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 silks. Examples involve crucifix holds, knee grips and footlocks. Conditioning comes with repeatedly practicing these specific moves on the silks; 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. Silks strength is very specific and few sports require similar strength and stabilisation. 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 off the silks so that they can be practiced at home. Below we have listed some of our favourite strength and conditioning exercises suitable for students at this level.
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