Jukari: The great rope trick

What do women want? That’s a million dollar question. Copious research has failed to produce a conclusive answer. But in 2008, Reebok set out to explore just that: What do women want – at least when it came to their fitness routines ?

They surveyed 15,000 women, across 25 countries, and found that while most of them understood that keeping fit was important, less than 25 per cent had proper fitness schedules. The findings also showed that 61 per cent of all women would work out more only if it was more fun. More than half felt exercising was a chore. And thus, Jukari Fit to Fly, a new gym workout developed by Reebok with international entertainment company Cirque Du Soleil, was born. Now, it’s here in India.

Jukari, Italian for “to play”, combines suspension and cardio-training in a fun, one-hour class, using specially designed equipment called a Fly Set. Trainer Charu Shankar dubs this a “dance trapeze-meets-circus trapeze”. “It’s a workout that gives the sensation of flying even as one does a cardio workout, and strength-, balance- and core training,” she explains. Technically speaking, the Fly Set consists of a durable, three-strand rope of adjustable length, fixed to the ceiling with a 360-degree swivel point. A Fly Bar, a 4.5lb neoprene-coated, attachable steel bar, is placed through two loops, which can vary in height. With the equipment in place, you are all set to fly.

Shankar, an old hand at fitness, says she has found her groove with Jukari as its free-flowing moves appeal to the dancer in her. In fact, each Jukari class, she says, has an artistic element to it – something inherent since the regimen was developed by performance artistes. She calls it a full body-mind workout. “The basic principle is suspension training and the effort is to throw you off balance. When you are off balance, all your other senses and awareness of the body come to the forefront,” she explains. Jukari also uses jump training , the highest level of cardiovascular activity, to build strength and stamina.

And with the Fly Set, the risk of landing badly and hurting your knee is minimized. But don’t expect to be ‘up, up and away’ in your very first class. There are several levels to be cleared before you will be able to manage that. Finally, why is this targeted only at women? Well, that’s because Jukari is specifically designed to work the core muscles of the body – of the chest, abs, back, pelvic floor and glutes – that women, specifically, need to concentrate on. “It works wonders for the big Indian hip,” Shankar tells us.

Is there any other reason why women should take to the trapeze? Well, “to go back to being the little girl you once were”!

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WHAT: Jukari Fit to Fly

Italian for “to play”, it’s a fitness system developed by Cirque Du Soleil (CDS) specifically for women. It combines suspension training with jump training.

KEY TARGET: Women…

… of all shapes and sizes. While even men are welcome to give Jukari a try, the free-flowing, dance-like movements are more suited to women’s bodies.

THE EQUIPMENT: The Fly Set

A durable, three-strand rope fixed to the ceiling with a 360 degree swivel point. The FlyBar is a 4.5lb neoprene-coated, attachable steel bar.

THE GEAR: CDS apparel

Reebok launched a special line inspired by the athletic and artistic movements of Cirque du Soleil artistes.

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