Pole dancers all want strong and mobile shoulders! And unsurprisingly, the most common injury amongst pole dancers is the shoulder. Whether you’re a seasoned pole dancer or brand new to the scene, chances are that you’ve felt some aches and pains in your shoulder! But how familiar are you with what’s actually moving or engaging in your shoulders to build shoulder strength and mobility safely and effectively?

Well, in this exclusive collaboration with physiotherapist aka shoulder magician Mark Seuring, we will:

  • explore the mechanics of the shoulder and its surrounding structures;
  • look at the relationship between strength and mobility and how it applies to your body and practice;
  • analyse which muscles should be firing up and engagement cues when doing specific moves on the pole;
  • look at some strength and mobility tests;
  • take you through some important rotator cuff isolated exercises, and shoulder strengthening and mobility exercises that are specific and functional to pole fitness; and
  • in this process, we will also be looking at specific drills and cues for you to explore and immediately implement into your training.

It is open to all levels: this series of videos will have invaluable information for any pole dancer at any stage of their pole journey. No matter where you are at with your pole training, or might even be looking to start pole dancing… a deeper systemic understanding of the shoulders is a strong base from which to work, push, learn and diminish the risk of injury and setback.

What does it cover?

  1. Basic shoulder anatomy: understanding how the shoulder moves. What are the “movers” and the “stabilisers”, and what role do they play?
  2. Shoulder anatomy in practice: we look at the same anatomical structures working in the context of executing various foundation moves on the pole e.g. pole pull-up, split grip, invert and twisted grip.
  3. The Strength-Mobility continuum, and how this applies in pole fitness.
  4. Strength and mobility tests: are you hypermobile? How might this end up in injuries? We will go through some tests you can do to assess where you are in your levels of shoulder strength and mobility. This is important to enable you to tailor and choose what exercises you need to focus on based on your shoulder strength, health and mobility.
  5. Shoulder Warm-up Sequence: we’ve built a cool little warm-up sequence you can do with a theraband at the beginning of your training, which will activate all the right muscles.
  6. Rotator Cuff Isolation exercises: we call this the “buttering of the bread”. What are some of the exercises you can do to activate the little unsung heroes in your shoulder, before you train/perform, and at the end of your training in order to build stability in your shoulder joint.
  7. Functional movement patterns: these involve more complex functional exercises that will build on scapular and rotator cuff strength and stability.
  8. Strength training for Twisted Grip & Split Grip: we go through some exercises which will help train and build your strength for these foundation grips in pole fitness.
  9. Mobility: what are some exercises you can do to optimise shoulder flexibility (spoiler: it’s not just your shoulders that you need to work on! We also analyse thoracic mobility… your pole shoulder’s knight in shining armour…). 

A little more about Mark…

Mark is a physiotherapist with 17 years experience and a special interest in sports performance and the prevention of injuries. Also an avid rock climber and adventurer (usually found hanging off Table Mountain if he’s not in his practice), he has a special interest in the complex shoulder and has been working with pole dancers for the past 5 years.

Mark’s practice, Seuring Physiotherapy, consists of a team of highly experienced physiotherapists working in a dynamic and collaborative environment in the Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Centre, situated in the Cape Quarter. Their ethos is to help people live their best, pain-free life or reach their sporting potential. And to do this in a relaxed, cool and fun environment which ultimately facilitates the healing process and a smooth return to activity. You can find out more info on the practice at www.sportsinjuries.co.za.


I absolutely love the Save your Shoulders course!

As a pole, fitness, pilates and horse trainer I understand how important it is to strengthen and protect your shoulders and well as learn how to engage the correct muscles to avoid injuries.
This course was professional, easy to follow and has some really great tips and exercises.

The way it is set up with separate videos makes it easy to find what you are looking for if you would like to repeat any of the sections.

I highly recommend this, not only to my students and fellow athletes but also to anyone who wants to improve movement, limit pain and live a healthy, active life.

– Monika Barnes, owner of Skydance Pole Fitness

I’ve struggled with shoulder injuries and niggles since my early pole days. Now with the “Save your Shoulders” series, I feel way more empowered to take charge of the safety of my shoulders and build a better understanding of what’s going on (and wrong) in there. The videos are incredibly informative, relevant to the unique challenges of pole, easy to understand and to put into practice. With a good dose of entertainment! Definitely the best investment I could have made in my long-term pole future. Thanks Kathy & Mark!

– Leigh Stefanski

I have always been physically active from a very young age, participating in different physical activities over the years, BUT I needed something new and exciting! My search brought me to The Pole Project. The best choice I could have made.

It is a challenge for the mind and the body. I noticed on the website that one could start at any age; this was motivating in itself.

I started to learn pole at the age of 44. Kathy is an excellent instructor, and from the first class, I felt motivated and inspired. She has gone out of her way to teach, guide, and support me. Kathy does not lead from the sideline!

The Pole Project has a series of videos specifically for pole dancers, “Save your shoulders.” The shoulder forms an integral part of the pole dancer’s strength and control. I could incorporate my new understanding when I do even the most basic exercise like a push-up or a pull-up. There is a wrong and right way!

I can highly recommend the series; there are nine videos in the series, and they follow each other. The exercises and information have already added a lot to value to my training to become a strong and injury-free pole dancer!

– Jacolien Yzel


You can purchase the entire collection of videos in our Save your Shoulders series for: ZAR 500 | USD 35 | EUR 30

Alternatively, you may also purchase individual videos separately.

ZAR 80 | USD 5 | EUR 5 each:

1. Basic shoulder anatomy  

2. Shoulder anatomy in practice

3. The Strength-Mobility continuum

ZAR 100 | USD 8 | EUR 8 each:

4. Strength tests

5. Mobility tests

ZAR 150 | USD 10 | EUR 10 each:

6. Shoulder warm-up sequence

7. Rotator cuff isolation exercises

8. Functional movement patterns

9. Strength training for Twisted Grip & Split Grip

10. Mobility exercises

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