Workout goes aerial

Workout goes aerial

You may not be able to perform like an aerial silk expert, but its basic principles can be adapted to your routine workout chart, explains Kiran Sawhney.

Now that you have been following a good fitness regimen for years, you may want to add more challenge and interest to your workout sessions.

Ever heard of aerial silk? Probably not, but you would have seen it at least once. Aerial silk is a type of performance, in which the performer does aerial acrobatics hanging from a special fabric. S/he performs gravity-defying gymnastic moves.

Aerial silk is no longer meant only for circus artistes and gymnasts; it is the latest fitness trend these days.

True, it does require several years of rigorous practice, exceeding muscle strength, endurance and
flexibility. You may not be able to perform like a real aerial silk expert, but its basic principles can now be adapted to your routine workout chart.

Aerial yoga, an adaptive technique, is very different from the original aerial silk. In aerial yoga, you practice your asanas in the loop or the hammock. Aerial silk, on the contrary, is like a loose, freely hanging rope that you need to climb, requiring infinitely more technique, strength and flexibility.

Doing anything against gravity is difficult and usually puts all the muscles of your body, and even your brain, to use. Gravity-defying climbing, straddling and yoga are all a part of the workout. It targets your arms, shoulders, wrist, core, legs and the whole body. It helps build a lot of upper body strength as well as flattens and tones your abs completely.

Once you are up in the air, you will have heightened kinesthetic awareness; you tend to tighten your core and activate the right muscles. Therefore, it is both physically and mentally engaging. Flying in the air is an exhilarating experience. Men and women equally enjoy this.

People who practise aerial silk, initially, find it very challenging. But they tend to show tremendous improvement pretty soon. They build extensive strength and stamina, and revel in their tremendous sense of achievement.


Do not consider this workout at all if you’ve had any kind of injury before.

Do not attempt it if you have weak bones or arthritis, as this workout requires your joints to bear your body weight.

Do not attempt to learn this from the internet. Get first-hand training from a reputed professional only.
Do not let your hair loose.

Always tie a tight bun. You do not want your hair getting in the way, as you attempt complex postures against gravity!

Do not begin the aerial workout without an intense warm-up session.

What you need
Stretchy pants that can cover the back of your knees Lots of water to keep you  hydrated
Aerial hammocks (special fabrics that hang from high ceiling with the support of a professional rigging hardware)

Figure 8, auto-lock carabiners, swivel

Increased strength and stamina
Longish and leaner body
Strong core

Increased flexibility
Full-body workout
Improved balance and body alignment
Improved kinesthetic awareness
Scope to discover new inverted postures

(The writer is personal fitness trainer and owner, Fitnesolution, New Delhi)