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Basic Silk Climb

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” proclaims an old Chinese proverb. For most of us aerialists, a basic silk climb represents such first step. Learning how to climb the silks is the first step into a journey of discovery which will have you doing amazing things that will surprise and empower you. 

There are many ways to climb silks. Some are fancier than others and we will cover more fancy climbs in due time. For now, lets take a quick look into how to perform a basic silk climb in the most efficient way. Learning to be efficient with your moves will allow you to conserve strength and energy so you can perform longer routines without ‘gassing out’.

In this video, our instructor Ashleigh – @native_aerial – breaks down the basic climb into simple movements. As you can see, here are the most important points to remember:

  • Your upper-body and arms are only engaged to hold you in place , you don’t need to pull yourself up.
  • While you are holding yourself in place, you use your core to bring your knees up and raise your feet up on the silks.
  • You other leg presses on the silk while you straighten your legs and drop your booty to be leveled with your feet
  • Finally, you use your legs and hips to lift yourself up to a new position on the sills.
  • Rinse and repeat

Now, everything that goes up, must come down, right? So now we need to learn how to climb down from the silks. To climb down from the silks, we need to be very careful. You can’t just slide down as if it was a firehouse pole. If you do that you will get horrible burns on your hands. Remember, Aerial is gorgeous, and fun, but it’s also dangerous when directions are not followed. 

As you can see Ashleigh demonstrate on the video, you need to climb down in a controlled manner by doing a hand-under-hand movement while letting the silks slide through your feet and your thigh.

I hope you found this quick tutorial video helpful. Please share with your friends and drop me a line at if you have any questions.

Happy flying!