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Cross Training for Aerialists

The best way to train a sport is to do the sport and pole and aerial arts are prime examples. You will not get hard moves if you do not practice and work on them. However, cross training with activities that enhance your abilities on the apparatus can help you achieve moves or gain strength and endurance.

We break our cross training into three categories based on the the three elements of fitness: cardio, strength and flexibility. It is super easy to overtrain and you definitely want to be taking rest days. Cross training can help prevent overtraining by taking you off the apparatus and resting those muscles most in use. Do not be afraid to take an entire day off of everything.

Great Cardio for Aerialists

We try for cardio at least three times a week and go for 45 to 60 minutes on average. Since we are in the Colorado Rockies, when mountain bike season heats up we do more cardio. Start your cardio program at two to three times a week. Cardio will increase your endurance for routines and training.

Running - This does not mean marathons, but start with a few miles and build up your endurance. Strengthening the leg muscles and core while running can help balance the body for aerial arts. Running can increase agility as well.

Cycling - Cycling is great because it works the lungs and lower body and tends to be less demanding on the upper body. Mountain biking does require more upper body, but road cycling and Indoor cycling classes are a great option too. You will burn massive calories.

Hiking - Hiking is a great alternative to running. Hiking builds cardio endurance and your booty and legs. There is less work in the upper body and the aerial arts muscles get a break.

Great Strength Training for Aerialists

We have talked about strength training is several blogs. Weight Training for pole and aerial arts and weight lifting part two. These posts explain more about what muscles need the lifting and what muscles need to rest if you are an aerialist. Strength training with free weights or body weight can help your reach the next move by giving you the muscle power and strength to hold onto a move longer or hold your body in a position longer. We recommend weight training twice a week to start, but make sure you have a plan.

Train the Underdeveloped Muscles

Many of our posts discuss the overdeveloped and underdeveloped muscle situations that happen in aerial arts and pole. Go read the weightlifting posts to find out more.

Train Core

Again we have a great post on Core Training on this. Add extra core moves into your aerial workouts or when you cross train.


Mix up your workouts with High Intensity Interval Training, you can make your workouts more cardio-based or weight training based. We have a post of HITT for aerial arts, but HITT can be traditional strength and cardio involving traditional fitness equipment.

Great Flexibility Choices for Aerialists