Lounging Leg Lifts + External Rotation + Micropulses. THESE will help your LINES and your microbend. I speak from experience. I have no dance background. I had practically no tension through my legs and feet when I started aerial. It is still something I am working hard on. When I get tired, you see me start to get floppy. I know people who, when they get tired, still have perfect lines (cough couch @cait.wellwood).
Anyway, these will help you build strength in your hip flexors, quads, and even calves (because of the toe point). The external segment will target your external rotators and hip abductors, including the glutes and piriformis. I really like this one because it is purely active (no help from pushing on anything or being pulled by anything).
1. Lie on your side. It is not like, directly on your side. You’re kind of curled. The point of this exercise is not balance. Put one hand on your head and one in front.
2. Lift the top leg toward your head while keeping it straight. It is in a straddle pathway, so it should be a comfortable angle. Not directly sideways to the ceiling. You can do this slowly and gently or dynamically. Include these in a proper warmup. Don’t do these cold.
3. After about 10, line up your top leg’s foot and knee. Then open up like a gate, avoiding the temptation to pull the leg toward the chest. Try to keep the top knee in line with the bottom knee as the hip opens. Yum. These can be done with bent knee, or you can progress to straight. I usually only do 5 or so.
4. Hold one leg toward your head for a passive stretch. I can talk about the hand position in another video if people want. The micro pulses focus us in on the quads. It is hard to hold the leg completely straight. So hold for a moment and then release. This is a tiny movement but a big feeling.
5. I didn’t show it but stretch your quads after 😛
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There you have it. These can help you work on your microbend and get in the habit of strong straight legs and pointed toes. They have helped me A LOT.
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!