Olympian uses pole dancing to train

Australian Olympic shooter Lauryn Mark is in pole position for the London Games thanks to an unlikely fitness routine — pole dancing.

The US-born 32-year-old says pole dancing makes up part of her 20-hour weekly training schedule, giving her a full-body workout to keep her physically and mentally fit.

"I’ve been a closet pole dancer for a while now," said Mark, who is married to Australian shooting gold medalist Russell Mark.

She said her training regime, which also included yoga and running, gave her an edge in the sport.

"I think you need to be fit to be successful in life. In a mentally challenging sport like ours, it gives you a better edge. It makes you a healthier person as well," Mark said.

Mark said pole dancing improved her core strength and arm muscles, vital when using her rifle for competition.