What's In Your Bag? November 10, 2015 16:37
A dodgy pair of leggings that stick to the pole (I call them my sticky pants and they're a strange hybrid I put together from a torn pair of pants and an old pair of leggings), some gloves with tack that have pretty much exploded at the seams, some leg wraps I've never worn, hair clips, band-aids, a packet of Stemazine (for motion sickness), a singlet and at least 4 different types of grip. These are the permanent contents of my gym bag; before I leave the house I add water and choc milk.
Of course, everybody's different but here's a handy list of some things you might find in a poler's gym bag.
Sweaty hands are a poler's worst enemy, but wiping them on the little amount of fabric you are wearing isn't really a good look (even though we ALL do it). Taking your own hand towel is a considerate and hygienic way to dry hands between moves. If you're extra slippy, you might even like to opt for a golfer's hand towel that's already got grip aid impregnated into the fabric which transfers to your hands when you wipe them.
Sure you may already have the pair that you wore into the studio, but how sexy do you think you'll feel doing floorwork in a pair of damp, dirty socks? Socks are great for saving your feet during floor work and splits practice and trust me, you'll be glad to be putting a fresh pair on if you need them. Leg warmers can also be pulled down to cover your feet for easier floorwork and have the added benefit of looking super hot.
Some polers avoid them, others can't live without them, but for those days when you just can't seem to stick it, a grip aid could save your training session. Everybody has their own favourite grip aids, but it's a good idea to keep a range on hand because different conditions can affect how well they work; I carry Dew Point for body, TiteGrip for sweaty hands, and for grip I use Mighty Grip powder or Gorilla Snot.
I'm a mum, so I never go far without a band-aid for just in case, but actually they're pretty handy to have around. I've drawn blood in pole class before (really should manicure more often) and it's much easier to quickly grab a bandaid from my own bag than having to disrupt the whole class so the instructor can get one for me. A single-use/disposable ice pack could also come in handy and maybe even some Arnica gel (make sure it's not Homeopathic) and painkillers. A foam roller or mobility ball might also be considered 'first -aid'.
Notebook and Pen/Pole Journal.
Many polers like to have a notebook a pen handy for writing down instructions for tricks, combos you've learnt or choreography you're working on. You can also draw diagrams and add notes.
Just as with any other form of exercise, it's important to stay hydrated, so make sure you've got a bottle of water with you (and remember to drink it).
I know it sounds too good to be true, but chocolate milk has been shown to be a highly effective recovery drink, and having it on hand to drink at the end of class is a delicious way to reduce muscle soreness. If the studio has a fridge it's a good idea to see if you can store it there, otherwise make sure it's in an insulated container.
They're only tiny, might as well throw them in for just in case!
This is just considerate to the other ten girls sweating alongside you in an enclosed space. Of course, if you're not a heavy sweater or you've reapplied before class, you can be forgiven for leaving this out.
If you've got long hair, you'll know the struggle.
If you're taking a few classes in a row, you might like to throw in a muesli or protein bar, some trail mix or a banana. And if you get ravenous after class, having a healthy snack with you may just stop you from hitting the drive-thru on the way home.
Pictures and video are great for improving your poling, showing you exactly which areas need work so remember to throw in your phone or a camera. Most polers seem to lean them up against something and hope for the best. Pole goddess Lou Landers has come up with a great little tripod for your phone that you can attach to the pole to easily capture your latest trick.
I personally don't pole in shoes (I literally can't walk in heels and have gnarly dancer's feet anyway) but if you do or plan to in the future, best to pack them in your pole bag. Even if you do most of your workout bare foot, you'll need to practice in them if you want to master your platforms.
Hand sanitizer, a travel pack of tissues and a yoga strap are also popular pole bag cargo. What else would you add to your ideal pole bag?