Congratulations you have started your aerial silks journey or perhaps you are about to start. This guide will tell you what you need to know about starting silks and a checklist of 15 aerial silk beginner tricks that you can work on.


Aerial silks are also known as tissues, or fabricThe art of silks is climbing, twirling and dropping in the silk.


Aerial silks do take a little more strength than the Lyra although it is not a painful art. Or should I say as painful? All aerial hurts.

The great thing about starting on silks is that you can tie an egg knot which allows the apparatus to become easier for beginners. Just like the Lyra, everyone can strike a pose on silks no matter what your level of fitness is.

The fun thing about fabric is that you can use the fabric to wrap, suspend, drop, swing, and spiral into and out of various positions. The thrill is in the drops. It gives you a huge adrenaline rush just like a rollercoaster.


Dressing for silks is a little bit different from Lyra. You want to ensure that you wear non-slippery tights and a t-shirt with sleeves. Fabric burn is real and hurts under your armpits. Take it from a girl who burned her armpits. That cute singlet is not worth it.

Are aerial silks hard?

Aerial silks range from beginner to advanced. It all depends on what tricks and drops you are trying to achieve. Many tricks require you to be able to do foundational poses as well as having the stamina to complete the sequence. It takes a little while to get there.

If you can sit in a swing then you can sit in an egg knot and there are plenty of aerial silks beginner moves that can be achieved from an egg knot.

Is aerial silks a good workout?

Yes! Aerial silks will increase the strength and flexibility of your body. You will also have a whole new level of stamina that you may not have experienced before. Many of the movements you will find are 1RMs (1 repetition), but as you progress that will change into several repetitions to an entire routine.

What muscles do aerial silks work?

Aerial silks works all areas of the body. The main areas you will find that is worked hard in an aerial class are your; shoulders, traps, biceps, forearms, and core. Secondary muscles you will use are the legs and glutes.

Therefore aerial silks will work every part of your body regardless of whether you are a beginner or expert.

How can I improve my beginner aerial silks skills?

1. Training aerial arts! The good thing about our bodies is the more we do the same exercise the more our body adapts and finds it easier.

2. Cross-training. The downside is that our bodies get used to those movements, so when we advance it does not have that new strength to move through the new range of motion. That is why we cross-train. Cross Training continues to build new strength that our bodies are not used to. While your aerial class may have a good ab work out if it’s always the same it is not going to challenge you. You need to change your strength routine every six weeks in order to gain more strength.

What are aerial silks made of?

Aerial silks is made of poly tricot. 

How do you do a foot lock aerial silks?

A foot lock is an essential move that all beginner aerialists need to know as a foundational movement. This one move will open you up to a boat load of tricks.

  • With both feet on the floor.
  • Bend the knee and gently raise the foot off the floor.
  • The silk should be on the inner leg.
  • Flex the foot and slightly turn it out.
  • Rotate your foot in an anti clockwise motion around the silk.
  • Hold the silk with your hand at the knee.
  • Draw the fabric back until it reaches your hip.
  • Release the slack and place your foot into the loop.

Is there a weight limit for aerial silks?

Most studios are equipped to hold 1000-2000 pounds. That is because of the strength of the apparatus needs to be able to support the body in full force motion such as large drops. With that being said if you are looking to do drops and heavy rolls the weight limit would be 250 pounds. With that being said it would take a good six months to get to this level. There are many beautiful sequences that can be achieved with out drops.

So if you are starting out as long as you are under 1000 pounds you should be fine.

13 beginner aerial silks tricks:

beginner aerial silks


Pre requisite wrist lock.

  • From a wrist lock
  • Invert into a pencil position.
  • Take both legs to one side. Some people call this paper clip or banana. Names vary from studio to studio.
  • You will perform the next motion together with as much force as possible to get into the move.
  • The legs will drop to the side. Drop the back leg heavy with a lot of force.
  • Pull up on the arm that is in a wrist lock so that your elbow is bent and your hand is next to your shoulder.


Pre requisite french/circus/classic climb.

  • To start you will need to climb at least twice as high as your height.
  • When you reach the pinnacle of your climb. Release your leg from the silks so that you are in a dead hang.
  • Wrap one leg in a circus wrap around both silks.
  • Flex both feet and bring the ankles and heels together.
  • Wrap a circle around both ankles in the opposite direction of your wrap.
  • Slowly walk it down to a double ankle hold.
  • Once you are familiar with the pose you can begin to drop into it.

Side lean

beginner aerial silks

Single foot lock.

From a single foot lock:

  • Take hold of the silk. (Right Hand)
  • Bend the knee and place it on the shin of the leg in the footlock.
  • The silks should be sitting in your groin.
  • Deeply lean to the side.


Prerequisite in air single foot lock.

From a single foot lock:

  • With your same hand as the foot lock. (Right Foot)
  • Take a hold of the silk. (Right Hand)
  • Ensure that the free silk is sitting under the armpit of the same side. (Right Armpit)
  • Let the free silk fall from the armpit to your back.
  • Grab the silk with your free hand nice and taught right next to the left waist.
  • Throw the left silk around your body.
  • Holding the left silk lean backwards.
  • Cinch the silk towards your crutch so that it tightens into the wrap around the groin.
  • Bring the left leg up into a gazelle position across the poles.
  • You can do this on the single pole or both poles depending on where you are going to next.


From Gazelle:

  • Ensure that you are doing gazelle on a single pole only.
  • Grab ahold of the pole that your foot lock is in (Right).
  • The leg that is not in the footlock (let’s say left).
  • Leg straightens and flex the foot.
  • Continue to walk your body up the right pole with your hands.
  • As you come up further bring your hips forward.
  • Chest up and left leg is straight.

For the beginner, you may want to stick with the arabesque on silks as the Rebecca split can be a little more difficult.

Rebbeca Split

From gazelle:

  • Ensure that you are doing gazelle on a single pole only.
  • Grab ahold of the pole that your foot lock is in (Right).
  • The leg that is not in the footlock (let’s say left).
  • Leg straightens and flex the foot.
  • Continue to walk your body up the right pole with your hands.
  • As you come up further bring your hips forward and down.
  • Keep the foot hooked on the silks.
  • Chest up and left leg is straight.

Candy Cane

From a foot lock

  • Facing the front pole.
  • Descending towards your back come around the silk until you meet your starting position.
  • You will find that your front leg has the silk wrapped around it.
  • Use your free leg to push the wrap down towards your ankle.
  • Repeat two more times.
  • To come out of it holding the front pole roll in the opposite direction.


From candy cane:

  • Lift your body by using two hands to pull up.
  • Bring the free leg to the other side of the silk.
  • This means that the silk should be across your back and down to the hip.


From leanna:

  • Bring both hands to the poles.
  • Invert.
  • Free leg connects with the pole in the groin area.


beginner aerial silks
  • Climb so that you are at least a foot off the floor.
  • Split the silks and dead hang.
  • Wrap your right leg into a single foot lock.
  • Holding onto the poles with the right hand, bring the left pole underneath the arm pit.
  • Hold onto the loose pole with your right arm.
  • Wrap the left arm in the silk.
  • Tadaaa!

Music Box

From a side lean:

  • Ensure that the free silk is sitting under the armpit of the same side. (Right Armpit)
  • Let the free silk fall from the armpit to your back.
  • Grab the silk with your free hand (left) nice and taught right next to the left waist.
  • Lean into a T position.
  • Straighten the leg that was on the shin.
  • Wind backwards (towards the back of the body)
  • When you get to the top strike a pose. (Mermaid is a good one)

Angel Drop

Prerequisite in air straddle:

  • Climb the silks to at least double your height.
  • Come to a dead hang.
  • Straddle invert.
  • Wrap the ankle in towards your body.
  • Known as a crochet.
  • Cross your feet and hold them tightly together.
  • Cross the silks behind your back.
  • Bring the silks around to the front so that they are resting on your chest.
  • Grab a hold of the silks and hold them tightly about 15 degrees away from your body.
  • Uncross the legs and straddle.
  • Stay heavy in the legs and bring the silks in your hand out to the side as you move into a pencil position.

Diaper Wrap AKA Circus Seat

  • Starting with an egg knot.
  • The silk or sling is behind you.
  • Put the silks on like a backpack.
  • Grab the poles and invert into a straddle position.
  • Crochet the legs by circling the silk inwards towards the body on each side.
  • Heels come to glutes.
  • Walk up the poles with your hands until you come to a seated position.


Don’t worry about the arm work because you are in a sling or egg knot which makes your silks a sling. You don’t need to worry about the placement of the tails that is apparent in the video.

I have to say the the 360 is one of the first beginner moves I learned on silks. It was pretty scary the first time but you get used to it after a while. Then I became addicted to drops like any aerialist would!

  • Bring your chest forward and flip your grip so that the poles are now behind you.
  • Take the arms out wide into a cross and spin!

Iron Cross

  • Climb the silk so that you are off the ground.
  • You don’t need to be too far from the floor.
  • When you get to your desired height wrap your leg in a classic climb and stand.
  • Separate the poles.
  • Bring your shoulders through the silks.
  • Reach under and grab the silks.
  • (There should be one wrap around the form arms.
  • Take your arms out to the side.

Double foot lock split

beginner aerial silks

If you have your single foot lock down in the air then you will easily be able to nail a double foot lock. It is another aerial silks foundational pose for beginners to master.

  • Climb the silk so that you are off the ground.
  • You don’t need to be too far from the floor.
  • Wrap your front leg into a single foot lock.
  • Wrap your back leg in a single foot lock.
  • Holding onto the front pole gently descend into your splits.
  • To make it a little more fancy.
  • Hold the front poles with both hands.
  • Wrap the body around the silk by moving backward.
  • Repeat three times.
  • You should have a beautiful split on a diagonal plane.

What did you think about my 15 aerial silks beginner tricks?

Stay strong and limber,

Jadore Vanessa

Vanessa Barthelmes

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  1. Hi! I was wondering if you could do more beginners drops for newcomers, I am trying to catch up to speed but a lot of these are hard. Anything with foot or hand locks are great. My silks are maybe 13 feet tall. I don’t know if you take personal requests or not. If you do, thanks! If you don’t ill just keep trying the stuff you have.


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