Anytime you pursue a new activity, there’s lots of lingo to learn. Pole dancing is no different. From scissor sits to pole grip, many words you’re already familiar with take on a new definition in the world of pole.
But there’s no need to feel intimidated. You’ll enjoy so many benefits from pole dancing, like burning calories incredibly fast and reducing stress. (1) And you don’t need to know every term to get started—just learning the basics will give you a great foundation.
That’s why today, PolePedia is covering a question we hear all the time: What does pole grip do? Keep reading to learn what pole grip does, why it’s important, and where to buy yours.
What is Pole Grip Used For?
Pole grip is used for increasing the amount of tension between your skin and your pole. When you can’t get a good grip, it’s typically a result of your skin being too dry or too sweaty. (2)
So, what does pole grip do? It balances the moisture levels in your hands, which creates more tack and stickiness. This enables you to worry less about staying on the pole. Instead, you can completely focus on your form and technique.
It’s important to remember that you can benefit from using pole grip whether you’re practicing or performing in public.
During practice, not having to stress about slipping makes it so much easier to nail new moves. And on stage, you’ll exude much more confidence knowing you won’t slip and fall.
Why is Grip Strength Important for Pole Dancers?
Grip strength is important for pole dancers because it’s how they stay on the pole and prevent injuries. Basically, grip strength is to pole dancers as glutes and quads are to runners. It’s necessary in order to do the activity safely.
You may find yourself thinking there’s very little chance of injuring yourself while pole dancing. Unfortunately, injuries from slipping—whether you’re practicing, performing, or competing—are all too common.
The best way to avoid hurting yourself is by having great grip strength. You can do certain exercises and movements to improve your grip, but that’s not always enough. Sweaty hands or overly dry skin will cause grip issues no matter how strong or practiced you are.
So, while grip strength is important for pole dancers, odds are you’ll still need to use pole grip in certain situations.
How to Improve Grip Strength for Pole Dancing
At PolePedia, we’re big fans of using pole grip. But we also recognize the importance of building and maintaining your grip strength—pole grip should never become a crutch or substitute.
There are several easy ways to improve your grip strength for pole dancing:
Want More Info on Improving Grip Strength?
We have a full article on how to improve your grip strength with some easy conditioning exercises. More than that, you’ll also learn about the different types of hand grips and how you use them on the pole.
- Squeeze a stress ball or pair of grippers. These tools are both great for training and improving your grip. A stress ball is a great place to start, but you’ll eventually want to move up to grippers.
- Stretch your fingers with a rubber band or hair elastic. Place the band/elastic around your fingertips. Bring your fingertips closer together like a pinch, and then further apart. It’s basically a mini resistance band. This strengthens the tendons and muscles in your hand, which improves your grip strength overall.
- Do some dumbbell curls. If you have access to dumbbells, do a couple sets of dumbbell curls several times a week. Hold the dumbbell with your palm facing up, then curl it up towards your bicep.
Types of Grip Problems
The long answer to “What does pole grip do?” is: it depends on the type of grip problem you’re having.
If you have dry skin, your skin doesn’t have enough moisture to create traction and tension. But these are necessary for sticking to the pole. Imagine trying to pole dance with a sheet of tissue paper between your hand and the pole. Sounds like a recipe for bruised knees, right?
Pole grip for dry skin tends to be absorbent, moisturizing, and a little bit tacky.
If you have oily skin, the oil prevents your skin from gripping the pole. To be clear, this isn’t the same as being sweaty. If you feel like you tend to have an oily face, you’ll probably fall into this category.
Pole grip for oily skin usually removes oils and repels moisture, leaving your hands feeling dry and sometimes a bit sticky.
Finally, sweaty hands have plagued pole dancers for years. Sweaty hands cause slightly different issues than oily skin. For example, your hands may not start to sweat until you really get into your routine—a huge concern for most pole dancers.
Pole grip for sweaty hands is often deep-cleaning and moisture-repelling. The best ones also contain anti-perspirant properties to stop you from sweating more throughout the routine.
Other Things That Can Cause Grip Issues
You may also experience grip issues unrelated to having dry, oily, or sweaty skin.
When your muscles are inactive for long periods of time, they start to shrink. So if you aren’t often using your fingers and hands for exercise, it’s normal to experience some grip issues.
Pain can be a major influence on your grip strength, too. On an unconscious level, your brain tries to prevent you from doing more damage to areas in pain. Even mild arthritis symptoms, for example, can trigger this protective action.
If you’re experiencing an unstable grip, noticing a loss of grip strength, or feeling pain in your hands/arms, there’s likely a bigger root cause. It’s worth speaking with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen, including pole dancing.
Find Your Perfect Grip Aid
Finding the perfect grip aid for your hands doesn’t have to be hard. In this guide, you’ll learn about the different brands, pros and cons of each, as well as what type of problem they help you with. It’s time to remove the limit on your pole dancing either at home or in the studio:
Where to Buy Pole Grip
Now you know the answer to “What does pole grip do?” And you understand just how beneficial it can be every time you pole dance.
Your next questions are probably which grip aid is best for you and where to buy it. The answer depends on what material your pole is made of, and what your needs are. The best grip aid for sweaty hands won’t work well for someone with dry skin, and vice versa.
You’ll also need to consider the season and climate. It’s normal to rotate between several different grip aids throughout the year.
In terms of where to buy pole grip, shopping online is going to be your best bet. It’s true that pole dancing is becoming more mainstream with each passing day. The thing is, it’s still challenging in many areas to find brick-and-mortar shops selling pole grip.
Next, you should check out PolePedia’s ultimate grip aid guide for a deep dive into popular grip aids and our honest opinions. We’ll also tell you exactly where to buy every single one.
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1. Life Hack, 10 Unexpected Health Benefits of Pole Dancing
2. National Library of Medicine, Patients with hyperhidrosis have changed grip force, coefficient of friction and safety margin