It is very clear to me how fitness training enhances performance on the trapeze. Core strength, range of motion, micro- & macro- movements are integral to coordination in flight.
What do I think of when I think of fitness training? To me, fitness training is the opportunity to train or build strength in a muscle or group of muscles while at the same time refining movement precision. In order to access a specific muscle(s) attention to how the movement is performed is essential. Without accurate movement, the effectiveness of the exercise is diminished. Take the bicep curl for an en example. To access the bicep you simply need to flex/bend the arm at the elbow bringing the hand toward the shoulder joint. Maybe you have observed this simple exercise being performed using a combination of bending the arm, and at the same time shifting the upper half of the torso back in space (usually because the weight in the hand is too heavy for just the bicep.) Is this really training the bicep muscle? or Is the bicep being bypassing, as strength from other muscles are enlisted to perform the exercise?
Recently while exercising it became blatantly obvious to me that fitness training relates in the same way to music-making. Fitness training is the perfect time to tune into training both small and large scale movement. It is also an opportunity to identify movement precision or movement confusion, and to use this information to fine tune movement along with one’s perception of movement. The more we do this in the gym or on the trapeze, the more easily we can do this in music-making, coordinating just the right movements to create the sound, phrasing and expression we desire. Fitness and music-making – yes! It’s all movement.