Shoes off, music rocking, a sip of water and they’re ready.
“Just start hopping,” Wendy Fryer instructed as her class of five moms surrounded her on trampolines at MegaTrampoline in Crystal Lake.
With that, AIRobics began. The new class basically brings aerobics to the trampoline as an alternative to typical exercise routines. Half of the hourlong class is devoted to cardio, while the other half focuses on strength training.
It’s believed to be one of the only classes of its kind in the area and has attracted parents whose children frequent MegaTrampoline.
Fun, yes. A workout, definitely.
“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” said Tarsha Franch, a mother of two from Lake in the Hills, after finishing up the routine with a swig of water.
“You see your kids playing and they’re full of youth and energy, and they make it look easy. But when you’re doing it for an hour, oh my.”
Jumping on a trampoline actually burns on average 1,000 calories an hour, said Suzy Wille, the party coordinator for MegaTrampoline.
“See if you can jump for an hour, though,” she added. “It’s really hard.”
MegaTrampoline officials sought Fryer, a personal trainer, through her Crystal Lake-based business Fitness Won (www.fitness-won.com), to teach AIRobics after hearing about similar classes in California, Wille said.
The goal was both to open the business up to more people in the community and offer another way to exercise, she said.
Classes typically are from 10 to 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Crystal Lake business. Classes cost $10 each or $70 for a 10-class punchard. Aside from the Friday morning class, which takes place during a KiddyTime at MegaTrampoline, the classes take place when the business is closed to the public.
It’s a safe, sort of private experience, some prefer to the gym, Wille said.
And the Friday class gives parents of young children a way to squeeze in a workout while their children have fun.
Like most participants, Franch heard about the class when bringing her children to MegaTrampoline.
“I wanted to start exercising outside of the house and not go to the gym,” she said. “I’m not into the gym scene.”
Others tried it simply because it sounded fun.
The class gave Sherri Nachtsheim of Fox River Grove and her daughter Courtney something to do together while Courtney, having recently finished graduate school, looks for a job.
Sherri regularly takes yoga and was looking for a bit more cardio, and Courtney is a former cheerleader and gymnast, a background that became obvious as she leaped into the air.
“Give me some big jumping jacks,” Fryer called out. “Hop it out. ... Let’s take the heels to the front. And now to the side. ... Give me big jumping jacks.”
Having never been involved with AIRobics before, Fryer basically came up with her own routine based on others she’s done on the floor.
“I figured it out, and we’ve been going ever since,” said Fryer, who hosted her first class in February. “My goal for the first half is just keep moving.”
Those who participate can go at their own pace, some jumping higher than others, she said. The class has drawn women of all ages, from school age to seniors.
Though it’s less of an impact than aerobics on a typical floor, it’s still an impact, so Fryer advises all to check with their doctor if they are concerned about injury.
“The nice part about it is it’s fun,” she said. “It’s the workout that doesn’t feel like a workout.”