ClassPass Glossary: Aerial Workouts from A to Z

Let’s be honest: the vocabulary lessons for aerial workouts can be extensive and change depending on what city you live in. Good news, the major terms you need to know before setting foot into your first aerial class are rounded up below. Bookmark this article to keep handy during your first few classes for an extra boost in confidence!

A

Acrobalance: This refers to moves that help build acrobatic balance strength. There are so many exciting and fun moves that make up these exercises. Check them out here.

Aerial Hoop: A metallic hoop that is suspended in midair.

B

Back Balance: This is a move where you wrap the silk around your hips and balance midair, torso facing toward the ceiling. Here’s a great visual example!

C

Cerceaux: Another word for an aerial hoop, or Lyra.

Climb: This refers to moving yourself up an aerial silk or apparatus.

Contortion: This is a practice that involves deep stretching and flexibility of both muscles and your spine. 

Corde Lisse: Another word for an aerial rope. 

D

Descent: This refers to moving down an aerial silk or apparatus.

F

Flying Trapeze: This refers to trapeze techniques that involve letting go of the trapeze and into another hold. 

Flying Yoga: This is another term for aerial yoga, where you use suspension to increase mobility, build core strength and learn how to feel comfortable on silks. This is a great class to take before booking your first aerial class.

Foot Hang: This is one of the base inversion moves on an aerial silk. Climb to a safe height and make sure your foot is securely wrapped in the silk. To get out of this inversion, climb your hands back up above your ankle then slide down.

Foot Lock: This is one of the first locks you’ll learn! This allows you to wrap the silk around your heel in order to climb.

Front Balance: The opposite of a back balance! This move requires that you balance with your torso facing the ground.

H

Hand Balance: Think of this as a handstand! Many acrobatic classes involve this in their conditioning course, sign up for these classes directly from your ClassPass account.

Hip Lock: This is one of the locks that allow you to remain suspended by the silk. The silk is securely wrapped around your hip bones.

L

Lyra: Another name for an aerial hoop. 

S

Silks: Silks are long lengths of loosely wrapped fabric that creates an apparatus for you to climb, balance or perform aerial moves.

T

Toe Climb: This ascent is done by using your arms to pull you up the silk while your toes grip the silk and step up.

Mandy Gragg is a New York City-based certified personal trainer and an active fashion and beauty blogger. She shares her fitness, fashion, and skincare tips on her blog Haute Unofficial. Follow her sporty adventure on Instagram for more fitness, beauty, and active fashion inspo.