How to get circus fit (+ Event review: Weber Bros Circus, Adrenaline)

I can’t remember the last time I went to the circus. For that matter I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever actually been to a circus show. So when I was offered tickets to the opening night of Weber Bros Circus’ latest show Adrenaline I jumped at the chance to go.

This also happened to coincide with a personal training client of mine showing interest in a hula hoop set aside in my studio. Long story short, I saw a news article years ago that said hula hooping would be the next trend in fitness, so figured I’d buy a hula hoop and give it a shot (after all, if I could do it, I could teach it!). Turned out I completely sucked at it and despite hours of YouTube tutorials and how-to guides, I couldn’t keep the damn thing up. Over time I convinced myself it was the hula hoop and not me.

Imagine my happiness when my client gave it a go with my hoop, failed to keep it up and declared that her weighted hula hoop at home was so much easier to use. Buoyed by this affirmation it was the hoop all along I got in touch with my friend who’s a professional hula hoop artist (yes, we have those in New Zealand!) and bought a proper one from her. My second trimester preggo belly is getting in the way a bit but the hoop is staying up better. And it’s a damn good workout trying to keep it there.

Get circus fit

One thing that struck me about the circus performers in Adrenaline was how strong they all are; whether they’re dancing, swinging from a trapeze, climbing up a piece of silk, or keeping five hula hoops going on their body at once, there’s a lot of athleticism that goes into circus performing!

Here are some ideas to help get you circus fit and add some great variety to your workouts:

Aerial yoga
If you like the idea of aerial silks but you’re not willing to commit to the height, aerial yoga will help give that same sense of being suspended in mid-air while performing gravity-defying poses – but keeping you much closer to the ground.

Hula hooping
Most of us have had some sort of attempt at hula hooping when we were children, but it’s not something we tend to keep around the house as grown ups. Not only is it an excellent party trick once you can actually get a hoop to stay up, but it’s a fully decent workout at the same time. There are hula hooping classes out there, otherwise just buy your own and give it a go at home (just don’t make my mistake… see my story above if you haven’t read through it already).

Many gymnastics clubs host classes for adults as well as kids. It’s a great way of developing coordination, strength and spacial awareness while learning to flip, tumble, jump and swing in a well-padded environment.

Pole dancing
This is an activity that is so much harder than it looks, and studios that host pole dancing classes are relatively easy to find these days. Adrenaline had an act where a couple were performing gravity-defying feats together on a pole – while a beginner’s class might not be quite on that same level, it would certainly help build body strength!

Circus school
Keen to try out a bit of everything? There are circus classes where you can try out activities such as the static trapeze, acrobatics and aerial silks. Good if you want to do something a bit different and you get bored easily.

REVIEW: Weber Bros Circus, Adrenaline

Weber Bros is a modern version of the traditional circus; separate acts such as a trapeze artist, clown, human cannonball, magicians, acrobats, dancers, all tied together with interspersed commentary from the ringmaster. Highlights for me included The Human Canon (I’d always thought that was just something in fictional movies but turns out it’s a real thing!), an act with a clown and a ridiculously large balloon that had me almost peeing myself with laughter, a crazy dance routine with blink-and-you’d-miss-it-how-did-they-DO-that costume changes, and the artist on the aerial silks.

I enjoyed it far more than I ever thought I would and there’s something for kids and adults of all ages (though the sound level may be a bit much for the littlies especially the Globe of Death where freestyle motocross riders circle their bikes around the inside of a spherical cage; I’d recommend some ear protection gear if you’re planning on taking them along). Check out my pics from their opening show!

The show is in town until Sunday 6 August. For more information visit www.weberbroscircus.co.nz.

Thanks to Weber Bros Circus for providing tickets to their Adrenaline show

Images / NZ Real Health

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