Difficulty: Medium

Safety Warning: Make sure that you only stretch when your body is warm! You can pull or strain muscles otherwise. Remember, stretches should never hurt – you may feel resistance, but you should not feel pain. With this in mind, ease off if any stretch is painful!

Elly shows you a series of splits stretches to help you improve your flexibility and work towards doing the splits! Before you start, Elly advises doing at least five minutes’ of jogging, star jumps, or another activity that makes you out of breath and warm. This will protect your body from injury as it warms your muscles up and makes them more flexible.

Hold each of these splits stretches for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and remember to do both legs!

Start in a lunge position with your front leg knee above your ankle. Keep your back leg straight, place your hands on the floor, and focus on sinking your hips into the floor.

Next, place your back knee down and sink your hip forward to focus on your hip flexor muscles. Open your chest up and sink your hips down more, and to create a deeper stretch move your legs further apart to sink even lower.

For the next stretch, sink back on your back knee and straighten your front leg to stretch your front hamstring. Then, flex and point your front toe. Maintain a flat back position and sink your chest down to your leg. You can use yoga blocks, or anything similar at home, to build this stretch up.

Elly’s next stretch is another hamstring stretch. Come up to standing with both legs straight in the same apart position, then lean your chest forward and try to touch the floor.

Come back into your lunge position and deepen the stretch by placing your elbows on the floor beside your front leg. Don’t let your front leg roll out to the side!

Next, it’s a pigeon stretch. Cross your front leg over in front of you and fold over it – have a rest! See if you can bend your back leg in this position to deepen the stretch. You can increase the quad stretch by reaching for this back leg with one hand and pulling it towards your body.

Now you’ve gone through your splits stretches, you’re ready to try the splits! Slide into your maximum position and keep your chest lifted. Ease yourself down until you feel resistance, and hold it there. You may need to support yourself with yoga blocks or similar on each side. As you get closer to the floor, try and lift your hands off the floor and up to the ceiling to help with that straight back.

You can see all our stretching, strengthening & toning videos by tagging ‘Strength & Skill’ on our library homepage here!

Difficulty: Medium

Jono shows you some partner conditioning exercises for strengthening your arms and legs! Grab a partner from your household, and take it in turns so that you both get a workout.

For all of these exercises, the person doing the exercises needs to lie flat on their back. Their partner resists their efforts to push their arms and legs in different directions.

If you’re spotting, remember to be gentle. You aren’t trying to force your partner’s arms and legs in the opposite direction, you are just offering some resistance to make them work their muscles!

Hold each position for 30 seconds. In the video, Jono will talk you through each exercise and you can then try the workout along with him. There’s even a helpful timer on the video!

  1. With your arms straight up, try to push your arms to the floor while your partner gently pushes them back.
  2. In the same position, move your arms to a 45 degree angle (back towards the floor) and try the same thing.
  3. Hold your arms off the mat above your head. Try to push your arms up to the ceiling while your partner tries to push them down to the mat.
  4. Hold your arms in a Y shape and try to push them to the ceiling, again with your partner trying to push them to the mat.
  5. Hold your arms straight above you and try to push them out to the sides while your partner pushes them in.
  6. With your legs pointing straight up try to push your legs together while your partner uses their arms to resist.
  7. In the same position, try to push your legs apart while your partner tries to keep them together.

When you’ve finished, shake your arms and legs out, and then swap over – it is partner conditioning after all!

You can see all our activities and videos here.

Difficulty: Medium

Safety Warning: Warm up first, and work at your own pace to avoid over-stretching or pulling muscles. For this workout you will also require space to move around in so remove anything breakable in the vicinity.

In this workout Jono leads you through some of his favourite dynamic aerial tricks that he has turned into ground based conditioning.

Jono takes you step by step through each exercise and explains how it is connected to working dynamic aerial training. You’ll also get side by side comparisons with the aerial trick.

First up Jono shows you some variations of push ups by looking at jumping up on to a higher level and then back down again without losing momentum. This is then followed by ‘dragon push ups’. This is where you alternate your arms and legs into different positions.

Next you’ll do some parachute rolls. These are the simple act of rolling from a dish to an arch. These are really important because we pass through these two positions all the time in aerial without realising.

After this you can try Jono’s squat jump pirouettes. These are designed to help train your coordination in dynamic twists and turns.

The next exercise will see you practicing for your hocks beats and re-catch. Jono has developed a sequence you can use to keep your muscles strong while training your body coordination.

The final exercise looks at your front balance beats and pop to pike. Watch how Jono has developed a sequence of conditioning exercises to help recreate the muscles and energy used to keep this tricks sharp.

Make sure to cool down once you finish your training. If you want to try some more intense conditioning why not try Rowans’ Hanstand conditioning tutorial.

All our tutorials and activities can be seen here.

Difficulty: Medium

Safety Warning: You should warm up first, and work at your own pace to avoid over-stretching or pulling muscles.

Jono leads you through a 5 minute arms and legs workout. This workout focuses on individual limb strengthening as each exercise is practiced on one side and then the other.

You will need a weight for the first exercise. In the tutorial Jono is using 1.25kg weight, but you could use something heavier or lighter depending on your difficulty level. A full bottle of water or a even a kettle could be used as an alternative.

First up ‘weight holds’. Hold both arms out straight ahead of you so they stay in alignment with your shoulder. In one hand hold a weight for 30 seconds. At 30 seconds swap hands but keep your other arm outstretched.

Next is ‘single leg squats’. With one leg bent out of the way, sink down on the other and then push yourself into the air. Compress the landing and continue directly into the next squat.

After this do ‘single leg Calf Raises’. Keeping one leg bent up and use control to lift up on to the ball of your foot and back down continuously. At 30 seconds swap legs again.

Then you will do 1 minute of alternating arm and leg plank raises. Lifting opposite arm and leg in to the air and back down. Try to focus on keep your core engaged, and your arms underneath your shoulders.

Finally you’ll finish with 1 minute of Cossack Squats. Stand in a wide straddle, and sink into a deep squat on one side, extend back up, and then sink back down on to the other side.

Once you have finished conditioning you should have a small stretch to cool down your muscles.

If you enjoyed this arms and legs conditioning and want to have a go at another workout why not try Brennas HIIT tutorial?

You can see all our tutorials and other activities here.

Difficulty: Medium

Safety Warning: Warm up first, and work at your own pace to avoid over-stretching or pulling muscles.

Jono leads you through a 4 minute core workout. Core strength is really important for any physical activity because it helps prevent injury and keep your body balanced and aligned.

You will be doing 4 exercises over 4 minute. Each exercise begins with a rest position for 20 seconds, followed by the exercise for 40 seconds.

These timings can be increased or decreased to suit the individual. Jono suggests 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off if you want to try an easier variation.

Alternatively you can try 15 seconds off and 45 seconds on if you want a harder workout.

Once you have warmed up you are ready to follow along with Jono.

  • The rest position that starts each exercise is a ‘tuck and roll’. This is a continuous rocking motion that helps to stretch out and relax your muscles. Take nice deep breaths while doing this.
  • Dish – Elevate your shoulders and heels just off the floor and hold.
  • Rest Position
  • Straddle Swaps – Still in a dish position, but this time you hold your legs in straddle and alternate crossing them over each other.
  • Rest Position
  • Pulses – A tiny bounce through your whole body while in your dish.
  • Rest Position
  • Russian Twists – Sitting up, balancing on your bum, with your knees tucked and heels lifted. You should then twist your body from side to side tapping the floor with your hands.

Jono suggests that if at any point you need a break from an exercise you should simply go back to your rest position until you are ready to continue.

Once you have finished the workout you can follow Jono for some cool down stretches as well.

If you want to try some more core exercises then go watch Elly’s core workout tutorial here.

All our other conditioning and circus tutorial videos can be seen here.

Difficulty: Medium

Safety Warning: Warm up first, and work at your own pace to avoid over-stretching or pulling muscles.

Elly takes us through a great five minute core conditioning workout! Core strength is really important for any physical activity – it helps prevent injury and keep your body balanced and aligned. For circus skills, you’ll use your core strength to balance, invert, jump, land, juggle, throw, catch…just about everything!

You’ll be doing 10 exercises for 30 seconds each. You can download an exercise sheet to follow here, or use our list below.

First, warm up with the mobility exercises that Elly shows you.

Then, you’re ready to start your exercises, doing 30 seconds for each bullet point:

  • Plank, making a nice straight line from your shoulders all the way to your toes
  • Shoulder taps in your plank position, trying not to move the rest of your body
  • Leg circles in tabletop position, on both legs
  • Side plank on both sides
  • Mountain climbers in your plank position, bringing your knee to the opposite elbow
  • Arch hold, lying on your stomach and lifting your toes and shoulders
  • Elbow plank to arms, going up and down and alternating your arms
  • Reverse plank, pushing your hips up to the ceiling
  • Dish, lying on your back and lifting your toes and shoulders
  • Rowing boats, bringing your arms and legs in and out in a dish shape

Elly shows you some variations if you want to make each exercise a bit easier or harder. If you want to push yourself, do this core conditioning workout a few times with a few minutes’ rest in between.

To finish, Elly demonstrates some cool down stretches.

You can see all our videos and activities here.

Difficulty: Hard

Safety Warning: Work within your own limits, and always use a partner to spot you where necessary. Make sure your surroundings are safe and secure. Warm up thoroughly before trying any of these moves!

In Handstand Conditioning 2, Rowan takes you through some more exercises for strengthening and improving your handstand technique. For handstands, it’s really important to condition and warm up your wrists, back, neck, shoulders and core.

First, Rowan demonstrates a tuck to handstand. Use the entire length of your leg to straighten out and bring your hips above your shoulders. This helps with your alignment of shoulders and hips. If you find this easy, variations on this are a straddle up and pike up which will also help with your alignment.

Next, Rowan shows us a handstand line exercise, working with a partner to keep your legs in as tight a line as possible while your partner tries to move you.

Another great exercise is an endurance handstand, holding for a certain amount of time against a wall – or freestanding, if you are comfortable with that.

You can work towards doing handstands on a raised platform. Remember to start low and work your way up.

Another partner drill is to work on press/elephant lifts with a partner. The most important part of this is to get your hips up over your shoulders before you lift your toes.

Finally, Rowan shows us shape transitions – going in and out of tucks and straddles into a straight handstand.

Use Handstand Conditioning 1 and Handstand Conditioning 2 to really perfect your handstands!

You can see all our videos and activities here.

Difficulty: Hard

Safety Warning: Work within your own limits – you can injure yourself if you push too hard. It takes time to build up flexibility!

Rowan talks you through some handstand conditioning moves! Flexibility and strength are both really important for handstands, but also for lots of other circus skills. You can use these handstand conditioning moves even if you’re not practicing for handstands!

First, you’ll be doing pike and straddle holds to work your quads.

Then, Rowan shows you elephant walks to strengthen your hands, arms and shoulders.

Next, you’ll hold a horizontal handstand position for 30 seconds. This will help you perfect your straight line shape on the floor.

You can also try an inverted horizontal handstand position, face up on the floor. Again, this will engage your ribs, shoulders, and everything else you need to perfect your handstand.

Rowan then shows you how to improve your shoulder flexibility with a shoulder stretch.

To learn how to open your shoulders, you can practice kneeling lifts to practice that transition into a handstand. You can add a jump to make this a bit more of a stretch, and work towards arriving in your full handstand.

You can see all our videos and activities here.

Difficulty: Easy

Safety Warning: This one is really safe, but watch out for anything that you might knock over if you get too enthusiastic!

Els shows you how to perfect your arm circles! Arm circles are great for keeping your shoulders and arms strong and mobile at home. They’re easy and fun, and you don’t need any equipment, so they are perfect to try every day.

You’ve all done these in class, but perhaps you’ve got stuck doing one forward, one back. Els talks you through each step slowly, and shows you how to build up to it.

It might take you a few tries, but once you’ve got it, you’ll be windmilling without stopping!

You can see all our videos and activities here.

Difficulty: Easy

Safety Warning: This one’s pretty safe, but as always, make sure you have enough space. If you have a yoga mat, or can do the moves on a carpeted surface, you might find it more comfortable.

Els takes you through a beginner conditioning routine! This one is perfect for all ages, and is a great way to get younger students moving in the home.

Els will show you a series of exercises that aren’t too strenuous, but still work your whole body. They are perfect for anyone who wants to get moving and keep strong, but hasn’t done a lot of conditioning before. Parents and other family members could try this with their children!

This is also a great routine to try as a warm-up before moving on to other tricks.

You’ll go through some simple burpees, squats and leg raises first to get warm. Then you’ll do some short holding exercises – front and side planks, a dish, a superman, and finally some tabletop leg raises. Els shows you correct technique for each move with simple, clear instructions.

You can see all of our videos and activities here.

Difficulty: Hard

Safety Warning: Work carefully with your partner, ensuring that you don’t accidentally hurt one another. If you are working with somebody who’s a different size to you, you might need to adjust reps depending on who is the flyer or the base. Follow Rowan’s instructions carefully and use a spotter if you feel unsafe. Don’t attempt candlestick lifts if you haven’t practiced these before!

Time to get circus strong with Rowan! With help from Aimee, Rowan shows you how to do some partner acro conditioning moves to stay strong and toned at home.

It’s often fun to work with a friend or family member when you’re training, and partner acro conditioning moves show you how to work together and help each other.

First, Rowan shows us Partner Push-Ups to work your arms – including how to vary the difficulty. Next, it’s Partner Leg Raises for your core leg strength. The Wheelbarrow Resistance exercise strengthens your core, gluts and upper legs. Candlestick Lifts are recommended if you’ve done the Candlestick acro move before, and will strengthen your core and balance. Finally, Piggyback Squats will work your legs!

You can see all of our videos and exercises here.

Difficulty: Hard

Join some familiar faces for a tutor HIIT workout! Get moving after the long Easter weekend with this fun workout from your tutors (and their pets and kids!).

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training – it’s a great way to get moving, stay strong and improve your overall fitness, and only takes a few minutes.

Brenna walks you through six different exercises for strengthening different parts of your body. Then, you can join Brenna and the other tutors doing the full workout, in 30 second intervals with 10 second breaks.

Don’t be discouraged if you find it hard at first! Brenna gives you some tips at the end for how to build up to it. Or – if you’re finding it super easy – how to make it even harder.

You can see all our Youth Circus Home Edition videos here.

Difficulty: Hard

Maddie takes you through a quick mobility and flexibility workout.

This one is great for getting you moving, warming you up and stretching you out! Maddie suggests using it as a warm-up before you try some of our other videos. Or, you could do it before you get into some really deep stretching.

Our older students will be familiar with these exercises and can push themselves to try this a few times a week, or even every day! Family members can easily join this one too.

You can see all our Youth Circus Home Edition videos here.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Safety Warning: Remember to warm up before trying the exercises!

This one is perfect for aerialists who are currently stuck with their feet on the ground! Sarah takes you through some grip strength exercises to strengthen your fingers, hand muscles and forearms.

Learn how to warm up your forearms and wrists first. Then, Sarah shows you how to use hairbands, a book, and a mop (!) for different exercises! You’ll feel the burn doing these every day…

You can see all our Youth Circus Home Edition videos here.

Difficulty: Hard

Maddie guides you through a five-min condition legs and core workout, using TLC’s Waterfalls as a guiding song! This one’s a bit tougher – great for keeping strong and conditioned at home no matter what your discipline is.

If you can’t practice your aerial discipline or your full acrobat routines within the confines of your home, work on your legs and core so that when you come back to Youth Circus you’ll be able to spring straight back into action.

Try doing this workout every day to keep fit – parents can join in too – or use it as a warm-up before you attempt one of our other videos.

You can see all our Youth Circus Home Edition videos here.