One of the most necessary and most-illusive requirements for success in aerial arts is grip strength.
Even for those who do pull-ups and dead-hangs find holding onto fabric to be a beast to conquer, but for the individual who is being introduced to strength training for the first time, it can seem like and impossible task.
In the face of seemingly impossible tasks, one oftentimes will ask if it is worth it at all. In the case of grip strength, I say that is is worth it.
Wrists were not designed to be decorative hangers for watches and bracelets. They are not simply the attachment piece for our hands to connect to our body.
Wrists take a beating in our daily lives, no matter our lifestyle or occupation.
For the yogi, wrists are chronically flexed for chaturanga and down dog and and there is very little opportunity to counter the strain that the wrist endures during Sun Salutation. As a result, the wrist can feel strained and weakened.
For the office worker, the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome has become something to avoid not by stepping away from keyboards, but to accessorize.
For the person who is constantly driving (be it for a commute or for car line), grabbing a steering wheel for hours can be tiresome for the arms and wrists.
Gaining grip strength with fabric is a fantastic way to counter these day-to-day strains on the wrist and can help improve the quality of your other routine activities. You don't have to be able to do 15 pull-ups on the fabric to feel the positive impact of working towards being able to hold onto the fabric.
Like all exercises related to aerial arts, working towards a set goal is a reward in itself. Going the long way to build upon your body's natural strength will allow you to live your life to it's fullest without having to worry about extra strain on a joint.
Remember: if you play a piano, you press the key to create sound, but the key isn't responsible for making the note, it's the hammer striking the pianowire that creates music. Your forearm is behind the fine motor skills of the fingers. Your body is an instrument that is capable of being finely tuned to create a harmonious existence with the world, but it takes practice and effort, and at Kudzu Aerial we strive to make that practice and effort fun.
Will you "get a grip" and join us in getting silk strong?