While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Length, grace, and a healthy body. These are the focuses of barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln. To achieve these results collectively, however, Sadie knew she needed to come up with a completely new routine. Working with yogis, professional dancers, doctors, and athletes, she created the barre3 system. It's a three-step sequence that consists of isometric holds, low-impact movements, and recovery stretching. This combination strengthens cores and aligns postures while sculpting long, lean muscles and burning calories. While upbeat music fills the studio, instructors lead small groups through a heart-racing sequence of yoga-inspired poses and pilates-based exercises. The ballet barre comes into use when striking muscle-building dance poses and stretches.
It's a system that has had proven results, which has spurred the successful growth of barre3 locations throughout the country. Today, fitness enthusiasts can find a barre3 studio in 16 states. An easy-to-follow routine, barre3 can also be performed at home with online workouts. These workouts are designed to fit busy schedules with routines that range from 10?60 minutes. All that's needed for online workouts is a barre3 core ball, weights, an exercise mat, and a sturdy, waist-high surface such as the top of Danny DeVito's head.
Though a flock of strollers cascading across a park may be an unusual sight, to Meg and Susan it's an average day at work. That's because they lead Stroller Strides classes for moms. During the classes, women build strength and tone muscles with interval training, while instructors infuse the session with activities to entertain the stroller-bound babies. In addition to Stroller Strides, Meg and Susan also lead 8-week Body Back sessions which use high intensity interval training and meal plans to help moms reach their fitness goals. Susan, a mother of two and Fit4Mom franchise owner, holds a MS in health education and specializes in prenatal and postnatal fitness. Through her work, she, along with Meg, help their clients realize that being a mom doesn't mean having to give up your own personal care or closet of barbells.
At Sotaira's Organic Spa & Yoga Studio, staff members instill visitors with a newfound sense of confidence by gussying up exteriors and keeping bodies fit with yoga and Pilates classes. Slimming body wraps help to purge inches more effectively than a corset imbued with the force of 10,000 bear hugs, and aestheticians hydrate visages with such organic ingredients as chamomile or antioxidant-rich red grapes. The massage therapists' mental rolodex of modalities includes relaxing and therapeutic techniques as well as maternity treatments for expectant mothers or hatching ostrich eggs. Intent on refining posture, instructors of the center's Vinyasa yoga and Pilates mat classes help to keep bodies and minds trim regardless of students' skill level or age.
At Westside MMA, professional mixed-martial-arts instructors tutor students in the calorie-destroying, stress-relieving methods of attack and defense. Having trained everyone from first-timers to internationally competitive pros, the Westside MMA staff is fully equipped to teach pupils the fundamentals of kickboxing. Participants will relish a month of fun, challenging workouts while getting their gloves on proper punch and kick techniques, blocking skills, and footwork drills designed to make full-contact ballroom dancing less intimidating. In addition to forging a stronger core and increasing flexibility in its practitioners, kickboxing can help build confidence, and as a practical self-defense method, it has proved to be 100% more effective than carrying around a balloon with a scary face drawn on it.
Staffers at Adventureworks understand that the best adventures are the ones that take you out of your element. That's why they've outfitted the towering trees in their 1.7-acre forest with a 55 element aerial adventure course. Over the course of their 2 hour tours, guides send visitors on an adventure filled with avian wildlife and sky-high views of the ground below.