Here at Greatist, we’re always on the lookout for new ways to work out. When we had the opportunity to try Skybody, a company that focuses on aerial fitness, we jumped — or flew, rather — at the chance. We made our way to the Upper West Side studio, where three long, beautiful pieces of fabric hung from the 18-foot ceiling. This was going to be fun. We’re no strangers to aerial activities, but this was different. Like most workouts, we started the class with a warm-up. A few jumping jacks and jump squats later, we were ready to hit the silks. Fran Sperling, Skybody founder and certified trainer, taught us the basics. We started with the wrist lock — or wrapping the wrists in the fabric in a secure way to support aerial movements. After a few reverse crunches, flips, and inversions (aka hanging upside down), we were ready for more! Next was climbing. We took turns wrapping our feet, straightening our legs, and shimmying up the silks — with varying degrees of success. I didn’t get very far.

Photos by Laura Schwecherl

We learned a few more aerial moves, including something called a “hip key”, which may or may not have left a bruise. There was also a foot lock, similar to a wrist lock, that allowed us to practice our splits in mid-air (flexibility was a key trait with this one). The different moves required the use of many different muscle groups, but having a strong core, back, and shoulders is key to success in aerial fitness. A little fearlessness helps too! To learn more about this awesome way to get in great shape, check out the Skybody Fitness website or follow them on Twitter!

Have you tried any aerial arts before? Tell us how your adventures went in the comments below!

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