Aerial Pilates: 8 Key Do's and Don'ts for a Safe and Effective Practice

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Aerial Pilates: 8 Key Do's and Don'ts for a Safe and Effective Practice

Aerial Pilates is a unique and exhilarating form of exercise that combines the principles of Pilates with the use of aerial hammocks.  This practice offers numerous benefits, including improved strength, flexibility, and body awareness. However, like any physical activity, it's essential to approach Aerial Pilates with respect for the safety aspects and caution.   To follow certain guidelines to ensure a safe and effective practice.

In this blog, I'll explore 8 key Do's and Don'ts for Aerial Pilates to help you get the most out of your practice while minimising the risks.


1. Do: Seek Professional Instruction
Aerial Pilates involves specialised equipment and techniques that require proper instruction, set up and use. Seek out a qualified and experienced Aerial Pilates instructor who can guide you through the practice, ensuring correct form and technique. Professional instruction will help you progress safely and maximize the benefits of your practice.

Don't: Attempt Aerial Pilates Without Proper Guidance
Aerial Pilates can be physically demanding and potentially risky if performed incorrectly. Avoid attempting Aerial Pilates without professional guidance or attempting advanced moves beyond your skill level. Without professional instruction, you risk injury and may not experience the full benefits of the practice.


2. Do: Warm Up and Cool Down
Before starting your Aerial Pilates practice, warm up your body with mobility movements, dynamic gentle stretches and movements to increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for the movement and practice. Similarly, cool down with gentle stretches to promote flexibility and aid in muscle recovery.

Don't: Skip Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Skipping warm-up and cool-down can increase the risk of muscle strains, sprains, and other injuries. Always allocate time for proper warm-up and cool-down to ensure a safe and effective Aerial Pilates practice.


3. Do: Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to your body's signals and communication during your Aerial Pilates practice. If something feels uncomfortable or painful, modify the movement or take a break. Honour your body's communication and have limits so you can progress at a pace that feels right for you.

Don't: Push Through Pain
Ignoring pain or pushing through discomfort can lead to injury. If a movement causes any pain, stop immediately and consult with a healthcare professional. It's important to prioritise your safety and well-being.


4. Do:  Use breath 
Breath is a fundamental aspect of Aerial Pilates and movement. Focus on keeping your breath flowing during each movement. This will keep you in a flow state, help you to naturally activate from your centre, keep you focused and enhance the effectiveness of the exercises.

Don't: Hold your breath 
Holding your breath during an exercise, movement or part of an exercise (especially if it feels hard work) can create unnecessary tension, and poor patterns and stop the natural flow of your centre and connection with your powerhouse.  The breath is the most important aspect of movement, yet the most difficult to 'add in'. Try to prioritise it throughout your practice to maintain a great awareness, good patterns and the repetition will then start to become natural within. 


5. Do: Gradually Progress
Aerial Pilates offers a wide range of movements and positions, from foundational to experienced. Start with foundational exercises and gradually progress to more challenging movements as your strength and skill gradually improve. This progressive approach will help you build a solid, strong foundation of mentally understanding the layers and also physically. 

Don't: Rush Into Advanced Moves
Attempting advanced Aerial Pilates moves before mastering the basics can be dangerous. Rushing into advanced movements without proper preparation and strength can lead to falls or strains. It also misses out on such key, important aspects along the learning journey.  That you won't know, or ever find out if you don't know.  Take the time and patience to learn from a qualified training or teacher.  Learning online by watching a performance of someone else, without professional teaching, a conversation or full understanding is bluntly ignorant of the art form and not good practice. 


6. Do: Use Professional and Appropriate Equipment and Rigging
Ensure that you are using high-quality, appropriate equipment and that it has been professionally rigged. Ensure you know your legal obligations and requirements to ensure both safety and insurance needs are met. 

Don't: Use Inappropriate Equipment or Inappropriately Rigged Equipment
Using inappropriate equipment or improperly rigged equipment increases the risk of accidents and injuries. Always check your equipment before each practice session and replace any worn or damaged parts. If practising at a studio, communicate any concerns about equipment maintenance to the staff.


7. Do: Stay Hydrated and Fuel Your Body
Aerial Pilates can be physically demanding, so it's important to stay hydrated and properly fuel your body. Drink hydrating fluid before, during, and after your practice to maintain good hydration levels. Additionally, nourish your body with a balanced diet to support your energy levels and recovery.

Don't: Neglect Hydration and Nutrition
Dehydration and inadequate nutrition can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and decreased performance. Prioritise hydration and proper nutrition to support your Aerial Pilates practice and overall well-being.


8. Do: Enjoy the Journey!
Aerial Pilates is not only a physical practice but also an opportunity for self-expression and exploration. Embrace the joy and creativity that Aerial Pilates offers.

Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and enjoy the journey!

Your pilot



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