Aerial Conditioning at Home: Straight-leg & Straddle Lifts

Aerial arts floor drills/at-home conditioning

Straight leg & straddle lifts — floor version. If your microbend keeps trying to hitch a ride, or your knees collapse on straight leg inversions, these can help.

It takes a whole lot of concentration, strength, and flexibility to keep the knees straight and toe pointed when lifting your legs. It can be helpful to practice on the floor, where you are not busy hanging on to and manipulating your apparatus.
From a standing position, turn one leg out (external rotation) and point the toe.
Standing leg lifts: Lift your leg progressively higher, keeping knee straight and toe pointed, and stopping when you feel threat of knee collapse or quad cramp. Make sure the standing leg is straight too.
Reclining straddle lifts, easier version: prop up onto your forearms with legs together. Lift and straddle your legs, drawing them as far in toward your torso as you can. You should start to feel your core work more–this is compression strength, yay! Try pulsing at the top. Legs close together on their way down.
Harder version: Hollow out and position your hands between your legs as you straddle up. Close legs on your way down. Again, see if you can feel that compression engagement. Try pulsing at the top.


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If you feel your hips clunking, you may need to adjust the rotation of your femurs to suit your bone structure, engage more, and or narrow your legs more on the way up or down.
These should be done partway through a warm-up, not at the very beginning.
If you’re looking for full aerial conditioning workouts you can do anytime, Fit4Flight is a set of 5 aerial-specific workouts you can do at home with no special equipment. Learn about it here!