Apr 20, 2015 - Things to Do

6 reasons why AIR® is dominating the Charlotte fitness scene



There’s no doubt I have an addictive personality. Once, as a college student, I ate a bowl of Special K cereal with half a banana for breakfast for 427 days straight. Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve seen this fanaticism to be both positive and detrimental. Positive: When I find a healthy habit I enjoy, I stick to it like glue (see Special K breakfast). Detrimental: My ex-boyfriends think I’m a psycho. I’ve got attachment issues, okay?

My inability to let go of past loves is a story for another day, but for now let’s talk about my latest athletic obsession: AIR® aerial fitness. I figured I’d give one class a try, but we all know where this is going… I’ve become that obnoxious girl that wakes up at 6:00 am to workout and insists on posting photos of my newest tricks all over social media. What is AIR®, exactly? Glad you asked.


In owner Kerri Flannigan’s words, “Aerial fitness is an intense aerial training program fusing the principles of yoga, ballet barre, Pilates, and high intensity interval training with the use of silk hammocks. The majority of aerial exercises force you to use both upper body and lower body, as well your core simultaneously, which makes for a very effective, tiring 50-minute class.”

That’s all well and good, but why should you add AIR® to your fitness routine? Let’s break it down:

(1) It’s not your average yoga class.


Don’t walk into AIR® expecting to lie on your mat and whisper sweet “ommmm”s to the universe while Enya serenades you through the speakers. During a typical AIR® class you’ll sweat, flip upside down, and leave with shaking muscles. You can bank on air burpees (the best form of torture), tons of plank work, and some fun tricks thrown in – guaranteed to make you feel like you’ve run off and joined the circus. Every class is a little bit different, depending on the instructor, but you can always expect core work, cardio, strength, and barre exercises.

(2) It’s a one-stop shop.

To get everything you attain from a class package at AIR®, you’d have to be a member at your local Crossfit box, the neighborhood yoga studio, an aerial warehouse, and a pricey barre boutique. Ain’t nobody got time (or money) for that. Because AIR® offers more than one type of class, it’s the only membership you need. In addition to the basic AIR® session, there’s also Pilates Pro, Barre Strength and AIR® Restore classes; so clients can actually attend a class every day of the week for a nice balance of workouts.


(3) Minimal equipment required.

All you need for class is yourself and a water bottle. The studio has mats and weights for students to use, so don’t worry about that. In fact, you don’t even need shoes or socks – class happens barefoot. Tighter fitting clothing is recommended, and pants are preferred. Having a layer between your skin and the fabric is the key to comfort, and will help alleviate additional rubbing or pinching of the fabric. Plus, nobody wants to see your junk exposed while you’re flipping around.

(4) You’ll be pushed to your personal max.


AIR® isn’t a walk in the park. The instructors always challenge students to do their best, but they aren’t walking around barking orders like drill sergeants. Modifications for each exercise are always offered and not at all looked down upon. You better believe I do push ups on my knees sometimes.

(5) You’ll make friends.

It’s crazy, but I’ve met tons of people and even done my fair share of networking during my time at AIR®. There’s something about sweating and lifting heavy things that just brings strangers together, you know what I mean?

(6) AIR® is about more than exercise.


AIR® is all about being involved in the community and making sure its members are doing the same. Each month, AIR® hosts special workshops and socials. You’ll even spot instructors and members around town supporting local Charlotte businesses and events. Kerri says these events are “a chance for local businesses to get in front of new customers and meet them face to face; and it’s great for [AIR®] because we’re able to offer something different within the studio to our members and future clients. It’s a great networking event, and we all promote each other!”

(7) Owner Kerri Flannigan is the bomb.

Let’s be serious, some boutique fitness studio owners are straight up snooty. AIR® Charlotte owner, Kerri Flannigan, breaks the mold by being super friendly and incredibly down to earth. She knows all of her clients by name and remembers to ask about things going on in their personal lives.

Not only is she genuine and welcoming, Kerri knows her stuff. She went from being a Division II college athlete, to coaching youth and high school lacrosse, and on to becoming certified as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Basically, Kerri’s a beast, and she’s got the muscles to prove it.

Photo via her Facebook page

A few closing words of advice so you don’t look like a total newbie:

  • AIR® Charlotte is located at in Myers Park at 1043 Providence Rd. Park by the sign out front and walk down the steps; past the alterations shop, and there it is.
  • Show up 10 to 15 minutes before class starts so your instructor can walk you through the basics.
  • Make sure you’re hydrated and well nourished to helps avoid nausea during the workout.

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