Chicago Indoor Sports' full-size field has enough turf to make a cow's spots turn green with envy. But that same animal would be disappointed if it took a bite. The surface is actually a carefully designed, imitation grass made of millions of tiny rubber pallets and a crushed stone base, which helps absorb shock. That last feature is key, since the indoor play area supports crowds of running athletes during competitive or casual games of soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and ultimate frisbee. The field is also home its own youth and adult soccer leagues, such as Liga Latino Americana.
Throughout many of their services, Chicago Indoor Sports places special emphasis on children. During their SoccerTots and SoccerTouch programs, instructors use soccer as a way to build motor skills and encourage mental development. Meanwhile, an arcade and three giant inflatables give kids a break from sports.
Rockfit's highly experienced fitness coach eschews stationary exercise machines for traditional, full-body-strengthening exercise regimes. Like body builders of the early 20th century, he focuses on natural movements that target numerous muscles at once, such as riding a penny-farthing while lifting an oversize monocle to your eye to gain overall strength and increased flexibility. His gym houses nothing but weights and non-traditional fitness tools, such as giant tires and kettlebells-all things that require active motion to pick up, carry, and put down. To keep participants engaged in the high-intensity drills, the gym's certified fitness coach works alongside them, inspiring them to push harder to achieve their fitness goals.
Chicago Boxing Club enhances strength, endurance, and self-control through invigorating boxing, wrestling, muay thai, and jujitsu classes led by professional instructors. More than 3,000 square feet of training space houses all the necessary equipment to complete full-body workouts, and professional trainers work to instill proper training techniques in students or bitter discarded teddy bears. Cardio machines and weights surround the facility's two championship boxing rings, where students hone speed and self-defense methods in boxing classes or tactical leverage maneuvers in jujitsu classes. Muay thai classes fine-tune flexibility and balance with fast, high-kicking techniques, and youth boxing classes keep kids in shape during off-seasons from writing symphonies or defeating chess robots.
Motivating, highly trained staff and spacious facilities complement Charter Fitness's battalion of cardio machines and strength-training equipment. Huge flat-screen TVs motivate gym-goers as they lift weights, stationary bikes, and their reflections in large mirrors. Seasoned personal trainers who all hold certifications or four-year degrees in their specialty guide members through an initial personal-training session, introducing clients to the best equipment for their fitness goals. After workouts, private showers or public water fountains sluice away sweat.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Located inside the historic former Washington Park YMCA, Mettle Fitness welcomes guests who are serious about getting in shape. The facility's owner, former NFL player Jason Burns, oversees the fitness programs, which include boot camps, CrossFit classes, and sports training sessions. One glance around the facility and you'll notice the lack of fitness machines, mirrors, and other items you'd expect to find in a gym. In their place are functional forms of resistance such as free weights, kettlebells, and exercisers' own body weight, which can be increased by eating cheeseburgers.