Studio: Sky Zone Roswell
Class description from website: SkyFITNESS Featuring SkyRobics is low impact and combines advanced calisthenics, core exercises and strength building aerobics, all done on our patented, all-trampoline, walled playing courts. SkyRobics is one of the most dynamic, effective and intense workouts you can have, while being fun and easy on your joints. Those at any level of physical fitness will reap the physical and mental benefits of this revolutionary workout.
Cost: $5 for first class; $10 for individual classes; $20/month for unlimited classes
What to Bring: Water, Sky socks. Sky Zone provides “grip” socks for $2 that you can reuse. They prefer that you use their socks, and for $2 and half off your first class, it’s not an inconvenience.
What to wear: Comfortable workout clothes. Yoga pants, leggings, tank top, t-shirt etc. Shorts are fine, but I would wear bike shorts because you are doing strength training exercises as well as repeated jumping. And loose fitting shorts + squats = free peep show.
Class size: Small. There were 10 people including me so there was plenty of space for all of us. Attendance reaches as many as 50 on the weekends.
Props used: None for this class, but my instructor told me that they do incorporate resistance bands into some of the classes.
Volume and type of music: Music was at a medium volume. The type of music was what I would call “game music.” Songs you would hear at a sporting event to get people pumped up; a mixture of pop, rock, non-offensive music that provides a nice beat to workout to.
Impact: Low impact, but high intensity cardio. Sounds crazy, but it’s true! Some of the women in the class started doing SkyRobics because of knee, ankle, and foot injuries and they told me they felt no impact. I felt no stress on my knees and we jumped for the first 20 minutes of the class.
Modifications: Since I was the only newbie, the teacher gave me modifications when necessary and told me to do only what I felt comfortable doing.
Format of class: (I was told that each class is different to keep it from getting boring for the regulars.)
We started on the mats that frame the individual trampolines which make up the main court. We did a quick warm up, loosening up the neck, shoulders, knees, and ankles and then we were off! We began with the snake drill, which was, essentially, a form of follow the leader. Tyler, our instructor, would tell us what exercise we were doing and we would “snake” up and down the court following each other. We started by bouncing from individual tramp to tramp, down and back and down and back, the long length of the main court.
Next, we ran from tramp to tramp in the same pattern, followed by tuck jumps, and then tuck jumps pulling our feet up to the side. All drills were done with the same, initial pattern. After those drills we took a quick water break (although I stopped for water more than everyone else) and went back to more drills. When the action resumed, we went up and down the short length of the court, jumping from tramp to tramp, and interspersing the jumps with lunges on the mats separating the trampolines. Coming back down the court we did the same thing but with side squats. Following those, we did one more snake drill consisting of jumping front, back and center on each individual trampoline (bring your thinking cap for that one, I was definitely talking to myself for that entire drill chanting, “front, back, center, jump, front, back, center, jump”).
Following the snake drills we took another break, although, if needed, there were aways little pockets of time during the drills, to grab water and rest while waiting for the line to finish. After the break we did some ab work (crunches, knee ins, V sit, 6 inches, etc), push ups (wide and narrow), hellraisers (plank walk ups), and some side to side plank walks.
The class ended with a quick cool down.
What to expect: Expect an incredibly intense aerobic workout. My heart was elevated within the first couple minutes of jumping.
Expect to be surprised by how high you are jumping when assisted by a trampoline. I had not jumped on a trampoline in years and I was thankful for my years of dance training because landing with soft (bent) knees is now a reflex for me, and probably prevented me from falling on my bum. One of the other women in the class said she fell 8 times in her first class, so don’t feel discouraged if you fall! This woman obviously didn’t, because she was now at the head of the pack during the entire class I attended.
Expect to concentrate a little more than you may have anticipated. While this is an incredibly fun workout, it requires concentration, coordination, and balance to stay on two feet.
Expect a laid back and welcoming atmosphere. The teacher and students were all supportive and gave me words of encouragement throughout the class.
Who should take this class: First, and most obvious, are people who like to jump!; people who want a high intensity cardiovascular workout without the impact of landing on solid ground; this class is excellent for intermediate to advanced exercisers who are looking for an extra push to increase their endurance; it is also a great aerobic activity for people who feel pain in their feet, ankles, or knees when doing high-impact activities on solid ground (one of the women in the class said she started taking Skyrobics because she had plantar fasciatis, which prevented her from running); and it is a great class for people who hate repetitive conditioning activities (e.g. treadmills, running, elliptical machines) because you hardly feel like you’re doing cardio. But man will your heart rate get up there!
Professional advice: Go in with a “no fear” mentality. If you think you’re going to fall, or think you won’t make it from one trampoline to the next, then that is exactly what is going to happen. Be confident!
Do not get too caught up in the fun of bouncing. It is incredibly important for you to maintain body awareness and land with soft (bent) knees, to prevent you from landing on your rear. However, if you do land on your rear, it will be a soft landing. If you haven’t jumped on a trampoline in a while, get to the class a little early so you can take a few practice bounces and get your legs used to the unstable surface. I thought my gymnastic legs from 25 years ago would be ready to go, but they needed several jumps to get used to it.
Go at your own pace. I was the only new person in the class so I stayed at the back of the line, allowing me to jump at my own pace without slowing down anyone else. As I said, the other people in the class were very supportive and kept giving me words of encouragement throughout, so I felt no pressure.
After class, I spoke with Kellie, a Skyrobics regular, who told me that Skyrobics has increased her endurance for running. Besides the benefits to her running, she said she also loves the class because there are always people of all shapes and sizes. Kellie called Skyrobics “happy exercise” because on the days she attends Skyrobics, she is happy all day long.
Thank you to my instructor, Tyler, for being so welcoming and encouraging!