Over and over again, we have new students ask how they can possibly improve when class is only once a week.
- Should they go ahead and hang a trapeze in their living room?
- Should they do a million pushups everyday?
- Should they really even bother, since obviously they can’t learn a new skill only coming once a week?
Well, as tempting as it is, please don’t hang a trapeze after one class. I’m never going to argue with someone who wants to do pushups. And for God’s sake, DON’T convince yourself that improvement is impossible when class is only once a week!
It’s completely possible to keep improving in aerial classes when class is only once a week. In fact, when you’re just starting out, it’s kind of perfect. You have plenty of time to digest the new information and it gives your body some adjustment time.
But there are a lot of things to do in those sad, sad six days when your feet are on the ground.
Aaahhh, who just cringed? You knew it was coming!
I know. This is not as fun as swinging from the ceiling. But this is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO TO IMPROVE.
Does your teacher do ab exercises on the floor? Do those at home!
Does your studio offer a conditioning class? Take it! Our studio offers aerial conditioning classes three times a week. They are open to every student, and are required for our performance company members. New students are oftened intimidated by these classes, but chances are, if you’re at a safe school, they’ll be tailored to everyone’s fitness level. Ask your teacher.
Can you get a pullup bar? I have one that hangs in the doorway at home. It’s great for, duh, pullups. But when I started focusing on trapeze, this came in really handy for static moves under the bar.
Take Notes During Class
Bring a pen and a notebook and take notes during class. Write down what new moves you learned, what conditioning exercises you did, etc. Ask your teacher if you can take pictures or record yourself or them doing that new silks wrap. I’m a visual learner; video plus notes helps me a lot.
This is far more helpful than it sounds. Mentally walking yourself through the physical steps of a new trapeze transition or silks move is huge. Where should I place my hand on the rope? Should my leg be in the middle of the trapeze bar or near the thimble? Which side am I placing the fabric on before my knee hook?
If you can work these things out on the ground, step-by-step, in your head, it will be so much easier in the air.
This means actually eating!
Aerial classes are physically demanding. You need those calories. Don’t fear them; good calories are your friends!
The key here is good calories. If you eat like crap, your physical performance will likely reflect that.
Finally, make stretching a habit. Just like you want to build strength for aerial, maintaining and increasing flexibility is really important. Focus on your shoulders, hips, and everyone’s favorite, the splits.
Make sure to stretch after you condition. Stretching temporarily weakens your muscles, so save it for after all those pullups. Because you are definitely conditioning, right?