Aerial Silks – Strength Building

Move in the picture – Gazelle Arabesque (Back shot)

The hardest part of this move is making sure the silks don’t slide over the leggings that you may be wearing on the day while trying to wrap the leg as fast as possible. Then trying to remember, as you thread your arm between the silks, which way to twist. Once everyone got in that move, we all kind of looked around going… “Is this it? Am I doing it right?” I think it was because our bodies didn’t feel any strain while in it.


Silks is whole different level of strength than the other two disciplines. The arms, and core burn a lot in this discipline, so if you’re one of those people that starts a pole session with “Oh, but I have no upper body strength” then I wouldn’t jump straight into this sport straight away. Of course if you do, you will build strength very quickly, and I’m not saying don’t, but just be prepared for this to definitely ache your shoulders and stomach by the end.

There are a few exercises that I would recommend to help build at least a base line of strength if you feel completely out of your depth, or you just simply want to progress quicker.


On the apparatus – Chin ups (deadlift) – Even if it starts as just little shoulder shrugs you want to get to a point that is comfortable to deadlift a full chin up with arms fully extended to start with.

Off the apparatus – Press ups – Any kind of press up will do, though I would suggest working towards knees off the ground, full straight plank, and fully controlled press down, then up.


Upper Core – Sit ups – full controlled sit ups all abs no arms or neck.

Lower Core – Leg raises – lying flat on your back, legs straight lifting them, then lowering them but try your best not to touch the floor.

Back – Reverse sit ups – I would recommend having someone hold your legs down while you slowly lift your back as much as you can and then lower down. Just be aware that you don’t want to damage your back. Hurt the back and your done… completely.


Legs are not overly necessary to work on. However, I wouldn’t say don’t, they are still used for some moves and it is important to be strong enough to squeeze them together while holding your weight.

On the Pole – table top crunches – This helps strengthen your sides, but also if you put the lower foot closer to the pole, the top leg hooked on the pole has to try harder to keep you from falling.

On the Hoop – Single leg hang – All your weight hanging upside down on one leg definitely helps, just have someone spot seriously.

Silks – tie a hitch in the silks and do single leg hangs similar to On the Hoop.

Off the equipment – Run, or Swim.

Lesson 1.6 – The discipline will help build strength, but there are exercises to build it as a baseline before, or faster progression.

If interested in any of these classes please follow the link below –