Ok so you’ve just done your first aerial class whoo hoo exciting stuff! But it may possibly have left you a little overwhelmed by all the terminology – yep everything has some strange or fancy name or other… Well here I’ve compiled a quick go to glossary of all the terminology and circus lingo that we use on a regular basis so you need never be confused again.

Yeah I know some of it is fairly obvious, but if I asked you to tuck and pike to hocks whilst fully engaged and mount the bar with a motorcycle grip would you know what I meant? Possibly not for your  first hoop lesson.

How about a straddle invert to single hocks followed by some reps of tuck, pike to needle on the silk? These are all fairly common terms we use in aerial world, but I imagine they possibly sound like some strange foreign language to the uninitiated.

Fear not my friends as all will become clear if you read on…

TUCK: both knees bending to the chest.

PIKE: both legs straight.

NEEDLE: both legs straight towards the ceiling.

STRADDLE: legs wide apart.

HOCKS: knees gripping the equipment, can be double or single.

INVERT: doing something upside down.

GRIP: holding the equipment with your hands. Can be overhand (motorcycle) / underhand / twisted grip and so on.

BAR: slang for either a hoop or trapeze or even your pull up bar.

MOUNT: how you get on the hoop.

HANG: hanging off the equipment. Can be in long arm (dead hang) or short arm.

BEAT: using a swinging action to move about on the equipment. Can be with your legs in a dead hang or with arms from hocks.

TEMPO: or ‘hup’ initiates a move. In doubles it can also start with a hand squeeze.

ENGAGED: squeezing your muscles in order to perform a movement with great technique.

TRICK: the shape / move / pose / drop / spin / turn you make whilst on the equipment.

TECHNIQUE: the how to’s of doing a trick.

FORM: the way you execute a trick. Can be sloppy (kind of lazily done) or engaged (ie. awesome form).

SPOTTER: the person who is there to help you execute a new trick safely. They need to make you feel safe by supporting or boosting you if you need it and be there to remind you what you are supposed to be doing.

FLYER: the person executing the trick. If in doubles it is the person doing the flying part of the trick.

BASE: a term used for doubles to indicate the person doing the supporting as opposed to the flying.

CORE: all your muscle groups from your knees to your shoulders that work in conjunction to make your body strong.

DYNAMIC MOVEMENT: any movement that involves a swinging action, drop or spin.

STATIC MOVEMENT OR MUSCLE UP: no swinging or using beats – just using muscle power to get into a shape.

REP: short for repetition ie the number of times you perform an exercise.

SET: the number of rounds of repetitions.

SUPER SETS: rotating between two exercises usually with the intention of working different muscle groups e.g. pull ups and then tuck up (arms and abs).

CONDITIONING: doing reps / sets and super sets of exercises in order to build strength.

CARDIO: heart pumping exercise that gets you breathing through your mouth not your nose.

HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training is a workout where you give max effort through quick intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods.

So there you have it – I know that some of it may be fairly obvious, but I just thought I would brainstorm it all. Now I feel like a walking encyclopaedia! I know I’ve probably missed a few so please do leave your comments below with any other terms that may have you confused and bewildered. If you thought this useful please like and share with your fellow aerialists.

Meanwhile go hardcore, get badass and be awesome!