The Four Things You Must do When Trying Aerial Hoop

Aerial Hoops by A Novel Way

Many exercises have clear resources and a huge following, see Yoga or Pilates, and therefore a wealth of online knowledge. Aerial hoop does not. When I first started I remember researching the best stretches, or the best exercises to help improve strength and flexibility. And while there were articles out there, there weren’t many.

So here are my top tips for those starting out at aerial fitness. This are just the ones that stuck with me, if you have any others, please share!

  1. Wrap Your Thumbs

This depends on who teaches you as to how important they make this fact, but it is in fact, rather fundamental. With aerial hoop, when you go upside down your hands your thumbs give you much needed protection whilst swinging. Without your thumbs wrapped, your hands will slip. I’m sure there are those who are more experienced than I who will be able to state moves which don’t require a thumb grip, but when you’re starting out, you need to remember- wrap your thumbs!

  1. What Not to Wear

Avoid slippery clothing, this is predominately for your own sense of safety. When you get more experienced it won’t affect your ability to judge your grip, but at the beginning your clothing is important. Wear tight clothes to ensure any excess material doesn’t get wrapped around the hoop, and keep your skin covered to prevent burns- there isn’t anything to prevent the bruises mind…

  1. Accessories Don’t Make an Outfit

Remove rings, necklaces, watches etc. I know of those who have ripped out their earrings on silks *shudder*, but it’s all about your best judgement. If you can cover your earrings with a plaster, you should be ok, but you’re still risking it. Tie your hair back. Whilst dramatic movies with long flowing hair is everyones #hairgoals it does effect your visibility and judgement.

  1. Leotards Are Where It’s At

This isn’t a must, but it’s a recommendation. I used to get told off so frequently for stopping to adjust my clothing and cover my belly when hanging upside down. And I was right to be told off, unless it’s dangerous, don’t adjust. Wearing a leotard helped to prevent any of my own fears of showing off my belly, and prevented me from making wardrobe adjustments. A swimsuit will work as well…

What other tips do you have for those starting out at aerial fitness? Leave me a comment!

 

Challenge: The challenge. 60 books. 1 year. 1 blog post per book. 1 review per book. Click here to see my Goodreads profile.

Previous book read:Moonlight Sins (De Vincent Series) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Current book read: Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab

 

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Confessions of an Aerial Addict: Bruises, Burns and Blisters

First aerial class, and I remember being told:

“You’re gonna feel it tomorrow, and you’ll probably have a fair few bruises.”

The next day I couldn’t lift my arms above my waist, my shoulders burned and my core popped up to say hi for the first time in forever.

Bruises

Bruises, however, didn’t crop up for a few lessons. But when they did, they were lookers. They were great big blooms of greens, purples and blacks along the inside of my arms, the backs of my knees and even on my hips. Other girls have avoided certain moves before planning on wearing skirts, shorts or going on holiday.

Just take heed. The bruises come and go, and a lot of the moves will bruise to begin with before your skin toughens up… but it was a factor I had never considered.

Burns

Ok, onto the burns. The burns are mainly from silks, or tissu. The most frequent place I found them cropping up was after foot lock. A simple move which is the basis for most manoeuvres as it gives you a solid platform where the weight is taken off your arms.

Again, these aren’t forever, I can now stay in foot lock for long periods of time without my toes feeling like they might pop off. But inverts where you rely on the top of your foot from letting you hit the floor…yeah, that still hurts.

Blisters

And the blisters… callouses, ripped skin and just generally unpleasant state your hands are left in can be dreadful. I find my limit is two hours of aerial hoop before my hands need a chance to rest. I’ve found using climbers wax can help keep the skin tough but soft.

The combination of chalk, sweat and tape can really rip your hands up.

But despite it all, I look at my bruises, burns and blisters and smile. Because you should never do something if you don’t think its worth it, and without a doubt. For me. Circus is worth it.

The challenge. 60 books. 1 year. 1 blog post per book. 1 review per book. Click here to see my Goodreads profile.

Previously read: A Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

Currently reading: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Confessions of an Aerial Addict: Defeating Your Inner Pessimist

Aerial Hoop Half Angel Aerial Fitness

It’s not easy to accept your limits. You’re told, “Don’t compare yourself to others”… but it’s awfully hard not to.

My first aerial lesson, I rocked up on my own, the kind of confidence which had to be faked (it was) with the acceptance that I would suck (debatable) and the knowledge that my cardio was at an all time low (so true it hurts).

I was met with smiles and open arms, and I prepared to do a warm up with as much excitement as someone being informed of a power cut at CES (having thought this through, I probably would have found this quite exciting, very much like the start of some end of the world movie with an uprising of robots…I digress). The warm up was hard but running on a crash mat is similar to doing jumping jacks on sand.

I gathered round a yellow taped hoop, and watched as the instructor nimbly lifted with straight legs into a straddle before hocking on. Whilst hanging upside down she informed us of the safety points, on the areas to hold tight and how to safely dismount. I don’t remember hearing anything. I just saw her and thought, I’ve made a huge mistake.

There wasn’t a single part of my brain that said You’ve got this. I approached the hoop smiling, but hiding the already embarrassed and humiliated part of me. I made a jokey comment to deflect my anxiety to the other beginners, grasped the hoop and jumped.

It was not elegant at all. It was a flexed footed, grunting, sweating success. I had done it. I had managed the impossible. I sloppily climbed into sitting and sat there, the hoop swinging, 6ft in the air, grinning like a crazed Cheshire cat.

The next week, I couldn’t mount the hoop. What the week before had been easy, suddenly became the hardest thing I’ve ever persevered at. For the next 6 weeks I couldn’t get up into the hoop without an instructor on each butt cheek, hefting me up onto the hoop.

I felt disheartened. This was the first of many, many hurdles I met doing aerial acrobatics. It wasn’t a permeant limitation, and I tried every time to get into the hoop on my own, but I accepted it as a personal challenge which I would one day overcome.

The following term, I upped my lessons to twice a week, and things began to get easier. My next hurdle would be mermaid, then amazon, then double hock drop, followed by a myriad of other mountains to climb. Each one, I accepted and preserved at.

Some, like double hock drop, I may never achieve. Not because I’m not capable, but because the brain is a powerful hurdle that can prevent even the most able of people from overcoming.

I expect to meet many more hurdles as I continue on my aerial adventures, but after that second class, where I went back to my car and cried before driving home, I won’t let it reflect on my capabilities. I am capable of anything, even if I do have to accept my limitations sometimes.

 

The challenge. 60 books. 1 year. 1 blog post per book. 1 review per book. Click here to see my Goodreads profile.

Previously read: Brave (A Wicked Trilogy no.3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Currently reading: Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

Confessions of an Aerial Addict

I’m sat here sipping my coffee, having come straight from work to the climbing centre, watching videos on the safe way to get into an Arabesque…because I’ve become an aerial addict.

In February 2016 I had the fortune of being taken to see Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall for a Christmas present. My grandma and my sister also had the pleasure of attending the same show, but it didn’t quite change their life as it did mine.

My 2016 New Years Resolution was to stop wishing for things, and to start doing them. I had long fallen in love with theatre, but never joined an amateur dramatics society to try it out. Instead I would leave feeling that sense of excitement and sadness that it was a world I didn’t live in. So when I left Cirque Du Soleil with the same sense of amazement and longing, I refused to feel sad.

My sister and I shared a hotel room that night, and we giggled away attempting to do the splits and doing forward rolls on our single beds, trying not to fall off.

The following day I searched “dancing in the air”.

I wasn’t sure what to search, and then I happened upon several articles of people trying out this new fad of ‘aerial yoga’, from there my search led me to a local circus school, specialising in Aerial Silks and Hoop.

Just under two years later I’m sitting in a coffee shop taking notes as I undertake my Beginner Instructors Course.

Because I love this photo. Throwback to Tuesday. #aerialhoop #Halloween #lovelife

A post shared by A Novel Way To Move (@a_novel_way_to_move) on

This is of course at the same time as I carry on with my unfinished NaNoWriMo novel. Because I refuse not to do things and not get a chance to live in world I want to be apart of. And if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. I’m fine with that. But I don’t want to miss out on experiences that I wish to try.

And when I next go to the theatre and the familiar feeling of longing and sadness for an experience I haven’t had the pleasure to enjoy, then I will try hunt down a local theatre school.

Oh, and I have my grade 2 piano exam on Friday

Unsurprisingly, my aim for this year is to do less.

The challenge. 60 books. 1 year. 1 blog post per book. 1 review per book. Click here to see my Goodreads profile.

Previously read: Torn (A Wicked Trilogy no.2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Currently reading: Brave (A Wicked Trilogy no.3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.