My Gym Children's Fitness Center, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 30 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 months—and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–8, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Body & Brain Holistic Yoga's classes incorporate yoga, tai chi, meditation, martial arts, and signature breathing postures to forge a mind-body exercise that helps students to awaken their inner ki energy. The one-hour sessions attempt to improve flexibility, strength, breathing, and energy sensitivity, which contribute to holistic health. Much like a dive-bombing red-winged black bird, classes often vary their approach, ensuring a more dynamic experience from session to session
Focus Yoga's seasoned instructors lead students of all skill levels through a variety of classes. The Yoga Basics class equips students with three building blocks—breathing techniques, concentration exercises, and fundamental poses—helping them develop a solid, balanced practice. During Open Yoga, beginner and intermediate yogis build muscles and flexibility through the slow, expansive movements of Vinyasa yoga. Dynamic Yoga classes pick up the pace, helping athletes bolster their stamina with deep breaths and impromptu thumb-wrestling matches. Focus Yoga also offers specialized classes for moms-to-be, and for teens who want to be trees when they grow up. In addition to its regular schedule of classes, Focus Yoga offers teacher training and hosts a variety of special events.
Elmhurst Park District's Courts Plus gathers exercisers of all ages to its facility that boasts 60 fitness classes per week, an indoor climbing wall, and experienced personal trainers. From aquatics to martial arts, Courts Plus's troupe of trainers help their members and guests hone lean physiques, and a large gym boasts 70 pieces of cardio equipment, 38 strength-training machines, and impressively accurate mirrors. Youth programs abound as well, including summer camps, junior tennis lessons, and a strength-training program customized for ages 6–15.
Green grass and blue skies bookend the boot-camp classes at Bulldog Bootcamp. Leading the outdoor workouts, owner Greg Major and his team of seasoned fitness instructors spur their students on by shouting words of encouragement and tearing Chicken Soup for the Soul books in half. Major—a decorated bodybuilder and inline skater—has been a certified personal trainer since 1989, and has since picked up the credentials to teach CrossFit’s Level 1, Football, and Kids programs. He and his staff stage CrossFit classes at Bulldog Bootcamp’s training facility in Forest Park.
The purveyors of Oasis wanted to create a space where women could work out together in a pressure-free and rewarding environment. By outfitting the health club with rowers, step mills, and ellipticals, as well as a daycare, spacious locker rooms, and an infrared sauna, they brought that space to fruition. They also stocked it with a team of fitness experts, many with degrees and certifications in the field. That crew fosters a positive attitude while leading classes such as Pilates and Zumba, or personal-training sessions that can prep members for long-distance runs away from donuts. Events such as boot camps and self-defense courses are designed specifically with women in mind, while their nutrition programs round out plans for total fitness.