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Unlocking your Hip Key


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Womack and Bowman, Aerial Hip Key, Hip Key Tips

The Hip Key (also known as a Hip Lock) is a fundamental yet often times challenging component of Aerial Silks training. You may have been taking classes for years, performing challenging drops and combinations and still struggle with your Hip Key form. If this is you don’t worry, you are not alone! Today we have some super helpful tools (many that you can work on at home) that, when practiced correctly, will ensure that you develop the necessary strength and correct technique to execute efficient and beautiful Hip Keys on the Aerial Silks.

1. Twist &Fold (core warm up) 

Using the the edge of your bed (or, once you return to the studio, the edge of a crash pad or stacked panel mats) sit down with your booty on the bed and then get into a Piked Straddle position. Lean over to the right hip and point the right leg directly forward while crossing the left leg over to your right side, making a 90-degree angle with the legs extended. From there, twist back to straddle then repeat on the other side. Repeat the whole sequence two times, holding each position for 5-10 seconds.

2. Bend to Stay High

In order to not lose height and/or slide we always recommend beginning your Hip Key with bent arms. Starting with straight arms makes it extremely hard to hinge and get the hips up; it also wastes energy and makes your Hip Key much less effective.

3. Practice your Prep!

Try this hinging drill exercise with the silks while standing on the mat/floor:

Scissor the silks (opening the legs so that the silks are between them and leaning the body away), practice holding the hinge for 3-5 seconds trying to get the body to a horizontal position before coming back down to the floor. Repeat 3 times and then repeat on the other side. 

Quarantine Tip: If you don’t have access to a Silk right now but you DO have a Pull-up bar, practice the hinge-and-scissor action in a pull up position!

4. Raise the Roof (with your hips)

“Flexibility helps, especially to make it pretty, but in order to have a clean and efficient Hip key you need strength”  – Brett

Scissor the silks again and hinge into a horizontal position.Then, continue on with the rest of the Hip Key by passing through the piked straddle position we warmed up, all the while thinking about raising the hips up towards the roof, as close to your hands as possible. Finish the final position with the hips higher than the chest. Repeat 4 times and then repeat on the other side.

Study these tools and keep them in your proverbial aerial backpack for future reference (i.e. flag this email ;). The Hip Key, like many figures and tricks on the Aerial Silks, needs constant repetition and drilling so you may want to revisit these techniques at a later date.

Have an wonderful rest of your week, we will see you in the air soon.

All our best,
            Brett and Rachel

Want to ‘see’ these tips in video form? Check out Brett’s previously recorded video tutorial on the Womack and Bowman Facebook page right here:
Unlocking your Hip Key – Video Tutorial

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