As the pandemic continues, many aerial studios and training centres have been temporarily closed. Outdoor physical activity also hasn’t been recommended, due to the latest restrictions.

Remember, though: the official government website states that a one-time trip for sports purposes, with a maximum number of two participants - is allowed and may be treated as fulfilling the essential need to EXERCISE.

Unfortunately, most of us have been deprived of training studios. This does not mean, of course, that we should stop taking care of our fitness and wake up in June with worse ranges of motion or inability to do push-ups. Let's be honest - such a pespective is horrid. Everyone urges us to work out at home, but the question is how to do aerial training at home.

The lucky ones who can use their equipment at home are in a much better situation. They are still able to follow the training cycle in its full spectrum, i.e. strength, flexibility and technical training.

Are you confused while reading these smart words? Relax, the above- mentioned types of training are what your coach is taking care of.

How to plan home training without supervision, when we have access to aerial equipment?

1. Consider the number of training sessions

Think how many times a week you are able to train. Don't throw yourself in at the deep and, but also don’t give up. How many times have you trained so far? Before they got suspended, did you attend aerial classes once a week and the class was an hour long? Did you train without supervision in a six-day-on-one-day-off system? Did you do aerial silks once a week and crossfit three times a week?

Try to keep the number of training hours as it was. You can also try increasing the number of hours a week. Now, when most of us are not working or going to school, our body has more time to regenerate, therefore we are able to increase the pace a bit.


2. Do your training in your training time

A simple rule, yet still difficult to stick to. At home, there are many distractions. There’s a  dog, a cat, a dinner to be cooked, our mom walking around, our fiance cleaning, a TV series to binge-watch…

Within the time slot dedicated to training focus on what you’re supposed to be doing. If you don't, a two-hour session on a given day will stretch into four separate sessions. It will, in the end, consist of five smaller parts with huge intervals between, which isn’t going to be healthy for our body.

Make a list of what you are trying to achieve, switch off and do your work. The training has just started and YOU must be your own demanding trainers.


3. Don’t mess around

The below is crucial especially for beginner students of aerial arts. Remember that when you do your home training, you (most probably) don't have a professional tumble mat or a spotter who can catch you if you start falling. Therefore, I recommend perfecting the elements you have already learnt. If you want to do them exactly right every time, I promise - sometimes it takes up to six months to polish one specific element. It is a more sensible approach than, for example, practicing elbow spins after two months of classes next to the TV in your living room.

Remember that not everything is as easy as it seems on Instagram.

Be careful, as we don't want injure ourselves and provide more work for doctors (especially under current circumstances).

4. Focus on the basics

As mentioned before, training at home is a great opportunity to focus on the basics. There is not always enough time to grasp individual challenges in each of the students during group classes. The instructor does not always have a chance to catch micro-errors. Fortunately, there is always room for improvement!


How do you invert? Do you tilt your head back and bend your elbows? Are your scapulae and shoulders drawn down? Do you ever consider how your head and spine works?

I would like to point out: correct cap, it does not involve the head at all, the elbows remain straight, the shoulders are inserted all the time and the shoulder blades are pulled back. If you start the caps with a gentle jump, bent elbows, and the first thing that happens is tilting your head back - you already have something to practice.

Let’s emphasise: a correct invert does not engage our head at all. Elbows are not bent. Shoulders and scapulae are drawn down. If you start to invert with a slight jump, you’re elbows are bent and your head tilts back - you already have something to work on.

See? Noticing basic mistakes is not difficult. If you want to see the biggest (and most popular) mistakes, check out @cirque_physio's Instagram profile run by a Cirque Du Solei physiotherapist. I also recommend the @aerialphysique account, where a very good aerial instructor shares their “dos and don’ts” in a form of short videos.

 Revisiting and perfecting the basics should become a key part of your training, as it improves both our technique and capacity. This method is also used in classical dance, waacking and hula hoop training.


5. All at once, or separate training sessions?

Is it better to squeeze some warm-up, technique, strength and stretching in two hours, or divide the skills into separate sessions? Again, we go back to square one: how have you been exercising so far?

Honestly answer yourself the question: are you able to do a reliable hour and a half of strength training or stretch for two hours? Then work out how many days a week you need to regenerate and then write down a plan. It is all very individual.

An example training plan for an advanced student who has been training 4 times a week for an hour in the aerial studio.

  • frequency: 5 training sessions within 7 days
  • training cycle: there can be a two-day break between one training week and the next; or there may be a cycle with the following pattern: 2 training days + break + 3 training days + break
  • estimated time: 90 minutes
  • a 5-session cycle would include
  • 4/3 training session using the equipment (silk / hoop), depending on whether flexibility training is included in aerial training sessions
  • 1 flexibility training
  • 1 strength training (using the equipment)
  • 1 regenerational training (recommendations: running, cycling, walking, powerwalking)

Things everyone should keep in mind during aerial training:

  1. Warm-up should include stability and mobility exercises.
  2. Strength and flexibility training should be included in every training session.
  3. You can use equipment for strength training if you have it at home. If not, train as you can.
  4. Start with the hoop. I suggest doing strength training that involves the use of an aerial hoop at the beginning of training, before the technical part (unless you are doing strength training).
  5. Strength elements: inverts, meathooks, drawing down shoulders and scapulae, hoop roll-ups.
  6. Flexibility training can be done at the beginning and at the end of the session.

Let’s repeat:

  • every training should start with proper warm-up that prepares our body to reach its full range of motion,
  • every training should end with exercises increasing the range of motion and loosening exercises


6. Motor Skills for Hoop and Silks

In general, motor skills required to do the hoop or the silks are practically the same with only a few minor differences.

The biggest difference is the grip. We grab the silk "at an angle", or with the so-called “twisted grip" - that is, with a hand twisted in a way that the little finger is pointing towards us. On the other hand, we grap the hoop with an upper or top grip. This difference makes our hands and wrists work a bit differently, but that's all you need to know if you're training at home.

Stereotypically, people would say that beautiful backbends are essential on the hoop while silks training requires a lot of strength.

I believe you need to be both bendy and strong no matter what you are doing. Always remember that hoop training does not dismiss anyone from strength and endurance training, just like silks training does not dismiss anyone from stretching. There are multiple hoop artists who are not bendy at all, just as there are multiple people who do the silks who omit strength training and present only bendy shapes.

Remember! It doesn’t matter what you do, but how you do it!

However, we can point you to specific differences within motor  skills preparation for strength and flexibility training. You will be able to read about it in the next posts!


7. Where to turn to for inspiration?

Not everyone is a trainer and have completed 76430 courses on how to create training plans, therefore below we are sharing where you can find inspiration for home training.

  • your memory - try to remember exercises assigned by your coach
  • Instagram - my personal recommendations below:






@briarnolet has been adding killer strength exercises for dances

  • if you are completely lost, contact your trainer - it might be that they would like to keep themselves busy right now.


Work out, keep fit, stay calm - aerial training is great option for our whole body.

Good luck!

Emilia Dawiec