“I want to try aerial, but I have zero core strength.”
“Can I even go to class if I haven’t done a crunch in a few years?”
Have you ever uttered those words or had the exact same thought? Well, good news, you don’t have to have any core strength or history with crunches to enjoy any class offered at our studio, Urban Aerial Fitness.
But we get it, maybe you’d like to be a little more prepared before attending your first class. That’s why we’ve put together this mini warm-up routine you can practice in the comforts of your home before jumping into class with the rest of us!
Having a strong core is important. It’s responsible for supporting our entire body. It connects our upper and lower body. It gives you the ability to bend down and pet all the puppies or spend hours in your garden hovering over your precious pepper plants.
Top 3 Reason You Want A Strong Core:
- A strong core improves your balance and stability which can help you perform better during physical activity or in routine daily activities.
- It helps tone your abs and strengthen those deeper abdominal muscles.
- Alleviates lower back pain (less likely to suffer from back pain) and fixes posture.
And now for the 5 core workouts that are perfect for aerial conditioning, demonstrated by one of our talented instructors (who is also part owner of Urban Aerial), Alex.
1. Raised Leg Hold w/ Arm Flutters
Even for seasoned core trainers, this one is a doozy. Make sure to keep your lower back flat to the ground and lifting up and forward from the chest. Do not hunch forward, visualize a proud chest. Squeeze your thighs and knees together and don’t forget to breathe.
One rep = 30 seconds
Alex will tell her students to pretend their legs are mermaid tails and they are swimming in the ocean, whatever visual to get you through these, imagine it. Keep your eye on the prize.
2. Jackknife Leg Raises
Keep your knees and thighs squeezed together and make sure that lower back is flat to the floor when you’re not jackknifing. Exhale on the way up. When your legs are perpendicular begin to lift up, without using momentum to swing your legs up. Pull from those lower ab muscles to lift your booty up.
Don’t separate your legs and don’t hold your breath!
One rep = 30 seconds
3. Bicycle Crunches
Place your hands LIGHTLY on the back of your neck with your elbows wide. You never want to push your head forward during any crunch exercise. Engage your ‘proud chest’ up so shoulders aren’t on the ground and begin to twist elbow to the opposite leg. Keep your chin out of your chest and keep your gaze forward.
Lower back flat to the ground, and don’t forget to breathe.
One rep = 30 seconds
4. Basic Crunch
Again, place your hands LIGHTLY on the back of your neck with your elbows wide. You never want to push your head forward during any crunch exercise. You’re contracting your ab muscles to make the crunch. Don’t use your hands to yourself up, push forward from the abdominals.
Keep your chin out of your chest and exhale on the way up. Same rules as above, the lower back is flat to the floor because you want to those lower ab muscles tucking.
One rep = 60 seconds
5. Plank Hold
Remember when the Plank Challenge was a thing? People everywhere would stop, drop, and plank. Back then it was for Facebook cred. Because Instagram wasn’t even a thing yet! Pretend you’re doing it for the ‘gram.
The proper form for a plank is a flat back, shoulders in line with your elbows, quads engaged. Your feet need to be hip-width apart. You also want to focus on pushing the floor away from you and holding strong between your shoulders. Avoid arching your back or sagging hips. And breathe.
One rep = 30 – 60 seconds
One round is completing all five exercises. Repeat exercises one through five three times. One mini core workout is three rounds.
Don’t forget to stretch.
After you finish your last plank, slowly lower to the mat and flip over to your back. Stretch your arms and legs out, reaching as far as you can through your fingers and toes. Wah-lah! You’re now more prepared than I was for your first aerial class at Urban!
Urban Aerial is a beginner-friendly zone and provides a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for all its students. Don’t believe us? Check out our reviews on Facebook or Yelp.