Let’s be honest, when you’re new to aerial silks learning to climb is rough. Climbing is one of the most important aspects of aerial silks, but it’s also the part that gets most new aerialists (literally) tripped up. If you find yourself struggling to get your body up the silk, you’re not alone! Even advanced aerialists need to brush up on their climbing skills from time to time. While there are numerous types of climbs in aerial, we’re going to go back to basics with a standard climb. These are a few often overlooked mistakes you may be making while climbing and how to fix them!
It may sound shocking, but your arms aren’t the only muscle group you should be focusing on while climbing! While upper body strength is obviously beneficial to your climb, most beginners overlook the importance of their core while climbing. By using your abdominal strength to help lift your lower body, you can take the stress off of your arms and climb more effectively while fatiguing less quickly.
The Fix: Instead of focusing on pulling all the way up with your arms, imagine reaching up high and then pulling your knees to your chest using your core. Then you can easily stand up on the silk, reach up high and climb again.
One tricky aspect of climbing the silk comes when transitioning your foot wrap in between climbs. Most of us make the mistake of completely releasing our foot wrap only to frantically wrap it again mid-climb. This uses more of your precious energy and also tends to look pretty sloppy.
The Fix: While climbing the silk, slide your wrapped foot gently up along the fabric so that you can easily step on it for your next climb.
You might not think that your legs are all that helpful while you’re climbing, but proper leg placement can help you gain more height and climb more effortlessly. When stepping on the silk to climb, most of us automatically point our legs straight down to ground. By shooting your legs out in front of you, you gain a larger range of motion while you stand up on your wrapped foot. Not only does this give you more height, but it can also add a gorgeous dramatic flair to any flow!
The Fix: Engage your hip flexors and keep your legs pointed parallel to the ground while you step on your wrapped food. Then slowly roll your body up to a standing position and proceed to climb again.
Climbing is an essential building block of your aerial silks foundation and these are just a few simple fixes that you can use to strengthen your climbs and take them even higher. Ultimately, the best way to improve your climbing skills is through patience, practice and repetition. Keep your head up and just keep climbing!
Photos by Mary Jo Gruber
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