Seriously when I discovered aerial I thought it was the best fun ever...
Howeeeever you'll soon find out that it's probably not quite so easy as it looks! Yep it's going to challenge you in ways you didn't expect. Here's the thing... if it was easy everyone would be doing it and it wouldn't be half so cool!
So you'll want to make sure that your mind and body are in tip top shape and fully prepared for your class. Check out these ten top tips so that you can be one step ahead of the game and fully make the most of your lesson.
TEN TOP TIPS FOR HAVING THE BEST CLASS EVER
Avoid upper body work-outs the day before.
Get enough sleep the night before.
Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol the night before, hangovers and aerial?... They just don't go together.
Eat a light snack 60 - 90 mins prior to class so you will have plenty of energy but not feel full and heavy from a large meal, eg. eat a banana or light snack, such as egg or avocado on toast. Or smashed banana and peanut butter on toast (yum!).
Make sure the snack is high in protein. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue, and we need to consume protein to give our bodies enough to rebuild and maintain muscles damaged during training sessions. Small amounts of protein before class can trigger our bodies to start repairing and building more muscle throughout and even after class.
Drink plenty of water before, during and after class so you stay hydrated. It's helpful to bring a water bottle with you so you can sip on water throughout the day, as well as during class.
Arrive a little early so you have time to get changed and get in the zone. It's a great time to get to know your fellow aerial class mates or even have a stretch. Try not to arrive late as you will miss out on the warm up.
Wear the correct attire - we work in bare feet, long leggings so the hoop and silks don't rub your skin (ideally cotton not lycra), tight fitting but comfortable gym clothing, no rings on fingers, and no loose jewellery that may get caught up.
Do not attend if you're unwell or injured as this will only aggravate the situation. You need to be fully fit and healthy for aerial as it requires a lot of mental and physical energy.
Bring an awesome, positive, energetic and enthusiastic attitude. No negative vibes allowed in the studio! The more enthusiastic and energetic you are the better since you'll attack those tricks and spread positivity to others.
FIVE SELF CARE TIPS ON HOW TO RECOVER FROM AERIAL CLASS
It's all about the self care here... I have self care habits that help me recover quickly so that I'm not feeling wiped out or exhausted after a full day of aerial teaching.
They go something like this:
1. Do a really good cool down
It's really important to cool the body down after class. This will calm the nervous system and put the body back into a resting state. You also need to release the lactic acid build up in the muscles and let go of all the 'being on high alert' adrenalin thats running round your body.
We often run out of time at the end of class and cool downs have to be shortened - I advise going home and stretching out in your own time so that the muscles fully recover.
2. Have something to eat that's high in protein
You may experience becoming extremely hungry all of a sudden after aerial class. This is because you've used up a ton of energy and now your body needs to refuel. Try not to reach for sugary snacks but fuel up on something high in protein so that your body can repair and recover quickly.
2. Have a long, hot bath
This will help ease out any muscle tension and adrenalin, relax the body and promote a good, restful nights sleep.
After a lot of teaching I usually experience an 'adrenaline come down' where suddenly the adrenaline leaves my body and I'm incredibly tired (usually about 30 mins after doing a ton of aerial). Having a bath helps me to just let go, I usually then flop into bed and as soon as my head hits the pillow - boom I’m out like a light and sleep like a baby.
3. Use essential oils
Essential oils are highly soothing to both mind and body and can be beneficial in easing feelings of tension caused by mental, physical, or emotional exhaustion. I like to add mine to a bath, use a diffuser or oil burner or even mix some with almond oil to self massage into areas of muscle soreness. I'm a sucker for the Doterra Deep Blue blend (it's amazing) but I also use rosemary, black pepper, eucalyptus, ginger and lavender.
These oils are also great...
Clary sage and Juniper alleviate muscle tension while promoting relaxation.
Eucalyptus has a cooling effect on muscles and reduces pain and inflammation.
Chamomile oils can help with pain and inflammation as well as soothing muscle tension and reduce spasms.
4. Get lots of rest
It’s super important to give the body the rest it needs after all that intense exertion. You may also find that you need more sleep than usual. Sleep is prime time for the body to undergo protein synthesis in order to make stronger muscles for better endurance.
Research also suggests that taking a nap around two hours after a workout helps the body enter deep, restorative states of sleep where the body can rest and repair itself (ready for more!)
5. Use a roller / ball / peanut / massage prop
Much of the soreness that goes along with aerial training occurs when our muscles and fascia (connective tissue running throughout the body) become knotted. Rolling out muscles with foam rollers or self massage props can help remove those knots and prevent muscle imbalances from forming. While not the most comfortable to do, the benefits are worth it.
This is not to be confused by DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) which is a different type of muscle soreness where the tiny muscles fibres are damaged and need to repair. You know when you have DOMS since the soreness is everywhere that you need to grow more muscles (biceps / triceps / lats / shoulders / abs etc) whereas knots tend to be localised to one specific spot or area of tightness.