Updated: Apr 3, 2019
Aerial hoop like nearly all cirque apparatus has a bite, a painful bite that can leave bruises, soreness, pinched skin and tight muscles. For many new students in the hoop, the pain is intolerable and some students may choose not to come back. Retaining students and cutting down the pain are great goals for aerial hoop classes. Here is a collection of quick ways to reduce pain in the hoop.
Proper Dynamic Warm-up
A dynamic warm-up targets all major muscle groups and prepares the body for work. This warm-up involves movements that increase heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood flow to the muscles. The core temperature of the body and muscles elasticity should increase. Begin with lower intensity movement, like swimming or twists and increase to higher intensity moves like plie squats and possibly add movements under the hoop. A good warm-up should last 10 minutes and involve the entire body.
There are some ascetic people out there who believe that there is impurity in wearing protection in the hoop like legwarmers, gloves and even shoes. It’s true that one will likely not perform in the hoop in running shoes, but when working a new move or encouraging a new student let’s keep practicality in mind. Preserving skin with gloves or shoes can make for more successful attempts of a new move, while lightly conditioning the skin. Preventing bruising with leg warmers may encourage a new student to come back to class, because the pain was tolerable. Throwing oneself into the deep end with pain isn’t always the smart answer.
Every body is different and some bodies are more sensitive to pain. Working through moves in the hoop and getting used to where the bar rests on the body is part of learning aerial hoop. As an instructor knowing how to help students find the most comfortable transition through a move is evergreen. Great instructors also know when to switch off a move, because students risk injury from repetition. Pain tolerance does change in the human body; dehydration, lack of sleep, fatigue from a workout, sore muscles and yes, ladies, “Shark Week” makes us more pain sensitive