So you’ve just done your first circus class and had a blast!
But unless you’ve done a lot of similar training, chances are you woke up the next morning to discover a whole bunch of sore muscles you never knew existed.
There are a few ways to take care of your body over the next few days and make it slightly less painful. Nothing fancy, just basics like drinking lots of water and eating well. If you have sore muscles, a hot bath in Epsom salts can work wonders at loosening them back up. It’s also important to keep moving and gently stretching things back out. Below are a few easy stretches for the most common sore areas.
New aerialists often find that their hands are the first thing to give out in class, way before any other muscles. While that can be from the rough surface of the tape on lyra and trapeze bars, generally the main culprit is grip strength. If you’re not used to supporting your body weight from your hands, you’ll have the double whammy from feeling weak in your grip strength and so death gripping the apparatus which tires your grip strength even faster and results in extremely tight forearms the next day.
Stretch them out by placing your palms flat on the ground with straight arms and leaning towards your fingertips, first with fingers facing towards you and then away. Try also with palms facing upwards and fingers towards you. If you’re feeling brave, you can kneel on your forearms to use your shin bone to massage out the muscles, but go easy on yourself – this one hurts!
Shoulders & Pecs
Stand facing a wall and place your hands on it straight out in front of your shoulders. Bend at the hips to make an L-shape, stretching your shoulders down towards the ground. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute. Stand back up and place one palm on the wall, then turn your body away from it, keeping your arm straight to stretch out your pectoral muscles.
As with any exercises, listen to your body and do what feels good. If something hurts, stop and check in with your coach or medical professional. Above all, don’t be too hard on your body – you’ve just given it a big workout, now give it time to recover!