A straddle is such a lovely way to mount the hoop. It looks like it should be fairly easy but it’s actually really hard to get a straddle. Especially being able to lift into it, hold the position and come down gracefully! I receive so many messages from people asking for tips on how to get a good straddle. So I’ve put together some conditioning exercises that will target the muscles you use for a straddle and that use the same movements to help your body work out what it’s supposed to be doing!

The Exercises

A straddle requires a lot of core and upper body strength so that is what these exercises will be focusing on. The first exercise is pull up holds and negative pull ups. Start with your arms bent, at a right angle. Take your feet off the floor and hold your body in that position for as long as you can, then lower as slowly as you can. If you’re not yet able to hold your body with your arms bent, start with your arms bent and when you take your feet off the floor lower slowly. This will be gradually increasing the strength in your arms and back and you’ll be getting used to the feeling of engaging your muscles.

Knee raises are amazing for improving core strength and building up to a straddle. I have included a few variations that you can work through, depending on your ability. Keep your arms bent throughout these exercises, this will help you to keep controlled while doing a straddle and will really help build up more strength. Gradually increase the height until you can lift both knees up past your elbows. Also increase the number you can do without putting your feet on the floor. Remember to lift instead of jumping, it’s better to do lower, more controlled knee raises than throwing your legs as high as you can.

Once you feel happy with all the conditioning and prep exercises, you will hopefully feel strong enough to straddle. To reduce your risk of injury, you should crunch up with little or no kick, be able to hold it for a few seconds then lower back down. Make sure you push your hips to the ceiling, push your chest through your arms, look back to balance you and bend your arms when you lower back down. If you need to really swing into it, or drop out of it, try to do more conditioning exercises to build up to it and try again when you feel stronger. Here are loads more Aerial Hoop Conditioning Exercises you can do! It’s definitely not an easy move and there are so many other Fun Ways To Go From UNDER the hoop to IN the hoop that you can do while you’re working on your straddle.

How is your straddle?