You could film a training montage for pretty much any type of sports movie at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness. Built on 3.5 acres in Lincoln Park and spanning 185,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor sport and fitness space over four levels, the sprawling fitness center encompasses two swimming pools, a quarter-mile indoor running track, courts for basketball and squash, and four fully-equipped locker rooms. Avid tennis players of all levels and ages can take advantage of the eight indoor and three outdoor tennis courts with private instruction from U.S. and Euro tour pros, or try their alternate swing with recreational and competitive paddle tennis programs.
To complement these areas, fitness instructors lead cardio classes such as cycling, kickboxing, and Zumba, and core-strength classes, including yoga and Pilates reformer classes. Those looking for an advanced group fitness workout can check out Marcelo Ehrhardt's Athlete Zone class, which includes plyometrics, strength, cardio, and flexibility training. The fitness center also hosts workouts in the pool, where kids learn to swim and competitive swimmers learn to avoid dissolving into foam. Passes grant access to the facility's advanced fitness tools, such as the body composition analyzer Inbody 520 and the function movement screen (FMS), used by pro sports teams to identify the body's movement imbalances and asymmetries.
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness gives exercisers ample reasons to stick around after their workouts end. During the summer, the rooftop boasts outdoor yoga classes and the restaurant Harvest, which offers seasonal dishes, craft beers, and cocktails. All year, the 1320 Market serves healthy smoothies and meals, while the onsite spa rewards muscles for their hard work with acupuncture and several types of massage. The club's childcare services and child classes and camps let parents enjoy these extended stays as well.
Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.
Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.
CorePower Yoga founder Trevor Tice knows yoga is much more than a tool for increasing physical strength. "We've seen first hand emotional breakthroughs, physical improvements, and most of all, a new found confidence and balance our students carry from the studio into their daily lives," says Trevor. To further their holistic efforts, CorePower provides additional services and programs across various locations. Some outposts house spas where visitors can quiet their minds with a massage or facial, while others host Karma Yoga events wherein teachers lead free classes for cancer survivors, and students share home-cooked food with homeless youths.
But yoga resides at the heart of CorePower's mission to inspire as many people as possible, so each studio boasts a range of classes that accommodates all experience levels. Truly serious students can conjure pensive expressions as they enroll in a yoga-teacher-training program, and all patrons can take comfort in knowing their studio was built from recycled materials and equipped with energy-efficient fixtures.
Praised for their calorie-blasting abilities by Time Out Chicago and BurnThis, TruHarmony's heated yoga classes help students hone strength, flexibility, and endurance. In beginners' yoga, instructors lead newbies through flow sequences, teaching pupils how to link fundamental yoga poses with careful, balance-challenging movements and deep-breathing exercises; pose modifications help beginning yogis or those with especially inflexible spandex. For those who prefer working out at more neutral temperatures, TruHarmony offers an unheated class each week.
For a more intense workout, students can head over to yoga sculpt and boot-camp sweat sessions, which incorporate strength-training, circuit-training, and plyometric exercises into traditional yoga moves to build the endurance and strength needed to wrangle sticky-mat kites into the air. Mornings can begin in the Sunrise Flow class, and yogis can try something new in the Barre/Flow Fusion classes. A new "Kid's Corner" offers childcare during select class times for practicing parents.
Visitors to CrossFit Chicago don't find a gym's typical treadmills and weight machines. Instead, upon arrival at the 11,000-square-foot facility, they're greeted by barbells, pull-up bars, rowers, and medicine balls. The knowledgeable, passionate staff of coaches oversees this blend of old-fashioned equipment and new-school exercise theory, drawing from a diverse array of experiences and qualifications as they go. Owner Rudy Tapalla might use motivational techniques learned during his time as a USMC Sergeant, and lead coach Sara Cook might incorporate mastery of specific CrossFit components such as gymnastics, Olympic lifting, and nutrition during her women-specific workouts.
Equipped with space, exercises, and guidance, trainees transform their bodies with constant, varied movement, such as swinging kettlebells, leaping onto boxes, and flipping tractor tires. Specialized programs, such as women's only sessions or kids' classes, build strong bonds between participants while promoting healthy lifestyles full of rigorous activity.
A nonprofit educational organization, The Peace School promotes tranquility of mind, body, and spirit through yoga, tae kwon do, and meditation courses that welcome students of all ages. Originally established in 1972 by Grand Master Myungsu Y.S. Kim, the school has been recognized by the United Nations, developed senior and nursing-home programs, and helped establish Peace Day, an annual Chicago celebration of peace and cultural institutions.
At the school, a coalition of experienced instructors—all of whom have trained for at least 10 years—leads students in three levels of yoga, traditional tae kwon do, and other exercises. Group practice, discussion, and lectures divulge the fundamentals of peace breathing meditation, while a hands-on self-defense for women class opens up discussion of attitude, confidence, and safety issues. Massage classes emphasize acupressure technique and deep breathing, while courses in infant massage can help babies sleep better.