Aerial silks
TC Franklin

Photo credit: TC Franklin


You may have already heard of aerial yoga, or maybe even tried this challenging practice that brings out the kid in you. So you know that like other forms of aerial fitness, it’s a perfect upper-body blaster for your shoulders, bi’s, tri’s, chest, lats, and core. Try it instead of arm day this week to see how great it is for sculpting muscle while injecting fun into your fitness.

Celebrity trainer and aerial artist Jill Franklin utilizes aerial fitness to build strength and boost her students’ confidence in performance. Here, the owner of Los Angeles’ Aerial Physique shares her three classic moves to try if your gym has silks fabric in its fitness studio.


Muscles worked: lats, biceps, triceps, forearms & core

Stand in between the fabrics. Circle your arms upward, bringing arms behind and outside the silks then inward, twice. Transfer your weight into your hands and hang down with straight arms, bending your knees slightly. Pull your body up, bending elbows until they meet your hips, keep legs tight and pressed together. Hold at the top for 10 seconds, working your way up to a 60-second hold. Optional: For an added core challenge, tuck your knees to your chest at the top of the move.


Muscles worked: back, core & forearms

Stand with the fabric next to you and place your hands one on top of the other, gripping fabric, just above your head. Keep feet grounded underneath you as you lean back, creating a diagonal plank position. Walk hands down, hand over hand, until you are a few inches from the floor, then walk back up to starting position. Keep core engaged and your body still throughout.


Muscles worked: triceps, biceps, lats & core

Begin standing next to the fabric, gripping it with both hands. Wrap your right leg from the outside in, flex right foot, and lift your knee until it’s in line with your right hip. Transfer your weight into your hands while stepping your free left foot on top of the right. Squeeze the fabric together in between your feet. Bend your elbows and pull your body close to the fabric. Reach your arms up high, pull up, and rewrap your feet to climb. Repeat.

SEE ALSO: Push and Pull for a Great Upper Body

Julien Lesure

Photo credit: Julien Lesure


Just because the cold hasn’t broken doesn’t mean you can’t whip out your skateboard. Old-school, smaller boards like Penny Skateboards (See their latest, “White Copper,” above, or at and long boards have seen a huge resurgence in popularity for both females and males, thanks to bright designs and bigger, smoother tires. And during winter, skateboards can be a great substitute for gliders. Integrate one into your next leg day or core workout for an unexpected challenge.


Muscles worked: glutes, thighs & calves

Stand up on your board, arms stretched in the air. As you lower your hips into a squat, bend your torso slightly to touch your ankles or the skateboard. Keep pressing your knees outward over your toes while keeping your back as straight as possible and chest up. This move serves to create a bit of instability in a very grounded move


Muscles worked: shoulders, biceps, triceps, pecs, back & abs

Begin on all fours on your mat with both hands firmly holding the board placed in front of you. Push board as far in front of you as possible with your hands, making sure your back doesn’t sag. To get back to the starting position, use your core, and tighten your biceps, triceps, pecs, abs, and back muscles to pull board in.


Muscles worked: core, glutes, quads, hamstrings

Stand with one foot on the board and the other on the floor, side by side, arms stretched in a Y overhead or out to sides. Push the board forward with your front foot until the knee of the other leg is close to (but not in contact with) the floor. To return to start, push firmly with your foot on the surface of the board and fire up your glutes, quads, and hamstrings to stand up.

SEE ALSO: Five Moves That Sculpt Your Lower Body