How to Improve Your Grip - and Stop That Slip!
This is a questions that seems to get asked again and again in the world of pole dancing... What can be done to stop slippery hands from slowing down your progress in learning new moves?
This article gives a guide to what causes slippage, and some of the things that can be done about it.
1. Don't moisturise
This is sounds obvious - but you wouldn't believe how many people turn up at pole lessons with greasy hands and bodies from moisturising.
Excess moisture and grease from creams and lotions will not only make it slippery for you on the pole... it is also likely to leave a slippery layer on the pole itself, making it difficult for other people in your lesson.
Try to leave at least 12 hours after moisturising... or use alternatives such as body gels, that have a much lower 'grease' content.
2. Clean you pole (and hands) regularly
As you pole dance, your body produces sweat. This will firstly make your hands and body more slippery... and after a while (disgusting as it sounds), your pole will end up covered in a thin layer of 'slime'. Cleaning your pole regularly (according to the manufacturer's instructions) will remove that slippery layer, and washing your hands before doing pole will clear your hands from any sweat and everyday grime – making your hands and pole much grippier.
However... don't go over the top with cleaning your pole, as this will make its surface too shiny and slippery, and then it'll take a while for the grip to come back.
Likewise, pole dancing right after you've had a shower, exfoliated or razored isn't the best thing to do, as your skin will be really smooth and shiny – reducing it's stickiness.
As a rule, I would suggest cleaning your pole once every few weeks (depending on how often you use it), and leaving at least a few hours between showering and doing pole dancing.
3. Medicated substances, such as Lanacane, Driclor, Anhydrol and ZeaSorb
Some people naturally have sweatier hands than others. In everyday circumstances, excessively sweaty hands (and armpits and feet) can lead to both health problems (e.g. fungal infections) and social problems (e.g. noticeable and unpleasant body odour). Various medicated creams, lotions and potions are now on the market to reduce excess sweating. These products all work in slightly different ways... some block your sweat glands, some stop your body from producing sweat in the first place, whilst others simply remove the smell of your sweat.
Although I haven't personally used any of these medicated products, they may be worth looking into if you suffer from overly sweaty hands whilst pole dancing.
Explain your situation to your doctor or pharmacist, and ask them which product they would recommend to you.
4. Products That Make Your Hands Grip
With more and more people taking up pole dancing, companies from all around the world are appearing with various powders, creams and liquids that make your hands grippy. These don't affect the biological processes that happen when you sweat – the products themselves are what's grippy... and you apply these wither to your hands or to the pole itself.
The most common products used for pole dancing are:
Strengthen Your Hand Muscles
In my opinion, this is by far the best way to improve your grip whilst pole dancing. Although there are a whole load of products available to improve the grippy-ness of your hands and reduce sweating... the downside with these is that you have to keep applying them, and after a while you become dependent on them.
Pole grip is not only down to the surface or your skin or the pole... the strength of your hands and how hard you can grip are much more important. By regularly exercising your hand muscles (both whilst you're doing pole and by exercising them in between lessons), you will build up a much stronger, firer grip that will make it much easier to grip the pole – without needing to keep reapplying products that you then can't do pole without.
Various 'grip strengtheners' are available from sports shops... which, if used a few times a week, will make your hand muscles much stronger. A cheaper alternative is to get two tennis balls, place one in each hand, and squeeze on them about 10-20 times. If you repeat this for a few times in a day, 3-4 days a week, you'll be surprised how strong your hands will get, and how much easier you will find gripping the pole – even when your hands get a bit sweaty.
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