How to Get Ripped While Defying Gravity on the Trapeze

Written by | Wellness

Trapeze Artist

If you’re looking for a way to burn calories, build muscle and fly high like a superhero, get ready to hold on tight.

He Floats Through The Air

If you’ve ever marveled at the gravity-defying performers of Cirque du Soleil or the artist P!nk soaring over a crowd, you might be interested to know: You’re not that far from flying through the air with the greatest of ease. Trapeze School New York (TSNY) operates schools in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York City for anyone seeking challenge, fitness or just a few hours of fun. In fact, P!nk trained at TSNY in Los Angeles before she went on the road (and up in the air) for her Funhouse Tour. But you don’t have to be a celebrity to experience the thrill and health benefits of an aerial workout.

Trapeze performance has been around since the mid-1800s when it was created by French acrobat and aerialist Jules Léotard. He developed it using a series of bars, ropes and rings suspended over a swimming pool and debuted it at the Cirque Napoléon in Paris in 1859. Since then, it’s evolved from a daredevil act practiced by a fearless few to a more widely-available art form that also happens to offer one of the most aggressive workouts imaginable.

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In terms of its health benefits, trapeze training can drastically change muscle groups – more quickly than traditional exercises. An aerialists increases their flexibility and range of motion while also strengthening their glutes, lower back, legs, core and upper body. In addition to physical strength, even one session as an aerialist can offer a beneficial mental health boost. TSNY’s students report feelings of improved focus, self-esteem, strength, mood, patience, empowerment — even improved sleep patterns and weight loss. What better way to shake off stress than flying?

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Jonathon Conant, cofounder of TSNY had his first flying experience on vacation in the late ‘90s. When he returned to NYC, he purchased a flying trapeze rig, went into partnership with Dave and Anne Brown, and opened their first location in 2002. The school became progressively more popular. Sarah Jessica Parker even shot an episode of Sex and the City there. Today, the school’s motto is, “Forget fear. Worry about the addiction.” And once they get you up in a harness (and over that initial fear of letting go), you’ll understand why. Once people get a taste, many can’t wait to come back for more.

Sure, you may be a little sore the next day but no more so than from a great workout. And when was the last time a workout got you this high?

To see videos of TSNY in action, visit

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Last modified: July 8, 2019