We’ve all been there, poised at the bottom of the pole like a coiled spring, ready to nail that beasty trick. You take a deep breath, leap and then realise that the pole feels like it’s been slathered in Vaseline. Changes in temperature, hormones in flux and the dryness of our skin can all affect how well we can grip. If you’re feeling buttery on the pole here are a few things you can try to help you stick to the chrome like a tree frog.
Too dry or too clammy?
Many people suffer from sweaty palms. It’s the body’s natural response as we get warm to prevent overheating. But did you know that having hands that are too dry can also cause them to feel slippery? It’s important before you apply any grip aids to be sure of which problem you have, as taking a bath with dry hands when your skin is already parched won’t help the slide.
The easiest way to check; touch your palms or get your pole buddy to do it. If they feel clammy or damp, try a pole grip like X Dry, Dry Hands or Girlie Grip. If instead, they feel drier than the Sahara, you could need a little hydration. Dew point or Grip & Glow are both great for adding moisture back into your hands, feet, backs of knees, armpits and any other body parts needing a bit of tack. Just be careful to let it dry, especially if you’re a sweaty Susan, as you don’t want it transferring back onto your hands.
Many pole studios recommend not moisturising on the days you attend classes as it can gunk up the pole and make it slippery. However, if, like us, you’re basically part of the furniture at your studio this can translate to never actually moisturising. If your skin is starting to look like you’re auditioning for a role in “The Little Mermaid”, it might be an idea to treat it to a dose of lotion before you pole. If your class is in the evening, use it first thing in the morning, or if you train in the mornings, try popping some on overnight. We love the Vaseline Essential Healing lotion.
Work on grip strength
The stronger your hands are, the more likely you are to be able to hang on, even if you’re feeling sweaty. There are lots of gadgets and tools you can buy specifically designed to improve your grip strength. For a cheap alternative, you can squeeze a stress ball, or wrap a bunch of hair ties or elastic bands around your fingers and try opening and closing your fists using them to add resistance. Conditioning on the pole like arms-only climbs, pull-ups and prayer holds will also help improve your pole grip strength.
Choose the right polewear
We might sound a little obsessed with clothing (can you blame us?), but what you wear on the pole greatly affects how well you grip. As pole dancers, we need to get enough of our skin on display to stick without giving our pole buddies and instructors an eyeful of our intimates.
Choose bottoms like our Martini Shorts that are cut high enough in the leg to leave out the gluteal and thigh creases but still allow you to do spreadies and splitty tricks without the risk of a wardrobe malfunction. Make sure whichever pole shorts you choose also leave your side grip out – there’s nothing worse than having to roll them down mid-combo!
Pick tops that ensure your armpits and shoulders are available to use. Racerback styles and crops with thinner straps like our own Lotus and Helix Sports Bras will help you feel supported (particularly if you’re gifted in the bust department), whilst not leaving any annoying fabric in the way.
In really cold weather, it can be hard to get the poles warm enough to trick, and sometimes even our best efforts are in vain. Luckily the pole wear community have come to the rescue with many brands offering grippy leggings to give you a bit of extra tack on those impossible Baltic days. These can sometimes make transitions between moves a little harder but we reckon it’s better to be able to train a little than not at all.
For those colder days before you get warmed up check out F | Lux Activewear Jade Yoga Leggings, ultimate style and ultimate comfort.
We hope that some of these tips help you if you’ve been struggling with your grip. What are your favourite grip solutions? We’d love to hear them.