A Rant/Not A Rant: What is “Functional”?

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We (meaning me; I) interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a rant. Wait, it might not be a rant. (Actually, it might be…I’m either going to rant or ramble. I can’t quite tell just yet.) I frequently find myself in conversations with other trainers and coaches, nerding out about what we do. Often times, I like to start those conversations …

Hey there bendy people! Managing Hypermobility for Circus (part three)

MikeD Strength & Conditioning 1 Comment

I would like to tell you a story. It’s not about circus. It’s about the Boston Marathon. Every year, around the time of the Marathon, personal trainers around the city have the same conversation with each other. Trainers in other cities where marathons are held probably have similar conversations. It goes something like this: “One of my clients just said …

Hey bendy people! Managing hypermobility for circus (part two)

MikeD Circus, Injury Prevention, Performance, Strength & Conditioning, stretching 1 Comment

“You mean push-ups don’t have to feel horrible?” She looked so relieved. Welcome back for part two! (Here’s a link to part one if you missed it) Circus is awesome. Circus also asks for people to make shapes and lines that require an above-average amount of mobility. (More often than not, people call it flexibility, but what we’re really talking …

For the bendy people: Managing hypermobility for circus (part one)

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“Hmm… now that you mention it, I’ve just always been flexible,” she told me. For a condition that affects such a relatively small portion of the “general population”, I sure do seem to encounter hypermobile folks a lot. Now, within the circus community, I am unsurprised by this. Their natural bendiness predisposes them to being able to make the kinds …

My big takeaways from The Anatomy of Circus with Emily Scherb

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Last weekend, Emily Scherb—Physical Therapist for Circus Artist-Athletes and Anatomy Nerd Extraordinaire—was in Boston. That fact alone was amazing for those already acquainted with her awesomeness, however she took it up a notch and presented a series of workshops. I had the good fortune to attend a pair of her workshops: The Acrobatic Spine and Hip: At the Core of …

Things I think about: How to get the most out of massage therapy

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Who doesn’t love a good massage? It feels great. It’s definitely relaxing—even if you get some deep tissue work done (and just about everybody seems to love deep tissue work these days), you still come out the other side feeling a little more blissed out than you did walking in. And well you should—deep tissue massage or no—because there’s a …

Exercises every circus artist/athlete should do: single leg hip bridge

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So, I spend most of my day looking at other people’s butts. Wait. That needs more context so it doesn’t sound incredibly weird:

Injury Prevention in Circus Arts: an approach we need to talk about more (part three)

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The Performance Continuum In many sports, particularly at the higher levels, there exists a continuum of care, so to speak. At one end, we have an athlete’s entry point: the sports medicine team (orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, chiropractors). They are the ones who perform the initial assessments and screens. From there, they hand the athlete off to the strength and …

Injury Prevention in Circus Arts: an approach we need to talk about more (part two)

MikeD Circus, Injury Prevention, Performance, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

Functional movement represents the basic foundation for long-term health and performance in any athletic endeavor (and, I would like to suggest that living as a human counts as an athletic endeavor). It is also a term that is wildly misused and misunderstood and has become tragically buzz-wordy in the fitness world.

Exercises Every Aerialist Should Do: the Kettlebell Deadlift

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Circus is a space where it’s easy to neglect your glutes. It’s also easy to think that strong glutes aren’t a big deal in circus…except for when you want to • Be a base for any partner acrobatic trick, • Do most climbs on fabric, • Do any transition to standing on static trapeze or lyra, • Do a single- …

What’s next?

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On the surface of it, I am a strength and conditioning coach and my role is to make sure the athletes I work with develop, maintain and build balanced and strong bodies as a means of improving their performance. Get Circus Strong is a strength and conditioning resource for circus artist-athletes because circus arts are physically demanding and the way …

Women are awesome: reflections on the 2016 American Circus Educators Conference

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At the beginning of this month, I was fortunate enough to spend an inspiring five days at the American Circus Educators Conference in San Francisco. It was graciously hosted by Circus Center and AcroSports and organized and artfully and impressively realized by the team of superheroes that is also known as the ACE Board of Directors along with their amazing …

Six things that have me rethinking flexibility, mobility and stretching (part two): breathing for better circus

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Let’s begin with a brief recap of part one. Stretching can be an effective way of improving flexibility. (Sort of). Of course, by stretching, I mean static stretching where you hold a stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. And by effective, I mean that if you do it regularly, over time, you will see a modest increase in the passive …