Are you thinking about trying your first aerial class, but are feeling a little intimidated? I get that. Tons of people tell me how much they’d love to come try silks, but rarely do they make it to their first class. And that sucks for them. I don’t want you to miss out. To ease the first class nerves, let me tell you what you should expect.
What to Wear
I’ve covered what to wear to class in depth before, so I won’t completely rehash it here. Basically, wear comfortable, close-fitting workout clothes. Make sure your legs are covered, and leave any thing with zippers behind. Removable sleeves (even an extra long sleeved shirt) aren’t a bad idea.
What to Expect
Every teacher and every studio are going to be different. But expect some sort of warm up to get your body ready to move. This might include some stretching, but ideally will be movements to get your joints “greased up” and moving smoothly throughout a range of motions (think shoulder rolls), movements to get your blood pumping (jumping jacks are my favorite way to get this done quickly), and some strengthening moves (like pushups) to wake your muscles up.
If this is your very first class, there should be a breakdown of how to get on your apparatus if it is a trapeze or lyra, and an explanation of simple knots and basic climbs for the silks. Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know how to do those things yet, or if you have no idea what that even means! That’s why you’re in class, remember? I promise, you can learn these things. You just have to show up and try.
You won’t be learning drops. (You shouldn’t be learning drops. If this is your first class, and you are learning drops, find a new studio–this one isn’t safe.) Even if you’ve spent the last 12 years in gymnastics, don’t expect to be learning Cirque du Soleil audition moves right away. Soak up the basics of this new way to move.
It’s okay if you get tired! Do what you can, take breaks if you need to.
Your hands will probably hurt.
This is normal. It will be more pronounced on trapeze and lyra where you’re gripping a hard bar, but don’t kid yourself with silks. You’re going to feel it after gripping that fabric for an hour. Gently push your fingers back to give your hands a little stretch in the opposite direction. It’ll help.
What to Do After
Cool down! Now would be the perfect time to stretch the muscles you’ve just used (in aerial, that’s usually all of them!). Shoulders usually get worked like crazy, so take some time to loosen them back up.
Oh, and what a great time to work on those splits! These are a lot easier after class when your body is still super warm.
Dealing with Soreness
You are going to be sore the following few days. Like, really sore. Did you know your armpits could be sore?? You’re likely moving in ways that you aren’t used to, hoisting yourself up in the air and twisting into new positions. Freaking great for your body (holla for functional fitness!), but you’re going to suddenly be aware of muscles you never knew you had. Yay! They’re working!
Drink lots of water. That’s always good advice, but it will help sore muscles to keep them hydrated.
Keep moving. It will help to move through soreness. Go slow.
Stretch. Take the stretches you learned in class home and use them.
Going into your first class can be intimidating. Don’t let that stop you from joining in the fun! I was so scared to go to my first silks class, despite being in decent shape at the time. But I can’t imagine the world I would have missed out on if I hadn’t gone. Be brave, take class!