Side-body strength anyone? In many cultures, the side-body is highly neglected. Movement along the sagittal plane (forward and back) is predominant, with forward motion being the most common. This is the case for both flexibility and strength.
Aerial can be a great antidote to a narrow range of motion because it invites us into a greater diversity of movements than we would ordinarily experience in day-to-day life.
One of these important movements is the side-body sit-up or c–body. We use this position (or variation of it) for wheeldowns, setups for some drops, hip key positions, climbs, and more (much more that is beyond my scope).
This drill will strengthen the side body AND it has this coordination, flexibility, and strength component for the hip and leg (if you know me, I love to rescue multiple birds with one stone). I’m a real fan of warming up the front, back, and side bodies before training aerial, and this one fits well (efficiently) with some of my other favorite drills, so it’s a winner for me.
1. Lounge on your side with hips stacked and torso slightly curled (hollow).
2. Bring top arm toward the sky and bottom arm overhead (keep watching for an easier/modified version).
3. Lift the ribcage and legs away from the ground.
4. Bend the top knee in toward the upper body and then extend toward the sky with a toe point. Try to get to full extension (or work your way up as you do your reps). This is sort of like a developpe in ballet (I may have spelled it wrong in the video).
5. I like to flex my foot on the way down to warm the ankle (and avoid cramping) as well, but you could do a pointed toe.
You can see as the video goes on my ribcage and leg lift begins to decline. Try your best to stay lifted!
BREATHE. See if you can find a little flow with that leg.
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And there you have it–no more side-body neglect. As always there is more to it than you can see here and it will feel different for different bodies. I only have time for one more custom training plan this month so if you want personalized input and strategic planning then go apply on my website (link in bio). And if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, the link is in my bio (with the free tutorial and splits workout).
If you’re looking for full workouts you can do at home, Fit4Flight is a series of 5 aerial-specific floor workouts that don’t require any special equipment. Learn more about that here!