AIR Aerial Fitness is a relatively new workout to hit the Chicago fitness scene and we’re so glad it did. This suspension training program is the brain child of Shama Patel, an attorney turned fitness maverick. Like ballet, it strengthens and lengthens muscle to create the long, lean look everyone desires. What makes this workout truly unique are the silk hammocks used to sculpt, tone and have a little fun (okay, a lot of fun) along the way.
“You’re being creative; it’s very theatrical,” instructor Karim Tonsy says. “We use a very small section of weights but other than that, it’s just you and the fabric … You’re lifting your own weight.”
Stop by a class to try these signature moves and you’ll be well on your way to a new and improved you:
- Warm Up: Roll the fabric and place your right foot on it. Grab the hammock on both sides with hands, lift your ribcage up and, push foot down, pulling up with your arms. Switch legs. Be careful not too sway. TARGET: Core, quads, shoulders, and arms
- Stretch: Push fabric by hip flexors and bend at hip, bringing your upper body toward the ground. When hands reach ground, walk them forward. Once you are in a downward dog formation, bring one leg up, reach it around the outside of the fabric, and hook foot around fabric to stabilize. Do the same with your other leg. Relax your neck and shift your weight back for a deep stretch. TARGET: Lower back, neck and arm extension
- Cardio Kick: Roll the fabric and place your right foot on it. Push fabric down with your foot and use your arms to pull yourself up. Slide back so your body is at a 45 degree angle. Kick left leg up. Repeat for eight reps, then switch legs. TARGET: Biceps, triceps, core, glutes
AIR Aerial Fitness has two Chicago locations:
Lincoln Park: 2217 North Clybourn Ave. 980.219.8425
River North: 676 North LaSalle St.