USA Karate Federation Hall of Fame honoree and four-time Panamerican Karate champion John Fonseca teams up with three-time world karate champion Elisa Au Fonseca and a cadre of talented instructors to lead their charges through martial-arts and fitness classes that strengthen minds and bodies. Though the martial-arts program mainly focuses on shotokan and shito-ryu karate, the sensei also offers aikido, judo, Gracie jujitsu, muay thai kickboxing, and wing tsun classes. Bushy-tailed neophytes start at the beginning, learning the basics of their chosen form, whereas advanced students delve into such mind-focused arenas as chi energy training and personally apologizing to every punching bag they have ever hurt.
Instructors also lead fitness-centered sessions that build muscle and burn calories. Cardio-kick classes merge elements of martial-arts, boxing, and aerobics to form an ever-changing cardiovascular workout infused with heart-pumping kicks and punches. Boot-camps delve athletes even deeper into whole-body fitness by challenging them to nonstop military-style drills for a full 45 minutes, or approximately the time it takes to jump rope through an entire episode of Magnum, P.I..
The Akemi Fitness Method studio hosts a mix of alternative workout classes that incorporates a range of movements to tone muscles, improve equilibrium, and enhance endurance. Inspired by the results-oriented Lotte Berk Method, this workout style engages students in core exercises, dance, yoga, and light weight training during a variety of classes. Laura Baginski of Time Out Chicago notes that the Akemi barre class caused her to "walk out feeling taller, leaner," thanks to its combination of ballet barre exercises, Pilates, and free weights. Combat fit classes combine elements from ballet, hip-hop, kickboxing, and yoga, adding in cardiovascular exercises to burn fat and light resistance training to sculpt frames until they achieve the angular glisten of a Roman statue. An hour of the arms, abs and booty session firms appendages, six-packs, and seats. With classes held throughout the day, seven days a week, Akemi's calendar accommodates students with all types of schedules.
After more than a decade spent establishing an innovative contemporary dance company in Santa Fe, Foster Dance Studios founder Ronn Stewart has touched down once more in a studio beside the Foster Purple Line stop. As the flipside of training the pros of the Joffrey Ballet, Stewart stretches an artistic arm toward as wide a student base as possible with his trademark MoPeD—or More People Dancing—curriculum. Exercises designed to develop rich internal imagery and a strong connection to one's body bear fruit in fluid, aerobic movements that spring from within each student. The center's inclusive philosophy extends to Everybody Move classes, where young children develop motor skills that go beyond racecar imitation by twirling scarves in the air, bouncing balls, and playing musical instruments. The newly constructed studios also find room for Gyrotronic fitness classes and dance schooling in nearly every established mode, along with vivid abstract art accidentally produced by a dancer in a just-painted tutu.
Instructors at North Shore Yoga and therapists at Integrated Healing Center promote holistic well-being with a one-two punch of movement-based classes and salutary bodywork sessions. Owner Sharyn Galindo honed her yogic talents over 10 years of dedicated practice, including occasional sojourns to Mysore, India and Thailand where she studied Ashtanga techniques while accumulating enough frequent-flyer miles to vacation on Jupiter. Under her tutelage, North Shore Yoga instructors emphasize Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga styles, helping students deepen stretches by heating rooms up to 84 degrees for the majority of sessions. To augment a lifestyle of physical wellness, Integrated Health Center's therapists dole out healing bodywork and alternative treatments, including acupuncture and massage sessions that can help address clients' individual needs by incorporating aromatherapy or organic, herb-infused oils.
Founder Malik Turley funnels her passion for family into Hip Circle Studio, a center privy to the needs and hobbies of both parents and little ones. Each dance-based Zumba session aims to foster fettle in exercisers of all ages and levels of familiarity with the hokey pokey. Classic Zumba choreographs Latin-inspired steps to the beat of international tunes, igniting 45–60 minutes of calorie burn. With less impact, Zumba Gold's simple moves are tailored to those recovering from injuries as well as anyone returning to exercise after courageously breaking up with an overbearing recliner. Malik also leads domestic dance troupes through Family Zumba!, where the floor calls parents and kids to shake for fun. Children under 18 and robots convincingly sucking their thumbs can attend Family Zumba! at no extra charge. Baby-Wearing Zumba welcomes wee ones in slings or carriers and their guardians to work out together, and each class page lists a continually updated schedule.
Sprinkled across Chicago from Evanston to the West Loop, the Chicago Athletic Clubs set a modern and user-friendly gym experience in urbane neighborhood settings. The various facilities are equipped with all the required equipment for losing weight, putting on muscle, or building flexibility on cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights. Group fitness classes such as yoga, spinning, and Zumba fill the schedule, and the several locations with indoor pools host water aerobics and family swim classes. The personal-training staff can also help tailor workouts based on your particular goals and share encouragement with you as you transform from chrysalis to Dwayne Johnson. In addition to the exercise areas, the gyms also sport such amenities as kids' clubs and sauna and steam rooms. Three locations even offer indoor rock-climbing facilities. As beginners and experienced climbers traverse craggy surfaces while protected from the elements, additional challenges crop up on the gym's endurance routes and in the bouldering cave where climbers defy gravity without being strapped in by ropes.