Updated: Feb 21, 2019
Dynamic Tension is the idea of engaging the muscle and moving with purpose. It can also be describe as moving muscle against muscle to create slow and controlled movement. In aerial arts and pole we work with dance extension and muscular strength. Using the concept of dynamic tension and engagement applies for performance as it will create fluid and perfectly executed movement. Every student of aerial arts and pole should be using dynamic tension to create seamless transitions and powerful, expressive moves.
Finding dynamic tension with prime movers is simple, for example in an movement like a pull-up we understand engaging the upper back, chest and core. The harder concept is to create dynamic tension in parts of the body during a pull-up, even the non-prime movers. This means squeezing the legs, pointing the toes and controlling the entire body not just the place of origin in the prime moving muscles.
In aerial arts and pole we are working off the ground and moving our bodies around the apparatus. We are using our entire bodies to help us in our quest for a move, a transition or to link a routine. When we use dynamic tension, we engage the muscles in certain parts of our bodies to create energy. When muscles are engaged in the correct areas we are stronger and can perform moves with more ease and control. Sounds elementary, we are using our muscles, but many people forget to engage certain areas of the body because we are focuses on the movement. Dynamic tension in the legs, for example, can actually create a feeling of loft or float that can help with lifts and pull-up movement. We recruit more muscles and therefore have more strength to work.
Dynamically tension the muscle of the legs to create energy is the lower half of the body. Hanging legs are dead weight and will not help you lift into moves.