Looking for a fun way to get fit? Or just a day out with a difference with your mates this summer? Then you must try flying trapeze. It’s been said that this alternative exercise boosts both your mental and physical health – so we took a class ourselves to see what all the fuss was about. Here’s what we learnt.
Okay, so first of all – I’m afraid of heights. Zip wires as a kid? Forget it. And I could never watch Man on Wire for fear of throwing up. But as the saying goes it was time to ‘get over it’, face my fears and (try) have some fun in the process, by joining the circus – well the Gorilla Circus Flying Trapeze School specifically (which is actually run by circus performers).
Here are 5 reasons your need to try flying trapeze… It’s a brilliant way to meet new people… Out of all workouts this is definitely the most social. I went by myself and bonded with my fellow trapeze students - everyone cheers each other on, regardless of what stage you’re at. You’ll mix with a bunch of different people - anyone from 8 year olds, total beginners (me) to hard-core students.
Feel the fear and do it anyway (even if all your gut is telling you not to)… “Everyone gets scared at this point, even I do,” says the instructor who I finally meet at the top, as I shake with nerves. Your whole instinct is telling you that you should not be about the jump off a platform 30 feet above the ground. But it’s the most exhilarating feeling facing your fear and doing something totally out of your comfort zone. It’s a relaxant… As well as helping conquer your fear of heights it boosts your ability to handle stress. Unlike other sports it involves actively suppressing your survival instincts - climbing up a 30 feet ladder puts your mind and body into intense focus, leaving your daily stresses firmly on the ground.
Flying trapeze is an all-body workout… Forget slogging it at the gym, flying trapeze is a great workout for your whole body – especially for the core, abdominals, bum and legs. Ideally, you want to squeeze your whole body as you swing for optimum results. And with regular practice you become stronger, more flexible and agile. Caution: expect to be a bit achy for the next two days after your first class! And most importantly, it’s an exercise in trust… It personally took me a couple of swings before I was able to switch my brain off and just listen to what the intructors were telling me to do – only then was I able to let go of the bars towards the end of the class, rather than over think the situation.
And here’s one I did earlier, after a couple (okay 4) failed attempts at getting my legs over the bar…
You can find The Gorilla Circus Flying Trapeze School in Regents Park, London until 6 September (daily classes cost between £24-£28 for 2 hours) and from 23 - 27 July will be at Somersault Festival in North Devon.
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