Using the Hammock for Core Conditioning

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Aerial Educate Series: Core Conditioning


By Lead Aerial Yoga Teacher Trainer, Renae Stevens

In the Aerial Educate Series, Renae explores the amazing key benefits of the use of the Aerial Hammock and its ability to be used in a remedial and therapeutic capacity. In this series, Renae explores the multi-dimensional nature of the aerial hammock and its use in core conditioning.

The hammock is unique in that it provides multi-dimensional core stabilisation

Today, the one-dimensional exercise machine is being used less and less. Gyms that were once full of large stationary equipment are now moving toward functional forms of fitness conditioning. One of the main concerns with this type of exercise machine is that it tends to take over the stabilisation function we need to develop in order to support and protect our joints. This can lead to an over-development of prime movers relative to stabilisers and can set up an athlete to be ‘strong’ in the gym, but not in functional activities.

In contrast, the dynamic, multi-dimensional nature of the aerial hammock apparatus is extremely effective at activating stabiliser muscles and challenging core stability in multi-planes of movement. It can be adapted to reduce loading in antigravity or gravity assisted states while initially building strength, and increase challenge when appropriate in gravity resisted states.

Many people exclaim they have never felt so connected to their core as they do when using the hammock!

The hammock offers so many accessible core conditioning options

In the video below, we demonstrate how the hammock can be adapted to offer challenging aerial variations of the traditional pilates core exercises known as ‘chest-lift’ or ‘hundreds’. These exercises are designed for training endurance in the core muscular and stimulate heat throughout the body by moving circulation and breath.

The most accessible variation uses the hammock in a Cradle position where the lower back and pelvis is supported. Then the challenge can be intensified as we decrease the hammock support to the pelvis only in a BootyPouch. The most advanced challenge is to perform the exercise in a BackBelt where the body is only supported by a ‘rope’ of hammock across the mid-sacral region. Extra challenge can be applied with perturbation of arms or legs.

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Watch: Using the Hammock for Core Conditioning


Try these 3 aerial exercises safely at home and see how the effects overflow into your functional strength in other daily life activities.

1.Cradle Position

This is a great beginner/starting pose where the lower back and pelvis are supported by the aerial hammock which acts as a guide to help you become aware of where to hold your shape. Abducting the arms can help increase tension on the core in this pose.

Cradle Position

2.Booty Pouch

This intermediate pose offers support to just the pelvis which requires much more core control to roll down into the pose. Increase the challenge and intensity further by adding in controlled leg movement.

Booty Pouch

3.Back Belt

An advanced challenge for the core is to reduce the hammock even more so that the body is only supported by a ‘rope’ of hammock across the mid-sacral region. Extra intensity can be applied by being light with the fingers and moving the legs to challenge the lever action on the abdominals.

Back Belt

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About Renae Stevens & Aerial Yoga Teacher Training


Renae Stevens, founder of CreativeBodyFlow, has been a pioneer in bringing aerial yoga hammock education to Australia and New Zealand. Over the last 10 years Renae has had the opportunity to work with clients in the hammock in both clinical settings, fitness centres and yoga studios, and found there are outstandingly positive outcomes when the knowledge from mental health, physical rehabilitation and fitness are integrated.

Renae is lead Teacher Trainer of CreativeBodyFlow’s Aerial Yoga Teacher Training, with courses coming soon both virtually (live-streamed) and live at Bend + Fly.

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