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Beginners Sling Strength and Conditioning

It is important to remember the difference between strength and conditioning. Strength involves building muscle mass whereas conditioning is the focus upon specific joints of the body to get used to holding and working on the sling. Examples include armpit holds, hip holds, elbow and knee grips. Conditioning comes with repeatedly practising those specific moves or holding with those specific body parts on the sling; it would be very difficult to achieve conditioning without this.

The more you can encourage your students to develop their strength and conditioning the better as it will allow them to become faster learners and, crucially, safer dancers. Sling strength is very specific and few sports require a similar strength and stabilisation apart from aerial silks. Consider having a specific strength or conditioning section of each session that you teach and varying the exercises to cover different areas of the body each week to ensure no muscle group is overloaded. It can help to show students exercises that can be completed on the sling and also exercises that can be completed off the sling so they can be practised at home.

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