[Molly Ritterbeck | Greatist]

Pole got me to do all the pain-in-the-ass gym stuff that I now love.

If you’re sick of workouts feeling like work, it’s time to try something new and fun. Something you’ve never considered before. Something to get you outside your comfort zone. Something like pole dancing.

Stick with us. Pole is no longer an activity reserved for seedy clubs full of ogling men; it’s actually grown into a legit dance fitness program. Don’t worry; you won’t be hanging upside down from the pole with your legs spread (at least at first). Full of acrobatic and dance-inspired moves, the classes focus on strength (especially upper body) and flexibility. And thanks to aficionados like pole dancing instructor and certified personal trainer Roz “the Diva” Mays, pole is out of the shadows and popping up in fitness studios all over the country.

Even Mays was unsure her first time. “I was intimidated by pole, but it was so damn fun,” she says. “It’s kind of like medicine mixed with applesauce, so it doesn’t taste like medicine but you still get all the goodness out of the medicine. Pole got me to do all the pain-in-the-ass gym stuff that I now love.”

We asked Mays to show us the best pole-inspired moves that’ll help you build strength and confidence—no pole required!

Not only did she deliver (see: twerk), but she welcomed us into her living room (complete with a pole) to demo the moves.