If you are an addict, the first step is admitting you have a problem! ;) These are 5 tips that can help you ween yourself of the grip aid and help you not become addicted to it in the first place!
1. LIMITING YOURSELF AND MODERATION ARE KEY
It might sound pretty basic, but just setting the intention to use less and limit yourself to how much grip aid you use in your next pole class or session is Step 1.
Just make a plan to use less grip aid next time your on the pole or in class. Try only applying half of what you usually do and figure out how to work around the new feeling of not feeling as sticky.
2. CLEAN YOUR POLE FREQUENTLY
When you feel slick, CLEAN YOUR POLE MORE FREQUENTLY with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth....like between every spin! You can even wipe your skin with the alcohol if you feel the skin is too moisturized. I clean the pole every time I get on and get off during class, and this is OK!
Try a spin or climb 2-4 times and clean the pole in between.
3. HYDRATE YOUR BODY & SKIN
Again, we hear it all the time, but the more hydrated you are, the more supple and grippy your skin is! This will actually benefit your grip since supple skin grips better than dry skin. Don't be scared to apply lotion all over your body on days you're NOT on the pole! This will actually help you on the days you do pole since your skin will be moisturized.
4. WARM UP THAT POLE - (electronically or with your body!)
The warmer the pole is, the better you will stick to it, so if you pole is cold or directly in front of air conditioning it might be affecting your grip! And yes, you can actually buy an X-Pole - Pole Warmer that will warm your pole for you, however, it is also free and a good warm up for your body to do yourself! Part of the warm up for our body is doing exercises, climbs, and spins on the pole so both you and the pole are warmed up and ready to go.
5. BRING A TOWEL FOR YOUR BODY
Depending on the climate and what location I am in, my grip aid situation can change. In Ohio, my hands had a cold sweat reaction to the dry cold weather I wasn't use to where I literally couldn't stop them from sweating, even when I was resting and hanging out.
When I can't control my environment during a performance in a venue, outside, or a new location I also am known to use grip aid when I usually wouldn't or double up on it because the above conditions sometimes aren't met.
There are a lot of different grip aids on the market so if you are still slippery it can be a matter of finding the right product,combination and amount you need for training and performing. I only put on grip aid after I have made sure to do all the things listed above and still find myself feeling slippery. Weening myself off of grip aids makes me stronger and saves me a ton of money which are all positive things in my opinion.
Learning to work with a little slippage and knowing I am still secure in certain moves is also invaluable when I started competing and got in quick call situation where I had to decide whether or not I could complete a move or trick with my hand or knee hook slipping. Some moves you can, and others you need to go to plan B. Training with less grip or in a "worse case scenario" helps my body gauge these things when on stage and keeps me safe. It also makes me prepare my plan b moves in routines where there are needed grip tricks so if I have no grip I can do something else safely. I never depend on my grip aid to be the only reason I'm sticking to an aerial apparatus. Instead I depend more on my strength, experience, and practice working without it and am a more confident and strong pole dancer because of it.
Challenge yourself to become less dependent on grip aid and I bet you will find yourself a step ahead of the grip aid addicts in class! In the time they reach for and apply their grip aid, you'll be on the pole practicing your move 1 or 2 more times more than them and be ready to start again with a quick alcohol cleaning of your pole. Plus you'll have some extra cash every month to buy yourself a fancy drink! hehe =D
xoxo - Ember