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Photo by Lily McClelland

Aerial fitness new in town

Aerial  fitness adds fun to workouts

Exercising in the air balances health and wellness

It all started in 2015 when Christine Longe, the owner and founder of “The Aviary” studio in Hopkins, Minn., was practicing law and started to attend circus classes. “People started to ask me how I got my arms like that, how’d I get my back like that,” said Longe. She realized that working out can be fun and she wanted to create something that anyone could do to get fit and have fun while doing it.
Longe started her business and pioneered a new form of fitness, aerial fitness, in 2015. It started out as a small studio in Northeast Minneapolis on 201 6th St.Aerial fitness is a mix of conditioning and strength building that uses the same hammocks that Aerial Yoga uses. It works the upper body, grip, upper back and arms. It has some of the same benefits of aerial yoga such as breathing, stress relief and mental benefits.
Aerial fitness participants not only are strengthening their bodies, but also working their minds. When working out they can’t disengage, they have to keep their mind on the entire time so they don’t get hurt or forget their routine.
Her business has grown in the past three years and now has a studio in Hopkins on Shady Oak Rd.

Longe has also had workshops where she taught other yoga and fitness instructors her methods. They have brought her method to their studios in Minnesota, North Dakota and Illinois.
It’s especially good for people with bad joints or sensitive joints, because it gives a good workout putting any pressure on them.
Aerial yoga mainly benefits dancers and gymnasts because it challenges people to use function-muscle. However, it has a positive impact on everyone.
“It’s good for any athlete to do,” said football and track sprinting coach Dante Britten.
Functional muscles aren’t the big muscles you gain from lifting weights at the gym, but the small muscles that are using your body weight.
It helps athletes to incorporate functional training into their workouts even if it isn’t aerial fitness. Aerial fitness also challenges your balance and coordination, this helping sports that you make quick fast paced decisions in, such as sports like soccer and lacrosse.
Once its all tied together it starts to pull your brain into it as well because the participant has to memorize their routine, a helpful element for dancers and gymnasts.
“It’s an expression, it’s artistic,” Longe said. “You feel like you’re connecting with the artistic side of yourself a little bit, and it makes everyone feel beautiful.”

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