well hello there, you fabulous fitbookers! katy here - resident fitlosophy foodie + newly anointed been there, tried that guinea-pig. this month, i wanted to try a popular, new workout that would both challenge my fears (not a heights fan, y’all) + satisfy my thirst for an exercise switch-up: an aerial silks class.
[what in the heck is aerial silks, you ask??]
the simplest explanation: it’s where you use your core to hoist your body weight up onto a piece of cloth that’s suspended from ceiling to floor, then do little acrobatic moves whilst hanging upside-down...five feet or more above the ground. these inversions are said to have a plethora of health benefits, so i figured i'd give it a whirl.
when i first walked into the large, airy studio at inspire aerial arts here in atlanta, i was struck by how beautiful the long, drapey, jewel-toned swaths of fabric were. then as my eyes traveled up the length of one of the silks, i couldn’t help but notice how unbelievably high the ceiling was. i immediately gave myself a little pep talk: you can do this, katy. you can do this!! it’s a beginner’s class. they’d never make you go all the way to the top on your first day! i watched as the instructor made her way up the silks, seemingly effortlessly, before gracefully shimmying back down + beginning the class.
[and so it began]
first up - a brief warm-up: 30 jumping jacks, 15 squats, a 20-second plank + a bunch of shoulder circles - both backward + forward.
then it was time to get down to business. the business of flying through the air with the greatest of ease. (ok, so maybe it wasn’t with the greatest of ease - but it was pretty great.) we started by learning how to tie a proper knot in the silks, then moved on to the lingo. the fabric above the knot: the poles; the fabric below: the tails. i felt cooler already.
then the work really began. first, we learned how to pull ourselves up over the knot + invert, using nothing but those core muscles. now, i’m no stranger to core exercises. between yoga + various crunches + core moves, i’ve felt that hurts-so-good feeling emanating from my abs many a time. but it’s not until you find yourself struggling to lift your feet off the floor in an aerial silks class that you realize crunches are mere child’s play.
we practiced inverting a few more times for good measure, the blood rushing to our heads as we squealed with excitement at our newly earned acrobatic prowess. then, we took baby steps from there, learning one new addition to the routine with each inversion. in my mind, with my toes pointed + arms outstretched, i imagined i at least slightly resembled a ballerina. i’m sure the reality was a bit rustier. but that feeling of pushing myself + nailing all these moves - albeit beginner’s moves - all while hanging upside-down, was a rush i can’t even adequately describe.
we ended the class by fashioning our silk poles into little hammocks + curling up in them like little cocoons, our instructor swinging us from side to side. i left feeling infinitely cooler + more coordinated than i did walking in, which is always a win in my book. was it one of those workouts where i walked out drenched in sweat? definitely not. but it was still quite a workout just the same.
[well hello, sore muscles!]
the next day, i was sore in places i’d never been sore before. my back reminded me of the previous day’s exertions with each bend + reach, i spent a good portion of the morning stretching my tender forearms, and it was clear without a shadow of a doubt that my core had been pushed past the point of exhaustion.
honestly, i cannot recommend this class enough. not only do you get the benefits of multiple inversions (they’re great for your heart, your brain, your lymphatic system, your core, your balance + your mood) + some killer stretching, you also get the confidence boost that comes with testing your limits + achieving something new. not to mention, this is a great option for those with injuries, in fact our very own (albeit, somewhat injured) chief fitlosopher is also a fan for this reason. a definite two-poles-up from this girl!
lookin' for a sweatier workout sesh? check out what happened when we tried rowing! have you tried an aerial silks class? or what class are you dying to try? tell us in the comments below!