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TELL ME HOW YOU *REALLY* FEEL

TELL ME HOW YOU *REALLY* FEEL

Featuring Janelle Dinosaurs OUCH. ​Imagine this familiar moment:  you’re in an aerial/stretching/acrobatics class, and a student is trying a new skill. “Ow!” they say, “that hurts!” ​ This scene is the root of a series of several articles Janelle Dinosaurs and I are writing together to address the spectrum from “discomfort” to “full blown injury” as […]

TO SQUEEZE OR NOT TO SQUEEZE: WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR GLUTES IN A BACKBEND

TO SQUEEZE OR NOT TO SQUEEZE: WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR GLUTES IN A BACKBEND

  Featuring Catie Brier, contortionist and contortion coach ​There are a few super hot topics in circus/yoga/performing arts, and this is one of them…what should your glutes be doing in a backbend? Should they be engaged, or should they be relaxed?     There are a lot of strong opinions out there on this topic…and I, too, am […]

EVERYTHING HURTS AND I’M DYING: HOW MUCH SORENESS IS TOO MUCH?

EVERYTHING HURTS AND I’M DYING: HOW MUCH SORENESS IS TOO MUCH?

Featuring Lindsay Culbert-Olds (@lco91), Photo by Warren Zelman What does current performing arts culture tell us about muscle soreness? Aches and pains? Bruises, burns, and rope rash?  “CIRCUS HURTS.” “Train through it.” “Tears are for home, not circus” “Here, have some circus candy (advil/ibuprofen).”  These are all common “circus-isms” that I’ve heard, and I want to talk a […]

RETHINKING SHOULDER POSITION IN CIRCUS ARTS

RETHINKING SHOULDER POSITION IN CIRCUS ARTS

Featuring Lindsay Culbert-Olds and Kia-Melinda Eastman (www.KLTrapeze.com), photo byYolanta Birkhāne ​“ARMS UP! NOW, DRAW YOUR SHOULDER BLADES DOWN AND BACK! ENGAGE YOUR SHOULDER MUSCLES!” How many times have you heard this verbal cue in the context of circus arts, yoga, pilates, or dance? I hear this all the time, across multiple movement disciplines. Most of the time, […]

THREE EXERCISES TO COMBAT A CRANKY BODY AFTER HOLIDAY TRAVEL

THREE EXERCISES TO COMBAT A CRANKY BODY AFTER HOLIDAY TRAVEL

​I just spent the greater part of last weekend in cars and airplanes, and my body absolutely hates me. My neck hurts, I have a headache, and my hip flexors are so wound up I can hardly stand up straight. Sound familiar? Here are the three exercises I hit immediately upon arrival at my destination […]

EVERY DAY IS GLUTE DAY…AND OTHER STORIES FROM THE #BATTLEOFTHEBOOTY

EVERY DAY IS GLUTE DAY…AND OTHER STORIES FROM THE #BATTLEOFTHEBOOTY

  FEATURING SHANNON MCKENNA, PHOTO BY DANIEL AND CORRINA OWENS ​As some of you know, I recently returned to San Francisco from China, where I had been working as a physio for the Chinese Olympic teams in prep for Rio.  In China, the cultural standard of beauty for women is to be small and thin- no curves, […]

THE SECRET TO LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND HIP FLEXOR MOBILITY

THE SECRET TO LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND HIP FLEXOR MOBILITY

AERIALIST: SOPHIE GODWIN, PHOTO BY RAYMOND RUDOLPH   WHY ARE HIP FLEXORS SO STUBBORN?? If you’re a circus artist concerned with improving flexibility, you probably whine and complain about your stubborn hip flexors on a semi-regular basis.  Why are they so tight?? Why does hip stretching suck so much? WHY AREN’T THEY LOOSENING UP?! Let’s take a […]

WANT AN AMAZING PIKE? YOU BETTER START FLOSSING…YOUR NERVES.

WANT AN AMAZING PIKE? YOU BETTER START FLOSSING…YOUR NERVES.

 FEATURED: NICOLE WOYAK, WWW.NICOLEWOYAK.COM ​In the last post, I discussed a little bit about basic muscle and nerve anatomy, and how to tell which structure may be contributing to difficulties with your pike stretch. Quick (and VERY simplified) review: if you are able to reach a lot further in your pike with your toes pointed […]

PIKE LIKE A CHINESE DIVER

PIKE LIKE A CHINESE DIVER

SHI TINGMAO AND WU MINXIA, 3M SPRINGBOARD FINALS, RIO 2016 OLYMPICS (HTTPS://WWW.YAHOO.COM/NEWS/CHINA-STRIKE-DOUBLE-DIVING-GOLD-211533875–SPT.HTML?REF=GS) Last August, I returned home to San Francisco from China, where I was working as a physio for the Chinese Olympic teams in prep for Rio. While I was there, I had the privilege of working closely with the diving team, which was one […]

ROTATOR CUFF STRENGTHENING FOR CIRCUS ARTISTS: #CIRCUSCUFF101

ROTATOR CUFF STRENGTHENING FOR CIRCUS ARTISTS: #CIRCUSCUFF101

Artists: Kia-Melinda Eastman and Lindsay Culbert-Olds, www.KLTrapeze.com Photographer: Yolanta Birkhane  When I say “rotator cuff strengthening,” what’s the first exercise you think of?  Those horrendously boring theraband exercises, right?  Yes. Those. Boring band exercises are a great place to start with strengthening your #circusshoulder, but I’m going to operate under the assumption that you already […]

WHAT’S THE #1 PREDICTOR OF GETTING SURGERY FOR BACK PAIN?

WHAT’S THE #1 PREDICTOR OF GETTING SURGERY FOR BACK PAIN?

Contortionist: Caty Mae, Instagram: @catymaecircus  ATTENTION: Circus artists with back pain! Here’s a REALLY interesting (and SCARY) statistic on the NUMBER ONE PREDICTOR of if your have surgery for low back pain…. WHAT?! Yep. The number one predictor is HOW MANY SURGEONS ARE IN YOUR ZIP CODE!!  Surgeons like to do surgery. What’s the second predictor? Whether […]

THORACIC MOBILITY: YOUR #CIRCUSSHOULDER’S KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR

THORACIC MOBILITY: YOUR #CIRCUSSHOULDER’S KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR

  Handbalancer: Zoe Jones, www.zoemjones.com, @handstandswithzoe Thoracic mobility to physiotherapists is kind of like coconut oil to hippies…it fixes EVERYTHING. Low back pain? Shoulder pain? Bet your thoracic spine is stiff. Neck problems? Hands ripping? Fear of heights? Time to work on t-spine mobility. If you’ve been keeping up with the circus shoulder posts, you’re […]

THIS LITTLE MUSCLE MIGHT BE SABOTAGING YOUR #CIRCUSSHOULDER

THIS LITTLE MUSCLE MIGHT BE SABOTAGING YOUR #CIRCUSSHOULDER

Aerialists: Daniel Stern (www.acrodan.com) and Shannon McKenna (www.circusshannon.com). Photographer: Juan Luis Gonzales   Your pectoralis minor might just be the evil villain to your circus fairytale….dramatic, perhaps, but true. You could have the perfect injury prevention routine, but if your pec minor is too tight, it will all go to waste. In this post, I’ll start off […]

THE REAL PROBLEM WITH YOUR CIRCUS LATS

THE REAL PROBLEM WITH YOUR CIRCUS LATS

Photo by Amourpropre Photography (@enola_gay); Featuring Mark Keahi (@mark_keahi)  and Jen Crane My last post discussed the basics of latissimus dorsi anatomy, mechanics, and how you know if your lats are an issue in your circus training.  I also shared my favorite test to measure and track progress in lat flexibility.  In this post, I’ll talk […]

LATS: THE “MOVERS” WE LOVE TO HATE

LATS: THE “MOVERS” WE LOVE TO HATE

Every aerialist I know has a love-hate relationship with their lats. We love how they help us scale a 10-meter silk, we hate how they make clothes shopping SO difficult.  An aerialist  (who shall remain nameless) once told me “Its bad. My boyfriend calls me LATniss Everdeen.”  We complain endlessly about how tight they are…especially […]

CIRCUS SHOULDER 101: MOVERS AND SHAKERS! …ER, STABILIZERS

CIRCUS SHOULDER 101: MOVERS AND SHAKERS! …ER, STABILIZERS

Not surprisingly, the most commonly injured joint among circus artists is the shoulder.  A study done on performers in Cirque du Soleil found that this was the case among acrobats, aerialists, and hand balancers; across genders and ages (see details here). ​ Whether you’re a seasoned circus artist or brand new to the scene, there’s a […]