If you're a beginner aerialist, you're probably excited to learn everything you can about aerial arts. Whether you're drawn to aerial silks, trapeze, or another apparatus, it's important to approach your training with a focus on safety and progression. As an experienced aerialist, I wish I knew these 10 essential tips when I began aerial.
1. Train both sides
When you're first learning aerial, it's tempting to focus on your dominant side. However, training both sides is crucial for injury prevention and ensuring you don't plateau in your training.
2. Engage your core - the correct way
One of the most common phrases you'll hear in aerial is "engage your core." By using your abdominal muscles to maintain control on the apparatus, you'll find certain skills much easier to execute. Plus, proper core engagement can reduce the risk of injuries. Not sure how to engage your core effectively? Check out this blog post, our join our 30-day Core Challenge Program for a comprehensive guide. With this program, you'll be able to master core control and take your aerial skills to new heights while keeping yourself safe. After the challenge, you will understand your core and make your body work better from the inside out.
3. Breathing technique facilitates your invert & influences shoulder mechanics.
As a physiotherapist who works with acrobats and an aerialist myself, I've realized how powerful proper breathing mechanics can be. I've always been fascinated by the connection between breath and movement, but it wasn't until I started using specific breathing techniques that I discovered how it can make inversions easier and affect shoulder mechanics and core strength. My knowledge has been influenced by Functional Range Conditioning (FRC), Postural Restoration (PRI), Gyrotonics, Pilates, and Yoga. Looking back, I wish I had understood the importance of breathing earlier in my career. As a beginner, I underestimated just how crucial it is. However, I now love working with breathing mechanics and witnessing the positive impact they can have on my patients' performances. That being said, my easiest tips for you right now are to 1. pay attention to your breathing patterns, especially during challenging moves. And 2. to include breathing exercises in your warm-up and cool-down routines. Trust me, it can make a huge difference! Not sure where to start? Book a free call with me to get started or dive into the Core Challenge, which includes the basics of proper breathing technique and their connection to strength.
4. Tight muscles may be weak
Tight muscles may be weak and won't need a stretch, but strength training instead: Did you know that tight muscles could mean weakness, especially in your upper trapezius or hip flexors? That's why simply stretching may not be enough. The key is to incorporate balanced strength training to target those weak areas. By booking a personal training session, you can identify muscle imbalances and discover the right exercises to combat those tight spots. Get ready to say goodbye to those pesky aches and pains! Learn more about your tight hip flexors in this blog post.
4. You can dance!
Aerial is more than just a workout - it's a form of art! It's a beautiful way to express yourself and showcase your creativity. So
when you start your aerial training, remember to approach it with an open mind and embrace the artistry of this beautiful discipline. With a bit of creativity and expression, you can turn your aerial practice into a work of art that will inspire and awe yourself and your potential (future) audience. If you're interested in tapping into your very personal creativity and creating your own act eventually, we've got you covered! Check out our Act Creation Online Course for step-by-step guidance on how to spark your creativity.
It's not just about holding static poses - dancing with your aerial apparatus is a fun and creative way to express yourself and train your skills. Don't be afraid to experiment with different movements and see what feels natural for your body. Let the music guide you and allow yourself to flow with the rhythm. You might be surprised at what you can come up with! You'll not only improve your aerial skills but also have a blast doing it!
6. Instagram is frustrating and time-consuming
Instagram tutorials aren't always the best way to learn: Are you tired of spending hours scrolling through Instagram trying to learn new aerial moves? We feel you! While social media can be a great source of inspiration, it's not always the best way to learn. Many Instagram videos are quick and not detailed enough, which can lead to frustration and spending so much valuable time figuring out that one trick. That's why we recommend signing up for an on-demand training platform like Aerial-Playground. With our step-by-step guides to aerial tricks, flows and workouts, you'll get the detailed instructions you need to learn new moves safely and effectively and with the necessary foundational skills and conditioning preparation. So why waste time and risk injury with Instagram tutorials? Sign up for Aerial-Playground and take your aerial training to the next level today!
7. Grip strength is related to shoulder stability
If you want to improve your aerial skills, don't forget about grip strength and shoulder stability! Did you know that these two areas are closely related? So don't neglect grip strength and shoulder stability in your aerial training. By incorporating targeted exercises, you'll be able to take your skills to new heights while keeping your body healthy and injury-free. Improving your grip strength will positively affect your shoulder stability and the other way around. On the one side very convenient, but on the other hand, the same goes the other way. Problems in your shoulder will affect your grip, so always have both in mind when trying to improve.
8. Don't jump into dramatic drops
As a beginner in aerial, building a strong foundation is essential before attempting more advanced moves. While dramatic drops may look tempting, it's best not to jump into them right away. Instead, focus on developing your core strength, stability, and control. This will not only help you progress more safely and effectively, but it will also improve your overall aerial skills. Start by mastering basic moves and building up your strength and confidence. As you become more comfortable and confident in your abilities, you can gradually work your way up to more challenging moves. Remember, aerial is a journey, and enjoying the process and not rushing into things too quickly is essential. By building a strong foundation and taking the time to develop your skills, you'll be able to achieve your aerial goals safely and successfully!
9. Mobility is more important than flexibility
Flexibility is definitely important in aerial, but it's not the only factor to consider. In fact, mobility is just as crucial, if not more so. Mobility refers to the ability of your joints to move through a full range of motion with control and stability. It's important because it allows you to perform aerial moves safely with proper alignment and control. Work on developing mobility in your joints through functional movement patterns to progress safely in your aerial training. Remember, aerial is a physically demanding activity that requires a balance of strength, flexibility, and mobility. By focusing on developing your mobility, you'll be able to perform aerial moves with greater control and ease, helping you achieve your aerial goals safely and effectively!
10. Don't rig from trees
Rigging from trees may seem quick and easy, but it's incredibly unsafe. You don't know how the big, sturdy branch looks on the inside, right? Always prioritize your safety by rigging your apparatus from a secure point, such as a professionally installed rigging point. Don't put yourself at risk by rigging from trees or any other unsecured structures.
I hope these 10 essential tips will help you not to make the same mistakes as I did and lift your aerial career from the beginning on. Remember, aerial arts require patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn. It's important to approach your training with a focus on safety, progression, and creativity. Don't be afraid to ask for help, whether that means attending courses in your local studio, booking a personal training session, signing up for an online training course or a platform like Aerial-Playground, or taking an act creation course to help you find joy in the creative process.
Above all, enjoy the process of learning and growing as an aerialist. The aerial community is a supportive and welcoming one, and we're excited to have you join us. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of aerial and discovering what your body is capable of. Happy flying! P.S.: I would love to welcome you to our Facebook community to help you connect with like-minded aerial friends around the world.