Following up with my last blog post about how to mix up your fitness routine with obstacle race training, there are plenty of other ways to spice things up! Recently, I tried out a trendy new class called aerial silks, also known as aerial fabric, aerial acrobatics, tissues or various other titles. This involves a giant stretchy fabric that hangs from the ceiling. Several types of classes exist within this genre- there are general aerial silk classes, where you learn to perform various acrobatic tricks while wrapped around one of these fabrics. Then there are aerial yoga classes, which involves doing unorthodox yoga training while utilizing your body weight. There are also general aerial fitness classes, which focuses on strength training while suspended from the fabric.
I tried out a couple beginner aerial silk classes at Aerial Arts NYC. These classes focus on teaching you the basic strategies of climbing the silks and doing a few basic acrobatic moves like inversions and “man on the moon”. However, these classes are also concerned with conditioning your muscles to be able to properly support your own body weight while in the air. This involves various moves reminiscent of TRX exercises such as bodyweight pull-ups and hanging knee raises. While aerial fitness definitely requires a certain amount of total-body strength, it definitely demands most from the arms and core. In fact, the part I struggled with most was overworking my hands and forearms. One of my instructors suggested I get used to the tension put on these areas by stretching apart a small hand towel while watching TV, and each time I take a class, my hands and forearms feel slightly less cramped.
Another benefit of the aerial classes is increased flexibility. Most aerial classes incorporate a stretching component, which again has the added benefit of utilizing your body weight to increase your range of motion.
So, if you are looking for a way to increase your upper body strength, flexibility and overall fitness look no further than an aerial silk class! Aerial Arts NYC is a great place to start, with fantastic, supportive instructors and an exciting, comfortable environment.
For more information visit: http://www.aerialartsnyc.com
Emma Ackel is a senior at Ithaca College with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Integrated Marketing Communications. She has a concentration in International Business and loves all things travel-related. She has a passion for all things health and fitness related, and especially loves embarrassing herself trying new, out-of-the-ordinary fitness trends!