what you might think it's for.

"Usually, the first response you get is, 'What strip club do you work at?' We have to quickly turn that around,” said Tara Landis, a Pole Fitness instructor.

And, they have turned that around at the studio on Market Street. All the spinning, climbing and flipping the women do on the poles is for fitness.

"It's usually moms, people who are looking for something different,” Landis said.

That's why Bridges started.

"I've always had a hard time committing to going to the gym so I wanted to find a workout that was a lot of fun that I wanted to go to every week,” Bridges said.

And, Bridges is in class every week working every muscle in her body.

"You feel it every day. When you wake up the next morning, you feel it in your arms, your abs, it's an awesome workout all over,” Bridges said.

And, it's a workout, Landis said, they add onto every week.

"We start with basic spins. [Your] feet on the ground just slowly building up your arm muscles, warming and stretching your body out a little bit more. As you advance, you start to pick up your feet a little bit more, you do a little bit harder spins. Eventually you start going upside down, start doing harder tricks where you're barely hanging on and then flipping all over the place,” Landis said.

Landis said once participants advance to that level, they're ready to put together a routine.

"Not only are you working out every day, you're learning a new move every week. At the same time, you're learning an entire routine,” Bridges said.

And even though they're trying to end the stigma surrounding pole dancing, Bridges and Landis said they won't strip it of its sexiness.

"It really makes you feel sexy,” Bridges said.

"We want everyone to bring their sexy back,” Landis said.

Landis said she also focuses on safety. She always teaches participants how to get out of a move when they don't feel comfortable with it yet.

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