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How to tape up an aerial hoop

Training on a “naked” hoop can be tough if you’re wearing leggings as the lack of skin contact makes holding on near impossible. Many aerialist tape up their hoops to improve grip, prevent skin chafing and to add a bit of colour.

What’s the correct way to tape up my hoop?

One way is to tape all the way around then add an extra layer of tape on the bottom third. However, not only will this increase the chance of the tape being unstuck and coming off but it’s also a waste of tape.

Alternatively, you can tape from the bottom up on side to the top then repeat on the other side which seems to be a bit of a time waster as well as again, there’s a chance the tape will roll and unravel after a while.

The best way I’ve found it to just start at the top, wrapping with a third of the tape overlapping and voila – a lovely dressed up hoop with minimal effort.

What will I need?

Your aerial hoop, a couple of roll of sports tape, some chalk and patience. That’t it!

What tape do I use for wrapping my hoop?

Most aerialists will use cotton based athletic tape with Mueller M-Tape being the popular choice. It comes in a wide range of colours so there is not limitations to how creative you can get. 

There are many other tapes available on the market so try different brands until you find the best one for you.

How long will it take?

It only takes me 15 minutes from beginning to end. I find the best way is to sit on the floor so I can rest the hoop on my knees and move it around easily.

Having a nice clear space and everything you need in arms reach makes the whole process quick and efficient.

How many rolls of tape will I need?

I used two rolls which are 9m each. This is enough for a 95cm hoop with a little left over for patching up wear and tear.

How do I get rid of the stickiness?

Every aerialist will know that new tape will make your hands sticky and the annoyance of the tape sticking to your clothes. However, you don’t need to buy anything fancy or expensive to prevent this. 

After consistent use, the tackiness will subside but if you want an instant fix then a light dusting of climbing chalk is the easiest solution. Don’t have any chalk? – then use some talc instead then brush off any excess. Easy peasy!

Do I need to buy ‘Pre-prep spray’?

The answer is no. It’s just a quick sale for most companies and is a completely unnecessary spray. The tape is plenty sticky without any added help.

Do I need to clean my hoop before re taping?

Not really but if you want to you can. Who am I to tell you how to live your life.

Finally…

Let your creativity go wild and wrap that hoop in the way that it makes you happy. After a few re-wrappings you’ll find your flow and what techniques work for you.

Beginner aerial hoop moves

Aerial hoop is an extremely dynamic sport and requires a lot of concentration as well as strength and flexibility. As a beginner is can be easy to get carried away with what you want to try after watching Instagram videos.

It’s important to build a solid foundation when training aerial hoop so before you start wanting to try the advanced moves, you’ll need to learn the basics first.

During your first few months of training, you’ll master the basics so check some of them out below:

Man in the moon

Use your top hand to help you balance while pushing through your feet. Try to keep the hoop parallel to your spine for good balance. If you’re feeling brave you can let go.

Star on the bar

Use your glutes to create a shelf on the bottom bar and use your hands to steady yourself until you’re secure enough to let go.

Walking man

Squeeze your thighs and keep your hips square. This will hold you in place allowing you to release your hands. If you fancy a challenge, try pointing those toes.

Pike seat

Make sure your shoulders and core are engaged to provide stability and squeeze your legs together for additional support.

Single leg cradle

Engage your shoulders and squeeze your thighs you lock you in place. Try to keep the hoop parallel to your spine for good balance.

Mermaid

Engaged shoulders and flexed feet will hold you in place and make you look more mermaidy!

French gazelle

Hooking your heel will add security to go hands free. Try bending your back leg for a gazelle variation.

Arabesque

Make sure the hoop sits high up on your thigh and not your knee or this will be painful.

Hock hang

Ensure your hands hold the top bar equal distance apart to maintain your balance. If you don’t you’ll just wobble everywhere.

Happy hooping!

10 things you should know before your first aerial hoop class

If you’re not one for the gym but want to get fit while hanging upside down, then this discipline is definitely for you.

Not only will you get a full body work out but you’ll also develop strength, flexibility, coordination and stamina.

As a newbie, it can be nerve wracking starting a new class so we’ve put together our top 10 things you need to know.

What to wear

Comfortable gym leggings, a sports bra and a tight fitting top will be your uniform from now on. Forget wearing anything loose or skin bearing as this will hinder your performance, making your session less enjoyable. Loose clothing is likely to get caught and if you’re wearing shorts, your skin is going to get really sore and irritated.

Arrive early

Don’t be that person who turns up late and disrupts the session. Try to be 10 or 15 mins early which will give you enough time to find the studio(in case you get lost), change into your kit and sign any necessary disclosure forms. If you know you’ll be late then give your teacher a heads up with a quick phone call or text.

Have something to eat

You’ll be working really hard on your first lesson and doing it on an empty stomach isn’t clever. There’s no need to go all out and demolish a three course meal but a sandwich or a light snack is ideal. Also, drink lots of water before, during and after your session. Your body will thank you.

Don’t worry if you can’t straddle first time

The straddle mount is one of the first things you’ll learn and is how most aerialist get into their hoop. It can be hard and involves a lot of trust in your arms and grip. Not everyone gets it first time and some students don’t get it even after a couple of weeks. So keep practicing and don’t give up!

Your hands will super sore

Since you’ll spend 60 to 90 mins holding onto a steel hoop, your hands with inevitably hurt and possibly some skin may tear. Don’t let this put you off, as over time your hands will toughen up and you’ll develop callouses. These will prevent your hands from hurting – even if they don’t look pretty.

The day after is going to be a killer

After your first session, everything is going to hurt. You’ll also have some funky bruises to show for it as well but don’t worry, it’s all part of the fun. If you’re not used to working out, your body will need time to adjust to using all those new muscles but you’ll feel really good afterwards. The pain doesn’t last forever and you won’t be able to wait to get back on that hoop.

Put your phone away

These days, people whips their phone out to take pictures of EVERYTHING and it’s great to load up your Insta feed with all the awesome shapes and flows you learn. Since this is your first class, there won’t be any time for getting snaps as you’ll be busy learning different mounts and a few basic moves. It’ll also be distracting if you’re trying to get a selfie while your instructor is demonstrating and could lead to you hurting yourself. Once you’re confident and have a bit more experience, you will be able to take all the photos you want.

Leave your ego at home

As this is your first class and probably everyone else’s as well, you’re not expected to nail everything first time. If you manage to mount the hoop straight away or smash your transition into inside mermaid then that’s awesome! But don’t brag about it to other students, especially if they’re struggling. It’s likely to put them off and irritate your teacher. Remember, no one likes a show off…

Say hello to everyone

We know it can be scary joining a new class but it’s about making friends as well as learning a new skill. Everyone will be feeling the same so try to introduce yourself. After all, the other students will eventually become your aerial family so why not take the plunge and say hello?

Finally…have fun!

Aerial Hoop Gang

Aerial hoop is all about learning, growing and developing as a person but it’s also about enjoying yourself while you do it. You might ache, be covered in bruises and have sore hands but you’ll be having so much fun and realise it’s all totally worth it.

If you fancy having a go at aerial hoop, then why not book yourself onto a taster class or fundamentals course at Leeds Aerial Arts – owned and run by Lorna Mackinder. Its only a short walk from the city centre and is one of the best or possibly THE best aerial arts studio in Leeds

12 things all aerialists can relate to

1. Bruises will become your badge of honour

You’ll forever be covered in bruises and take great pride in showing them off to your aerialist friends.

2. When you finally nail a move, no one will see

Image result for missed meme

No matter how hard you try you can never recreate it 

3.And when you fall, EVERYONE will see and it will probably be caught on camera

It’s inevitable that you will take a tumble and when you do, everyone in class and on the Internet will see you making a tit of yourself.

4.Hot baths and foam rollers will be your new best friend

5.Your hands will NEVER be soft again

Callouses will take over your hands and you’ll be so proud of them.

6.The phrase ” Be careful of the danger zone” will make you internally cringe

Image result for danger zone meme ariel

It will also make your eyes water on those occasions when you slip and nip something down there…

7. Your whole wardrobe will ONLY consist of leggings

And you’ll still struggle to find a pair you want to wear

8. New muscles will appear out of no where

You’ll feel like wonder woman and flex those muscles at every opportunity.

9. You’ll push yourself to new limits

When you look back at your progress over the last 6 months and feel so proud you did it

There will be mornings when you wake up and feel as though you’ve been hit by a bus.

It will look damn hard but after a few tries you’ll manage it and smile with pain while trying to hold it for a picture

Because no one can remember the actual names…even the teachers!