Hang Out Here

May 2023 View more

By Judy Sutton Taylor

Air Aerial Fitness takes workouts to new heights

A woman exercising at AIR Aerial Fitness
AIR Aerial Fitness, 236 S. Washington St., Naperville

Flexibility—in literal and figurative form—has been a focal point of Amie Langus’s career. The owner of the Naperville outpost of Air, an aerial fitness chain with locations in six states, is a yoga instructor who was introduced to the workout method by a friend. She was drawn to the unique benefits of incorporating aerial hammocks—loops of fabric that sit roughly at hip height and are attached to beams—into an exercise regimen. “Our workouts are designed for all levels,” she says, noting that they combine Pilates, ballet, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and conditioning techniques. “The hammocks can make familiar movements more accessible or more challenging, depending on what you’re after.”

A woman exercising at AIR Aerial Fitness

Pull-ups, for example, become easier to achieve with the help of the loop of fabric that has a bit of stretch, she says, while planks done with ankles in the hammock and hands on the ground require more stability than traditional ones.

Most people start with a foundation class, which focuses on alignment to learn how to balance on the hammocks, she explains. After that, class options include a 30-minute core focus and an aerial yoga class that’s especially suited for recovery. “These are the most functional core workouts you’ll ever see,” says Langus, noting that classes comprise exercises most people are familiar with, such as leg lifts and bicycle crunches. “You’re working your core in every single direction, and it is definitely going to get strengthened.”

Langus fell in love with Air’s format thanks to the deeper stretches she experienced doing aerial yoga postures. “You’re able to completely decompress the spine and really stretch your hamstrings,” she points out. “Most newcomers are apprehensive, but there’s nothing better than going upside down for the first time. Once you realize you’re completely supported, things click. You realize you have more balance and you’re stronger than you thought.”

Women exercising at AIR Aerial Fitness

She sensed the Naperville community would share her passion for this unique workout, and in late 2019, Langus secured a spot to open an Air location downtown. “Then 2020 happened, and everything came to a complete standstill.” When she learned a Denver outpost of Air was in danger of closing, she took it over while waiting to open locally. The Naperville location finally opened in May 2021. Langus remains in Denver but manages the studio here remotely with the help of an in-person team.

Classes are small—there’s a maximum of 12 students—to ensure everyone gets personal attention. Kids classes and parties are also available. Unlike many adults, young people seem to show no fear when it comes to aerial fitness. “They can jump, swing fly—tons of things they’re not usually doing in traditional sports. They love it.”


Photos courtesy of Alonzo Alcaraz and AIR Aerial Fitness