An essential part of every aerial journey is developing core strength. In fact, it’s so vital to the art form, that once you begin exercising and strengthening your core; you may notice a difference in various tricks! Not only this, but arguably the most important thing about establishing core strength is that it protects your body. Now, while we are all at home and have limited access to our aerial equipment, it is critical to maintain and build our strength.

Here are 5 exercises you can do at home with a pull up bar to take your conditioning to the next level. These can be done before you begin your practice or whenever you want to work on ab strength and core fitness. Added bonus: it works grip strength as well! I recommend doing 5-10 reps per practice.

*Please remember that since these exercises require putting weight into our hands, it is important to warm up our shoulders and forearms first. For all of the exercises below, you should keep your shoulders engaged (ears away from your shoulders) throughout the exercise to avoid injury.


  1. Start by forming your hands into a “C” shape, and grip the bar with your thumbs underneath.
  2. Next, engage your shoulders by doing a shoulder shrug – pulling your ears away from your shoulders – and maintain this posture throughout. 
  3. Finally, begin to transition your weight into your hands by bending your knees until your feet come up behind you.
  4. Next, tuck your knees up toward your chest until your quads are as close to your stomach as you can raise them.
  5. Release your knees, repeat as many times as desired



  1. These are exactly like tucks, but with a twist! As you bring your knees up for a tuck, twist your torso and bring your knees up toward one side of your body.
  2. Release and repeat on both sides.




  1. With your weight in your hands, place your feet out in front of you keeping your legs straight.
  2. Lift your legs until you make an “L” with your body.
  3. Gently lower your legs and repeat.

*These are challenging, but are a great marker of your improving strength!



  1. Lift your legs in a pike as before
  2. Then, whatever height you can get your legs to in a pike, try to hold that for 10 seconds.




  1. Once you have built confidence in your pike, begin with your legs together. 
  2. Next, straddle your legs wide.
  3. Bring your legs back together, but cross one leg over the other.
  4. Go back to the straddle and cross your legs switching which one is on top.


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This article was written by Zoë G. Zoë has been an aerialist for over 10 years. She is also a senior in high school, sister, and amateur ukulele player who can recite the alphabet backwards. Currently, she is the co-captain of her school’s robotics team, an avid reader (of books and web comics), and a bit of a podcast enthusiast. She finds hearing and reading other peoples’ stories captivating and impactful, especially during this time of social isolation.

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