Fitness class on trial: Getting flat abs the fun way with a flying trapeze lesson

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Look mum - we're flying our way to a toned stomach with this adventurous workout. Wimps need not apply.

Flying trapeze lesson

© Charlotte Watson

Let's run away and join the circus? Or run as far as Regent's Park in London and have a flying trapeze lesson, same difference.

Ever in pursuit of a toned tummy and not having to spend our lives down the gym - this high adrenaline lesson shows you the basics of the flying trapeze, while giving your abs, legs and arms a good workout in the process.

The class starts off with a safety briefing, telling you not to walk under the net, listen to instructions, and a warning that if you walk into one of the stakes in the ground, you will be laughed at (fair enough).

You are then taken over to a low bar, and working through the routine you will be doing assisted by two instructors. This includes holding the bar (thumbs under) with straight arms, swinging your legs up and over the bar with pointed toes, letting go with your arms, swinging back up, releasing your legs before a quick back flip and off. Got it? No big deal.

Once the group of about 8 have been through this, you take it in turns to make your way up a very, very long ladder to the starting platform. This is when the nerves really kick in and the palms begin to sweat. The only way down from here, is to swing.

You are hooked onto a safety wire, led trembling to the edge of the platform and told to reach out with to grab the bar. At this point you hear the words 'ready' (meaning bend your knees) followed by 'Hup' which is when you just have to let yourself go and jump.

As long as you keep you're arms straight, you're flying.

But you can't just dangle there mid air - you now have to remember that routine you learnt safely on the ground and complete it in flight. Well that's the idea anyway.

Your abs will burn trying to lift your legs onto the bar and off again, and not everyone will manage it the first time, or even in their first lesson - but secret gymnasts and yoga bunnies should have no problem though.

Those that get it right, are allowed to try a 'catch'. One of the instructors hangs out on a bar in front of yours, and waits for you to fling yourselves over to them and hope that they grab you in their arms. Ok, it's a little more technical than that, but you get the gist. It is awesome, and the highlight of the class.

Give the workout a try if


You're after the most fun ab workout you have ever had, are up for something new and have a little bit of flexibility coupled with upper body strength.

Give it a miss if


You're scared of heights, or think you might be. One member of our group discovered this fear at the top of the ladder, not ideal.

What to wear to a trapeze workout


Bright colourful leggings - you'll get compliments from the instructors, a long sleeve top or jumper that's not too baggy, and bare feet (perfectly pedicured toes are optional).

Calories burnt in a trapeze workout


About 250 in a 2 hour class, more if you have to run to the Regent's Park loos in the middle of class. Expect your abs to burn for a least 3 days after.

Cost


A drop-in class costs £24, and can be booked up to a month in advance. Alternatively book a 4 week course for £97 for 8 hours of lessons.

Where can you do a trapeze workout?


Currently just London, their summer home is Regent's Park, whilst they have lessons year round in The Roundhouse, Camden. gorillacircus.com/flyingtrapezeschool

See more from fitness fanatic Charlotte Watson at therunnerbeans.blogspot.co.uk or follow her on Twitter, @charliedwatson

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