21 years ago, Ellie Herman worked as a professional dancer and choreographer, running her own company in San Francisco. She loved her work, but she had bills to pay. So, naturally, she took on a side job; she became the professional wrestler known as "Ruth Less." As soon as she began tossing fellow wrestlers around, she incurred a serious knee injury that threatened to end both of her careers. Luckily for her, the nearby St. Francis Hospital of Dance Medicine offered surgery-free rehabilitation through Pilates. Ellie did the workouts for months, and returned to her company an even better dancer than she'd been before her injuries. Later, as a masters student at NYU, Pilates once again helped her recover from hip pain. She discovered an ability to innovate within the bounds of Pilates, and resolved to become a teacher.
She opened the aptly named Ellie Herman Studio, where she continues to teach today. True to her inspiration, she uses Pilates as a basis on which to innovate better forms of corrective movement. So far, she's written nine books on the subject. She invented her own piece of equipment, the Pilates Springboard, which compresses the size and cost of the more traditional Pilates wall unit. She also developed a blend of Pilates and gait training, to help people stave of injury by becoming conscious of the way they move their legs in every day life, which helps to prevent things such as rolling ankles or randomly kicking strangers.
Brooklyn Golf Center invites players to swing at a buffet of practice areas, a newly renovated 18-hole executive course, or an 18-hole mini-golf course. The center?s driving range boasts 75 stalls, 25 of which are covered and heated, keeping the sun from burning fair-complected golf balls. After working on their long game, players can move to the putting green or chipping area to warm up before hitting the 18-hole executive course or putting through the mini-golf course. Those seeking educational guidance can take lessons with PGA Director of Golf Anthony Rodriquez or Joel Garyn, who harnesses more than 35 years of competitive golf experience. Before visiting the links, players can drop into a 900-square-foot pro shop stocked with gear from brands such as Mizuno, Nike, and Wilson. The center?s golf experts can match players with clubs from these brands during custom club fittings that determine ideal pairings. In addition to serving its own customers, Brooklyn Golf Center also supports community efforts as part of The First Tee program, which brings golf to young people who would never otherwise get the chance to grip a club.
Argentina?born soccer enthusiast Gustavo Szulansky opened Super Soccer Stars to provide the boroughs with a program that championed the personal development of youngsters rather than solely a skill-based focus. Since its debut in 2000, it's grown throughout the city, helping countless youngsters learn teamwork, boost confidence, and decrease arguments during home games played on the dining-room table. This rapid growth is due in part to the positive values Gustavo instilled from the first class. His coaches are carefully selected for their ability to cultivate a noncompetitive, sensitive approach to learning the game, and they dole out their knowledge in both classes and camps.
Super Soccer Star's Kick & Play program features family-friendly classes that help tots 12?24 months old develop pre-soccer skills and physical skill sets simultaneously. During classes, a team of talented and enthusiastic instructors and an athletic duo of puppet friends named Mimi and Pepe buoy budding soccer players with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and the merry clickety-clack of cleated tap dances. Designed with the help of early-childhood specialists, each age-specific class helps players build skills at their own pace with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and engaging original music.
Change can be terrifying, but at The Exercise Studio, owner Millie Miraglia and her team of seven instructors help students of all levels face their fears as they transform their bodies with classes that combine the principles of yoga with effective cardio workouts. The Brooklyn-based studio, with a classroom on each of its two floors, has been opened for almost three decades and offers women-only Zumba and fitness sessions?including total-body workouts and body toning?and Hatha and Vinyasa-style yoga classes are open to both women and men. Offering small classes with one-on-one instruction, the Exercise Studio even goes one step further to ensure students learn how to lead healthy lives by providing regular workshops and courses that have included classes on restorative yoga and how to balance one's chakra using just a paper clip and a stick of gum.
As a cancer survivor, Millie knows firsthand how negative emotions can impact the healing process, which is why she created The Exercise Studio's Pathways to Healing. The noninvasive stress-management program is designed to help clients bring balance back to their mind and body by using a blend of restorative yoga, meditation, and reiki modalities.
World Martial Arts Center isn’t just a gym where individuals can improve their muscle tone or fine-tune their roundhouse kick—it’s a refuge designed to help clients build both inner and outer strength. These lofty aims motivate the center’s instructors, who help students achieve their goals. During hapkido classes, they teach seven techniques—strikes, blocks, holds, throws, weapons, internal techniques, and healing—that combine to create one fluid and versatile mode of self-defense. Alternatively, trainers also lead groups through a series of punches and kicks during kickboxing classes, which use combat moves to create a high-octane, total-body workout. Equipped with 25 years of hapkido and kickboxing training and instruction, Master David Herbert teaches beginner classes, available at both locations.
Inside the dojang, or school, Eastern-style tapestries and plants set guests at ease as they work toward physical or metaphysical improvement. To that end, World Martial Arts Center complements its training regimens with health and nutrition advice. In addition, both the Brooklyn and Manhattan locations boast locker rooms for men and women, where guests can shower after a vigorous training session or lock up their Bruce Lee bobble heads while they work out.
At New Body Bootcamp & Wellness, personal trainer Aja Davis hopes to inspire two types of change in her clients. The first is visible: a fitter, slimmer physique resulting from her signature interval workouts. The second is philosophical: a lifelong awareness of how to preserve and pursue health. This model of "lifestyle implementation" encompasses nutrition as well as exercise while avoiding temporary fixes, such as fad diets and foam muscle suits. Instead, Aja's program uses challenging and varied routines, the motivational power of teamwork, and individual attention from a fitness expert.
At one-hour boot-camp classes, Aja leads groups through cardio and resistance maneuvers that employ stretchable bands, kettlebells, and TRX suspension cords. The routine has won the title of Best Post-Holiday Rescue in GO magazine, which also lists New Body Bootcamp & Wellness as one of its three favorite fitness venues. Aja aims to spark camaraderie as much as she does weight loss and toning—using partner drills to prompt campers to rely on one another—and even outside of class, patrons can run local races as part of the New Body team or tag-team wrestle the local mall Santa.