About six months ago at the ripe old age of 40, I stumbled into the world of aerial fitness.  A new aerial studio was opening in Anchorage, and a friend of mine tagged me in a social media post advertising for Pilates and barre instructors to audition.  I’m always up for new teaching gigs, so I thought to myself, “Why not?” After all, I had seen social media pics of people hanging upside down in pretty poses, and I consider myself to be in decent shape for my age. Fast forward to about two hours into the 3-day training weekend, and I realized I had NO IDEA what aerial fitness was really about.

*Please note: Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own and I received no monetary compensation for its distribution on my website.

I think most people assume aerial classes are “just yoga in the air” or learning tricks you might see in a Cirque de Soleil show in Las Vegas.  Don’t get me wrong, those are definitely parts of the aerial world and you can do those things, but there are so many more aspects to it which can appeal to every fitness personality out there.  All aerial classes are performed using the aerial hammocks, silk fabrics which are connected to the ceiling with proper safety rigging and support body weight, challenge balance, engage the core, allow for deeper stretching, and give new meaning to inversions.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common workouts today and figure out which aerial class is compatible with your fitness personality:

Power Classes/TRX/Typical Gym Rat

If pushups, squats, crunches, planks, running, jumping, etc. are parts of your WOD or usual workouts, you can do all those things in an AIR® Foundations class … just in the air or suspended off the floor. This is a 50-minute beginner class that introduces new clients to aerial exercises on hammocks. The class emphasizes basic alignment, foundation, and specific muscle action so that the body can learn how to balance on aerial hammocks.  AIR® is an intense aerial fitness training program fusing elements of conditioning, Pilates, ballet and HIIT (high intensity interval training) on aerial hammocks.  Regardless of its beginner pace, AIR® Foundation will deliver a challenging workout. No experience required.  (*Let me tell you right now, this class is challenging.  Do not be discouraged by the beginner label … you will get a serious workout!)

Crossfit/Tabata/Whatever is the Most Challenging

You know who you are … those fitness people who always want it tougher and more challenging.  Well, you guys are the reason that AIR® classes were created. Think rope climbs and lots of upper body strength to maintain your time in the air! Designed as a more advanced version of AIR® Foundations, this 50-minute intense aerial fitness training class fuses elements of conditioning, Pilates, ballet and HIIT (high intensity interval training) on aerial hammocks. This highly effective fitness program is designed to strengthen, lengthen and tone your physique in record-breaking time. It is recommended new clients take 3-5 AIR® Foundation classes before graduating to AIR®.

Yoga

If yoga classes are a regular part of your fitness regime, you will find yourself right at home in AIR® Flow classes. This 50-minute mixed-level flow class links movements and power postures with the breath and hammock.  AIR® Flow fuses basic to advanced yoga poses with aerial hammocks to allow for a full body stretch that increases flexibility beyond what traditional yoga provides. Creative sequencing and transitions create opportunities to build strength, coordination and mental poise. Great for all levels – modifications and advanced cues will be given, so that students can practice to their personal edge.

Pilates

Pilates work is focused on developing and strengthening a strong core, so the AIR® Core classes are a great fit. This is a 30-minute ab blast using aerial hammocks. This class focuses on upper and lower abs, obliques, and lower back muscles. Using the hammock to support Pilates-inspired ab work allows for better form as well as functional movement to stretch and strengthen the core more efficiently. AIR® Core is for clients who are familiar with AIR® class formats and looking to take their workout to the next level. It is recommended new clients take at least 1 AIR® Foundation class before graduating to AIR® Core.

Barre

If you love the barre fitness trend which is so popular these days, treat yourself to a Floor Lab class.  Barre is a method traditionally used by ballet dancers to improve their technique and strengthen the core. With a “floating barre” thanks to the aerial hammocks,  you will take your barre experience to a new level by challenging your core and balance even more. This signature 50-minute class incorporates cardio, strength training, core work, and stretching for a challenging workout that improves flexibility and endurance, while sculpting muscles and increasing balance.

Starting off Slow 

If you feel as if you need something for a novice or anyone easing back into exercise, there is definitely a class for you.  Think dim lights, good stretches, essential oils, relaxing music, and laying in a hammock …. and you have AIR Restore®. This class fuses basic to advanced yoga poses with aerial silk hammocks to allow for a full body stretch that increases flexibility beyond what traditional yoga provides. Each class ends with a period of relaxation and savasana in the hammocks.

This is the time of year when everyone is making resolutions to get healthy and fit, right? Well I’m going to challenge you to try an aerial fitness class.  No, I take that back.  I’m going to challenge you to try TWO aerial fitness classes.  Pick the one above that matches your fitness personality, and then pick one more.  You don’t need to be an acrobat, a fitness enthusiast, or the picture of grace and coordination to try aerial fitness.  You don’t need to be young or in the best shape of your life.  You just need to be up for a fun and new experience. And hey, you’ll get the chance to take one of those awesome pics to post on social media and show off to all of your friends and family 🙂

Download the AIR® app on your smart phone to sign up for classes.  Use the code BALANCED2017 at checkout for 10{14558ebb005ca3a014f8e1f496704d81e0a2f10192e8e315668058e58697a03a} off the New Client Special* and try unlimited classes at AIR® Anchorage for just $90.  This is a total steal and a great way to get a jump on your fitness goals of 2017! Or if you are unsure and want to see if AIR® classes are for you, try INTRO TO AIR® for $30 and get a free class upon completion.

*Offer good through January 31st.  Limited to new clients only.

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