The Nia Technique Columbus hopes to remove the trepidation of getting in shape with a supportive environment that welcomes people of all shapes, sizes, and fitness abilities. Workouts are based on the Nia technique, a sensory-based practice that follows a series of 52 movements crafted from jazz and modern-dance styles, tai chi, yoga, and tae kwon do.
When Carrie Rezabek Dorr launched her first Pure Barre studio in 2001, she didn't have a sign or a single client. Today, she rules a fitness empire with her scepter of choice: a wooden ballet barre. Informed by Carrie's background as a dancer and Pilates instructor, each workout brims with ballet-inspired stretches and small isometric movements designed to lengthen the limbs and sculpt the abs, thighs, and backside. Many sessions begin with light weightlifting, then progress to mat-bound ab work and barre-based bends. Though straightforward, the exercises are tougher than wrought-iron jerky, which has led a writer from Glamour to exclaim, "Holy nutcracker, I actually didn't know my legs could shake like this." In addition to helming all-level classes, seasoned instructors build low-impact exercise programs for new moms and lead retreats for students seeking fitness-themed getaways. An online boutique helps students tone and tighten at home, using tools such as weighted balls, resistance tubing, and DVDs starring Carrie herself.
Participants in Jam Active's Tap 'N' Run 4k—which takes place throughout the country—may find that their biggest challenge is not completing the race's approximately 2.5-mile stretch, but keeping a straight face along the way. Throughout the run, racers sip samples of beer at chug stations while doing their best to not spill on their costumes in an effort to win awards such as We Wear Short Shorts or Hot Mess. At the finish line, team members raise a full beer to toast their real or pretend victory, collect a T-shirt, and scoop up a finisher's medal that can double as a bottle opener and a way to impress prospective employers.
When people think of boot camps, they often imagine a trainer who relies on a shrill whistle and an angry, booming voice to startle exercisers into action. Bobby Steiner is not that trainer. Instead, the founder of Xtreme Fitness Boot Camp and certified personal trainer uses positive reinforcement to motivate participants to get healthier. This approach simultaneously challenges students and makes them comfortable in the fitness environment where they embark upon an ever-changing exercise routine. Bobby also works to meet individuals' needs by offering up alternative exercises to those with specific injuries or an allergy to yoga.
Josie Schweitzer opened Thank Yoga Studio in spring 2012. The two types of classes at the studio are open to students new to yoga and also those who have been practicing it for years. The studio's foundation classes introduce budding yogis to the necessary poses, alignment, and form practiced in more advanced sessions. The other main course is a one-hour all-levels Vinyasa flow class, during which students blend breath and movement into a fluid practice. Both these workouts are ideal for students who want to build strength, sharpen their mental faculties, and improve their flexibility so they can dominate on the competitive Twister circuit.
Fitness by Char founder Charlotte Young has come to dedicate every day of her to life to helping adults, teens, and seniors improve their health and self-esteem. Each of her workouts blends high-intensity cardio with free weights for toning the muscles. Boot camps for teenage girls help them improve their appearance, self-confidence, and ability to crumple up cardboard cutouts of newly engaged pop stars with great ease. Senior programs, meanwhile, blend low-impact aerobics with joint-friendly resistance-band work. Most programs last 45 minutes, but Char also offers time-saving 30-minute express workouts that focus on the midsection.