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Your Guide to Aerial Workouts

Getting airborne and trying an aerial fitness class is fun – but it’s also a serious workout!  Here’s our complete guide to getting airborne.

Types of Aerial Workouts

Aerial Yoga – Perhaps the most well-known aerial workout, aerial yoga incorporates principles of yoga like breathing and meditation while you perform a variety of moves supported by the hammock.

Aerial Barre – Aerial barre is like a typical barre class – only without the barre.  You can expect plenty of core and leg burning moves, just using the hammock instead of a barre for support.  Because the hammock can support you in different ways and move with you, you can get a greater range of motion than you would in a traditional barre workout.

Aerial Pilates – Expect to get a major total body workout with aerial pilates, with a special focus on your “powerhouse” or core.  In aerial pilates, the hammock is used as a suspension tool to either intensify the movement or take some of the pressure off so you’re better able to complete the movements.

Image Credit: S.C. Axman

Image Credit: S.C. Axman

Aerial Hoop – Instead of using a hammock to hang, aerial hoop involves hanging from a hoop suspended from the ceiling.  You’ll use a ton of strength, flexibility and balance to position yourself and spin from the hoop.


Image Credit: Francesco Doglio

Aerial Silks – Aerial silks is similar to the hammock, but you’re suspending yourself from two separate silks, meaning that you’ll need to use strength and twisting and wrapping techniques to keep yourself in the air rather than  using a hammock for support. It’s a great way to combine strength with dance, and is great for adrenaline junkies!

Benefits of Aerial Workouts

It turns out that hanging gets you some serious benefits like:

  • Decompressing – all those inversions help to decompress and elongate your spine.
  • Require all of your attention, helping to connect your mind and body
  • Build strength in your total body
  • Greater Flexibility
  • Core strength
  • Body awareness

What to Wear

  • Form-fitting but comfortable clothing – you want to ensure that nothing gets stuck in the sling, but you don’t want to wear overly tight clothing because it can be uncomfortable
  • Barefoot is best!
  • Remove all jewelry, as it may get caught in the sling
  • Avoid using hand lotion prior to class to prevent slipping

What to Expect

  • Getting into the hammock or silks can be a little scary.  Rest assured that they up at least 500 pounds, and many hold up to 1,000!
  • Going inverted can also be a different experience.  Experts suggest that you try at least three classes to get used to the sensation before you decide if aerial is right for you.
  • You can do a lot more than you think you can!  Aerial can be really intimidating, but the hammock really helps to support you.  If you’re able to let go and focus on having fun, you’ll likely be surprised!




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