Circus Motion Study

Circus Movement & Injury Research would like to announce a unique opportunity to participate in a research study analyzing aerial movements in the Motion Analysis Research Center (MARC) at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, California.  Although there is some knowledge about injury types across circus arts, no research has studied joint movement in the aerial arts to understand normal movement or faulty mechanics that might be contributing to injuries. In order to work towards preventing injuries and correcting training errors, we first need to better understand the quantity and sequencing of motion in common aerial acrobatic movements.  We are conducting the first research study to examine 3D joint motion of aerialists performing bent-arm and straight-arm straddle inversions to learn more about normal movement patterns. We hope to use this information to inform future interventions to reduce injuries in aerialists.

To participate, you would need to:

1.      Be at least 13 years or older (parental consent also required if under 18).

2.      To be free from musculoskeletal injury for the last 3 months.

3.      Have adequate strength and endurance to perform 5 straight-arm  and 5 bent-arm straddle inversions on each a rope, silks, lyra/hoop and trapeze. 

4.      Have a minimum of 2 years of training in silks, rope, trapeze and lyra.  Ideal candidates would be participants/graduates of advanced circus training programs, coaches or professional performers.

5.      Attend a 2 hour session at the Motion Analysis Research Center, 400 Hawthorne Avenue, Oakland, CA which would include a clinical assessment by a physical therapist of flexibility and ROM, a warm-up followed by performing multiple repetitions of bent and straight-arm straddle inversions on a rope, silks, trapeze and lyra while wearing sensors to record your motion in 3D.

6.      Be able to read and understand English.

If you are interested in more information about the study or the password to enroll, please complete the CMIR Contact Form


Circus artists who are interested in participating in the injury research study can enroll here and schedule  their session. Please fill out the contact form to get the password info.