Gripping the pole is a really big challenge for most people who are just learning how to pole dance. It takes time for the grip in your hands to develop the strength to hold your body weight so, in the meantime, most beginner dancers fall back on grip aids when the first start out.
Common grip aids come in pastes, liquids, sprays, powders, and wearable grip gear.
You should always use a grip aid that is designed for pole dance sports. Most beginners think they can use baby powder as a substitute and this is a huge mistake! Don’t’ do it! Baby powder is not a suitable grip aid for pole dancing. This can lead to slipping and unnecessary bruises.
A good pole dance grip aid can do many things for you including drying out the hands if you are sweaty, creating a light moisture for a “tack” if you have dry hands, and anything in-between.
Most people have different skin types and live in different environments containing a wide variety of temperature and humidity levels; these two factors will affect which pole dance grip aid is right for you.
The Basics Of Getting A Grip On The Pole:
Never use oils or lotions! Not even on the same day you practice pole!
Don’t even use them on the same day you choose to dance. Lotions and oils can leave a filmy residue on your skin. Just because you put it on in the morning doesn’t mean you are in the clear when you attend a class that evening. As your body heats up, your will sweat our the oils from the lotion onto the pole.
It’s best to NOT apply any oils or lotions to your body from the time you shower to the time you do pole practice.
If you simply can’t go without lotion, consider switching to a 98% + putre natural aloe-vera gel for moisture. I have ditched using lotion all together in my life. I love pole that much.
Your Dance Pole Finish Type Can Affect Your Grip:
Another important factor is the finish of the pole and the climate of your individual area. Humidity combined with your unique skin type against the various pole finishes available will all play a factor in your ability to grip. Chrome is most widely used and slicker than brass poles. Cold poles are harder to grip as well.
It is common for people to have more than one dance pole to suite their needs as they progress through their pole dance training.
Here is a great article about how to choose the best pole dance finish for your skin type =>
Beginners Have Different Grip Needs Than Advanced Pole Dancers:
There is an complete article written just for beginners, click the link below to read an article on gripping the pole specifically tailored to beginner pole dancers.
Creams, Powders, and Liquid Grip Aids For Bare Skin:
Your best grip will happen right at that point when you’re warm and just about to break a sweat; not sweating, and not cold.
Experimentation is best. Yes, it is a headache to try a product that may not work, however; there is no other way to go about it unless you know a local studio that has everything in stock for you to sample. Don’t be afraid to experiment combining different types of grip aids to see what works best for you : )
Here are the most commonly used pole dance grip aids for bare skin:
- Dry Hands: This is a very common liquid grip aid that helps dry the hands and is useful in both dry and humid environments. Works best on sweaty to combination skin. If you are concerned about toxic liquids put on the skin and prefer organics, know that this product is silica and alcohol based and is known for causing respiratory problems.
- The Lupit Pole Cleaner and Grip Pad with Nano Technology (my personal favorite!). It’s a square pad with a micro rosin type dust in it. Patting the pad puts a light dust of the powder on your hands or body for a better grip and boy does it work!!! Higher priced but trust me, it’s worth it. Works better for me than dry hands. Great for all environments and all skin types. The other cool thing is that one side acts as a grip aid and the other side acts as a pole cleaner, sparing you the need to run for a bottle of pole cleaner and a rag when your trying to practice your moves.
- Tite Grip: This is a lavender smelling grip cream that also contains an antiperspirant. It’s best for humid environments and people with really sweaty hands.
- Dew Pointe: A clear liquid that you spray on your body to get that slight moisture on the skin for a better grip on the pole. If your skin is too dry, then you can loose grip. This was a favorite grip aid of mine when I was learning more advance pole dance tricks while inverting because you can spray it anywhere on your body. Gives you skin that dewy tack that you get right before you start to break a sweat that makes you stick to the pole very well. Best for combination to dry skin and non humid environments. I live in Florida, but my house is not humid and find this to work very well for me. There is also a dew point spray with body glitter which adds a flare of fun to your routine!!!
When you are pole dancing at home, experimentation with various pole dancing grip aid products will be your best bet.
Try several different grip aid products and try combining them together for your individual needs.
It is worth the added expense and doesn’t skimp on this important part of learning to pole dance. Your safety is important and you want to be able to grip as best as you can, especially in the beginning.
As time passes and your hand strength improves, you may find that you don’t need as many the grip aids.
Make Sure Your Dance Pole Is Clean:
Your hands have naturally occurring oils which can build up on the pole as you dance. Clean your pole regularly with disinfecting wipes or a natural glass cleaner that doesn’t contain essential oils.
Baby wipes have been comely suggested to clean your pole but are not recommended since some baby wipes have lotions built into the wipe to soften the babies skin. Those lotions will make your pole slick – not what you need!
I prefer Seventh Generation cleaning wipes. They are disinfecting, earth friendly, natural, and easy to use is a jiff!
You can also use alcohol to give your pole a deep clean and strip it of oils and other debris.
Getting a Better Grip Beyond Pole Cleaning and Bare Skin Grip Aids:
When your pole is clean and you have tried it all, just keep working at building your hand strength and don’t give up. There are more options to keep you going : )
Wearable grip gear is the best solution when you bare skin grip aids have failed or your skin is in too much pain but you want to keep going. Sounds funny saying that but it’s too, pole dance is so fun we would go through skin pain! Haha!
Here are the most commonly used pole dance grip gear for maximum grip:
- Grip Gloves With Partial Tack: These gloves are a stretchy yet supportive fabric with a tacky palm surface that literally grips the pole like glue. The downslope is that they grip so well, you can’t use them in moves where you need to slide the hand down or up the pole – they won’t let your hands slide – AT ALL. They work very good for extending training times, inverting, or practicing challenging moves where you don’t want to worry about losing your grip. There is a version of the glove that has a full tack in the palm, but it’s not as flexible or comfortable, the partial tack feel more natural, you can feel the pole easier, with the same gripping power.
- Inner Thigh Protector Wraps With Tack: These babies are awesome when you just can’t stand that inner thigh skin pain – you know what I’m talking about : ) They are a simple wrap you can quickly wrap around your thighs in a few seconds. The have tacky strips on the inner thigh area that grip the pole. You can do pole sits or practice moves like the Superman with no pain at all! You gotta try these.
- Upper Arm Protector Wraps: Similar to the inner thigh wraps, these are a wrap for your upper arms to protect the sensitive skin on the inner bicep area. That area can get bruised easy as well during certain pole moves. These upper arm bands will give you an amazing stick on the pole without the skin pain.
- Ankle Protectors: The ankles are more thin skins and the ankles as well as the shin area are often used to climb the pole. Using ankle protectors with tack will help you climb the pole much easier and lessen bruising and pain.
- Knee Pads with Tack: These are wonderful because there are tacky strips on the back and sides of the knee for a better grip on the pole while the front offers a padded surface for all you floor work.
In summary, getting the best grip on the pole will change as you get more fit and advance into different pole moves. You will most likely need to try different products as you go along to see what works for you best.
This is you pole dance journey – make it fun and play! When your grip keeps slipping, respect your body and either take a break or find a product that may help you keep going.
Gripping the pole will improve with time, so what ever you do, DON’T GIVE UP!