I attended my first ever straps workshop during Maactober 2019 and I can safely say I was completely blown away with the discipline. Even though it does require a certain degree of strength, I would encourage anyone who is interested to give it a try regardless of previous experience.
We can all agree that aerial straps is not only super cool but incredible to watch. If you’re thinking of joining the aerial revolution and learning to perform on straps, then here are a few things you should know before your first class.
Long sleeves and wrist wraps
As straps are predominately wrapped around your wrists, you’ll want to have a layer of protection between the nylon and your skin. Tubular bandages are the number one choice for aerialists. They’re super cheap and can be picked up from most chemists or supermarkets. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have long sleeves on as well.
Even though your wrists will take most of the tension, your hands may still end up being sore due to ‘beginners death grip’ on the straps. The nylon material can be pretty hard on your hands until you learn to trust your wrap.
Top tip – If your hands continue to hurt, try extending your tubular bandage to your knuckles with a hole cut out for your thumb. This will protect your palm and ease the pain.
Tell your instructor if you have any injuries
This may be a given but its good practice to always inform your instructor of any injuries you have. If they’re aware, then moves and exercises can be modified so you can still take part and train safely.
I was training while recovering from a sprained wrist so please listen to your body and if it hurts, STOP!
Lats not biceps
Aerial straps is mostly trained using straight arms so that means no biceps! As I found out, the lats and shoulders need do all the upper body work which makes transitions and shapes flow more seamlessly so this is a challenge in itself.
Bonus… if you keep at it, your back will look amazing!
Leave your ego at home
Even though straps requires strength and (some) flexibility, this doesn’t mean you’ll be expected to preform a perfect flare or touch the floor with your toes during skin the cat.
Working hard to achieve your goals without comparing yourself to others is more beneficial than giving up straight away because you can’t nail a flawless meat hook on your first try.
And finally… just have fun
As the old saying goes – “Work hard and play hard” sums up most aerial disciplines perfectly. Enjoying your class while learning new skills, meeting new people and being the best version of yourself when training will help you develop your skills.
If you want to find out more about straps, send me a message or leave me a comment.