by Mary Jo Gruber June 01, 2021 2 min read

Hip keys on aerial silks are a foundational move that can be easily incorporated into your flows or routines to add an elegant, dramatic flair with endless possibilities. Once you’ve accomplished this move, you can easily create a gorgeous spin and transition into a wide range of beautiful poses. But as with all things in aerial, there are few struggles you might find yourself facing as you work on perfecting your hip key entry. Here are a few of the most common hip key issues and how you can get past them!


Hip Key on Red Aerial Silks

Problem: You Can’t Seem To ‘Scoop’ Up The Fabric

This is a very common issue for those just starting to learn hip keys. Typically, this happens because you haven’t quite nailed down the leg motion required to properly scoop the fabric between your legs. 

Solution: Try The Motion Laying Down

Sometimes the best way to learn a motion in the air is to first try it out laying in the ground. Experiment with laying down on the mat and bringing the tail of your silks to the side of your body, as if it were in the air. Next, practice swinging your legs out and scooping the fabric in between. You can play with this on the ground until you feel comfortable with trying it in the air. 

Problem: The Fabric Is Too Low On Your Hip

If you’ve gotten into your hip key, but you keep noticing that the fabric is in the wrong place and you have to readjust it, this is probably due to not utilizing your straddle or failing to drop your hips back during the entry.

Solution: Try Dipping Your Hips Back

Fully straddling your legs as your scoop the fabric is essential to making sure the silk ends up in the right spot. To do this, you’ll need to drop your hips back from the fabric. This allows you to have a full range of motion and effortlessly place the fabric where it belongs. 

Problem: Your Arms Are Too Burnt Out To Execute The Move

Whether you’re in the middle of a routine or just practicing in an aerial class, burnt out arms can prevent you from executing your favorite moves and make it more likely for injuries to happen. One of the most common reasons for upper body burnout is having “in-between arms” that cause you to use too much strength.

Solution: Pick Either Long Arms Or Fully Bent Arms

Keeping your arms fully straight or keeping them bent at the elbows really comes down to personal preference, which you’ll likely figure out after a few attempts at both. Arms that are partially bent or partially straight will cause you to exert more energy, because you’re attempting to engage all of your upper body instead of one group. For example, long arms use primarily shoulder strength and bent elbows rely on biceps. Pick your preference and commit to it fully. 

With these helpful solutions, you can clean up your hip keys and create a graceful, stunning entry every time. 


Mary Jo Gruber
Mary Jo Gruber

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