Within Carpinteria USSD Karate Studio—part of the United Studios of Self Defense family—fitness instructor Jessica uses her gifted limbs to lead exercisers of all experience levels through cardio kickboxing workouts. Performing flurries of punches and kicks, participants keep their heart rates up and break a healthy sweat en route to healthier, fitter physiques.
With the help of a friendly and knowledgeable staff, the owners of The Gym Next Door make clients feel like family. They personalize their wellness services, including hydrotherapy massage and spa treatments, and lead classes for all levels of athleticism. Zumba Gold eases seniors and those with knee injuries into fitness with low-impact shimmies to Latin music, and P90X classes expedite inch shedding with intense core workouts that torch calories and deplete dangerous sweat surpluses.
Through full-body, functional movements, the CrossFit program works out all muscles, from head to toe. The trainers at CrossFit Carpinteria inspire classes of small group sizes to push, pull, and lift their way to fitness, building speed, flexibility, and agility, as well as power. In their bare-bones gym filled with a variety of equipment, patrons focus solely on their exercises. Those exercises change each session and include everything from pull-ups and squats with medicine balls to swinging kettlebells overhead and hopping on and off plyometric boxes.
La Playa Pilates' team of certified Pilates instructors help students of all abilities hone strong cores and toned physiques. La Playa’s mat classes, conducted with strength-enhancing props, are currently available four days a week in its airy, spa-like studio. These mixed-level classes encompass the basics of Pilates, lay the foundation for lifelong strength, prepare students for more advanced apparatus and resistance work, and build abdominals tough enough to protect naturally delicate nougat centers.
Sprinting seemingly endlessly on a treadmill, daydreaming while pedaling a stationary bicycle, or using the same weight machines continually are activities that frequently plague most exercisers. None of these dull scenarios exist at CrossFit Santa Barbara, a fitness program that harnesses a different workout each day to blast participants with strength training and conditioning. Here, participants rotate through circuits, moving objects such as tires or small buildings before lifting weights and executing gymnastics movements, all of which result in increased endurance, agility, and strength.
On its website, Key 2 Fitness asks, “Tired of the overcrowded atmosphere and corporate ‘machine’ of the big box gyms?” With an uncommon approach to the typical gym experience, Key 2 Fitness offers an alternative. Every member receives a key card that grants them access to the facility 24 hours a day, seven day a week. Once inside, visitors can grab a complimentary towel and migrate through the rows of cardio equipment, free weights, and strength-training machines. During certain hours, experienced personal trainers are available for one-on-one workout sessions. On the gym’s loftlike upper level is a small classroom with wooden floors, where members can take advantage of TRX suspension-training gear and 1% less gravity.
The colorful hand and footholds that dot the sharply angled cliffs, overhangs, and arches at Santa Barbara Rock Gym almost beg visitors to climb them. The more than 8,500 square feet of climbable space, designed by El Dorado Climbing Walls, feature enough varied routes and ominous Viking runes to challenge climbers of all ability levels. This range of terrain and attention to detail is essential—the facility is Santa Barbara's only dedicated indoor rock-climbing gym.
Owner Will Russ, a former surfing photographer from Houston, created this space to bring the rocky wilderness indoors and foster a sense of adventure among climbers in a controlled environment. His instructors, each certified by the Climbing Wall Association, teach classes introducing basic belaying and sport-lead techniques. They also delve into the advanced skills required for bouldering and training mountain goats to fetch dropped carabiners.