Everywhere you look there are hundreds and thousands of different pole products. If you’re anything like me, you think you need them all! As there isn’t a pole fitness shop in every town centre (I wish there was!) you can’t go and browse, see what you like, talk to people and try products out.
I know you can do this at conventions and competitions etc but again this is a snap shot of the products available.
When I first started to pole I had no idea what products would be useful or not and ended up buying all I could find. So here are my thoughts!
Get yourself a tight short pair of pole shorts. Think hot pants with a little more coverage. I hate the top of my thighs so my shorts cover this and my bum is hidden… just! I know when you first start you will probably want to cover yourself up but invest in the shorts that you are going to end up wearing – as soon as you start to climb and sit you will want shorter shorts! If you get nervous by short shorts, try and get skin tight ones that you can roll up to reveal skin and give you grip where you need it. I wear tight tiny shorts with baggy shorts over the top to keep me decent 🙂
I find tight vest tops over a sports bra are the best – the vest doesn’t have to be skin tight, but tight enough so that you can lift the bottom half of the vest top up so it stays there – perfect for those cold days when you need your stomach out but it’s far too cold! I also love sports bras with thin straps like bra straps so that you can shoulder mount without your clothes getting in the way.
You don’t have to buy pole specific clothes which can often be expensive, but if you do, try to find reviews online of the website or company. I bought a pole shorts / crop top ensemble from an online pole store claiming to be pole wear but unfortunately it gives me no coverage or support what so ever! If I go upside down in class my students are going to have to avert their eyes. Maybe I’ll wear it on the beach one day! (Not upside down though!)
Of course the more well known stores will be much better and there are a lot of online reviews for these companies too. I’ve been seeing ads for new pole shops that I know to be of good quality so after this I’m about to treat myself to some more pole clothes 😀
Leggings / leg warmers
Now these are not must have pole products but I have found them useful recently. I like to wear them when I first warm up and get on the pole until I am really to use my legs. I often do my spins (that don’t require leg grip), handstands and floor work dressed like this and then change to shorts when I’m warmer. Again, this can be leggings you buy for £5, nothing special.
There are so many grips around, I can’t go through them all. I have at least 10 different products in my bag right now but most of them have never been used. I will do a review of each of them for you all soon! It’s hard to tell which grip will be right for you and can often change depending on weather or what your skin is like at the time. Have a think about what makes you want grip (hands too dry or slippery) and if there’s anyway you can help yourself ie shower after class not before – a little grim makes you more sticky 😉 Ask around in class to those using grip if you can try some – usually someone will let you, or even just use the pole the gripped up students use and see if it makes a difference – if so, buy away! These are usually quite cheap and last a long time, so not too much of a scary investment.
Hmm… the best thing I would say is to ask your instructor if you have one, what they use and recommend. You should try and get the same size pole (as long as you like it) as it helps to learn on the same size at home and in class. You might even be able to get a discount through them too! I know which brand I use and love – everyone is different and has a reason for loving what they use. In terms of static vs spinning if you can, I’d say go for a pole that can do both. Usually they are only a little bit more expensive and you never know what you will want to learn on in the future.
I’ve bought quite a few different ones and found that the simplest really are better. I’ve bought a few pole specific cleaning products but find they don’t work as well as other easily available products. I use cleaning wipes that are usually just a few pounds and go for the brand specific to the type of pole you have – you can get ones for different metals, wood, flooring, tiles etc. They start wet and really clean the pole but are great for wiping it when they are dry too. Which ever you try, test it on a small part of your pole first to see if it works for you. Be careful if using this in class (or any other chemical cleaner) as a lot more people than you realise are allergic to certain chemicals within these products.
For me, the best cleaner has to be vodka. I’ve got it in a spray bottle and use it on a microfiber cloth (the best cloths I think) and use that to clean the pole. Just make sure the pole is dry before you use it and off you go! I was a bit skeptical about using vodka at first but I’ve been using it almost daily for a year and find it really works.
Books / DVDs
With choosing Books and DVDs they really depend on what type of learner you are. For me, I need a video that I can watch over and over again in quick succession and play in slow motion. I find that some DVDs out there are just too fancy for their own good. That said, I find pole specific stretching and flexibility DVDs are great and when you have done them a few times you get used to it, so now I have it on in the back ground while I watch TV and play with the puppy (he joins in stretching with me!)
I am in the process of reviewing the many books and DVDs I have on pole. I would say to have a look on YouTube for previews / trailers of DVDs as this tends to be a good representation on the DVD itself. When you’ve found the one you’re after, have a Google and find reviews. The pros and cons written by others really help me decide what to buy. If you are a beginner there’s no point just buying an advanced one just because the moves look cool. You will get there but need to learn the basics first 🙂
There aren’t too many pole books around but the ones I have come across are great. I like to be able to have a hardcopy of a book so I can flick through and find moves I like. I always take a small pole book around to the studio incase I have some extra time to practice new moves.
I’m Sure There’s More
I purposefully haven’t gone into specifics on grips, books and DVDs, as I want to give you a whole overview on each of the products I have. I always think that all you need is yourself and the pole and anything else you pick up along the way is an added bonus. I hope my list has helped you. I’m sure there’s more great products I haven’t mention, so let me know what you use 😀