Zumba in Elk River

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"Stop wishing & start doing," reads an inspirational quote emblazoned on a wall at Three Rivers Fitness. That phrase is both a mantra and a mission statement at the gym, where every workout benefits from professional guidance and encouragement. Adults of all ages and levels of fitness are welcome, and they're shown the ropes by a team of instructors.

If you're looking for a more community-oriented workout, try out any of the gym's 40 group classes. Held in private studios with hardwood floors, the classes include Spin, Zumba, yoga, and other workouts designed to tone muscle and burn calories in different ways. One of the most popular options is the Pilates program. Pilates classes are held in a separate studio and revolve around core-strengthening exercises performed on mats, reformers, and bucking broncos.

9201 Quaday Ave NE
Otsego,
MN
US

Koru Fitness, which specializes in Les Mills's suite of classes, calls its approach to fitness "exertainment." They cultivate an energetic, nightclub?style atmosphere with disco, laser, and candle lighting, depending on the mood of the class. Instructors keep the mood light with friendly encouragement and the occasional bit of bawdy humor. And they even hold prize giveaways at the quarterly launch events, in which Les Mills unveils its new releases.

On any given day?whether the gym is being used for BodyCOMBAT's martial arts?inspired cardio, BodyATTACK's agility and body weight strength training, Sh'Bam's dance cardio, or BodyFLOW's calmer blend of yoga, tai chi, and Pilates?you're likely to find a diverse group of people at Koru. Every movement can be adapted to suit newcomers, and the instructors demonstrate all the difficulty levels. (To level up, you can also attend their occasional technique classes.) And a living-room area where kids ages 4 and older can watch movies, read, color, or play means that the studio is especially welcoming to parents.

14007 St. Francis Blvd
Ramsey,
MN
US

In an era when back-to-basics workouts have rapidly reemerged, Evolution Group Fitness looks to the time of the caveman for inspiration. During its signature Caveman Training class, instructors create routines that blend strength and cardio for a powerful, challenging workout. No two classes unfold the same way, which means muscles never settle into a comfortable homeostasis. The fitness center also offers personal training, sports-specific workouts, and seminars such as self-defense and workplace safety.

11351 Aquila Drive North
Champlin,
MN
US

The inspiring trainers with MetaBody lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Fun sweat sessions 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. During any class, motivational instructors will use your instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. 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 yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Since the pass sets a five-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimen by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.

9618 Colorado Lane North
Brooklyn Park,
MN
US

Running on a treadmill and blasting through the same reps over and over again can become monotonous. But at Knockout Bodies, the enthusiastic instructors focus on making working out fun. They help gals of all fitness levels chisel rock-solid bodies in alternative fitness classes, which range from pole dancing to kickboxing to Zumba. In pole-fitness classes, they help ladies develop core and upper-body strength as they sensually twist and turn around poles. They also lead high-energy kickboxing classes that motivate students to tone muscles as they learn basic self-defense moves to take down assailants or large stuffed animals that look like assailants without the lights on. Students burn copious calories in Zumba classes, which set easy-to-follow aerobic dance moves to infectious Latin-inspired tunes. When not leading empowering classes, the instructors open the studio for parties to celebrate birthdays or bachelorette festivities.

2715 4th Street Southeast
Minneapolis,
MN
US

Sand shifts and slides beneath the feet of the athletes who traverse it. It softens pressure on the joints, but provides additional resistance for the volleyball players who favor the beach form of the sport. These are fundamental truths that Conquer's owner Jake Marshman understands. They are why his gym contains three pro-level indoor beach volleyball courts. There, he hosts classes that allow beach volleyball enthusiasts to practice their sport at any time of the year. This is a unique opportunity in Minnesota, where indoor courts are scarce, and the government has recently upgraded winter to the Ultra-Deluxe version.

But the sand isn't for beach volleyball alone. Marshman also hosts race and obstacle training that's inspired by the popularity of races like Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash. During training sessions, the sand becomes a medium that mimics the slipperiness and resistance of mud (though without the mess). Students can practice their hanging, jumping, and vaulting skills on more than 20 obstacles that pepper the gym, from hanging rings and monkey bars to a towering warped wall.

7300 32nd Avenue South
Minneapolis,
MN
US