Students should bring: A yoga mat, water bottle, and towel
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 60 minutes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: 2 hour free parking
Pro Tip: Classes at Navy Pier are first come first serve. Plan accordingly.
Different people want to get in shape for different reasons, and they go about it in many different ways. Fortunately, Fitness Formula Clubs' trainers understand this. They start every new member at their gym with four complimentary personal-training sessions that not only help hammer down each individual's goals, but also provide a solid foundation of knowledge and motivation. From there, equipment and guidance help each client reach whatever heights they're after.
Programs that focus on endurance in running, swimming, and cycling pair with Pilates work and basketball courts to develop well-rounded regimens. There's also classic equipment?cardio machines and free weights?offsetting a selection of less-than-traditional equipment?an artificial rock wall which lets clients build upper-body strength while practicing lines for their Cliffhanger: The Musical audition.
River West Fitness bottles up exercise routines inside a loft-style fitness studio with exposed brick walls and wooden beams. Dancer and personal trainer Heidi Milby inflects workouts with fluid movements rooted in Pilates, yoga, and gyrotonic sessions, which use pulley machines to strengthen and stretch muscles without jerky movements. Guests can chisel physiques during private lessons, wallop punching bags under the guidance of former professional boxer Johnny Higgins, or steal ab muscles by osmosis from others exercisers during group classes. Aching bodies can retreat to the massage table, where massage therapists soothe sores with the kneads of deep tissue, Thai, or Ashiatsu modalities.
The inspiring trainers at MetaBody lead troops of women workouteers in results-getting one-hour workouts several times weekly. The fun classes utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment ideal for both beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. MetaBody's motivational instructors will use your instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. They’ll keep your muscles guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so you’ll never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth-brushing. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early morning boot camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late evening class. In addition to the fitness classes, you will receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound-loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching.
Glossy hardwood floors and royal-blue accents cultivate a clean, cozy feel at CocoonCare, whose staff specializes in pre- and postnatal fitness classes, parenting services, and prenatal massage. Guests pose with tots in mommy-and-me yoga, tone muscles in prenatal Pilates, or and pick up knowledge in workshops that tackle topics such as picking a pediatrician and healthy eating.
Margo Kellison developed a passion for yoga after just one class. Previously a marathon runner, Kellison—now a certified yoga instructor at Vessel Yoga—originally tried the sport as a way to ease knee problems, and instead adopted it as her new vocation. After studying under celebrated yogis such as Baron Baptiste, Seane Corn, and Yogi Bear, then collaborating with Nike designers to create yoga products, Kellison settled down in Chicago to open Vessel Yoga. Today, with more than a decade's worth of experience under her spandex waistband, Kellison makes it her mission to mint new yogis through five different class sizes grounded in the Vinyasa tradition. Classes take place in a naturally lit studio with hardwood floors, exposed-brick walls, and wooden beams.
Though the women at Corporate Pole mean business, they can't dress in business clothing. Slacks and blazers would just restrict them from demonstrating acrobatic twirls and inversions on the pole. They teach these techniques and more to female students during beginner, intermediate, and advanced pole-dancing classes, while emphasizing the importance of camaraderie and self-confidence.
These values are also stressed during yoga lessons, during which students can hone their flexibility and Piloxing classes that combine Pilates stretches with boxing jabs. Other classes include Zumba and belly-dancing classes where students can learn how to move their hips quickly while keeping their navels firmly in place.