Alright, I’m going for it. I am posting a video of myself at my weakest point in 12 years. I had to show the previous video (see last week’s blog) so that you have proof that I have overcome my weakness and this pull-up program does work.
It’s not a fun feeling to not be able to pull yourself up to that bar. Especially when you used to be able to. I remember when I was in high school and I couldn’t do a pull up to save my life. I used to think pull ups required a strength I did not and could not posses. It just wasn’t in me. How wrong I was!
Learning how to do ANYTHING is all about progressions. If you can’t do a pull-up, it’s important not to start at pull-ups! Loop a band over a pull-up bar and do pull-downs. This works all the same muscles and by keeping the resistance on the band light, you will be setting your form and building healthy habits.
This week is also about accessing your core. One thing that you need to be successful at aerial is a strong core. In this video, I demonstrate some of the exercises that helped me to access my core. Again, progressions are key. Notice that I do not start out with sit-ups or crunches or full out hollow body. If I did that, my body would likely jump to accessing muscles in ways that overcompensate for weakness and I would never find the right muscles to do the job. I might get it done, but in the long run, I would run into issues and possible injury.
Go back to the basics. Or go there for the first time. Set up those shoulders so that they are nice and square. Knit your ribs together and soften them down towards the ground. This opens the back space which can easily close if you thinking too hard about pulling your shoulders down/back. Keep in mind that the best place for your rib cage is the placement where you feel you can take the deepest breath. When you breathe, feel your back between your shoulder blades expand open as your chest opens with it. When you have this placement, engage all muscles required to keep it. Don’t allow the arms coming up overhead to change what you do with your shoulders and where you have placed your body. Oh, they might make small adjustments that are necessary, but nothing excessive like rounding forward or coming up to the ears.
As you grip the resistance band, see if you can hold lightly. Don’t squeeze the heck out of it. In fact, only squeeze just as much as you need to to hold on. The goal is to build energy-efficient movement patterns. If you teach your body to engage only when it has to engage and when it does, only give the minimum necessary to accomplish the task, you can better teach it to rest when it has the opportunity to rest. You might want to reread that last sentence a few times. It is a powerful secret to all of my training. This kind of mentality has lead me to working really hard on basic movements which then turns around to make hard movements really easy.
Think about all these things as you pull your elbows down to your hips and you will have plenty to work on. Trust me.
I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to start easy on everything you do. It might feel pointless and like you’re not doing anything, but it is incredible how fast you will soar with efficient movement patterns. This is my soapbox, can you tell? I could talk all day about this, and say the same thing a million different ways. I hope you get it. If not, I have 7 more blogs and videos coming your way that will tell more of the story.
For those of you who can’t wait for next week’s video, you can already view it in our video library. Log in to your paying account and click on “home workouts.”