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Want to get fit before the big day? Go to the circus!

Want to get fit before the big day? Go to an aerial or circus class! It finally happened. There were days you wanted to give up hope, but at last, you found the one. Your heart fluttering, you committed. You said yes to the dress. But then a new worry replaces the old one.

Looking your best isn’t just about the dress. It’s about a healthy body in it. So now you want to know: what is this aerial/circus workout craze, and is it right for you? More and more people are turning to the Big Top for fun fitness alternatives, taking aerial or circus classes. Most of these focus on a single apparatus: silks, hoop (or lyra), hammock, pole, cyr wheel, etc.

Aerial classes work with devices suspended from the ceiling. Circus classes also include floor acrobatics and apparatuses that are anchored to or move across the ground. (Note: aerial yoga is different from other aerial classes. In those classes, the emphasis is on the yoga as you move through sequences with the added support—and challenge—of an aerial hammock.)

What should you expect when you sign up for a class-based around these strange apparatuses? After a brief warm-up, your instructor will start training you to use the equipment. You might learn to climb the silks, sit on a pole, or mount the hoop. No one expects you to be Cirque du Soleil material! Circus classes are wonderful for building strength and flexibility—that doesn’t mean these are prerequisites for them. Instructors should be ready to work with you wherever you are, no matter your inexperience or even limitations.

Ideally, you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t even realize how hard you’re working…until the next-day soreness sets in. Circus workouts force you to engage your whole body, particularly your core. Aerial apparatuses (and pole) will also challenge those arms. Want to add muscle definition before wearing that sleeveless gown? This may be the answer. Make sure you choose the right class for your goals and current fitness level. Take a few minutes to look up the apparatuses your local studio offers, and pick one that looks fun. Then check the studio’s listed classes for any indications of levels or prerequisites. Any class that doesn’t specifically demand a certain amount of prior experience is usually open to all.

You should also ask yourself whether you’re looking for an occasional change to your exercise regimen or a more sustained commitment. If the former, you’ll probably be most satisfied with drop-in classes. If the latter, you might consider the session-long courses that many studios offer. Session courses are generally progressive, helping you to build on new skills from week to week. ExperTease Fitness has been a member of the Forever Bride community for over a year and is located in Northeast Minneapolis. They offer a range of exciting disciplines. (Those looking to get in touch with their sexy side might also try one of the studio’s burlesque classes…)

However, the best reason to try an aerial or circus class has less to do with the body you see in the mirror than with the eyes that do the seeing. These workouts will help you condition your body, but they should also help you celebrate your body as you tackle new challenges. Strong and sexy is a feeling, not a given weight or measurement. And while your spouse-to-be may admire your newly toned triceps, they’ll definitely respond to the new confidence behind your smile!

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