Yael Turkiewicz's studies in movement followed a staircase of disciplines, taking her from dance to aerobics to Pilates and eventually to yoga. She now holds certifications to teach the latter three fields, though she hardly considers her learning process complete—she attends continuing-education workshops to further explore the physics of the body. At her studio, she and her teaching staff blend the deep stretches of Pilates with yoga poses and light weight training. They add heat to many of their lessons, such as Hot Core and Hot Power Yoga, to loosen up limbs more safely than taping them to a strongman's pickle jar. By modifying postures to suit each student's skill range, they ensure that guests exercise within their comfort zones.
The instructors at Chi's Martial Arts Training Center work to hone the physiques and mental self-discipline of their students. Led by extensively certified owner and master instructor Sifu Charles R. Chi, self-defense experts lead kids through moves that can help develop motor skills and boost self-confidence. Adult students can get heart rates pumping in fitness-centric classes inspired by mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and archival videos of Richard Simmons doing the wave.
During Group and Cuddles and Strokes swim sessions, the aqua aces at Saf-T-Swim equip bipeds with the skills and safety techniques necessary for conquering liquid-filled lands. Group classes sport student/instructor ratios as small as four to one, giving each floater more personalized attention as he or she learns to glide through the water more gracefully than a troupe of manatee ballerinas. Buyers can purchase multiple Groupons to allow families and friends to gain aqueous footing in the same welcoming environment among their peers and other swim scholars.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Fit Body Boot Camp instructors guide clients toward their fitness and weight-loss goals at locations throughout the world. They lead group workouts that integrate cardio exercise with resistance training and weight training, keeping sessions varied in order to avoid disheartening plateaus. Nutritional guidance supplements tailored fitness programs to ensure that clients are properly fueled to lose, gain, or maintain their weight.