These days aerial sports like Lyra Hoop and Aerial Silks are gaining popularity. This is specially if you are already from a pole dancing or other aerial sports background. The concept of keeping fit and exercising is evolving from more conventional workouts like gym to these sports. And that is because they are absolutely addictive, fun, and comes with immense physical and mental health benefits!
To put it simply, aerial hoop is a suspended aluminum or steel ring used for aerial arts. Similar to most aerial activities, the ring uses your own body weight against the gravity. It gained popularity as a home set up because of its convenience of installation and the physical benefits you can gain by using it.
Most aerial sports challenges your body weight against the gravity.
An aerial hoop dancer explores different movements and poses on the hoop. Moments are archived by fluidly balancing body weight and striking beautiful poses using the hoop. There is no one style of hoop movements or a single approach. As a result we recommend you to explore them all and practice the style of your interest.
Are You Ready for Aerial Hoop?
It’s a good idea to look up videos of aerial hoop performances and beginner aerial hoop practices. This way you will get to know what it is aerial hoop all about. It’s even better if you have a chance to try aerial hoop in a studio. Many people wonder if they are ready for aerial hoop. More specifically, if they have enough upper body and core strength to do it. The good news is, there are beginner movements you can practice to build strength safely and gradually. Like we always say, the best way to gain strength and competency for a sport is by doing it.
Overall body strength should not be a barrier between you and aerial hoop. Physical strength and form is not a necessity but an advantage. If you come from a Pole Dance background, or have experience using other aerial apparatus, you are off to a good start as there are many similarities between them and Aerial Hoop. Aerial hoop poses tend to target mostly the shoulders, biceps and triceps as well as the chest muscles. Although, if you are advancing to inverted moves, you will be developing your leg muscles as well.
It is important to understand what you are putting your body through. You have to start off with the correct warm-up and conditioning techniques. It is best to get your guidance from the correct source/instructor. This will help you to have a good learning experience and to prevent injuries.
You can tone your body shape using aerial hoop. It is a fantastic tool to build muscle strength.
Aerial Hoop For The Whole Family
From my experience, the Aerial Hoop is a great equipment to have in the house, both indoor and outdoor. One fun fact is that the aerial hoop can be used by all family members! From my experience, kids love to hang from it and swing and play to their hearts content.
You can install the hoop low using a long strap. And it becomes rather like a compact jungle gym for kids in the house.
There are different views on the best learning method and process for Aerial Hoop Dancing. Some believe that it is best that aerial hoop is learnt at a professional aerial hoop studio. It is definitely recommended to learn from a professional instructor especially if you are completely new to aerial sports.
Alas, not every town has an aerial hoop studio. Especially, with social distancing norms and change of lifestyle among people since the pandemic, not everyone is keen on group classes. Worry not! As a self-learning aerialist. I can say it is possible to learn aerial hoop dance without attending in-person aerial hoop classes.
With a properly set up aerial hoop at home and knowledge of the safety aspects of hoop dancing, it is absolutely safe to self learn. You can start learning at home and achieve the same goal by online learning. However, there are several things to take into consideration before starting your self-learning process;
A. Safe installation
You need a specific set up for Aerial hoop at home. The set up needs to be safe and comfortable. Before anything you want to make sure you identified where you plan to set up your aerial installation.
There are various ways to get this done. The first way is to install your hoop or lyra on an A Frame. This way will gives you the freedom to move the set up anywhere you want. A Frames can be installed indoor or outdoor. You can also install the lyra directly onto the ceiling with a good quality weight bearing ceiling mount. Alternatively, you can check out the Lupit Lyra attachment and X Pole Lyra attachments on their freestanding dance poles. You can also read this blog for more info on different aerial attachments.
Do not save money on cheap aerial equipment.
Most aerial hoop complications are due to low quality hoop or mount or an incorrect installation. Once you ensure of these, then you are good to go. You want to be sure all the equipment for your aerial hoop set up are purchased from reliable sellers. Ceiling type is an important part of your installation. If your installation choice is by attaching it to a ceiling mount then you need to be sure your ceiling type is correct. It is a good idea to get a professional handy man to get it done right and eliminate any possible risks.
There is a minimum space required around your hoop to be empty for safety and better practice.
The movement space or movement radius is the empty area needed around your hoop. If you have installed a dance pole before, then perhaps you are familiar with the requirement. You want to make sure there is sufficient radius around the hoop as you can spin and stretch out into different poses. Additionally, you need to have sufficient ceiling height to install the aerial hoop. This will allow you the freedom of inverted hangs on the lower hoop portion. It is best to also consider a space for your crash mat when you are adjusting your hoop height.
B. Invest in a good crash mat
There is one safety measure that is best to consider and that would be the crash mat. Crash mats are greatly safe and secure. They are the best way to have a safe fall and soft landing. In most aerial hoop moves, the dancer is suspended in the air. You Can reduce the chances of falling with a good grip and body strength. However, as an aerial hoop beginner it is best to use a crash mat to avoid any injury. Check out this article on different crash mats.
Grip aid are among products that can help you stay on the hoop safer. It give you a strong grip and take away the chance of losing your grip on the hoop.
C. Work on your upper body muscles.
Focus on exercises and moves that strengthen your upper body. Majority of aerial hoop poses require strong arms, shoulders, and chest. There are plenty of beginner conditioning exercises on YouTube. Some of these exercises are on and some are off the hoop. You can incorporate them into your workout regiment and you will see results on the aerial hoop and enjoy your capabilities.
Pull up bars are upper body strengthening tools. The aerial hoop itself is a pull-up bar as well. Some exercises such as, push ups, and planks can assists you with shoulder and arms built. This physical investment can come handy when you are hanging from the hoop.
D. Build your way to intermediate and advanced
Set realistic goals and aim to achieve them. It is common for people to start a sport with unrealistic expectation and goals. And in some cases, get tempted to try advance tricks when the body is not prepared. A move may look deceptively easy in a video but if you are not ready for it, you may find yourself falling off or getting injured. Especially if you are self learning at home. It is important to know your own abilities.
Also never attempt moves that are beyond your level. Especially when you are practicing on your own.
Your body needs time to familiarise itself. You need to get familiar with different shapes and ways of moving on the apparatus. Especially If you are absolutely new to aerial hoop. No matter how simple they seem, basic hoop moves will always be your bread and butter. Even when you one day become an advanced dancer, you will still work on perfecting basic moves. So enjoy the process and know your limitations to stay safe!
It is a great idea to attempt new moves when there is a spotter around. It is fun to hoop dance with a friend. Similar to most other activities, aerial hoop is more fun when it’s practiced with a training companion. A spotter not only can assist you in case of falling, he/she can also assist you with your body weight and allow you to ease into certain complex moves.
It is always best to explain the move to your spotter with details. This way the spotter knows where to look for and how to assist you.
That is why we believe aerial hoop at home is a great activity for couples.
I hope you enjoyed the blog and find it useful. This blog has a part 2 which will be coming soon. On part 2 we will focus mostly on aerial hoop installation and review some basic moves. Make sure to subscribe to our blog for the updates.