What it is: A new kind of aerial fitness class that uses hammock-like slings to provide support and resistance and get your workout off the ground.
What’s new: It borrows from other workouts (TRX, Pilates, plyometrics, even barre and interval training), but uses a strong sling to support you in deep squats, challenge you in mountain climbers and make plank an aerial achievement.
Whom it’s for: Fairly fit folks looking to shake up their exercise routine and work on core strength, balance and flexibility.
Whom it’s not for: Anyone who hates squats, mountain climbers, planks and is afraid of heights.
Trial run: When I walked into the Aviary in southeast Minneapolis, I had only one thought as I watched the Fly Fit Level 1 class warmup: No freakin’ way. Still, I got fitted for my sling, then followed the leader in a series of floor exercises using the slings for support. I was nervous about the first off-the-ground pose, but I did exactly what the calm, competent instructor said and — ta-da! — up I went. By the end of the class, I had managed a back extension and my own limited version of an aerial splits.
Do: Pay attention. If you follow the step-by-step instructions, you’ll probably be able to master the awe-inspiring upside-down poses in minutes.
Don’t: Go rogue. I got so into upside-down lotus pose that I wasn’t listening when the instructor explained how to get out of said pose. That was a tad embarrassing.
Cost: $15 for an introductory class of Fly Fit, barre or Air Yoga class. Many multiclass packages are available from the Aviary, 201 SE. 6th St., Mpls., theaviarympls.com.
Would I do it again? You bet. This was a rush. I felt like I’d really accomplished something. Of course, the aerial exercises were the sugar that sweetened the lunges, crunches and situps. All in all, it was a strenuous workout that seemed more like play.