Strength Training for Circus: 3 reasons to add weight-training to your circus training (part two)

MikeD Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

An athlete should possess: Specific strength necessary to perform the skills/combinations/routines they are aiming to do A solid level of general strength I’ve added Rupert Egan’s slide to the start of part two as a reminder: your foundation is important. It is perhaps the key to long-term health and injury reduction …and to being able to do cool stuff in circus. …

Exercises Every Circus Artist/Athlete Should Do: Bear Crawls

MikeD shoulders, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

In case you missed it on Instagram…before I accidentally deleted it, here’s another installment of “Exercises Every Circus Artist/Athlete Should Do”. View this post on Instagram Exercises Every Circus Artist-Athlete Should Do: Bear Crawl!⠀ —————————– Bear crawls are packed with goodness! ⠀ ⠀ * Rotary core stability and control ⠀ * Dynamic scapular stability and control ⠀ * Serratus activation, …

My big takeaways from The Anatomy of Circus with Emily Scherb

MikeD Injury Prevention, shoulders, Strength & Conditioning 2 Comments

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 …

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

MikeD Circus, Injury Prevention, Performance, Strength & Conditioning 1 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.

Dear Circus Artist/Athletes, Please Stop Doing This Stretch

MikeD stretching 11 Comments

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.

Stretching: finally, some clarity

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Performance, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

I’ve been sitting on this thought for months, so this post really is overdue. After all, the literature review was published way back in January and it’s already May. Remember that New York Times article that made the rounds (and may well continue to do so) on the Book of Faces and other social medias? Remember how that played a …

Stable Hips for Circus

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

One of the more common movement pattern limitations is the Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR). In the Functional Movement Screen, this particular screen reflects the ability to raise one leg while keeping the other steady. This requires a combination of active flexibility of the hamstrings and calves and hip mobility along with the ability to maintain pelvic and core stability. In …

One for the teachers: thoughts on duty of care

MikeD Strength & Conditioning 2 Comments

In the time since I left trapeze school, I’ve had some incredible ‘continuing education’ experiences in strength and conditioning and I’ve also been spending my days working as a personal trainer at a gym. It’s one of the best ‘corporate’ gyms I’ve ever encountered and I’ve learned A LOT. My heart still belongs to circus though, so pretty much everything …

Manifesto 2016: ch-ch-ch-changes

MikeD change, Circus, Strength & Conditioning 2 Comments

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted. It’s time for that to change. In fact, many things are changing and I’d like to tell you about them. But first, a story: Not too long ago, I was at a party. All good stories start this way. At this party, I found myself involved in a conversation that started this …

What’s On Your Preflight Checklist?

MikeD Aerials, BodyMind, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Performance, shoulders, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

Before pilots take their planes into the air, they run through a preflight checklist. The basic—yet critical—premise is that it’s better to check the condition of the plane on the ground so that you can minimize the chances of discovering undesired surprises in the air. Having a checklist is handy, but more than that, it’s vital for the pilot to …

By Anatomography (en:Anatomography (setting page of this image)) [CC BY-SA 2.1 jp (], via Wikimedia Commons

Exercises Every Aerialist Should Do, part two: thoracic mobility

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Performance, shoulders Leave a Comment

You know, there’s a piece to this expanding and wonderfully complex puzzle that is the healthy flyer/aerialist/circus artist that has been nagging at me for the past couple of months because I realized that I haven’t included it and yet, it’s such a foundational and important piece. (Wow. That was quite a long sentence.) The thing of it is that …

Stopping the flinch: getting serious about core control

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Staying Tight, takeoff 1 Comment

For many, it happens the moment they start pulling when doing a pull-up or a climb. It’s also there all too often as soon as they begin an inversion on the silks/static trapeze/lyra/rope. It’s happening very often during the takeoff from the platform on the flying trapeze. It’s the kind of thing that we should really nip in the bud …

Strong stable shoulders: How to grip the bar and why your head position matters

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Performance, Staying Tight, Strength & Conditioning, Sweep Leave a Comment

This month, things are going to get practical, comprehensive and maybe a little bit controversial. Over the past two months, I’ve focused on anterior core control with a view to establishing a base for assessing—and ultimately improving—shoulder mobility, stability and strength. With any luck, I’ll be able to provide you with some insight into the functioning of your magical shoulder …

Why anterior core control matters for your (aerial) shoulder health

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Strength & Conditioning 8 Comments

There’s so much I want to share with you and, for now, just the one blog post. The goal of this month’s post is to illustrate the importance of anterior core control for you, the flyer and/or aerialist, and your shoulder health. Shoulder health has become somewhat of a buzz word (or phrase) in the world of circus arts. Very …

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Exercises Every Aerialist (and Flyer) Should Do: part one

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Strength & Conditioning 2 Comments

In the world of recreational flying trapeze, you’ll very often hear “you don’t need to be very strong, flexible or athletic to do this” or “it’s more about timing than strength—so as long as you’re a good listener, you can do this” or some variation on that theme. And that’s true, to some extent… For your first class. The same …