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Defining

Trapeze/Aerial Yoga

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I got a hammock to play with! Especially excited about working more on inversions & supported back bends, plus moving slightly deeper into certain movements without feeling like I'm putting myself at risk.

 

109942863_download(11).jpg.4f40c5e68f67cea63a6fd0d0c83dd4d8.jpg  1833118593_download(9).jpg.deb463aecaa02aaf3a2ceb21015fe02e.jpg 

 

 

 

SO, does anyone have any favourite resources/movements/stretches they'd like to share?

 

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Oooh what fun! I don't know anything about hammocks, but in general the most important thing to stay safe in backbends is to enter them actively. It's ok to use tools to pull yourself a little deeper, but the more that the movement comes from active muscle engagement the safer it will be. Stretches like the ones on the right can effective when done correctly, or plain damaging for the joints. It all depends on how you approach them. But wait for Stars to chime in, and here's a ping to @@mu as well. 

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My biggest word of caution for this is actually to ensure you rig it safely. Did it come with instructions on how to rig? Can you attach it to a strong-enough support beam? The general rule of rigging that you want to follow is, "could I hang a car from this safely?" If the answer is no, you don't want to hang an aerial apparatus from it, either. You want a mat underneath as well. Even a short fall, if you are upside down and land on your head, can lead to serious injury or even death. Be safe.

 

That said, I might actually not be as helpful as you would want on this topic - I'm used to aerial hammock as an apparatus to do tricks/dance, and this is a slightly different beast, made mostly for stretching it seems like.  A lot of the positions I know of for hammock wouldn't even fit in this type of apparatus, in fact. Definitely agree with @Mad Hatter above that you need to actively stretch and not just yank yourself into position here to ensure you don't get hurt. A great way to relax some muscles and potentially stretch your middle split/straddle is an inverted straddle like this one. It's nice to hang out in that position, let gravity pull your legs down, let your spine stretch out, etc.

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10 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

the most important thing to stay safe in backbends is to enter them actively. It's ok to use tools to pull yourself a little deeper, but the more that the movement comes from active muscle engagement the safer it will be. 

100% I appreciate the caution! I'm pretty careful around safe stretching, but it never hurts to be reminded. :) Fortunately a strong background in dance & synchronised swimming, plus years of yoga, have given me a reasonable knowledge base to work from.

 

33 minutes ago, starsapart said:

My biggest word of caution for this is actually to ensure you rig it safely. Did it come with instructions on how to rig? Can you attach it to a strong-enough support beam? The general rule of rigging that you want to follow is, "could I hang a car from this safely?" If the answer is no, you don't want to hang an aerial apparatus from it, either. You want a mat underneath as well. Even a short fall, if you are upside down and land on your head, can lead to serious injury or even death. Be safe.

 

That said, I might actually not be as helpful as you would want on this topic - I'm used to aerial hammock as an apparatus to do tricks/dance, and this is a slightly different beast, made mostly for stretching it seems like.  A lot of the positions I know of for hammock wouldn't even fit in this type of apparatus, in fact. Definitely agree with @Mad Hatter above that you need to actively stretch and not just yank yourself into position here to ensure you don't get hurt. A great way to relax some muscles and potentially stretch your middle split/straddle is an inverted straddle like this one. It's nice to hang out in that position, let gravity pull your legs down, let your spine stretch out, etc.

Thanks! I have it set up on a power rack with rubber mats underneath; I definitely can't hang a car on it, but I'm reasonably confident that it's safe for the intended use. Yes, it's mostly to help with more stretching/strength stuff rather than proper aerial tricks/dance. I will go slow, start with easy progressions, and make sure not to put myself into poses that I can't safely get out of. Thanks for the inverted saddle rec, I will let you guys know how it goes!

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1 minute ago, Defining said:

Thanks! I have it set up on a power rack with rubber mats underneath; I definitely can't hang a car on it, but I'm reasonably confident that it's safe for the intended use.

 

Yeah, without momentum moves or drops, I think you're right and this is reasonable. The car thing is a common measure used by aerialists rigging silks etc.... it's one of those cautions about why you don't rig from trees.

 

Good luck stretching! Have fun!

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2 minutes ago, starsapart said:

Yeah, without momentum moves or drops, I think you're right and this is reasonable. The car thing is a common measure used by aerialists rigging silks etc.... it's one of those cautions about why you don't rig from trees.

 

Good luck stretching! Have fun!

I wouldn't dream of swinging or bouncing with this setup, never mind dropping! And I do appreciate the safety cautions, the recommendations are there for a reason. While I'm inverted I can nearly touch the floor with my elbows, so this is definitely a different kind of animal from silks or the real (and really awesome!) trapeze work that you do.

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17 hours ago, Defining said:

100% I appreciate the caution! I'm pretty careful around safe stretching, but it never hurts to be reminded. :) Fortunately a strong background in dance & synchronised swimming, plus years of yoga, have given me a reasonable knowledge base to work from.

Great! Even if we can't provide specifics about this particular apparatus, I'm sure we can help out if you have trouble figuring out a pose, or even checking if a resource seems decent enough. Hope you'll have lots of fun!

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Hiya :)

 

I'm also used to aerial hammocks, not this type, and my preferred positions are also very hard to describe in words :D I will try for this one: sit in the hammock holding the silks on each side, slide on your back like for an inverted straddle, lift your right leg and wrap it around the right silks from the outside to the inside  (keep wrapping until you feel you are locking with your toes, your legs should be straight if possible), slide further in the left shoulder until you feel a good stretch. Do the other side.

 

I searched for pictures, it is sort of like this:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRsJqMZjU2WirK6Osnwo6G

 

but with the side leg pointing up and wrapped to the toes

 

I will also be a bore and insist on security.

Spoiler

I have a home rig and I took a training course in aerial rigging security - not to sound self-righteous, I actually did do things wrong despite having taken aerial classes for years before, it's just not a topic we look that much into during classes... it was actually pretty scary to realize the extent of potentially fatal mistakes even at low heights and I definitely needed it. I know with the lockdown it's hard to find such a course, but you can find some resources on this group for instance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/622174321133562

 

You should not trust equipment that does not have any load bearing indication and by equipment I mean the rig itself or the point of attachment, the carabiners, the figure 8 and the silks themselves. By any mean, a power rack sounds actually safer to me than the ceiling or a tree. I suspect it should have have some weight load indication written somewhere. Carabiners and silks should also be provided with some indication.

 

The second thing is how the silks are rigged exactly. In the picture it looks like they are attached to carabiners that might pushing against each other (not good). If silks are attached directly to the carabiner, they will overload it (not good) and the carabiner itself could also very quickly tear them in places (not good either, hence the use of figure 8). Avoid wearing jewelry and anything that could cause a tear for the same reason. Do read some 101 about carabiners, it helps.

 

Also do not train alone. I have managed to get stuck in a position I had done zillion of times... I had to get someone to rescue me... And my rig is not very high at all. I know it sounds unlikely and the apparatus is low and so on, but it's actually when it looks pseudo-low-risk that shit happens... I would probably not have died, but some kind of injury would have been likely -_-

 

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13 minutes ago, @mu said:

Also do not train alone. I have managed to get stuck in a position I had done zillion of times... I had to get someone to rescue me...

This is part of why I prefer hard apparatuses, it's amazing how very stuck you can get by making tiny mistakes. If you're on your own you can still get out of them fairly easily as long as you can reach one foot to the floor, but as soon as you're in the air, even if it's only a few centimetres, you might just not have enough steam to hold yourself up anymore and then you're in trouble. :o With a hard apparatus you always have the option of jumping down if worse came to worst. With silks you're literally stuck. I have nothing but respect for you flyers!

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7 hours ago, @mu said:

I will try for this one: sit in the hammock holding the silks on each side, slide on your back like for an inverted straddle, lift your right leg and wrap it around the right silks from the outside to the inside  (keep wrapping until you feel you are locking with your toes, your legs should be straight if possible), slide further in the left shoulder until you feel a good stretch. Do the other side.

That sounds fun, will give it a go!

 

7 hours ago, @mu said:

You should not trust equipment that does not have any load bearing indication and by equipment I mean the rig itself or the point of attachment, the carabiners, the figure 8 and the silks themselves. By any mean, a power rack sounds actually safer to me than the ceiling or a tree. I suspect it should have have some weight load indication written somewhere. Carabiners and silks should also be provided with some indication.

100% I definitely respect the safety aspect of hanging from things. The rack itself is rated to a minimum of 700lbs, the hammock & handles for 400lbs, and I am using trucking soft loops (to avoid scratching the rack) rated to 10,000lbs and climbing carabiners rated to a minimum of 7kN along their weakest axis to attach them to the pull-up bar on the rack (via the soft ties). I also have the base of the rack itself weighted down with just under 300lbs of sandbags, just in case. I will check out the FB group you suggested, thank you!

 

8 hours ago, @mu said:

Also do not train alone. I have managed to get stuck in a position I had done zillion of times... I had to get someone to rescue me... And my rig is not very high at all. I know it sounds unlikely and the apparatus is low and so on, but it's actually when it looks pseudo-low-risk that shit happens... I would probably not have died, but some kind of injury would have been likely -_-

+

7 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

If you're on your own you can still get out of them fairly easily as long as you can reach one foot to the floor, but as soon as you're in the air, even if it's only a few centimetres, you might just not have enough steam to hold yourself up anymore and then you're in trouble. :o 

Totally - I don't live alone, and am just working out in the basement. But also the hammock has three independently hung handles on either side (short, medium, and long), which makes it MUCH easier to get in/out of poses safely. So I am still technically training 'alone', but it's within my risk tolerance.

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6 minutes ago, Defining said:

Totally - I don't live alone, and am just working out in the basement. But also the hammock has three independently hung handles on either side (short, medium, and long), which makes it MUCH easier to get in/out of poses safely. So I am still technically training 'alone', but it's within my risk tolerance.

Oh I didn't write that to put you off. With the setup you've described plus a sensible head I can't imagine you would get yourself into too much trouble. ;) 

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3 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Oh I didn't write that to put you off. With the setup you've described plus a sensible head I can't imagine you would get yourself into too much trouble. ;) 

I took it as the reasonable caution & conversation that it was (I assume) intended as. :) NO worries, I'm not put off. As it is, in many ways I feel like I've been using the whole thing more like a supported TRX system than proper aerial silk work. Once things start opening again, I may see if I can find some tumbling/trapeze classes or something similar, to try the 'hard apparatus' stuff as well, which sound like fun!

 

The safety stuff really cannot be stated too often - and for someone as arrogant as myself, they are VERY useful reminders to pay attention to the voices of greater experience.

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On 4/30/2020 at 9:33 AM, Mad Hatter said:

With a hard apparatus you always have the option of jumping down if worse came to worst. With silks you're literally stuck.

 

Death by strangulation vs jumping :D I guess it's all relative to the sort of pain you "prefer". I'd rather be burnt than knocked out :P 

 

18 hours ago, Defining said:

The rack itself is rated to a minimum of 700lbs, the hammock & handles for 400lbs, and I am using trucking soft loops (to avoid scratching the rack) rated to 10,000lbs and climbing carabiners rated to a minimum of 7kN along their weakest axis to attach them to the pull-up bar on the rack (via the soft ties). I also have the base of the rack itself weighted down with just under 300lbs of sandbags, just in case.

 

Good to read! Just keeping in my mind the whole weight load limit is set by the weakest link. I haven't seen those yoga kits in person, only in pictures but this for instance looks like a big no no to me:

619FO9wt63L._AC_SL1000_.jpg

 

I also don't mean to put you off at all, it will also depends how much you use it and how. It's worth inspecting the slings every so often  (even on a correct setup anyway).

 

19 hours ago, Defining said:

and for someone as arrogant as myself

 

really? :P  I haven't read many of your posts but you strike me as somebody who research stuff a lot,  how is that arrogant?

 

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3 hours ago, @mu said:

Good to read! Just keeping in my mind the whole weight load limit is set by the weakest link. I haven't seen those yoga kits in person, only in pictures but this for instance looks like a big no no to me

The clips on the hammock, or using metal on metal? I replaced the ones that came with the hammock with the climbing carabiners I mentioned, everything mounted to the soft ties directly (no metal on metal).

 

3 hours ago, @mu said:

I also don't mean to put you off at all, it will also depends how much you use it and how. It's worth inspecting the slings every so often  (even on a correct setup anyway).

You didn't put me off, you made sure I'm staying reasonably safe! Totally appreciated. I will schedule in a monthly inspection of the sling, that's a good idea, thank you!

 

3 hours ago, @mu said:

really? :P  I haven't read many of your posts but you strike me as somebody who research stuff a lot,  how is that arrogant?

OH yeah, I'm an obnoxious know-it-all. Unfortunately one of the side-effects of often being right (but not always!) due to 'lots of research' is that it can give me a false sense of security in my own knowledge base. Reminders that I don't know everything are always useful and appreciated.

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16 hours ago, Defining said:

The clips on the hammock, or using metal on metal? I replaced the ones that came with the hammock with the climbing carabiners I mentioned, everything mounted to the soft ties directly (no metal on metal).

 

As I understand it, “no metal on metal” concerns the anchoring, how much torque it will create and then the type of metal attached to each other (eg aluminium vs steel). So webbing to the pullup bar is good yes. Now below that, in aerial rigging, there are elements in the rigging chain where you do have metal on metal in best practices (for instance using a swivel, or figure 8 to quicklink).

 

What I see on the pic is an overloading problem + a 3-way load on a connector that doesn't look rated for that. It does have the shape of a delta quicklink, but if it's the model I'm thinking of, it has no rating and it does not even have a secure gate, it's just a clip indeed. You did well to replace those but 3-way loading should not be done on a carabiner, it's not rated for that (if you can find a rated quicklink instead). If you are rigging each sling separately, you also fix the 3 way loading problem, that's good.

Now overloading is still a problem (the material held by the carabiner is too large). You will see silks rigged directly into a carabiner every so often but it is a mistake. People get away with it but it's not safe. On the pic, I see frictions between the slings and the extra carabiner, it would also happen with a single carabiner (friction against the gate causing tears in the sling a well as some security issues by pushing against the gate, on top of the carabiner being generally overloaded).

 

Now if you could use a figure 8 to attach the slings (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82PupO7DZ7k), and then attach the figure 8 to a quicklink, that would be fine. It solves both the overloading bit and the 3-way load issue in on go. But I'm not sure how you can do that with a main loop and 2 handles, what materials they are made of and if it could be a problem, and how much it will affect the overall height of the apparatus 🤔

 

That's a lot of DIY for a kit that's supposed to be ready to use, isn't it. I assume there is some weight rating on the kit. But I'm quite puzzled by their setup.

 

Anyway,  all that said, have you tried it yet? :D

 

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12 hours ago, @mu said:

You did well to replace those but 3-way loading should not be done on a carabiner, it's not rated for that (if you can find a rated quicklink instead). If you are rigging each sling separately, you also fix the 3 way loading problem, that's good.

Now overloading is still a problem (the material held by the carabiner is too large). You will see silks rigged directly into a carabiner every so often but it is a mistake. People get away with it but it's not safe. On the pic, I see frictions between the slings and the extra carabiner, it would also happen with a single carabiner (friction against the gate causing tears in the sling a well as some security issues by pushing against the gate, on top of the carabiner being generally overloaded)

That's super interesting! I have the handles on a separate 'biner anyway instead of all on one. There wouldn't be as much  rubbing that way, OR 3-way loading. But still something to keep an eye on. And yes, each side is loaded onto the rack separately. Thanks for your expertise!

 

I could definitely try the figure 8, but there's a chance it's not entirely necessary since there's not the same amount of 'swinging' involved in this use case (nor any swiveling). It's almost like that would be a system to DIY a proper hammock on your own, instead of buying a 'specific' yoga set. Something to think about though.

 

12 hours ago, @mu said:

Anyway,  all that said, have you tried it yet? :D

SO MUCH FUN! :D I've been pretty careful about inversions, since I was in a car accident a few months ago and am still going through physio. But even just being able to try a few stretches in a different way has been awesome. I already feel a little more bendy, and stronger in certain positions. Woot.

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On 5/2/2020 at 6:47 PM, Defining said:

SO MUCH FUN! :D I've been pretty careful about inversions, since I was in a car accident a few months ago and am still going through physio. But even just being able to try a few stretches in a different way has been awesome. I already feel a little more bendy, and stronger in certain positions. Woot.

 

:) woot! Sorry to hear about the car accident, where were you injured?

 

On 5/2/2020 at 6:47 PM, Defining said:

Thanks for your expertise!

 

No expertise really, I'm not qualified as a rigger. Only some xp maybe, as in... done quite a few mistakes... :P 

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10 hours ago, @mu said:

:) woot! Sorry to hear about the car accident, where were you injured?

Just whiplash and some nerve issues; it's a PIA because I already had some challenges with my neck & thoracic area before this setback, but it could have been MUCH worse.

 

Man, there are some really nice leg stretching options with this, which I usually need to lie 'legs up the wall' and use a yoga strap for. Hits slightly different spots though. This is great.

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On 5/4/2020 at 6:10 PM, Defining said:

Just whiplash and some nerve issues; it's a PIA because I already had some challenges with my neck & thoracic area before this setback, but it could have been MUCH worse.

 

Man, there are some really nice leg stretching options with this, which I usually need to lie 'legs up the wall' and use a yoga strap for. Hits slightly different spots though. This is great.

 

:huh:

 

Enjoy :D

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I've done both Aerial Yoga and Aerial Sling, and while I have never used this particular set up (I'm more used to just a single hammock) I know a couple of nice stretches that you could certainly do on this! Obviously if you are still under your physio just get them to double check everything I suggest just in case you exacerbate anything!

 

All of these are passive type stretches.

  • Modified childs pose:  T shape your arms, bring them around the posts (the two sides) and through and wrap the material around your wrists once, get onto the floor in a childs pose but have your arms stretched out in front of you, keeping your neck in a neutral position looking at the floor you can stretch out and start bringing your hands from left side all the way over to your right side - this one stretches your shoulders out in a nice gentle way  (tip to this is having your wrists and the fixed point in line and stretching out behind the hammock)   
  • The one up from this is a nice forward fold, again it's pretty much the same as above, but from a standing position, this personally hit s my hamstrings and my lower back (if I remember rightly) 
  • Depending on the height you can do some assisted lunge type stretches where one leg goes in the hammock and you bring your forward and to the floor 

The Aerial Yoga tag on Instagram might be worth looking into, but just take everything really slowly and gently to begin with! Let me know if you have any more questions! 😊  

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Super late to the punch, but...

 

On 5/2/2020 at 1:29 AM, @mu said:

What I see on the pic is an overloading problem + a 3-way load on a connector that doesn't look rated for that. It does have the shape of a delta quicklink, but if it's the model I'm thinking of, it has no rating and it does not even have a secure gate, it's just a clip indeed. You did well to replace those but 3-way loading should not be done on a carabiner, it's not rated for that (if you can find a rated quicklink instead).

 

Boom. The issue being referenced is that when you load in a triangle configuration, as the direction of load on two of those points approach horizontal, the load on each of the two points multiplies to the point that it exceeds the load of the person who's being lifted (see the American Death Triangle). In fact, I think (don't remember perfectly) that the load can theoretically approach infinity. This is why aerial riggers don't rig from two points on a ceiling 30 feet apart, or from a rope stretched across a room.

 

That said, it looks like the triangle is upside down, so I imagine it's actually you, the person in the sling, who's applying that horizontal force. If that's the case, I wouldn't worry as much; that horizontal force is also being applied to you, and in all the rigging materials being used, the person is usually the weakest link. You'll snap in half before your silks do. Hopefully that's comforting? :P

 

If that carabiner @mu showed is a single point of failure, though, I would reiterate her recommendation and swap it out for a large load-rated climbing biner. A $15 screw-lock biner from REI would fit the bill nicely without breaking the bank. The ideal situation would be, as @mu said, hardware that doesn't risk abrading the silks; so a climbing biner, and the silks attached to two smooth rings or other hardware like the figure 8.

 

All that said, even without all those precautions you'll probably be fine, as long as you check your hardware on a regular basis for abrasion or any other wear and tear signs, and as long as you go in with the knowledge that the setup is not something that would be considered acceptable for dynamic loading (anything other than hanging stationary, or very slow movement). For anything dynamic you need a far more bulletproof rig.

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On 5/22/2020 at 11:47 PM, PaulG said:

If that carabiner @mu showed is a single point of failure, though, I would reiterate her recommendation and swap it out for a large load-rated climbing biner. A $15 screw-lock biner from REI would fit the bill nicely without breaking the bank. The ideal situation would be, as @mu said, hardware that doesn't risk abrading the silks; so a climbing biner, and the silks attached to two smooth rings or other hardware like the figure 8.

Thanks, I mentioned above that I replaced the 'biners, and have them mounted separately so there's no triangle loading either. 

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