Simple Aerial Home Conditioning

June 2023

Aerial | Conditioning | All

Aerial sports are bold and beautiful, but can seem big and scary, especially when you're a beginner. It can seem impossible to gain the strength needed to climb, invert and get that split, especially when training videos use words like isometric and latissimus dorsi! This is why I've put together a simple list of four of my favourite at-home conditioning moves that you can complete with bodyweight alone, or using household items, while watching your latest Netflix binge. 

I have tried to stay away from the basics, squats, lunges and press ups, to give some variety in your training to target specific muscle groups important to aerial fitness. I will not be going into any depth on how or why these exercises are beneficial, you'll have to take my word for it! If you are interested in more detailed conditioning you can purchase classes here!

For some of these moves I have provided a regression and a progression. Remember, focus on your form, not the speed of your progress.

Exercise 1 - Wall toe touches:

We’ll start with a ‘relaxed’ pose, lying on the floor, with your legs straight up in the air against the wall. It does not matter if your legs are straight, a bend at the knees is perfectly acceptable, encouraged if it is easier on your back. With one hand at a time, reach up for the your toes - there is no expectation for you to make contact with your toes, the purpose is to restrict your movement to isolate your upper abs for invert conditioning!

Exercise 2 - Oblique twist and holds:

Sit on the floor with your back straight, legs slightly bent in front of you, knees together. Cross your arms across your chest and lean back ever so slightly, keeping a straight spine. Now twist your upper body: if twisting to the right, don’t let your left shoulder travel past your left knee, these are all small movements. Try not to collapse down to one side, or let your butt rise up off the floor. Hold for a few seconds, return to a neutral position, before repeating on the other side. This exercise will help with twisting motions, for instance when trying to move from front balance to back balance.  To regress this exercise: don’t lean back as far and don’t twist so far. To make it harder: lean back further, twist further! Or, hold a litre bottle of water against your chest - but remember to keep your back straight!

Exercise 3 - Squat slides:

Get into your deepest squat possible, before extending one leg out to the side. Slowly transfer your weight onto the other foot, shifting your body to the other foot, you can use your hands to walk along the floor to support this movement. Once you are in a mirror image to your start pose, pause to gain balance, before repeating the motion back to the start. This movement can be very intense on the ankles, so to reduce this, instead of maintaining bent legs as you shift your weight, straighten your legs as you reach the mid-point before crouching back down. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, try it without the help of your hands or for an even harder progression: sit down at each side, and try to return to the side squat position without using any momentum. This will do wonders for your hip mobility!

Exercise 4 - I, Ys & Ts:

It may sound like a nursery rhyme, but it's not so easy! Stand against a flat wall with enough room to draw a big circle around you with straight arms. The tricky bit in this exercise is keeping your back flat against the wall and your tailbone pointing down. Start with hands up above your head, straight arms and palms facing each other - don’t hunch your shoulders up, leave your ears room to breathe! This is your ‘I’ pose. Slide your thumbs down the wall, bending your arms at the elbows until your elbows are level with your shoulders, creating an angular ‘Y’ shape. Now keeping your back flat, straighten your arms out to the side to create your ‘T’ pose. A good tip for keeping your back flat on the wall is to imagine pulling your bellybutton back into the wall, this will help stop your ribs flaring out and therefore keep the small of your back on the wall. If these seem easy and you aren’t getting tired after 5 reps, then slow it down, focus on your form and ensure you are keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears. To make this one easier, just move between your ‘I’ and ‘Y’ shapes, your elbows don’t need to come the whole way down, just focus on keeping your back straight. To increase the difficulty, hold a can of soup (or equivalent) in each hand. 
Your shoulders will thank you!

Thank you for reading my blog, I hope that you have found a few new exercises to add to your catalogue. Not all training has to be done in the studio, nor does it need to be exclusively high intensity, as long as you move with purpose and maintain proper form, you should see the progress. 

- Molly (: