SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – When you think of exercising, you probably often think of running on a treadmill or lifting a barbell. But those aren’t the only ways to get a workout in.
“I lift a lot, I already go to a traditional gym, I guess you could say, so this is something to kind of supplement that and have a little change of pace and just have fun,” Alyssa Winberg, a student at SD Aerial & Arts, said.
South Dakota Aerial and Arts opened in January of this year, giving students a chance to reach new heights in their fitness.
“We really wanted to create a safe space for adults, primarily, to learn aerial and just have something really dedicated to adhere,” Katie Critzer, co-owner of SD Aerial & Arts said. “We really wanted to expand apparatuses, so we started with silks, which are the big fabrics and then we just added hoop. We’ve had a lot of specialty workshops to like acro-yoga, aerial yoga, hand-balancing.”
Now you don’t have to be a gymnast or dancer to take aerial classes, anyone can learn how to fly.
“Even people who are like, ‘I have no flexibility, I have no upper body strength.’ I had no upper body strength and I had very limited flexibility,” Ashley Premer, co-owner of SD Aerial & Arts said. “You make pretty lines and you’re like, ‘Oh, that felt really ugly’ and you see a picture and you’re like, ‘Oh I look great.”
“I have never had someone who can’t do at least 75 percent of the skills that we do in our first class. Because we want it to be challenging. We want you to want to come back to learn those things maybe you didn’t get the first time, but everybody can do aerial in some capacity,” Critzer said.
And while it looks different than the workouts you may be used to, there are still many benefits to aerials.
“It is very low impact, so people who have joint issues or say they’re really tight in their back, flipping upside down can help decompress. It also works a lot on your core and your shoulders and your grip strength,” Critzer said.
Another exercise option to reach new heights of fitness in Sioux Falls is rock climbing at Frontier Fitness. With up to 45 feet of walls and 50 different routes, there’s ways that you can challenge yourself.
“If you’re looking for a new way to kind of workout different body parts that you might not do when you hit the gym regularly, climbing is a great way for that. You know, get strong arms, strong hands,” Aaron Kerkvliet, general manager at Frontier Fitness, said.
The benefits of rock climbing aren’t just about strength, though. Kerkvliet says it also helps you improve your cardiovascular health and mental health.
“I do not like traditional exercise because it’s just lifting or running in a circle. This one you get to think and use this like half brain, half muscle and stuff. It’s just really fun,” climber Phinehas Kroesch said.
It’s also another option for all ages.
“We start people as young as two, sometimes younger all the way up to kind of as old as you can be to feel comfortable getting up the walls,” Kerkvliet said.
Starting a new fitness journey can be scary. So you may not reach the top of the highest wall right away…
“We have different climbs that are good for any experience level. So if you’ve never climbed before and it is your first time in, we have something for you. If you’ve been climbing for ten years and you’re very experienced, we have something for you as well,” Kerkvliet said.
And you might not immediately spin down a silk with graceful ease, but everyone starts somewhere.
“I’m a mother, I started when my child was two and I was overweight, very high body fat percentage, had no upper body strength, no confidence. You just have to try,” Premer said.