Bikram Yoga Norwalk shepherds students through the 26 rigorous postures and two breathing exercises of traditional Bikram yoga, staging the 90-minute classes in a studio heated to 102–107 degrees. Each Bikram class accepts pupils of all abilities, as individuals may proceed at their own pace through the intensive sequence during one of the more than 30 classes scheduled each week. Heat aids the attendees by facilitating deeper stretches, boosting circulation, and detoxifying the body as it jettisons unwanted cellular contraband out the nearest sweat gland. Regular practice can strengthen and tone muscles while improving flexibility and relieving the aches and pains incurred while arm wrestling statues. Classes convene as early as 6:30 a.m. on select weekdays, and evening sessions shed the day's stress.
Energetic instructors at Work It lead cardio, dance, and fitness classes seven days a week, cycling through yoga poses and spinning around poles in workouts that avoid gym monotony. Cadres of exercisers move to blood-pumping Latin–based choreography in cardio-heavy Zumba courses ($18/class), where alternating quick and slow tempos create a temporal distortion field previously accessible only to the funkiest physicists. Introductory pole-dancing courses ($25/class) let practitioners build strength and confidence as they twirl aerobically around metallic dance partners who never slip or insist on solo river-dancing routines.
LA Boxing’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, LA Boxing sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
Seven days a week, Studio M Dance Fitness invites patrons to let go of inhibitions and hone health and wellness through joyful dance workouts such as Zumba, Polynesian hula, and sweat-inducing step classes. Before settling down with her husband and three daughters in Westport, Cook Islands native, Emm Koteka-Wiki, spent 16 years trotting across the globe with her family, teaching dance and fitness classes in each country through which she passed. Today the certified Zumba instructor takes the studio's center stage to guide students of all ages and abilities through workouts that disguise their traditional cardiovascular-exercise qualities with smile-educing dance moves. An inspiring mix of Latin and international beats spill from the sound systems, causing fists to pump, hips to shake, and feet to glide their way over the 3,600-square-foot floating dance floor. For a well-rounded regimen, Studio M Dance Fitness also hosts soothing yoga classes and heart-pumping boot-camp sessions that strengthen muscles and prevent boredom with a mixed syllabus of resistance moves, running exercises, and motivational compliments shouted from megaphones without anyone behind them.
Bright-yellow spheres hurtle through the air like comets in space or butter pats in a food fight. Unlike comets or butter, however, these objects can be whacked with a racket on Intensity's seven indoor tennis courts. Here, adults and kids learn to volley with precision during clinics, camps, and team programs. Accomplished tennis pros lead one-on-one lessons for students of all levels and a high-performance academy for elite young players. During Turbo Tennis sessions, instructors pair forehands and backhands with endurance exercises to help players sculpt their physiques and up their game.
Dance, yoga, and biking tone muscles and melt calories during many of Intensity's other fitness classes. Latin-inspired Zumba workouts boost energy levels in a 3,000-square-foot studio whose booming beats and intelligent lighting system simulate a thriving nightclub or a disco aboard a flying saucer. Octane elliptical machines, True treadmills, and Life Fitness strength-training equipment fuel solo workouts in the studio's gym, and a four-lane 100-foot track helps athletes sprint their way toward optimal speed and agility.
After workouts, exercisers may unwind with Thai massages, respites in the onsite saunas, and trips to the juice bar. Childcare staff can supervise kids 12 weeks and older while parents exercise, work, or run errands.
The Edge's Revolution program is an eight-week body-change contest that fuses nutritional guidance, personal training, and weekly group exercise sessions. Trainers document your metamorphosis with before-and-after measurements and photos, and by meticulously chiseling fitness goals into stone. Start sculpting with one personal-training and Pilates session, then sweat in weekly group workouts that prevent plateaus by pushing boundaries like a gerrymandering student council president. An included nutrition guide with DVD joins body sculptors on fitness sojourns with eating tips to supplement gym work. Revolutionaries also get access to a community that spans from the gym to an online group, providing a resource for advice, support, and camaraderie.