Fly into the new year

Some gym-goers do push-ups with TRX at Crunch.

This year, you can expect to see a distinct theme on the rise in your local gym. And for once, your feet can take a break. While TRX suspension systems have been around for three years, the “leveraged bodyweight exercise” (as the TRX manufacturers call it) has been popping up all over the place and is becoming part of a larger trend of suspended exercise.

New York City’s Crunch Gym has launched a series of aerial classes designed to bring a little more fun into your calorie-burning routine. In one of the classes, “Red Velvet,” participants learn how to dance with a long piece of fabric hanging from the ceiling a la Cirque du Soliel. New York director of group fitness at Crunch, Marc Santa Maria, says the classes are a result of a growing awareness of these disciplines in mainstream media.

“Pink had a whole rock show this past year at the Grammy awards — all of a sudden flying through the air,” he says. “It’s more mainstream, and the second factor in its rise in popularity is that feeling like when you’re on a roller coaster and you go downhill — you get that rush.”

Fun is the central element of workouts like this and the Reebok Jukari workout — which involves  a low-slung trapeze.

The TRX system, developed by the Navy SEALs —  so you know it’s no joke — also takes an unconventional approach to calorie burning. Here, as with the other aerial workouts, the challenge comes from having to lift your own bodyweight.

“Sitting on a machine is just not cutting it,” says Holly Waters, licensed TRX trainer at Sweat Fitness in Philadelphia. “[TRX] incorporates basic exercise science and covers all the concepts of training from cardiorespiratory, core and balance training to power training.”


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