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
As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, FB, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are posting things these days!