Difficulty: Beginner

Category: Grip

Also Known As:

  • Climb Grip
  • Crucifix Grip

Pre-requisite Moves:

  • N/A

The X Grip is one of the most basic body holds you’ll learn in pole dancing. It is generally taught early on to help you get a feel for moving your whole body on the pole and using skin contact to hold yourself up. Used in a variety of moves from the basic climb, to the fireman spin, inverted crucifix, caterpillar, and many more pole dance tricks, you’ll find it beneficial to get comfortable with this grip early on.

Moves that Utilize this Grip:

How to Get into the X Grip

Move Steps

For a right-sided hold, your right foot will be behind the pole.

For a left-sided hold, your left foot will be behind the pole.


  1. Whether you are upright or inverted, get into a position where you body can be securely held on the pole while you transition into this grip. For climbs, use Anchor grip. For inverts, keep your hands on the pole.
  2. Bring your shin up to the back of the pole, pressing the knee into the pole and crossing the ankle over, so that it sits on the opposite side. Point through your toes as hard as possible. Your leg will be angled so that the shin is pressed completely up against the pole.
  3. Lift your bodyweight securely onto the pole and bring your opposite leg in front, mirroring the leg behind with the knee on the outside, and the back of the ankle crossed over the front of the pole. Your legs will make an X shape with the knees pressed against the outside of the pole.

Safety Tips

  • Never release your hands from the pole until you are certain you are secure. If you are trying this grip inverted for the first time, we highly recommend a trained spotter and a crash mat as a precaution.

Common Mistakes

  • Not Enough Grip: If you don’t have enough grip in this hold, try pressing into the pole harder with your knees. Pointing your toes properly will also force your legs to engage and help maintain skin contact.

    You will want to make sure you have not used lotion or moisturizer in the previous 48 hours, and if you are particularly hairy, you may want to consider shaving. Shaving may not work for everyone, but some pole dancers prefer it for improved grip.

This move previously appeared in our Guide to Grips and Holds article.

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