Tips for Your First Aerial Fitness Class From the Pros

Using gravity to increase flexibility and strength is a hot trend in gyms and studios across the country, and we here at Fit Bottomed Girls are always eager to try all sorts of new trends! So we talked to the top fitness instructors in the business to get their best advice for newbies taking their first aerial fitness class. Get ready to grab some fabric and take your workout to a whole new level!


Carole Steinhauser, Crunch Gym’s Group Fitness Lead (Miami)

Trust is a major lesson to be learned. Before taking an aerial class, it is important to leave all fears behind and trust the equipment and the instructor. As the student learns and processes in her skills, she will learn to trust her own strength and body.

It takes quite a bit of upper body and core strength to take an aerial class. What people don’t always expect is that they get very sore, even after a first ‎class where they may not even do advanced tricks.

Michelle Dortignac, Unnata Yoga

Go minimal with the products. Do not use lotion on your hands that day and be sure to trim your nails.

Wear clothing that covers your armpits, the back of your knees and will not expose the skin of your lower back. Also be sure to wear clothing with a high enough collar to avoid any “wardrobe malfunctions” when hanging upside-down and when your top gets cinched by the hammock/silk.

Eat right. Eat food that is healthy for you and easy to digest before class, but make sure it’s about an hour (or more) before class.

Kerri Flanagan, AIR Aerial Fitness

Arrive early. This will give you a chance to set up (finding a hammock that’s the right height for you is key), and ask the instructor any questions you may have before class starts. Our instructors ensure new clients are comfortable before class starts, so arriving early is a MUST.

Be hydrated and well-nourished before class. This is a demanding, intense workout involving cardio and inversions. If your body is not prepared, you risk unnecessary nausea. (But, if you feel nauseous at all during class, take a child’s pose and jump back in when you’re ready.)

Listen to your body and notify the instructor of any injuries before class. Instructors will provide modifications throughout class so each client is working at her own level. Our intentions are to push you to your limits, but not past your limits. Modify the exercises as necessary until you feel comfortable and strong enough to take it to the next level.

Sadie Durante, Aerial Instructor at Body & Pole

When taking your first fabrics class, be sure to bring leggings, a bottle of water and an open mind. Training on fabric requires a certain level of strength, flexibility and coordination that take time to develop.

Be ready to take a handful of introductory classes to build your competency. So be patient, and have fun with it!

Have you tried an aerial fitness class yet? What is YOUR best advice for first timers? —Margo

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