Boulder-based exercises of yesteryear help build broadsword-wielding strength, but they do little for shimmying into a cramped elevator or scurrying up palm trees at the mall. Founded by Pilates guru extraordinaire Jennifer Reich, Center Strength helps tone bodies into limber life-mobiles. Inside Center Strength’s cozy, vividly colored studio, a trained staff of professionals helps shape body putty into core-strengthened stacks of lean muscle. Center Strength’s selection of mat Pilates, yoga, and Tai Chi classes will help strengthen the body as well as the mind. Figure-trimming Pilates classes are offered Tuesdays at 4 p.m., Wednesdays at 12 p.m., Thursdays at 7 a.m., and Saturdays at 9 a.m. Find strength and calm in practiced breathing at yoga classes on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. or Tai Chi classes on Mondays at 7 p.m. Your five classes may be used interchangeably, just like the gears on a fancy tractor.
Club Form’s body buffs guide students of all levels through a weekly schedule of 18 exercise classes to cultivate strong, marble-cut physiques. Inspired by dancers’ graceful, stretchy limbs and ability to juggle boulders, Barre Form sessions build flexibility, coordination, and strength with 60 minutes of ballet-barre exercises. To increase balance and hasten recovery from injuries, small-group Power Plate and Kinesis workouts employ full gravity-resistance equipment and vibrating platforms that promote therapeutic muscle contractions. Up to seven fitness seekers choose their own resistance levels in one-hour cycling classes, which burn calories and tone thighs and calves. Like finding a piranha in a wading pool, the boot-camp-style workout known as The Bear makes hearts pound and sweat flow.
Endless rows of machines, friendly staff, and a central Washington Park location give the no-frills sweat shop a comforting neighborhood feel. Expect to find eligible, state-of-the-art machines; intensive and expert fitness coaching; and a bevy of classes such as yoga, power sculpt, abs and flexibility, and cardio hip-hop. This Groupon also includes an optional half-hour orientation with a friendly personal trainer. He or she can teach you a new workout or show you how to operate equipment.