Happy December everyone!! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving season and have lots of fun planned for Christmas and the New Year.
Awhile ago I announced that when the New Year comes I’ll (hopefully) be starting aerial silk classes. There’s a barre studio near me that just got silks and announced they will start classes January 1st, so I’m super excited and hope I can afford to make that happen. I’ve been dying to join some kind of fit-sport since I moved into my apartment, and aerial silks is one thing I’ve wanted to try but never thought would happen. It isn’t exactly a very common sport, so I’m thrilled that it will be available just down the road from me.
Now that December is here, I’ve written a new fitness plan to target some particular weaknesses, and build strengths to condition myself for aerial. Of course nothing is like being on the silks themselves but there are certain exercises that will help me prepare. Even if the aerial classes don’t work out, I’m loving this combination of calisthenics and suspension training so I might just keep doing that for awhile.
What I’m working on . . .
Grip strength – If you’re at all familiar with aerial silks you know that every movement requires gripping the silks for an extended time. Since I’ve essentially been doing lifting and pilates workouts for the last couple of months, my grip strength is in dire need of some extra work. Thankfully I have the two of the best tools for that – a pullup bar and gymnastic rings.
Flexibility – Most of the “coolest” aerial moves require a lot of flexibility, and while you don’t have to be able to do the splits to start aerial, it certainly makes things easier. I’ve maintained my flexibility pretty good over the last few months, but I’m starting to do longer and more focused stretching sessions. Besides getting my splits, I really need to work on improving my shoulder and back mobility to make all the activities I do easier and prevent injury.
Hanging and suspension work – Every kind of exercise has it’s own set of challenges and targets your muscles differently. Calisthenics help you move your body through space. Lifting helps you move heavy objects through space. Suspension work calls every tiny and major muscle in your body to stabilize you on an unstable surface (e.g. gymnastic rings). Suspension work is a LOT harder than it looks. If you don’t believe me, go have a person who only lifts or does bodybuilding stabilize themselves on gymnastic rings. They’ll be shaking like an earthquake, guaranteed. It just calls on a totally different set of muscles. That’s why rings are considered the king of all upper body workout equipment, even above dumbbells and barbells. (Hint, hint: if you’re trying to get that toned or ripped upper body look, rings are the way to go.)
Core drills – I’ll also be doing a lot more focused core exercises which will be very important so I don’t flop around like a ragdoll on silks.
Here’s a sample workout from this program. If you’re interested in having a printable copy of the full 30 day program sent to your email, comment below or send me an email at email@example.com. It’s just $10 for the full program, which by the way will get great results for anyone who sticks with it.
Simple total body routine:
Dead hang – 5x 1 minute
Front leg lifts (hanging) – 100 per leg
Basic ring support – 5x 30 seconds
Hanging L-sit (knees bent) – 5x 30 seconds
Ring dips – 5x 8