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

MikeD Injury Prevention, shoulders, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

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 …

Six things that have me rethinking flexibility, mobility and stretching (part one)

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It has taken me far too long to finish this. Stretching is such a big part of circus and it’s been gnawing at the inside of my brain for quite a while now. Digging into the research on stretching and mobility has led me down the rabbit hole…and then last weekend, I attended Dave Tilley and Rupert Egan’s Maximizing Flexibility …

Dear Circus Artist/Athletes, Please Stop Doing This Stretch

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For some of you, this may be difficult to hear. I know you like this one and it probably feels satisfyingly good…it’s just that it probably isn’t stretching what you think it’s stretching.

By Mollerjoakim - uploaded by Mollerjoakim, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1348023

What are we stretching and why?

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Everything that I write here is based on a few basic principles. One is that if you have found your way to circus—or circus found its way to you—and practicing one or more circus arts has become a joyful part of your life, whatever your current skill level, you’d like to get better. Whether it be working towards your first …