Grip Strength and what it means to a Pole Dancer

Christina Mahoney - APC 2017 Trickster - Grip Strength and what it means to the Pole DancerHow much grip strength should one have? Obviously not everyone needs to hold their body weight up on a regular basis apart from pole dancers (and rock climbers … ).

After treating pole dancers for a few years now, we asked what separates the best dancers from beginners. The ability to hold one’s own body weight with the grip strength to transition between tricks and stay on the pole would be a defining characteristic.

So, we set about investing in a grip strength meter or dynamometer and figured maximum grip strength would be a great way to start the process. We quickly realised that while useful, we also needed a grip endurance measurement and decided to take one after their routine.

The Asia Pole Championship (‘APC”) provided us with a unique opportunity to gain insights into the unique attributes of the top performers of this unique art. We wanted to build a database and as the performers at APC are the gold standard in what students should aim for, it would seem obvious that this data should be collected to enable students to have a goal to work towards.

Rhyn - APC 2017 Most Powerful - Grip Strength and what it means to the Pole DancerWhat we found was that there was a great variety in the before and after measurements. We will list the averages, ask some questions about the variations, and try to understand our methods to improve our understanding. This is just an initial finding and far from the end result.

Maximal grip strength was recorded before the performers went on stage and another reading of maximal grip strength was recorded immediately after their routine.

We also recorded their body weight in pounds, if they already knew it or we manually did a conversion from kilograms. This year’s APC included male participants and we excluded them, as it will not be relevant to most of our readers.

Megan B - 1st Runner Up - Grip Strength and what it means to the Pole DancerOn average the elite female pole dancers revealed that they should have an ideal grip strength of about 67% of their body weight before the routine and the fatigue after the routine caused a drop to 55% measured immediately after the routine.

The physically strongest competitor was able to generate 77% of her body weight and maintain it throughout, ie the same before and after her routine. There was a surprising finding where one of competitors began with 68% and ended with 75% relative to her body weight.

The weakest before measurement was 58% of her body weight and she improved 62% after her workout. A similar sized competitor produced 61% before the performance and reduced to 53% after the routine. Another competitor of a similar stature began with 66% and ended with 60% after her routine.

A few competitors managed to maintain their before and after grip strength. There were some competitors that got a bit stronger after the routine! Whether, this was due to the original measurement being submaximal effort or due to the physiological adrenaline output is uncertain.

These are preliminary findings and more research will be done for various levels. Stay tuned or sign up for our newsletter.

Haruna Matsunami - APC 2017 Champion - Grip Strength and what it means to the Pole Dancer

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Asia Pole Championship!

Photos are courtesy of SLAPAsia Pole Championship.