Pilates Plus elongates figures and fortifies frames with a slew of mat, yoga, and dance classes led in a comforting, supporting environment. With a certified crew of instructors, stiff students can dabble in body-lengthening lessons, such as Pilates I, which teaches the program’s fundamentals of balance, flexibility, core strength, and two-by-four idolatry. For rhythm-enhanced exercise, Pilates Plus also offers dance-centric classes in Zumba, jazz, hip-hop, barre ballet, belly, and chair dancing, allowing the twinkle-toed to trim, tone, and tighten while meeting their groove quotient for the week.
Healthy Inspirations’ weight-loss programs help women shed pounds by tweaking everyday routines. Throughout each four-week course, trained weight-loss experts oversee a diet metamorphosis, helping clients reshuffle priorities in lifestyle planning, balance old habits with new ones, and resist the lilting songs of sentient pound cakes. Thrice-weekly one-on-one coaching sessions teach clients how to replace food faux pas with nutritionally sound selections, and expert-advised workout regimens combat stresses that lead to overeating. Before-and-after measurements help track progress, and nutrition plans and easy-to-follow cardio workouts reestablish control over fitness and help clients self-monitor progress. Like a street luge drawn by cheetahs, Healthy Inspirations' program gets off to a fast start, with many clients dropping between three and six pounds in the first three days.
The certified Bikram yoga instructors at 26hot draw students from all over the western suburbs to their facility, conveniently located near the Roosevelt Road exit of I-355. Within the 1,800-square-foot space, which is kept at 105 degrees and 40% humidity, yogis move through 26 postures designed to build muscle and cardiovascular health. The one-legged balancing stick pose, for example, puts bodies into a T formation, and the tree pose encourages birds to alight on squared shoulders.
The studio's reception area appropriately greets students with fiery-red couches and warm-yellow walls. At the desk, students can rent yoga mats and towels or purchase beverages such as chilled coconut water.
Wheaton Sport Center's expert Pilates trainers fortify cores with personalized workouts that match the distinct fitness goals and abilities of every participant. Consisting of three to five students, the six-week, semiprivate Pilates reformer sessions tone, tighten, and align bodies throughout 55–60 minutes of varied exercises that help to enhance muscular balance, improve posture, and distinguish left wrists from anterior cruciate ligaments. First-time participants can skip the fundamentals course required to register for the session and instead receive a general orientation during their first class. Each week, the challenging, nonstop circuit workout conjures up full-body aerobics by rotating through simple mat exercises, dynamic machine routines, and exercises with Pilates props from gym-set productions of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Equipment: Aerial hammocks, poles, Pilates equipment, spin bikes, weights, yoga mats
Students Should Bring: Water, yoga mat
Registration Required: Yes
Good for Beginners: Yes
Average Class Length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class Location: Indoors only
Parking: Parking lot
The sky's the limit at Flying Buddha Fitness. Or, perhaps more appropriately, the ceiling is. Aerial yoga is one of the fitness studio's specialties, and challenges students to perform traditional yoga moves while suspended in fabric hammocks that are attached to the ceiling. It sounds both exhilarating and exhausting, but the method is actually quite accessible for students of all fitness levels. The hammocks are hung close to the ground, so beginners can feel safe as they learn how to use the fabric to maneuver in-and-out of poses, support their body weight, and make old workout clothes feel stylish again, while experienced aerial yogis can work their way up to performing acrobatic maneuvers such as inversions and flips.
Of course, Flying Buddha has plenty of classes for those who prefer to stay on the ground as well. The schedule features everything from meditative vinyasa yoga sessions to upbeat turbo kick and piloxing classes. And, although challenging workouts abound, the studio maintains a family-friendly vibe, as evidenced by its array of youth classes and Friday night family fitness sessions.
Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.