5 Things That May Surprise You About Aerial Workouts

We’ll admit it: Aerial workouts are not the most traditional forms of exercise. When many of us envision the exercise, we might conjure up images of acrobats performing on stage, wowing us with their tricks and spins. While those types of performances certainly require physical strength and endurance, studios and fitness instructors have created their own form of aerial workouts that can be done in a local studio or gym. These types of workouts are fairly new — aerial yoga wasn’t officially established until 2014 — so it isn’t surprising that there are many misconceptions about what the workout actually entails. The truth is that aerial workouts are a unique, challenging workout that is an excellent addition to any fitness routine. Best of all? It’s super fun! Keep scrolling as we bust 5 myths you probably believed about aerial yoga:

1. The aerial apparati can’t hold much weight

Yes, the silks and hammocks will be able to hold you. It’s hard to believe by just looking at them, but aerial silks and hammocks can hold thousands of pounds. Being able to hold the weight of one person is a piece of cake!

2. You need to be super flexible and strong

While having some flexibility — and strength — can certainly help your workout, it’s certainly not a requirement. Your first few classes will be challenging, but after consistent practice your body will become more adept at the practice. Make sure you take a beginner course if you are concerned, and strengthen your body by attending other classes like Pilates, barre and yoga. 

3. It’s an art, not a workout

We’re used to seeing silks and aerial acrobatics for entertaining purposes, but as of late, they’ve become more accessible to us as a form of exercising, too. There are many benefits to incorporating aerial workouts into your fitness routine, including a strengthened core, toned arms and back, improved flexibility and more. While we still enjoy attending a Cirque du Soleil show from time to time, there’s no reason we can’t recognize it as a workout, too. 

4. It doesn’t involve any cardio

From an outside perspective, you may assume that aerial workouts only strengthen and tone, and that you should find a form of cardio elsewhere. But actually, that perception is totally false. Between all the movements, twists and turns, you will most definitely get your heart rate up during this exercise. In fact, Shape magazine cited a study that said the workout is just as cardio intensive as cycling and spinning.

5. It’s dangerous

Aerial workouts definitely do require a higher amount of concentration and precaution than most traditional workouts, yes. But that doesn’t necessarily make it dangerous. Your instructor will be there to guide you along the way and ensure that you are using the correct form and following all the proper procedures. You will never be asked to do something you are not comfortable with! Before class, come prepared in the proper attire and know what to expect to ensure you get the most out of your workout.

Stephanie Limiti is a born and raised New Yorker living out her dreams of palm trees and sunshine in Los Angeles. When she's not zenned out in yoga class, she's reading biographies and volunteering at dog rescue shelter. Follow her on Instagram.