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WE TRIED IT: AIR Foundation class

AIR Foundation class

Address: 2217 N. Clybourn

Class length: 50 minutes

Fee: $30 a class/$150 for monthly unlimited membership

Info: airfitnow.com or (980) 219-8425

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Updated: November 13, 2013 5:07PM



When you first see the hammocks suspended from the ceiling at AIR AErial Fitness, you might think: naptime.

They’re a soothing shade of blue, and made of a silky material Cirque du Soleil relies on for their aerial acrobatics — which, coincidentally, is a lot more like what you will be doing in the class.

In the AIR Foundation class you’ll learn the combination of yoga, barre and body weight exercises that AIR explores. The basic moves are common ones: push-ups, pull-ups and crunches of all kinds — all using the hammock . But because of the different ways your body is suspended, they won’t feel familiar at all.

For cardio, you’ll be jumping all over the place — guided by the hammock, of course. Cardio kicks have you put one foot in the loop of the hammock and one foot on the ground before you launch yourself up to two straight legs. Lock jumps have both feet on the ground and your hands locked (or wrapped tightly in the hammock), before you jump as high as you can.

Pulling yourself up on the hammock works your arms to exhaustion in what feels like record time. Newbies might have a hard time getting a grip on the hammock — I did — but the instructor should give you a second to shake out your hands between every set.

Just when you don’t think your arms can take any more, attention turns to the legs in an interlude at the barre. Barre fitness fans will have no problem focusing their energy on certain muscle groups. Don’t worry if you’ve never done a ballet-inspired workout before; the instructors help you along.

After a long round of core work, the hammock is used for stretching while you eye it for that rest you imagined at the beginning of class.

You wrap up with a blessed, but brief, resting yoga pose that has you lying on the ground. Just when you think you’ll finally get to use the hammock — the way it was meant to be used, you think to your sweaty self — it’s over.

Email: dnovak@suntimes.com

Twitter: @dhnovak



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