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It sounded so thrillingly Cirque du Soleil: a fitness class in which we’d do acrobatic tricks using swaths of twisted material hanging from the ceiling. You know, like the ones you see at parties where “aerialists” perform death-defying feats two stories up while you sip martinis down below.

But after our first 50-minute class at the new AIR fitness studio in Lincoln Park--where suspension-training classes promise to “build long, lean muscle in record-breaking time”--we realized it will be a while before we’re swinging from the rafters.

Even so, we can see how you’d tone up doing a session.

Our class started with push-ups, which we did with our ankles suspended in the silky “hammock.” Not bad! we thought.

Next came the hard part. Ever heard of a burpee? Well, try doing one with your legs swinging behind you, about three feet off the ground. Later we balanced in the hammock on one foot, arms twisted in the fabric, gasping for, um, air while attempting jumps and high kicks.

There were also yoga, barre and TRX-inspired moves throughout class, but our favorite part came at the end, when we relaxed in corpse pose while the instructor dabbed soothing eucalyptus oil at our temples. ($30 per class or $100 for your first month; sign up here.)

Easy? Ha. Fun? Like a day at the circus.

AIR, 2217 N. Clybourn Ave.; 980-219-8425 or

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