Lauren “Pinki” Schiavo began her pole career as a student at Poise Dance Studio in 2005, and her spinning skills soon blossomed and earned her an instructor position. When the studio's owner sold the space, Lauren took the helm and injected some sass into the class regimen, renaming her business Flaunt Fitness as an homage to empowered women of all ages and body types. She drew from her training in jazz dance, hip-hop moves, and gymnastics to augment her pole-dance prowess and recruited a squad of professional teachers to lead her schedule's shimmies.
Flaunt Fitness' classes impart pole twirls and calorie-dropping cardio workouts under one roof. The DVD Fitness classes screen popular exercise videos as instructors ensure that guests maintain good form, and private parties spice up dance lessons with champagne and making balloon animals with just your feet. Further slimming figures, the studio sustains a support network for members with monthly encouragement meetings sharing healthful recipes and nutrition products for purchase.
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One of Philadelphia's largest bike stores, Breakaway Bikes pampers pedalers of all experience levels with an array of accessories, bikes, and services complemented by a cycle-savvy staff. Wheel-less wanderers can find a compatible cruiser amid the selection of colorful and powerful bikes, which brings together road, hybrid, mountain, and urban models from top brands. Outfit your two-wheeler with an Xlab torpedo-mount hydration station ($44.99), or outfit yourself in gloves ($19.99–$29.99) to prevent blisters and shorts ($59.99–$224.99) to prevent derriére dilapidation. A plethora of bike parts, tools, and locks ($9.99–$89.99) keep rides fully functional and safe from jealous thieves on run-down unicycles.
Revive Fitness, LLC co-owners Robert Jones III and Amie Adcock know a thing or two about fitness. Jones has been featured on Comcast's Fitness On Demand TV-based workouts, and Adcock is a National Figure Competitor and fitness model who previously struggled with her own weight, and can readily relate to her clients' desire to get healthy. Together with their team of personal trainers, Jones and Adcock eschew the typical machine-based routines popular in some gyms in favor of dynamic workouts that rely on functional equipment and exercises. The staff leads fat-burning group classes that utilize cycles, kickboxing moves, and exercisers' own body weight, building coordination and endurance more effectively than a dance-off between rival dodge-ball teams. The fully packed schedule accommodates any age or ability level, ranging from intense, suspension-strap-based TRX workouts to an all-level yoga class where breathing techniques and postures are used to enhance relaxation and flexibility.
A postclass massage soothes aching muscles and fulfills each student's recommended daily allowance of heated stones. To promote clean eating, the center also offers nutrition counseling and a juice bar that blends up tasty protein shakes made with fresh fruit and fortifying add-ins such as vitamin C or chutzpah.
Balance Health Center takes a holistic approach to wellness by offering chemical-free body treatments and classes that promote balance within the mind and body. The center's nontraditional healing approaches include acupuncture, Ayurveda, and traditional Chinese medicine, treatments that all aim to heal the body without unnatural substances.
Spa services encompass waxing and seven-step facials, and bodies can acquire a bronze glow with the center's version of sunless tanning that relies on an organic, citrus-scented solution rather than the sun's hand-me-down rays. Relaxation's role in personal balance asserts itself in assorted scalp massages, hot-stone therapy, and aromatherapy as well as in spa massages that integrate essential oils. Helping guests to bring the center's philosophies home, Balance Health Center hosts classes and workshops on herbology, stretching, and yoga.
In 1933, the founders of Keswick Cycle opened their doors with a common goal in mind: to make each visitor feel like a part of the family. Almost 80 years later, a staff of avid cyclists and triathletes maintains the same friendly vibe at all three locations, meanwhile stocking an assortment of bikes and accessories. Bicycles from Cannondale, Specialized, Electra, and other big brands conquer myriad terrains, from roads and triathlon courses to mountain trails mucky with discarded cooking oil. Tires, apparel, and other accessories round out the inventory, situated around the shop's central hub, the services department. Here, factory-trained mechanics tune up or overhaul any type of bike or shopping carts masquerading as bikes. These same experts fit athletes for competition at the triathlon studio and, in their spare time, lend a hand to local charities.
Red lanterns shower the Kaya Wellness Center in warm light, and dark wood shelves of colorful yoga mats and vases filled with peacock feathers and orchids carve out a serene space for yoga classes and workshops throughout the week. Atop the studio's hardwood floors, certified yoga instructors lead group classes and private training sessions in a diverse range of traditions, including prenatal yoga, men's yoga, and aerial yoga, a low-flying variation of Hatha that suspends yogis from hammocks. During the summer, instructors lead classes on the scenic shores of local beaches to give the sun a chance to salute back.
Additionally, the center houses a whole crew of holistic healers. The roster includes reiki masters, certified massage therapists, hypnotherapists, and an honest-to-god shaman, all of whom promote physical and spiritual balance and healing through a wide range of modalities, ranging from massages to herbal healing sessions.
Degrees in chemistry, holistic spirituality, and theology decorate massage therapist Jonathan Nidock’s walls, complementing his 20 years of experience while alluding to his dual commitment to therapeutic bodywork and spiritual nurturing.
Jonathan pairs this commitment with a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology to administer relaxing massages that call upon modalities such as myofascial release and neuromuscular therapy. Though each maintains a specific focus, Jonathan’s massages all work to stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation, dissipate tension, and curb chronic aches caused by wearing Kick Me signs made of concrete. Ideal for addressing uncertainties in the organs and nervous system, Jonathan’s holistic foot-reflexology treatments promote well-being through the application of thumb pressure to specific points on the feet, which are thought to correspond to various organs in the body.
Sunlight streams into Urbanfront Pilates through the large, second-story windows, reflects off mirrors that cover entire walls, and illuminates hardworking exercisers tightening core muscles. The purple and green studio is home to eight different group classes, led by expert instructors who believe that a strong core is the foundation for full-body health. They walk customers through how to tighten tummies with various pieces of equipment, such as the Tower class's spring-resistance apparatuses or the Xtend class's ballet barre. In mat classes, students use only body resistance and mental images of the Vitruvian Man's hot cousin to aid in chiseling physiques. Dedicated to fostering community within the studio, Urbanfront Pilates hosts teacher training by Power Pilates–trained professionals who help pupils transform their passion into a livelihood.
The expert fitness instructors at Sweat Fitness's Philadelphia-area locations help students of all ages and fitness levels track down svelter silhouettes with Precor training equipment and fat-roasting classes—including yoga, Pilates, spinning, Zumba, and kickboxing. Committed to fostering a supportive community for all fit seekers, the trainers devote individual attention to each patron to help them meet their fitness goals. Clients first undergo a body-fat analysis to assess their preworkout fitness level and to help them gauge their progress throughout their journey. During group sweat sessions, patrons can tone their bodies in classes such as Group Power and Power Pump, which blast subdermal meat suits via squats, lunges, and curls. A full aquatics center welcomes guests to dive into relatively narwhal-free waters for swimming lessons, triathlon training, and pool parties.
At Power Yoga Works, winner of the Suburban Yoga category in Philadelphia magazine's Best of Philly 2008, certified instructors guide aspiring yogis of all skill levels in muscle-toning and detoxifying classes. The studio's focus centers around the power Vinyasa style, a modality that combines deep-breathing exercises with sequenced sets of flowing poses to help to build strength, increase flexibility, release tension, and purge the mind of distracting heavy-metal guitar riffs. Fledgling flexers receive a proper introduction to the fundamentals during four-week beginners courses that teach body alignment and come with a complimentary yoga mat. The schedule boasts copious classes and meeting times, helping students to salute the egotistical sun seven days a week. A warm, spacious studio allows up to 65 students at a time to stretch and bend without disrupting their neighbors' wingspans.
In the words of the late Dr. Daniel Messinger, whose daughter and granddaughter now helm Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs, “We’ve been doing this for 100 years—we must be doing something right.” Overseen by the fourth and fifth generation of family that founded the company in 1888, the sense of history carries over into its opticians’ daily practice—they’ve been seeing many of their clients for decades, and bestow fast emergency services upon them whenever a client damages a lens or tries to stretch their frames to fit a family portrait inside. The personalized attention heaped upon each customer shines through in the services provided, which include technicians that grind and surface all lenses on-site in the flagship location’s lab, often fitting them into frames for next-day pick-up.
Versa Fit Studio's two locations blend old-fashioned support from personal trainers with newfangled technology, including the Vacu Fit, which, according to an ABC News report, exists nowhere else in the country. Classes and workouts incorporate the good vibrations of the Power Plate machine that quickens circulation, and Vacu Fit elliptical machines enclose lower halves in a heated vacuum chamber to trim away excess inches. Group exercise sessions bow to restrictive schedules with a range of classes that, unlike getting a tan from an Easy-Bake Oven, last only 30–60 minutes. In addition to high-tech courses, guests can drop in on traditional sessions such as core-toning Pilates, yoga, and boot camp, or they can burn calories in spin and dance aerobics that amp up heart health.
After experiencing the effectiveness of acupuncture firsthand as patients, the clinic’s three practitioners, Erin, Jennifer, and Dennis, avidly sought master’s degrees at New York City's Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. During their studies, they found one another and bonded over their healing experiences with acupuncture. After school, they started up their own clinic as a place herbal treatments could complement acupuncture and regular infusions of light jazz as a complete wellness regimen. By inserting thin, sterilized, disposable needles, the doctors begin the healing process by targeting specific points in the body's energy channels. Acupuncture relieves a variety of physiological and mental symptoms, as does the herbal medicine it complements at the clinic. Treatments are preceded with an in-depth consultation addressing physical and emotional needs.
In spacious exercise zones and studios with floor-to-ceiling windows, Weston Fitness augments its trove of cardio, strength, and resistance machines with atypical fitness classes. Instructors keep muscles guessing with circuit training in H30 Turbo, teach cardio and strength choreography during trampoline-based Urban Rebounder classes, or meld martial arts with sinuous dance movements at capoeira class. The gym's innovative approach to health extends to its original M.A.P.P. (metabolic analysis program planning) method, which outlines several pathways for clients to achieve their toning goals under a personal trainer's supervision. After workout sessions, guests retrieve their possessions from the oversized locker rooms, depart the gym's office-building locale, and return to work or grab a meal amid the bustling atmosphere of Market Street.
Urban Defense Center founder Master Lawrence Whitaker developed his studio’s signature self-defense program to arm students with practical-minded moves that prepare them for dangerous street situations. Students learn to spar, take down an opponent, defend against weapons, and escape from the shadow of a suspicious-looking skyscraper. Students also train their gray matter, pre-empting potential legal repercussions for defending themselves by studying concepts such as reasonable grounds and probable cause. Alternatively, Tai-Fit sessions shuttle through a series of punches, knees, blocks, and kicks with the goal not of emulating a fight but of torching calories instead. Fighters can pursue either track with a personal trainer who pays closer attention to form and technique than a beauty contestant does during the Simon Says portion of the pageant.