POLE POSITION: Jessi Wilson enjoys teaching fitness and fun at Pole Fit Mildura. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By MITCH RODD

IT’S the fitness craze sweeping the world, and Mildura is not immune for getting into pole fit.

While the idea can raise a few eyebrows for obvious reasons, participating in the sessions is actually all about producing a fun and creative environment for participants.

The health benefits of pole fit training are enormous, as participants can build incredible muscular strength and endurance.

Pole Fit Mildura coach Jessi Wilson said, however, the mental health benefits are just as important as the physical side of things.

“It’s a fun way to exercise, but it’s also a way to express yourself. It’s almost an art form,” Jessi said.

“It’s really nice to watch people grow not just in strength and performance, but more so in self-confidence.

“It’s so different. It’s a way of exercising that doesn’t feel like exercise because it’s so much fun.

“I’ve had girls who have never really been into sport or fitness come in and over time they’ve really improved.

“I love seeing people complete moves that they never thought they would be able to do.”

Jessi, 26, has been a qualified personal trainer since 2014 and began teaching pole fitness the next year out of her home in Red Cliffs.

As the training group surged in popularity, Jessi took the studio into its current Ninth Street location, where she coaches about 50 women each week.

Pole training takes a lot of its moves from gymnastics and can also involve working on rings and silks.

Jessi also adds other fitness classes to help pole training, including boot camps, boxing yoga and flexibility exercises.

While that can all seem quite daunting, Jessi said anybody can learn how to exercise on a pole, even if they have not come from a sporting background.

She added, however, that new students should temper their expectations slightly in the beginning.

“One of the biggest things we hear people say is they don’t have the strength to be able to do it. You don’t have to have any physical strength in the beginning,” she said.

“We start at beginner level and work our way up once the girls start to feel more comfortable and confident.

“You definitely build up strength, especially in your arms and core.

“It feels amazing to see the girls come in and enjoy themselves and improve over time.”

Despite the popularity of pole fitness, Jessi said there was still a lack of understanding from some people as to what it was.

This led to the recent Pole Fit Mildura showcase at The Cider Tree, which saw a number of women put their skills on display for the public.

“We had a really good reception to our showcase. The girls all nailed their routines and did an amazing job,” Jessi said.

“The whole idea behind it was to open up people’s eyes to what we do. We had a number of people approach us afterwards and say they had no idea that this is what the classes are about.”

Head to the Pole Fit Mildura Facebook page for further information about the program.