Are Injuries in Circus Normal?

June 1, 2021

What is common is not normal. Have you ever worked with anyone that trains a circus discipline, literally any kind of discipline from juggling to hand balancing, from teeterboard to trapeze? If so, you have probably seen someone with an injury or nagging condition or, of course, pain.

Cylinder of Support: The Look and Feel of Circus Strong

January 18, 2021

What does it mean to “engage your core,” “pull your belly in” or even “hollow body”? We often assume we know what these shorthand phrases mean to our patients/students/instructors, but what do we really want? What are we asking the muscles to do?

Breath, Movement, and Strength in the New Year

January 5, 2021

On my last day in the clinic in 2020 I was working with a contortionist and we got to talking about breath and how we can use it to support our movement. The concept of breathing out to get through a difficult moment seems appropriate for reflecting on 2020. So as we all took a […]

Safely Returning to Circus and Aerial Training Part 2

June 27, 2020

Part 2 Strategies How to return to your circus self Congratulations! You did it! You made it through quarantine, and you have been cleared to get back into the studio.

Circus and Aerial Training After COVID-19 Quarantine Part 1

June 22, 2020

Part 1 Considerations Who was your pandemic circus self? Many of us found that our love for circus training had to change during the pandemic, and we became different versions of our circus-selves. Are you the aerialist who turned to hand balancing?

Using Your Rotator Cuff for Stable Strong Shoulders

July 5, 2019

Get more out of your shoulders by keeping your rotator cuff activated when you train. Everyone wants strong rotator cuff muscles, but do we all understand WHY? Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles that stabilize your shoulder joint.

Conquer Your Micro-Bend – Strength and Control

May 23, 2019

Do you have plenty of flexibility, but still have a micro-bend in your leg? What’s going on and what can you do?!

Conquer Your Micro Bend – Is it Mobility?

May 15, 2019

The Secret to Conquering your Micro-bend So, you can point your toes and straighten your legs, but when you start to lift them up… the dreaded micro-bend occurs. WHY?!

Strong core? Don’t forget your pelvic floor!

April 16, 2018

Coaches are constantly talking about “engaging your core” but why is it important? And what the heck is your “core” made up of? The middle of our body, below our ribs and above our pelvis, has less  bony structure than the rest of our body.

Becoming a skills whisperer: giving your students the best cues

January 12, 2018

You are teaching a student a new skill. You know they have the strength and are ready. So, what will happen next?

For a Better Grip, Start with the Shoulder

October 27, 2017

Do you feel like your grip strength isn’t up to your level of training? If you have been an aerialist for a while and feel like your grip and forearms fatigue quickly, it might be worth looking at your shoulder strength, and especially at your rotator cuff. Researchers studying the shoulder have found that grip […]

Circus Injury Survey

March 25, 2017

When I speak to other healthcare professionals about circus artists (once they figure out the difference between a trapeze and a trampoline) they always want to know what kinds of injuries circus artist have. They also assume that injury rates are much higher in circus arts than they are. To answer their questions I conducted […]

Push and Pull: Balancing Circus Shoulder Strength

October 31, 2016

A conversation over on Facebook about warming up had me reviewing my post from waaaay back in February on warm ups. It reminded me that I was remiss in not emphasizing my love of working oppositional muscles to improve the balance of muscle pull on a joint. That means more pushing for all aerialists!

How much is too much? What the International Olympic Committee thinks about your training habits

September 14, 2016

This month the International Olympic Committee (IOC) put out a consensus statement about “load management” and its relationship to major risk factors for injury in elite athletes. In my mind, performers are the ultimate athletes able to combine strength, grace, control, flexibility, artistic prowess, and explosive power all while managing performances, training, and the stresses (and joys) that come […]

Why Do Circus Artists Have Elbow Pain? (and how to solve it!)

September 8, 2016

If when you grab your aerial silks, trapeze, or rope and the inside of your elbow shouts with sharp pain, you could be suffering from “climber’s elbow” otherwise known as medial epicondylosis. But, what exactly is going on and what can you do about it? That super tender spot on the inside of your elbow […]

Investigating the Hollow Body: The 5 “W’s” and How

July 14, 2016

Let’s investigate the reasons behind why the hollow body is so important, when it is most useful, and how it is not always needed, and when to look out for injurious movements. Who: Most aerial teachers start teaching their beginning students how to hang with “engaged” shoulders and a hollow body in their very first class. What: A (correct) […]

Rotator cuff exercises: You’ve probably been doing them wrong

February 25, 2016

Most circus performers I know love to warm up their rotator cuffs before training or for strengthening after training. However, when I look around and watch what these fabulous artists are doing, it’s clear most of them are just doing it wrong. So, what are they actually doing and how can they (and you!

Prevent injuries with these training tips

February 22, 2016

Have you ever been unsure about how to warm up? When to strengthen? When to stretch?