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Taylor Swift & One-Arm Tricks!


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Earlier this month Brett was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to perform at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas with none other than Taylor Swift!

Brett and eleven other aerialists as well as a cast of talented dancers and musicians opened the awards show performing with Taylor Swift and Brandon Urie on their new single ‘Me.’

The job required the aerialists to hang fifty feet in the air from custom made aerial umbrellas, holding poses and performing choreography all from one arm hanging from a hand loop!

Check out the full performance from the Billboard Awards right here:
 See if you can spot Brett in the bright yellow suit!

Even though the actual aerial performance was less than one minute long, the aerialists were required to pre-set by hanging in the rafters of the MGM Grand Garden Arena for a long five minutes prior to being lowered down for the climax of the song!

Although not the most physically challenging aerial job Brett has done, the stress put on the wrist, shoulder and forearm hanging from the hand hoop required some preparation In order to prevent injury. 

Whether you’re hanging from a hand loop fifty feet in the air (hey, you never know in this industry!), or trying a new One-Arm trick or transition in aerial class, conditioning your shoulders is essential for building strength, increasing endurance, and preventing injury when it comes to one-arm skills.

Here are our top three exercises for building shoulder stability for One-Arm Tricks on the Aerial Silks. 

Exercise #1: 1-Arm Hang

  • Hang from one arm 10 seconds 3x
  • Engage your shoulder and lats (there should be space between your hanging arm and ear). Work up to 20 seconds 3x (Use second hand only as needed)

Repeat other Arm

Challenge yourself to hold as long as you can.
(Pro tip: rosin helps!)

Exercise #2: One-Arm Assisted Inverts

  • From standing, double wrap one arm as high as you can on a single strand.
  • Hold second strand with your other hand at shoulder height while hanging.
  • Keep that arm bent with your elbow in towards your body.
  • Without jumping, lift your feet off the floor and keep your hanging arm engaged and both shoulders down as you tuck up with your legs slightly apart as high as you can until you can fully invert with your pelvis lifted towards the ceiling as much as possible, finishing with your hanging arm between your legs.
  • Slowly lower down with control and repeat 5 times. (Use opposite arm to assist by pulling as need).

Repeat other side. 

Progressions: Work up to straight legs and 2 to 3 sets per side.

Exercise #3 (bonus): Handstand with Wall

Hanging by one-arm can be intense on the shoulders. If you suffer from shoulder pain, particularly rotator cuff irritation from aerial training, we recommend adding additional ‘cross training’ exercises to your workouts to help stabilize your shoulders. Handstands are an excellent exercise to help keep those aerial shoulders happy. 

  • Start by kicking up into a handstand against the wall
  • Find a vertical alignment and push through your shoulders while keeping a strong core.
  • Try to avoid arching the back or bending the elbows. 
  • Work up to holding for 30 seconds, then one minute, then two minutes. 

We recommend two to three sets twice per week.

Have a fabulous rest of your week, we will see you in the air soon!

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