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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Time to run away to the circus ... for fitness!

Want to get fit? Time to go to the circus!

It may not be the "normal" answer to the ever present question of "how do we motivate ourselves to get fit?" but more and more people are turning to the Big Top for fun alternative workouts. Popularized by performers and athletes like Pink, Serena Williams, and Lady Gaga, aerial and circus classes have become an immensely popular way to workout and for good reason; they are challenging and incredibly fun!

Circus classes are wonderful for building strength and flexibility—but that doesn’t mean these
are prerequisites. Instructors should be ready to work with you wherever you are at on your fitness journey. Ideally, you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t even realize how hard you’re
working…until the next-day soreness sets in. Circus workouts force you to engage your
whole body, particularly your core. Aerial apparatuses (and pole) will also challenge those
arms. Want to add muscle definition before the snow flies? This is your answer. 

Most of these classes focus on a single apparatus such as: silks, hoop (or lyra), hammock, pole, cyr wheel, etc. Aerial classes* work with loops and chords, called span sets, suspended from the ceiling then connected to your desired apparatus. Circus classes also include floor acrobatics and apparatuses that are anchored to or move across the ground. When you take your first class, your instructor will start training you to use the equipment after a brief warm-up. You might learn to climb the silks, sit on a pole, or mount the hoop on day one but no one expects you to be Cirque du Soleil material...yet!

And while there is no denying the physical benefits of such a fun workout, the best reason to try an aerial or circus class has less to do with the body you see in the mirror, than with the eyes that do the seeing. These workouts help you celebrate your body as you tackle new challenges and explore your artistic creativity. 

So you're hooked on the idea but now what? 

To make sure you choose the right class for your goals and current fitness level, take a few
minutes to look up the apparatuses your local studio offers. Pick one that looks fun, and
check the studio’s listed classes for any indications of levels or prerequisites. Any class
that doesn’t specifically demand a certain amount of prior experience is usually open to all.

You should also ask yourself whether you’re looking for an occasional change to your
exercise regimen or a more sustained commitment. If the former, you’ll probably be most
satisfied with drop-in classes. If the latter, you might consider the session-long courses that
many studios offer. Session courses are generally progressive, helping you to build on new
skills from week to week.

At ExFit

At Expertease we offer single intro drop-in classes, four-week FUNdamental series, and eight-week session courses. We specialize in silks, rope, hammock, lyra, trapeze, cyr wheel, pole dance, and acrobalance (as well as the non-circus arts of burlesque, belly dance, and chair dance). 

In our session courses, the first six weeks of the course are spent developing skills in your chosen discipline and the last two weeks focus on learning a choreographed group routine. You then have the opportunity (although not the obligation) to perform in one of the student showcases to take pride in your own accomplishments and marvel at the work of more advanced peers, learning just what’s possible if you stick with the curriculum! You’ll also get to see other classes and apparatuses perform their routines. Every session, students speak of the showcase as a real high-point in their experience.

Whether you’re looking into taking a class here at Expertease Fitness or elsewhere, give this fitness craze a try. However you choose to play, we wish you good health, good times, and good  company! Now, what are you waiting for? Get climbing!

*(Note: aerial yoga is different from other aerial classes. In those classes, the emphasis is
on the yoga as you move through sequences with the added support—and challenge—of an
aerial hammock.)