This week the theme is shoulder mobility testing and external rotation.
Testing for basic wrist and shoulder flexibility is a good tool for teachers who teach aerial in a recreational setting. There are minimum standards of wrist flexibility and shoulder rotation that a student should have before they even consider hauling their body weight around in aerial classes. The two tests that will can quickly assess a student are basic prayer position (for wrist flexibility) and an arm overhead that wraps around to touch the corner of the mouth (best to watch the video for that one!).
The majority of the general population can perform these simple movements, but every once in a while, you may run into someone who cannot do these positions. This happened to me not too long ago. I was surprised to learn that a potential student could not bend at the wrists for prayer position. In this case, it is best to recommend remedial training (with a physical therapist or other movement expert) prior to aerial activities.
The other topic I want to address here in this blog is the idea of “break the bar.” Any time that you perform a pull-up, imagine that you are trying to break the bar in half as you pull. The goal of this image is to bring the elbows closer to each other and thus rotate the humerus in an external rotation within the shoulder socket. External rotation in the shoulder socket is a preferred rotation due to the way that it allows access into a greater range of motion. See the video for more on external rotation and how to find it in your body.