If you walk into USA Skate Center on the first Saturday afternoon of the month, you might think the aliens have landed. But there's no need to panic?it's just black-light skating, where skaters roll around the rink in the radioactive glow of purple lamps overhead. If that's not your style, the rink also hosts regular open-skate times and lessons, the latter of which include an R&B-inspired session for adults. Even when they're not attending a birthday party, younger skaters can refuel with a slice of pizza at the snack bar.
Recently opened, Simply Yoga has already become a welcoming space for yoga students of all experiences and backgrounds. First-time students learn Vinyasa's foundational postures during hour-long basics classes, while more experienced practitioners move to deeper expressions in all-levels or advanced power classes. Regardless of the challenge level, students move through poses in rooms heated to 80?85 degrees. So, while it doesn't quite have the tropical feeling of hot yoga, the studio is plenty warm to get the heart pumping, blood flowing, and sweat dripping onto the mat.
Light floods through Midwest Fit Club's floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the exercisers a healthy glow as they run on treadmills, track their heart rates on elliptical trainers, and grunt through free-weight reps. In the gym?s spacious group fitness studio, experienced trainers lead students through the flowing poses of power Vinyasa yoga, work full bodies during Fit Camp sessions, and groove through Zumba classes? thumping global party beats. Trainers also lead one-on-one and group personal-training sessions focused on each student?s goals, whether they're beginners who?ve never exercised regularly or fitness enthusiasts who did burpees in the womb.
At Rising Goddess Fitness, the classes emphasize rising?both literally and figuratively. In the literal sense, students often leave the ground behind, mounting hammocks during aerial fitness sessions and executing flips in advanced pole sessions. In a more figurative sense, founders Michelle Tenuta and Barb Cassidy have designed most of their classes in four-week sequences, so over time, students' confidence in their abilities rises. Each class builds on its predecessor, ensuring that by the end of the month, students have mastered something new. That could mean keeping the hoop aloft in a hula-hoop-fitness class, executing a flip in a pole class, or touching their belly button with their eyes closed in a belly-dance session.
It's hard to believe that Dawn Pierson was not always in top shape. Still in maternity clothes at her daughter's first birthday party, she decided it was time to change her fitness routine. She hired a personal trainer to show her the correct way to work out, and over time, she watched her body transform. Six months after her first session, she quit her job to become a certified trainer, with the goal of helping others like herself to live healthier and happier lives.
At Piersonfitness, she fills her roster of classes with Zumba, boot-camp, and personal-training sessions. She offers free 30-minute personal-training sessions for first-timers to demonstrate the impact that personal training can have in their exercise routine. In addition to training, she also leads high-energy dance-based Zumba classes set to Latin, hip-hop, and country tunes, describing the fun, full-body-toning classes as "exercise in disguise."
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.