As our new classes launch this week, Jen Slater decided to launch herself into Trapeze – the ultimate challenge in body weight training and balance, with custom made trapezes to create a flying choreographed combo of intense strength and balance exercise. But, did Jen survive?
The trapeze bars hung from the ceiling, begging to be played with. It made the short floor-based warm-up feel unreasonably long but it was, of course, entirely necessary. As soon as we grabbed the bars and began suspended shoulder shrugs, nudging ourselves up and down, it was clear anything above the waist was about to be worked very hard.
Continuing Gymbox's love affair with all things circus, the new Trapeze class attempts to add another odd string to your already-eclectic bow. Aiming to challenge you with body weight training and balance exercises using purpose-built trapezes. I had the pleasure of experiencing the very first class.
I have, of course, been left a slightly broken woman. My hands are raw, my core is screaming and I can't lift my arms, instead dragging them behind me – no chance of a recovery G&T unless someone fetches me a straw! I should be coming up with new muscle names right now because I've most definitely discovered new ones. But the pain will fade in time, I'm told.
There was no hint of muscle torture during the class, though. I only realised my body hurt after leaving Gymbox Stratford – credit to instructor, Nik, for creating another class, so entertaining that we were distracted from any burn.
"Let's play!" he said.
There was to be no work done in the class – it was a Friday night after all. Instead we were to embrace the opportunity to discover the trapeze, explore what can be done with it and what it could do for us. And most importantly, smile and move to the music.
With guidance from Nk, we went from hanging below the trapeze and getting used to holding our own weight, to engaging our core and lifting our legs, to swinging forwards and back, to pull-ups – body conditioning, cleverly disguised as steps towards eventually sitting on top of the bar.
Trapeze is an art form. Whilst we were shown how to get up to sitting, it was left up to us to interpret the method, whether that was by the book or with a cheeky jump or even with the assistance of the extra instructor.
Once sat atop the trapeze, we played with balances, hung upside down and tried some tricks. Those that had a bit of aerial experience or who felt particularly playful, were encouraged to explore variations on each trick or to progress to harder moves. No matter the ability, though everyone got to hold a shape worthy of Instagram.
Check out our class schedule right here.