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5 Crucial Tips to Avoid Injury on the Aerial Silks

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Injuries are no fun. In fact they can be downright depressing.

Whether mild and ‘bearable’ or severe and debilitating, injuries can make us feel disempowered and question our passion for aerial arts.

Here at Womack and Bowman we believe that prevention is better then cure when it comes to aerial injuries. Having experienced and healed from everything from bruised ribs, strained hamstrings, hip flexors and rotator cuffs as well as broken bones over the past 15 years, we have learnt a thing or two about what NOT to do!

Here are our top 5 tips for preventing aerial-related injuries for aerialists and aerial students.

 1. Warm Up/Cool Down

Warming up thoroughly before your aerial class or training session gradually revs up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. This can help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk on injury.

Cooling down after your workout allows for a gradual recovery of pre-training heart rate and blood pressure.

We know it can be challenging both as aerial instructors and students to make the time to warm-up thoroughly during class (there is so much fun aerial-ing to do!). However, doing so will not only decrease you and/or your students risk of injury, but raising the heart rate for 6-8 minutes and progressively and actively stretching and strengthening all the major muscle groups will prepare your body and mind to learn and explore new tricks and combinations on the apparatus, making your class or training session all the more successful and enjoyable!

2. Pay Attention

Learning new material on the aerial silks is exciting and fun but as you know, there is a certain amount of danger involved.

Be sure you fully understand the trick or drop you are working on in class before attempting it.

Ask questions of your teacher; request that she/he demonstrate it again. Are you able to work through it low before taking it higher up?
Don’t be afraid to speak up, your instructor is there to help you!

If you are learning online (shout out to our Master the Silks students!) ask questions of your coaches (that’s what the Facebook MTS community is for) post videos of yourself working through the trick or combination low to the ground and ask for feedback before taking it up higher.

Listen, observe, ask and train smart, this will help you stay safe and injury free in the air.

 3. Take a Rest Day

Take 1-2 aerial rest days per week and let your body and mind recover. Go to a movie with friends; enjoy a leisurely walk in nature. Cross-train at the ‘normie’ gym or take a dance/spin/barre class (be sure you are not using your aerial ‘pulling’ muscles)!

Recharge fully so that when you come back to the silks, you are refreshed and inspired to learn and create at the highest level.

4. Get Bodywork

Massage, chiropractic treatments, Acupuncture, Rolfing, physical therapy, whatever kind of bodywork works for you, be sure to get regular, quality treatments. Do your research, ask fellow aerialists what they prefer and have had success with but be sure to do something!

Quality bodywork will lower your risk of injury, speed up recovery and do wonders for your mind and spirit!

5. Pace Yourself

Whether it’s only signing up for 5 aerial classes instead of 7 this week or turning down that 16- shows- in -4 -days contract  (we know, 1st world problems!), it is important to PACE YOURSELF! Your dream of being a professional aerialist or making incredible aerial gains this year will be cut devastatingly short if you injure yourself, get sick or burnt out from over doing it.

Train smart, work hard and stay inspired!

Have a wonderful rest of your week!

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