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How to get unstuck in Belay

Have you been in this situation? You just completed a marvelous Belay entry and you think, oh no, my loop is too tight ... it's crushing my ribcage .. get me outta here! Panic sets in as you try to get your shoulders and head out through the dang loop!

Ugh, I know. I've been there too, with numerous shirts 'eaten' in the process! Hopefully, after this tip, you won't have to deal with this panic-inducing scenario ever again.

The term Belay is also used in rock climbing and is essentially a process that uses a rope system to protect a climber in the event of a fall.

In aerial Belay is a skill that creates a loop with one side being tauter than the other. Similar to rock climbing, you could technically belay your way down. The most common Belay ends around your torso, but it can also be taken to a knee hang.

The skill has many different entries, resulting in a more spacious loop than others. See below for a video breakdown and tips!

1) Your mid-section must slide and twist easily within the loop. Bare skin makes for a sticky situation! Opt for a unitard, leotard, or very tightly tucked-in shirt.

2) Once you've created your Belay, lean back and settle into the loop to generate more slack. Aim for it to be around your mid to upper back. Avoid having it wrapped tightly around your lower rib cage.

3) Avoid stepping on the tail when initially arriving in your Belay - it will only make it tighter. Instead, grab the tails in front of you and look at the belay knot. One side will be taut and the other will give you slack. It may take a moment to figure out which is which, once you do, loosen your grip to feed the slack through.

4) For a 'sneaky' way to make your loop bigger, lean to the side and pull into a split (as shown in the video) Continue to lean until you feel the loop expanding around you.

5) When you sense you can comfortably pass your shoulders and head through, then step on the tail, pass through and pull the slack out before moving onto your next skill.

P.S. Interested in Belay entries?

I have an entire video tutorial category dedicated to them over on Aerial Physique TV!


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