The Ab & Butt Workout That's More Than Just Toning

You *could* say it’s good for the bedroom, too...

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

Not that we’re making any obvious suggestions here, but we’d be a little remiss if we didn’t at least allude to how this workout here could translate from studio to, ahem, bedroom. But we’ll let you make your own conclusions from here.

Alas, the real reason we’re here is for the workout. And what we realized after an aerial silk session—think sheaths of fabric reminiscent of Cirque de Soleil that harness your body weight to give you deeper stretches and force total body balance—at Air, was that as beautiful and graceful as our trainer and the studio’s owner, Lindsey Duggan, made it look, this was actually really hard. As in, it requires a hell of a lot of stamina. See where we could make the aforementioned connections?


Move #1

AIR Crunch

Start in an upside down straddle.  Make sure your feet are wrapped around the silk. Interlace your fingers behind your head. Crunch yourself up so your elbows hit your knees then slowly lower back down to the starting position.  The slower and more controlled here, the better.  For a harder modification straighten your legs, crunch upwards and try to reach for your toes for toe touches.  This is great for core muscles.



Move #2

AIR Pull Up

Place the silk behind you like you have a cape on. Take your arms out to a “T” and wrap them around the silk twice.  Pull down on the silk while keeping your arms close to your body so that your hands hit your armpits.  Coming from the AIR Pull Up, straddle your legs out as wide as you can while keeping your hips up high.  Extend your legs out as far as you can and point your toes. This is great for biceps, triceps, abs, and other core muscles.



Move #3

AIR Hamstring Curls

Place your heels into the silk.  Keep your heels together while spreading your feet apart to form a “V”.  Lift your hips as high as you can and bring your knees over your hips.  Slowly extend your legs straight out and repeat this motion while keeping your hips elevated.  A great move for hamstrings, glutes and core.



Move #4

AIR Step-Ups

Place either foot into the silk.  Reach for the silk above your head with both hands grasping part of the silk—similar to climbing a ladder.  Bend into your elbows while using your upper-body to step up into the silk.  For a harder modification, bring your knee to your chest or kick your foot to the ceiling as you step up.  Keep this a repetitive motion and make sure you do both legs.  Great for cardio, biceps, core and quads.



Move #5

AIR Rope Climb

Lay face up on your mat.  Bend into your knees.  Reach for one side of the silk with both hands.  From there, lift your hips creating a reverse tabletop position.  Start climbing up the silk, reaching one hand higher than the next, until you reach a standing position.  Make sure your knees don’t extend further than your toes.   Drive your heels into the ground for more stability in your lower body. Add a jump when you hit your standing position for an added challenge. Great for grip strength, upper-body, and core.



Move #6

AIR Hips Lifts

Lay face up on the mat. Place your hands by your hips.  Raise both heels into the silk and, while keeping heels together, have your toes out forming a “V”.  Slowly lift your hips and roll up through your spine one vertebrae at a time until you hit your highest point.  For a harder modification, repeat in a faster motion or add pulses at the highest point.  Great for glutes, core, back, and thighs.



Move #7

AIR Plank to Pike

Start face down on the mat in a table top position.  Elevate the left foot and slide it into the silk.  Then do the same with the right foot so that both feet meet in the silk while actively squeezing your legs together.  Straighten your arms creating the top of a push-up position.  Use your abs to pull your hips over your shoulders.  Slowly lower your hips back to the original plank position (top of the push-up).  Great for full body strength.