Probably, the first time you saw it you were watching live or through a screen a spectacular performance of the Cirque du Soleil. With time, you happened to see more and more frequently people training specifically for it in some gyms, and maybe even in parks. We really have to say it, the acrobatic discipline of Aerial Silks has conquered many people, who have not been content to stand by as spectators.
Twisting and turning: what are Aerial Silks?
Inspired by circus performances and using silk sheets (the same ones that give the discipline its name), the athletes involved in this exercise perform spectacular and scenic movements. On top of that, also the height at which everything happens makes everything even more spectacular: from 4 to 10 meters from the ground.
The history of Aerial Silks, from gymnastics to circus performances and back
Others, however, claim that this practice comes from the genius of André Simard. Simard, who has specialised in researching and developing acrobatic exercises for the Cirque du Soleil since 1987, is already universally credited for having turned circus athletes into real performers. Indeed, he invited them to focus not only on facial expressions, but also on body movements. This allowed them to express deep themes and feelings to their viewers in a spectacular and impressive way.
Aerial Silks: 4 false myths that must be disproved
Especially when approaching such a particular practice, doubts and insecurities can be many. Let's try to clarify some of them:
- To start practicing Aerial Silks, it is not necessary to have a particular body type. There are many courses for beginners, and the discipline easily adapts to levels of physical preparation even very different from each other.
- It is not necessary to have a good initial level of upper body strength. Being trained certainly helps, and for this reason, those who climb or train regularly with weightlifting will have an easier start. That said, starting to practice the discipline can be a great way for those who want to develop their strength.
- It is not a discipline reserved for women. It is true that the number of female athletes exceeds, by far, male ones, but this does not mean that Aerial Silks is an exclusively female discipline.
- You don't have to be exceptionally flexible to get close to Aerial Silks. What is really important is to be aware of one's own abilities and limits: to have a clear idea of where one starts from and where one wants to get to. In any case, if you want to improve your flexibility, you can supplement your Aerial Silks classes with regular gym sessions.
Disentangling the fabric: how to work out for Aerial Silks
Therefore, the recommended gym workout, outside the practice of Aerial Silks, is strongly focused on weightlifting and functional training.
Aerial Silks: what are the benefits for your body (and your mind)?
- First, it is an excellent physical exercise. The use of the muscles of the arms and legs contributes significantly to weight loss, and stretching the muscles of the belly helps a lot to reduce the fat that can be deposited there.
- Just like yoga, Aerial Silks is a great way to increase your body's flexibility.
- For the many people who practice Aerial Silks report, this discipline naturally leads to improving their concentration skills. Even to avoid injuries, it is extraordinarily important to maintain very high attention at every stage of airtightness. At the same time, the ability to control one's emotions is positively influenced.
- Finally, there are those who have reported, not without enthusiasm, a real change in mindset. Practicing Aerial Silks pushes you to overcome your limits, radically changing your conception of what is scary or dangerous, in a real path of personal growth.