Get a grip!
There’s no perfect grip solution, but there are a lot of things you can experiment with to improve yours.
The pole is good place to start figuring out your grip. See if you can test out some different types—stainless, chrome, brass, powder-coated, etc. Try different sizes too. You may find that a certain size suits your grip better. Do your research on what kind of pole works best in your climate. Different metals provide better grip in different locations.
Make sure you’re cleaning your pole before use. If your pole is in a public area like mine is, who knows who has touched it with what on their hands before you decided to pole. Cleaning it before you even touch it means that anything left on there by anyone else won’t transfer to your skin and compromise your grip.
A warm up is good for your body and for your pole. Heating up the metal with a few spins and climbs will definitely help your grip.
Watch what you eat and how you eat it. Greasy foods can cause increased skin oils. You also want to avoid eating greasy food with your bare hands unless you have some good soap available.
There are tons of resources and recommendations out there for moisturizers and sunscreens that don’t cause a loss of grip. Forgoing moisturizer completely works for some people, but dry skin can reduce friction just as much as lotion sitting on the surface. Find the moisturizer that works for your body’s chemistry and the routine for applying it. For me, I can apply a light amount of lotion as late as the morning of a 7 PM pole class, but I can apply aloe up until right before I hop on the pole.
Do pole and other grip exercises such as squeezing tennis balls. Working your grip will improve your grip, plain and simple. Confidence will too. When we’re nervous, we sweat. When I’m first learning a new pose, I need grip aid. I couldn’t do Ayesha without it for months, but once I grew confident in my ability to hold the pose, my hands weren’t sweating so much and I could ditch the grip aids.
Grip Aids and Clothing
There is no shortage of grip aids out there: Dew Point Pole, Dry Hands, Lupit Pole Grip (my personal favorite), Mighty Grip, ITAC2, and so on. Just as you need to experiment with moisturizers, you’ll need to try a few grip aids before you find the one that works best with your skin.
You can dress yourself with grip clothes (even cheap pleather leggings will work, but those things get warm fast) and shoes. You can also dress your pole in grip wrap. It thickens up the pole a bit, but it definitely gives you great grip.
Control the temperature and humidity of your pole room as much as possible. Don’t leave the room too cold or your warm skin will cause condensation. You can control the humidity somewhat with open or closed windows, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers. When it’s really hot, I turn on fans to prevent excessive sweating.
Summer is here, so hold on tight and figure out your grip.
Article by guest writer Sara Wielenberg follow her on social media