Bounce, Spin and Fly Your Way to Fitness at The Aviary

A new way to stay in shape has landed in Minnetonka.
Owner Christine Longe is suspended from the ceiling for a workout at The Aviary.

Bungee fitness is a high-flying international sensation that has landed in Minnetonka at The Aviary studio. You might not have heard about it yet, because it’s just beginning to trend in the Twin Cities—but if you’re looking for a different way to get your sweat on, check it out.

It’s a fun but challenging workout that features bungee cords attached to the ceiling. You fasten yourself into the harness, and a teacher leads you through a cardio workout bouncing and bounding across the floor. It sounds pretty intense, but The Aviary owner Christine Longe says one of the benefits of this kind of exercise is that it’s low impact. So if you have knees or hips that just don’t like high-impact exercise, this could be for you. And she says you shouldn’t be afraid to give it a try.

“People count themselves out before they try it. But you don’t need any experience with aerial equipment,” Longe says. “Absolute beginners can start with us, and we’re going to help you get there.”

A dance studio in Thailand started offering bungee classes a few years ago, and a video the studio posted to YouTube went viral. When Longe heard about the workout, she knew it was for her. The Aviary was already in the business of aerial fitness, offering Fly Fit classes at their Minneapolis location. Those classes use an aerial hammock to get you off the floor and let you fly as you stretch and strengthen. So bungee fit was a perfect addition to the schedule when Longe opened her second studio on Shady Oak Road in Minnetonka.

The studio gets you started with Fly Bungee 101. Students are encouraged to take that class as many times as they need to in order to get a solid foundation before advancing to bungee fit and bungee dance.
Kristin Harper is a bungee fit fan. She’s a mother of two and was looking for something to inspire her to get back into a regular workout routine.

“I would rather be poked in the eye than run on a treadmill,” Harper says with a laugh. “But I was a gymnast when I was younger, and I was trying to find something that I wanted to do … something fun.”

When the studio opened in Minnetonka, Harper was one of the first bungee students, and she says she can’t wait to get there every week for her workout.
“I love that it’s lower impact,” she says. “I have really beat-up ankles from gymnastics, so that makes a big difference to me. And it’s just so much fun. You get a really good workout, but you don’t feel like you’re working so hard because you’re having such a good time.”

Longe agrees fun is the key. She often mentions the childhood associations of bouncing in a Johnny Jump Up or playing on a trampoline … or flying.

“Aerial fitness is the adult answer to your childhood dreams of flying,” Longe says. “It’s an incredible way to tone your body, getting you to use muscle groups you never work in a traditional gym workout.”