Fancy flying through the sky? Flying trapeze is a fun experience that will leave you feeling like you’ve had a decent workout.
When fellow dietitian Rachel De Montemas asked me to join her for a session of flying trapeze with Circus Arts Sydney, I immediately said “yes”! The thought of being meters in the air with only a couple of ropes and a net for safety never even crossed my mind. The nerves didn’t even kick in as we stood staring at the 10m high trapeze, while we waited for the session to start. There was only excitement at the thought of swinging around like we use to on the monkey bars as kids.
We had our harness put on and then gathered with the other students for a few stretches. The instructors spoke about how we would spend some time on the low practice bar fixed just above the ground, before climbing the ladder and swinging on our own. There was also a brief mention of being sore the next day….I didn’t really think much about it. It was then over to the trapeze.
We were all taken through a quick example of how we would grab the bar while standing on the platform – think straight legs, butt out and chest up while someone else holds onto your harness from behind and you reach out for the trapeze with your right hand and hold onto a bar with your left hand. You can then swift your left hand onto the trapeze while your “spotter” holds the back of you. We all then had a turn of swinging on the trapeze, moving into a knee-hang (legs over the bars and hanging from your knees), before being shown how to dismount. Then it was straight over to the real thing for our first swing. We all looked at each other thinking we hadn’t had enough training for this!
It was then time to climb up the 10m high ladder. At the top we reached out for the platform and stepped off the ladder. Here we chalked up our hands and were given a brief run through of what we were to do. Now I’m not scared of heights, so the ladder and the platform were fine…but grabbing the trapeze for the first time was somewhat nervy! This required full trust in the professional instructor behind that was holding onto our harness. At first, I wasn’t quite at 100% but when I realised Lindsay had me, I was completely fine with it.
With toes dangling over the platform and gripping the bar tightly, I was instructed to squat, jump and raise the bar. I was off! Hanging from the bar and swinging through the air, I heard the instructions to “lift the legs and get the feet over”. Swinging back and then forward, holding on with my knees, it was then time to arch my back and reach out in front as if someone was going to catch me. It was then time to put the hands back on the bar to swing back and then drop down onto the net below. All I can say is it was so much fun! I flipped off the net and was ready for the next swing.
For the next two swings, we tried different ways of coming off the trapeze, all with the intention of working our way up to a catch. For our last two swings, we had the opportunity to grab the arms of Lindsay and release from our trapeze and hang from Lindsay’s arms while she hanging by her knees from hers. Both Rachel and I didn’t quite connect with Lindsay the first time, but with the final swing we both made it stick! We literally felt like we were flying through the air.
Check out the footage of Rachel’s catch below. Oh, and about being sore after our flying trapeze experience – we were! Actually we’ve only stopped hurting in the last day or two. Talk about a fun workout!
About the author
Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and yoga teacher. Caitlin is passionate about all things health and wellness, and keeps up-to-date with the latest health research, which she uses when contributing expert advice to health, fitness, lifestyle and food companies. She is also the nutrition expert for the Women’s Fitness magazine, the dietitian for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and ambassador for Papaya Australia. Follow Caitlin on Instagram @caitlinareid or visit her website.