by Jeranie Gemira November 23, 2019 13 min read

Woman Purple Aerial Silk

Heard of aerial fitness but scared to try it? You’ve probably seen daring aerialists twisted and suspended upside down on Instagram, but this new modality of fitness can be less intimidating than it looks! Beginner classes offer a range of styles for all ages and goals and can be a fun way to learn new moves, strengthen the core, enhance flexibility, improve overall posture and (if you like) even learn how to dance in the air.

Aerial workouts cover a variety of styles and incorporate specialized equipment like hoops, fabric, or trapeze to suspend users off the ground - allowing for a 360-degree movement. The usual aerial devices support up to 1000 pounds. The best thing about aerial fitness classes is that it invites people of every age, every body shapes, and sizes. It’s not just for the fit or daring! Certified instructors welcome learners to everything from kid's trapeze classes, to aerial yoga for seniors!

Aerial fitness studios or programs offer fundamental classes for beginners from aerial yoga, bungee exercise to aerial arts. All of which start with familiarizing the equipment (hammock, silk, bungee) and learning basic movements. With the help of technology and proper equipment, you can even attend aerial classes for beginners, or aerial conditioning in the comfort of your own home (in-person classes are always best for beginners!).

Studio Set Up Purple Yoga Hammock

So you’ve decided to try an Aerial Workout… Here’s how to Prepare!

Aerial fitness, unlike regular exercises that you do in the gym, includes inversions and movements that may cause dizziness and nausea to newbies. Drink lots of water before and after going to your first class, and eat only simple food that is easy to digest (think oatmeal, bananas, toast). It’s best to avoid eating anything heavy within 2 hours of your class. Remember that everyone’s body is different, so come to the class with no expectations. If you have experience with upper body training or sports, aerial could come easier to you! But even if you haven’t, aerial is exactly what you need to get those guns :). 

Comfort over fashion is another important detail to note when preparing for an aerial fitness class. Check the studio website for any rules! Some may require all participants to wear shirts with sleeves (to avoid silk burn, and also keep the fabrics cleaner). Participants should always practice proper clothing. Aerial movements encourage flexibility, so wear things that stretch! Do not wear bedazzled items or jewelry (even earrings!) as these might cause problems with the equipment and could break during practice. 

Arrive 15 minutes early to your first class. This will allow time to sign any waiver or paperwork needed, as well as time to introduce yourself to the instructor. In the studio, listen carefully to the aerial instructor, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s best to let them know upfront that you’re new, so they can familiarize you with the equipment and what to expect. Do not hesitate to ask for help, and take it easy on your first day. Smile, breath and enjoy your first step towards your aerial journey!

Now ready and excited to find aerial classes in your area? Type aerial yoga near me and you might just be surprised with the result. With your preference, you can choose what type of aerial fitness classes you can enroll in and enjoy.  (note to self: add directory if possible)

Lift Studio Set Up Purple Yoga Hammock

There are Many Different Types of Aerial Fitness Classes

Aerial Yoga

One of the most popular practices of aerial fitness is called aerial yoga, also known as flying yoga. It takes traditional yoga poses and combines them with the use of an aerial hammock as a prop. This aerial workout uses yoga hammock, or fabric suspended in a U-Shape, to suspend your body mid-air and do poses derived from the traditional yoga and Pilates. You have the freedom to create your aerial flow and can even upgrade your favorite floor yoga flows with the help of the hammock and gravity.

Aerial Silks

Aerial yoga and aerial silks can sometimes be confused to be the same thing. The truth is, these practices have quite different fundamentals. While aerial yoga derives from traditional yoga with a focus on breathing and flows, Aerial Silks is traditionally a circus act with a focus on tricks and dance. The two can be distinguished by looking at the flow, style, and equipment used. Aerial Silks use different types of equipment to perform mid-air - typically the same fabric as aerial yoga, but rigged differently, so the user has two “poles” of fabric hanging down. This creates a bigger challenge for the aerialist to support themselves. With higher intensity, the end goal of this approach is to perfect routines and tricks in a performance-like way. However, many classes teach Aerial Silks tricks for beginners with more focus on fitness and strength training. That means, more muscle use and exquisite movements to practice. If you ever dreamed of being in Cirque du Soleil, aerial arts would be a perfect fit for your personality.

Aerial Hoop

Another form of aerial arts derived from Circus, aerial hoop is growing fast in popularity! It’s a mix between pole fitness and aerial arts, with many tricks that transfer from one apparatus to another. Aerial hoop can be a bit more painful starting than aerial silks or aerial hammocks due to the metal hoop used. It’s a great way to build strength, flexibility and a beautiful form of aerial arts.

Bungee Fitness

Bungee Fitness is rather new compared to the two types of workouts mentioned above. And yes, you guessed it right. This type of aerial class uses a hip harness that is worn through legs and around the waist and clips onto a bungee cord suspended from the ceiling. This workout focuses more on cardio or dance than building flexibility. In this class, you should expect more jumping, running around, floor diving and dancing to upbeat sounds. Bungee workout is a mixture of aerial dance, fitness training as well as acrobatic moves. It’s a ton of fun, and a low impact way to try aerial fitness!

 

Types of Aerial Equipment

Yoga Trapeze

Purple Yoga Swing with Handles

Yoga Trapeze

Yoga Trapeze (also known as yoga swing) is an effective tool that allows the user to practice various techniques and improve muscle strength. This is also a fun and very safe aerial equipment for your kids. Yoga Trapeze is one of the best and easiest tools for inversion therapy. It aids in lengthening the space between each vertebra, which helps reduce chronic lower back pain. Yoga swing or yoga trapeze also helps in the building of upper body strength. 

Uplift Active’s The Ultimate Yoga Swingis a best seller. The aerial yoga swing can be suspended from either one or two points. It's comfortable, durable, and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Our high-quality yoga swing comes with everything you need to get started: strong nylon blend fabric hammock, thick foam handles, carabiners and daisy chain ropes.

Yoga Hammock

Aerial Yoga Life in Purple Yoga Hammock

Yoga Hammock is one of the most used aerial tools. Antigravity yoga uses this special silk hammock and turns it into a swing to suspend the yogi’s body above the ground. Yoga hammock helps you to move more freely on air. This practice releases the tension on the body and muscles and helps increase flexibility. People suffering from chronic back pain find yoga hammock to be helpful. Yoga Hammock is also used cuddle hammock for children with autism, ADD, ADHD, or other behavioral challenges. The hammock serves as an important sensory tool in the home for any child.

Uplift Active’s Yoga Hammock is the ultimate yoga tool for strengthening, lengthening and realigning your body. Our yoga hammock uses studio-quality Nylon Tricot Silk that is similar to the ones used in Cirque du Soleil. The silk is made of lightweight, breathable but very sturdy material that holds up to 400 pounds and is wide enough for a 6'2 person to lay completely in the fabric.

Aerial Silks

Purple Ombre Star Shaped Aerial Silks

Also known as aerial ribbon, aerial silk is one of the most popular devices of choice for aerial acts is aerial silk. With challenging moves and positions, participants perform using a fabric attached to the ceiling. There are different lengths of silk you can choose from and one varies according to the act or usage it is needed for. 

Uplift Active’s Aerial Silk fabric is a low-medium stretch weave, easy to climb, and holds up to 900kgs. The smallest silks measure 9 yards (28ft) long by 108in wide (8.2M x 2.8M) with larger sizes up to 15 yards (45ft) by 108in wide. With this easy to install and sturdy fabric, you can enjoy aerial silk at home.

Aerial Hoops

Lady on aerial hoop

Aerial Hoops, also known as Lyra is a popular circus apparatus used to perform beautiful acts in the air. Nowadays, aerial hoops are being used for aerial fitness. Another fun way to live a healthier and more flexible life. Using aerial hoops as a form of exercise burns a minimum of 300 calories per session that is 3.5 miles per hour on a treadmill. Aerial hoop improves core strength, stability, balance and it also tones arm and abs. With a variety of poses available, the aerial hoop is suitable for everyone, from beginners to advance. 

Uplift Active’s Aerial Hoops are perfect for everyone from beginners to professionals - they are hollow, black powder-coated stainless steel. Our aerial hoops are usually available at a single point and double point configurations.

Bungee

Ladies in Bungee Fitness

This flying exercise uses a bungee hung from the studio ceiling. This kind of workout uses a hip harness that is worn through legs and around the waist and clips onto a bungee cord suspended from the ceiling. The bungee allows users to move in a certain position without too much exertion. This exercise improves agility, strength, balance and increase speed while performing tricks that defy gravity.

Uplift Active’s Bungee Fitness Equipment is available in three different sizes to cater to the user's weight. Each Bungee Fitness set contains 1 bungee cord, 1 105cm daisy chain, 2 slings, 3 carabiners (2 pre-installed), 1 padded safety belt harness (wide leg for comfort and safety) and 1 swivel rotational device (rotates 360°).

Why Choose Aerial Fitness?

Aerial fitness is said to be a workout routine where you do not need to bring anything but yourself (and your soul). Motivation is the only skill you need to learn the photo-perfect movements of aerial fitness.

Aside from the fact that it is a fun workout, the obvious benefits of aerial fitness are never-ending. A lot of people changed their usual workout to aerial fitness because they claim to experience faster results in muscle build-up, core strength, upper and lower body stability. Office workers prefer aerial fitness among others because it relieves back pain, spinal decompression and other problems caused by prolonged sitting and bad posture. This practice teaches discipline, patience, and balance. It improves both physical and mental health.

Moves At Home To Improve Aerial Fitness

Learn these five simple workouts with the help of yoga hammock to improve your aerial skills. Mastering them will give you an advantage when you take your first aerial class in the studio. Not only will you be able to perform well but you will surely receive plus points from your instructors.

 

Watch this helpful video or continue reading our favorite home exercises plus simple and easy steps to follow.

Push-ups

Push-up is a popular exercise for building upper body strength and is surely one of the best gateways for an aerial routine that require muscle and core power. This is beneficial in enhancing the power of the triceps, arm muscles, and shoulders. This traditional exercise also establishes a stronger back and core.

How to:

  1. Set your hand slightly wider than your shoulders
  2. Create a straight line with chest and thumbs
  3. Set your feet comfortably, it may be touching or apart
  4. Draw a straight line from your head until the end of your toes. Look straight and do not bow down your head. In this step, you might start shaking
  5. Start lowering your body and make sure to use arm strength to support your body weight

    Suitcases

    Also known as single-arm farmers' walk, this exercise is named as such because the movement mimics that of someone carrying a suitcase. Suitcase exercise may look easy but it is a whole-body workout that targets muscle and cardiovascular system. This is beneficial in keeping an upright position, making your hip stronger, and stabilizing your grip.

    How to:

    1. Begin with your right foot standing next to a weight, legs should be slightly apart
    2. Straighten your back, chest out and chin up following eye level. Keep this position until the end of the routine
    3. Identify the distance you want to walk
    4. Squat down, hold the weight with your right hand, knuckles facing away from your body
    5. Go back to standing position and begin to walk
    6. Do it with your left arm
    7. Repeat

    Planks

    Plank has been a favorite because of its effectiveness and simplicity. With no required equipment, this bodyweight exercise can be performed anywhere and anytime. More common planks are a standard plank, knee plank, side plank, and single-arm plank. It can be done in different ways, this workout develops (and develops fast) core muscles, shoulders, arms, and glutes.

    How to: (standard plank)

    1. Plant hands directly under shoulders, like you’re about to do a push-up
    2. Ground your toes into the floor
    3. Squeeze your buttocks to stabilize your body
    4. Relax your neck and spine, look down and feel where you are comfortable.
    5. Draw a straight line from your head to your back
    6. Hold the position for 20 seconds or as long as you desire

      Stretching

      Stretching may not sound as exciting strength and cardio training but for aerial fitness, this simple exercise might just be what you need to perfect your dream pose. Athletes appreciate and respect stretching because it gives an impact on attaining safe and efficient workouts. Stretching will help you improve flexibility and reduce tightness. It will also allow a wider and fuller range of motion. Learn different stretching exercises and incorporate them into your next workout.

      How to: (standing hamstring stretch)

      1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, arms by your sides
      2. Bend forward at the hips and lower your head towards the floor
      3. Keep your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed
      4. Wrap your arms around the backs of your legs holding your ankle or stay where you are comfortable
      5. Remain in the position for 45 to 120 seconds
      6. Bend your knees and roll up
      7. Repeat

      Ab Exercise

      Different ab exercises target different abdominal section. But all of these styles surely improve your midsection. Ab exercise is an effective workout that builds a strong core and generates amazing stomach muscles. Athletes incorporate these exercises into their routine because it helps improve stamina and endurance.

      How to:

      Leg Raise

      1. Lie on your back and hand on the side
      2. Lift your legs off the floor as high as you can and bring your chin as close to your chest
      3. Go back to your original position and repeat

      Crunch

      1. Lie on your back, bend your knees and ground your feet flat on the floor
      2. Place your hands behind your head for support
      3. Hold your elbows out to the side
      4. Bring your chin to your chest
      5. Curl up and lift your head, neck, and shoulder blades off the floor
      6. Pause for a few seconds and lower your head slowly
      7. Repeat.

      If you have a bar at home you can try these exercises

      Hanging Shoulder Shrugs

      This is an essential home or preparation exercise to lessen the chance of injuring your shoulders during aerial practice. Hanging shoulder shrugs also helps with improving posture, grip, and upper body strength.

      1. Grip the bar with your palms and thumbs around the bar
      2. Keep your arms straight
      3. Lift slightly by pulling your shoulders away from your ears
      4. Repeat 10 to 20 times

      Pull-ups

      Pull-up is an upper-body exercise that targets muscle strength and muscle mass in the back and biceps. This exercise works muscles in the back, arm, chest, and core. The compound exercise is effective in building arm muscles and enhancing your core. 

      How to:

      1. Grab the pullup bar with your palms down
      2. Hang in the bar with straight arms and legs off the floor
      3. Pull yourself up, until your chin passes the bar
      4. Lower yourself until your arms are straight
      5. Repeat

      Hanging Leg Raise

      This is one of the best exercises for developing abdominal and core strength. This movement activates the whole abdominal muscles and is also popular for enhancing balance and stability. This exercise burns calories fast and lower risks of back injuries. 

      How to:

      1. Grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing towards your body
      2. Engage your abdominal muscles and while keeping your torso stable
      3. Slowlyraise yourlegs
      4. Keeping your legs straight and driving through your glutes making 90° with your torso
      5. Repeat

        Lift Yoga Studio Set Up

        Testimonials

        Here are some helpful testimonials that might help you decide which one of the aerial fitness might suit your interest best. 

        Yoga Trapeze

        Laurence N. stated that he had a back problem for over twenty years and has done various therapy sessions and lately has been diagnosed with 5 degenerative discs. His specialists have suggested inversion therapy for which the yoga swing has come in to play. According to Laurence, he is now back to work with no aching legs or back and use the swing continuously.

        Lara Williams had been using an inversion table for a long time because of her Fibromyalgia. After using yoga trapeze her headaches lessened and she no longer experienced back pain and get the most amazing stretch. Lara stated: “I'm so happy I learned about this and I have stronger muscles. I'm never turning back my yoga trapeze will be with me forever.”

        Holly Martin: “If you have back pain, this is highly recommended for you. I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting into with this, but I'm glad I committed because it's such a helpful tool! It's fun and fast/easy setup makes it very motivating to be active and work on my flexibility! Thank you. “

        Yoga Hammock

        DanielOlszewski: “I have used this hammock for a few months now and I love using it. I use it a few times a week to alleviate spinal compression after a long day of sitting or standing. Gravity is constantly weighing us down and compressing our spine. Even after a 10-minute session of being inverted, I receive the benefits of this swing. I normally hang anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and EVERY TIME I feel great and rejuvenated. I always look forward to hanging upside-down because I know my spine is naturally de-compressing and going back to a natural state. Every single time I use this hammock I am taller by at least 1 inch and my posture is improved. 

        This hammock is not only great at decompressing your spine it is also a very good workout. Using this hammock you use muscles that aren't normally used, making it a great addition to anyone's active lifestyle regimen.”

        Todd said that using yoga hammock is like having a free chiropractic adjustment each time

        Maia said that she is in love with her aerial hammock. She’s been studying aerial at a local studio and considers it as the most invigorating exercise she has ever done. With her swing hung slightly lower than the studio, it is easier for her to do some poses. She added that even a short inversion before bed is a perfect way to relax at the end of the day. Her home yoga hammock helped her sleep better and enhanced the quality of her life.

          Jeranie Gemira
          Jeranie Gemira



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