It’s coming up to the end of the year, and for a lot of us aerialists that means a break in training. Studios close, lessons stop, open training can’t be found for love or money… And sometimes you plain old feel like taking a break. That’s fine, and it can be a really useful thing to step back from your training to reflect and refresh for the new year. But it can also be very easy to get lazy, and it’ll be very frustrating to come back after a month of no training to find that all your hard work and progress from the past year has disappeared without a trace.
The best solution is to keep up your training, either with open training sessions (if you’re lucky enough to be near a studio offering them over the holidays) or with at home exercises for the major muscle groups that make your aerial practise possible. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take a break and enjoy yourself, but even 10-15 mins a few times throughout the holidays will make a world of difference. Here are a few of our favourites:
Grip strength: This is often the first to go, as the little muscles in your hands lose conditioning and your calluses fade. Flicks, wrist pushups and squeezing things will all help to keep your hands in shape. (I’ll add in a video link later showing those exercises). Bonus points for finding playground equipment or a pullup bar and just hanging with shoulders engaged.
Arm strength: All the usual ones still apply – pull-ups for aerial strength, pushups to counteract all the overhead work. Also please keep working on your rotator cuff exercises! Those are ones you should be doing these year round, as these tiny muscles are vital for shoulder stability and can cause a huge number of problems if not properly conditioned for the work we do. Grab yourself a theraband and do a few sets of these:
Core: Anyone who has done a class with me will know and hate love Sallys. Put on the song, get yourself into a dish position and any time you hear “bring Sally up”, bring your knees to your chest, and on “bring Sally down” lower back down into dish. This song works for pushups, squats, leg lifts, anything you like really, so get excited: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A2V9Bu80J4
If you know there’s something you need for your routine, e.g. it’s super energetic and you need cardio fitness, go for a run. If you are the bendy type, keep up your stretching. These exercises are a very basic, general guide, so build on them to make something that suits you. Not sure what else you need to do? Have a chat to your coach or trainer about what you can work on. If there’s interest I’ll put out a few more posts with extra exercises (this post was originally 3-4 times longer, but I didn’t want to scare anyone off!), so comment below if you’d like more.