The Benefits of Aerial Silks for Fitness

Aerial silks is an art form as well as a form of exercise. It is both beautiful and powerful. Because of its origins as a circus art, some people are drawn to it as a performance medium, working hard to learn the techniques they need to deliver awe-inspiring shows. But for many, their performance ambitions don’t extend beyond showing their friends and family videos of their accomplishments over social media. Whether you are interested in aerial silks for show or not, there are a whole host of benefits to gain from attending classes.

Lillian performing at the Water Lantern Festival in Milan, MI
  • Increased Strength- aerial silks is a full body workout. Your legs push and pull the fabric into place, your arms hold you aloft, your back and abs support your limbs and flip you over. Even your fingers grow so strong that eventually just eight of them (no thumbs) can hold your entire bodyweight. Beginners can see improvement after just a few classes.
  • Increased Flexibility- many poses in aerial silks require the kind of flexibility that a lot of us feel like we can only dream about. The great news is that by taking classes and practicing the many tricks and transitions, you’re actually improving your range of motion, too. Strength is a huge part of flexibility, and unlike many workouts, you’re getting to improve both at the same time, which means your flexibility makes progress faster.
  • A More Interesting Workout- for people who find that “traditional” home and gym routines don’t hold their attention, aerial silks offers a more interesting alternative. Instead of running on a treadmill or doing repetitive motions, every class is an opportunity to learn completely new poses and transitions, while working on perfecting old favorites. And it’s a pretty great shot for your Instagram, too. 😄
Jen performs on aerial silks at the Water Lantern Festival in Milan, MI
  • Improved Focus- when you’re learning new material on the silks, or even working through complicated sequences you already know, your brain is completely in the moment, concentrating on how to move your body and the silks to all the right places at all the right times. Longer choreography and more complicated poses also challenge, and help improve, your memory.
  • Improved Mental Health- aerial silks classes can be a great boost for your mental wellbeing. You’re surrounded by supportive fellow students and instructors, you’re getting some great exercise (and exercise in general is a mood booster), and feeling your body working hard and getting stronger and more skilled is really satisfying.
  • Increased Confidence- when your body feels good, your mind feels good too! Each class brings a sense of accomplishment from having done good work, having learned new things, and having unlocked new achievements. Even the soreness from exerting yourself or getting a few silks kisses (read: bruises) reminds you of how much you can do, and how the number of things you can do is always growing.
    Aerial silks is also extremely body positive. Regardless of your weight, shape, color, or gender, everyone can experience the joy of flying in the silks while building muscle and increasing flexibility. The number on the scale doesn’t mean that much when you know beyond a doubt that your body is capable of doing truly amazing things.
  • Other Health Benefits- just like other forms of exercise, taking regular aerial silks classes can help lower your risk of heart disease, help manage your blood sugar levels, keep your bones strong and prevent loss of bone density, and even reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and promote longevity.
Jane demonstrates a sail wrap during an aerial silks class at Ringstar Studio

Many people decide not to take aerial silks classes because they’re worried that they’re not strong enough, or flexible enough, or skinny enough, or that they somehow won’t fit in. But circus arts are a welcoming space, ready to help you reach your fitness goals and improve your sense of wellbeing. Ringstar is proud to offer aerial silks classes to everyone who’s interested. Sign up today to begin your aerial silks journey!

A student performs a lie back pose during an aerial silks class at Ringstar Studio