I’m facing a reality that no matter what I personally invest into my home routine, I’m stuck in what I call the ‘Johnny Bravo Figure’. My legs stay pretty toned, thin, etc, but the further up you go the more flab accumulates. I just can’t seem to find something motivating to keep core and upper body work outs going. They’re dull, painful, and just not fun.
Well yesterday, I tried something new: Lyra or Aerial Hoop classes, provided by a company very close to my job. It is a 6 week program, with classes only once a week. Sounds familiar, since that how almost everything else I’ve done has gone. The class was small, only 7 of us total, 3 of which were higher levels than the rest of us. The instructor was super accommodating, being able to instruct one sub group with out issues from the other.
This class really put my upper body strength into perspective. While there were expectations of having sore spots from contact to metal objects, stiffness and muscle fatigue from working groups that don’t get worked, this type of work out just absolutely exceeded everything I thought about where I was physically. I was able to mount the hoop exactly one time on my own. After that, my muscles were so spent, it just could not happen with out assistance again. Before I go on too far into that, lets talk start at the beginning of this.
For any one that has not ever done exactly this, there is a dependency in your should/arm strength, abdominal strength, as well as a certain amount of pain tolerance behind the knee and in the hands. Pull ups, with chin landing over the hands, was part of the warm up. That is when I realized how much of a disadvantage I was at. I couldn’t do a single one, no matter how I tried to jump or cheat my way into it. As far as abdominal strength is concerned, if you can’t use that core push around your hips and control direction then add more struggle, but its still doable. The other part of this, hands and knees, was pretty surprising. I only thought that I had calloused hands from all of my other tomboy hobbies. By the time we were half way through the class, every time I let go of the hoop, my hands were practically numb. Behind the knees as another surprise source of pain, from holding the weight. Now, I didn’t struggle too much here but it warrants visibility. I could tell they were getting tired of holding me by the end of the class, but I never felt like they were just going to fail and let go. This is more of an issue where the connective tissue behind your leg just isn’t used to supporting weight in that fashion and will become better with it through time.
Actually, all of this gets better over time. As of the next day, most of what I thought had come to be. I’m sore, almost, from head to toe. Where I tried to mount but only managed to hit the hoop with the inside of my foot is very sore. My ankles, from my not so gentle dismounts are a bit sore. My posterior knee joints are sore. My abs ache a bit when I stretch. My shoulders burn with exhaustion, still, much like they did when I was enrolled in the pole classes. And my hands feel like I’ve spent the past 3 days raking the yard with out gloves on. But it is all manageable amounts and totally worth it. To get that much of a work out, in under 2 hours while having fun is just wonderful and exactly what I looking for.
So we have 5 classes left. I’m already worried that my muscle tone won’t improve enough to really make the most of the 6 weeks, but I am already seriously considering getting a rig for the home. I have plenty more places to put it since it doesn’t need as much room as the pole work does. Its also easier to put up, take down, and store. Maybe in a week, this gets a huge update, but I’m trying to be realistic about it.