In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
At Dancing Dogs Yoga, community springs from vibrant routines of bends and balances. Here, owner Shelley Lowther and a team of seasoned instructors cultivate a nurturing environment with warm greetings and personal attention. As a trainee of Baron Baptiste—a trailblazer in the world of power Vinyasa yoga—Shelley has built the studio around athletic, breath-fueled poses that bolster strength, flexibility, and focus. The signature Baptiste power Vinyasa routines unfold in an 85- to 90-degree room designed to deepen stretches and evict toxins. To help beginners build a sturdy yogic foundation, Basics classes place an extra emphasis on pose alignment. Yin sessions explore yoga’s softer side with lengthy, floor-based poses, and massage therapy melts lingering tension with strokes as soothing as a bathrobe made of chamomile flowers. When she’s not teaching classes in Beaufort or Bluffton, Shelley records yoga-themed podcasts, helms community-outreach initiatives, and serves as an ambassador for the Africa Yoga Project.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 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 to 9, 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.
In ever-varied group CrossFit sessions, high-intensity interval exercises, or highly motivating personal training, the team of coaches at Rx Elite Fitness lead clients through invigorating workouts. Interval-training courses function like boot-camp classes, helping clients spring back into shape through a menu of challenging workouts that are scaled to their abilities—which allows the difficulty to be adjusted as they become more fit and less likely to call the barbell "that thing that looks like a Q-Tip."