Aerial hoop (also known as the lyra, aerial ring or cerceau/cerceaux) is one of the most impressive aerial performances one can watch. It includes exercises that demand strength, endurance and flexibility.
Apart from a form of art, it is also a widespread form of workout as its benefits are visible to the whole body. Learning to use the aerial hoop is an amazing experience. However, we won’t see hoops that often in houses, like we see Pole Dancing poles. Why is that?
All trainers of aerial sports will agree that it is wrong to learn hoop on your own. It can not be self-taught! While in Pole dancing, someone can execute exercises on the floor or in the air with safety, this does not apply on the hoop.
You will be asked to invert by the very first lesson. Aerial sports can be dangerous even at a low height. It becomes obvious that a wrong movement is enough to make you land on your neck. Especially at the amateur level, where you have acquired no knowledge yet of the mechanisms used in every exercise, it is very easy to fall. Basically, this is the main reason you should train along with an experienced trainer and in addition to that, have a thick safety mattress under the hoop.
Hoop allows movement to every direction. It spins, sways and swings on momentum, creating an illusion of “flying”. For this to be accomplished, you need to have the proper equipment and plenty of space. If you live in a small apartment, you won’t be able to exploit its full potential. There will be exercises that you simply won’t be able to try. The same applies if you train in a small school, with hoops suspended between poles. After some time, all the basic movements will be covered and limited space will prevent you from advancing.
Although there are a lot of manuals and YouTube videos available, which could be of some use to you, at least as reference, nothing can replace an experienced trainer. The trainer will trace your weaknesses and will catch your mistakes. It is very important to learn movements with the right technique and not to adopt bad habits.
Even if you manage to learn the basics on your own, how far can you go? Soon you will need to learn transitions, combinations of movements (combos) and entire choreographies.
In addition, you will want to learn more advanced movements demanding significant flexibility and strength. Being an amateur with no background in dance or gymnastics, it will be very hard to accomplish this on your own.
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Want to learn more about this impressive aerial performance? Read more about aerial hoop and its origins