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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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It's a bird, it's a plane.... it's Gym Belle doing Jukari!

Ok, so maybe I didn't quite fly, but I was totally airborne.

Tonight I took my first Jukari Fit to Fly class at Equinox. Jukari was developed by Reebok and Cirque du Soleil and debuted at the Equinox at 19th and Broadway last month. The class is taught using "fly sets" which are meant to mimic the silk ropes used by Cirque du Soleil's aerialists. A fly set consists of two ropes that hang from a single point. Part of the class involves a bar that you attach between the two ropes at chest height (think your own personal monkey bar) and part involves foot loops which are attached at the bottom of the ropes so that your legs are suspended in the air while you lie on your back on the floor (think, um, well, I'll leave that up to you).

The upright portion of the class had an interval training feel to it. We walked and jumped with the bar, used it to do pull-up type movements, etc. There were jumping jacks and leg lifts. It was more intense than it sounds; my heart rate definitely got up there at times. Then we laid down and put our feet up in the stirrups to do ab and glute work. For me, this felt ok, but that probably has a lot to do with all the Physique 57 classes I take.

During the very last portion, we reattached the bar, this time placing it as high up as we could reach. Then we twisted all the way to one side, lifted our knees, and spun around. The higher you lift up, the faster you go. Wheeeeee!

I liked this class for all the reasons I like the Aerial Yoga class at Crunch. It's very playful and you get to move and use your strength in a different way. Gymnast types will love it. Class totally flew by (no pun intended).

The only negatives are the logistics. Right now, Jukari is only offered at the 19th street location and there's only one late evening class. Also, in-person sign ups are required. The list goes out 30 minutes before class, and people started lining up about 30 minutes before that. Hopefully Equinox will move sign ups online like they did with spin. In the meantime, I say it's worth the schlep.

Up, up and away!

-Gym Belle-

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