Applied Anatomy of Aerial Arts
An Illustrated Guide to Strength, Flexibility, Training, and Injury Prevention
An illustrated guide to anatomy and biomechanics for aerialists who want to optimize their performance and train safely
Emily Scherb–a physical therapist who specializes in the care, treatment, and education of circus performers–offers the first comprehensive anatomy book specifically designed for aerialists (including trapeze, silks, and other aerial arts). Using full-color illustrations and photographs, this book shows aerial artists how to perform at their best while protecting their body from injury with correct form, precise alignment, and good training habits. Using a biomechanical and movement-based approach, Scherb explains the anatomical rationale for progressions of learning and demonstrates simple movements to achieve the coordination, muscular control, strength, and fitness needed to move safely and seamlessly through the air. Aerialists learn how bones, joints, muscles, and soft tissues allow for specific movements and gain an appreciation for concepts of proximal stability. They discover the secrets of hanging with correct form, how to progress from hanging into a pull up, an inversion, and beyond with a strong center, precise muscle sequencing, and ease of movement. Anatomy of Aerial Arts lays a solid foundation for beginners and also provides advanced students with a wealth of insights into their own performance as well as refreshers on fundamentals in warm ups and conditioning. It explains how to structure a training session, how to care for injuries, and best practices for basic self first aid.
About the Author
DR. EMILY SCHERB is a physical therapist specializing in the care, treatment, and education of circus performers. The owner of Pure Motion Physical Therapy in Seattle, WA, she is also the Resident Physical Therapist at SANCA, a circus school, where she works with students and staff to keep their bodies healthy. Since 1992 Dr. Scherb has trained, taught, and performed aerial arts around the world; with her love of circus arts and of the circus community, she has dedicated her practice to educating performers of all levels to prevent and recover from injuries through proper movement, balanced strength, and joint motion. Dr. Scherb also lectures nationwide to educate healthcare professionals on the unique challenges of treating and understanding the needs of circus artists. She continues to train on the trapeze in her free time.