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, …

Getting Uncomfortable: My Movement Check-Up

MikeD Strength & Conditioning 4 Comments

Recently, I went in for a movement check-up. Or you could say I returned to physical therapy. I think I would prefer to describe it as performance therapy. I first learned of performance therapy as “an integrated system of rehab, fitness and performance” at a seminar given by Mike Reinold and the team at Champion PT and Performance, here just …

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.

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 …

Exercises Every Aerialist Should Do: the problem with the ‘hollow’ body

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Staying Tight, Strength & Conditioning 1 Comment

I have used it before in the past and I’ve worked with others who have used it. In certain circles, it’s quite popular and used on a regular basis. For those ‘in the know’, the word hollow is synonymous with an abdominal drawing in and the most commonly used teaching cue for it is “pull your belly button in towards …

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 …

photo credit: sanderling photography (and thanks to Ryan for being a good sport!)

The Desk Job Double Cross, Part One: Why Sitting Is Horrible For Flying

MikeD change, Performance, shoulders, Strength & Conditioning, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Here’s a fun paradox for you: one of the main goals of this blog is to provide you, dear flyers and aerialists, with some knowledge that will, ideally, lead to you becoming more aware of your body and how it works so that you might learn how to take better care of it as you pursue your ever growing passion …

What are we all doing here? How to keep your legs together in your sweep.

MikeD Flying Trapeze, Performance, Strength & Conditioning, Sweep 5 Comments

So what are we all doing here? You know, why do you come and fly? Or perhaps aerials are your thing. Why do you do it? There are as many different answers as there are people who join us for classes, but I’d like to offer a thought (or two) for your consideration. I’m going to use flying trapeze to …

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 …