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Booty Camp – Aerial Warm-Ups 101

So, here’s a little something you have probably already figured out: the older you get, the more important a good warm-up is. So, unless you’re, you know, eight, here’s an example of what you might need to rotate/roll/squeeze/stretch/thwack/twirl before each and every aerial class.


The Patented Laura Witwer Super-Duper-Ten-Minute-Top-To-Bottom-Pre-Class Warm-Up


  • Neck rolls, look from side to side, and bring your ear towards your shoulder on each side. Pretend you’re in “Flashdance” – it helps.
  • Shoulder shrugs/rolls. Add an eye roll and a “whatever” and it’s like you’re 15 again!
  • Arm circles in both directions, elbow circles, wrist circles.
  • Clasp your hands behind your back and open your chest, clasp your hands in front of you and round your back
  • Roll your spine up and down (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please send pictures of your interpretation – this could be very funny)
  • Ribcage isolations (side to side, front to back, circles)
  • Hip circles/isolations in all directions – make like Shakira!
  • Gently run in place and do a few jumping jacks to get blood flowing in the legs. Extra points for humming the “Chariots of Fire” theme.
  • Gently stretch hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and calves (a runners lunge, forward bend, & downward facing dog accomplish this pretty well). Did I say you could stop humming?
  • Shake out your body – you’ll look like a freak, but your muscles will love it.
  • If you have any creaky areas, spend some time warming the joints & muscles – show them some love!
  • A couple of push-ups and sit-ups. NOW! 😉


Now, I realize there’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this warm-up. It’s pretty basic, and those of you who have been working physically for a while now probably have your own thing going; but for those of you who are new to aerial work, this is a good place to start. But know this: many of you are not doing an adequate warm-up. How do I know? Because I can see you. I see everything, I’m a mother.


Do I Really Need to Do This?


Yes. Oh, you want me to explain? In a nutshell, a proper warm-up improves performance by increasing blood flow to sleepy muscles allowing them to contract more efficiently (= more power), lubes your joints with synovial fluid, and  lessens the chance of injury by taking muscles and joints through a controlled range of movement (don’t “surprise” them – they don’t like surprises, and will retaliate by spontaneously combusting or killing you in your sleep hurting a lot. Now, go forth and warm thyselves, mah peeps! And tune in next week when we talk about rigging – just in time to truss ourselves up like a turkey. Love and pull-ups, Laura



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2 comments on “Booty Camp – Aerial Warm-Ups 101”

  1. Johanna Vargas Reply

    I LOVE these posts! One of my trap teachers suggested you (I’d asked for inspiring videos) and I’m so thrilled she did. I especially love how you keep going back to nutrition and reminding us that if we don’t take care of our bodies, where will we live? THANK YOU for writing and sharing these!

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