Mid American Fitness brims with specialized equipment, including spin bikes, resistance bands, and Pilates reformers to help students tone nearly every muscle in their body. Certified trainers and exercise instructors assess new clients' fitness levels free of charge as they demonstrate exercises and set goals for workouts. During Pilates training, they’ll help students sculpt lean, strong torsos via spring-powered resistance equipment, mat-based isometrics, and on-site abdomen-transplant procedures. The team also leads group fitness classes, which range from Hatha yoga sessions to Zumba workout parties. To optimize athletic performance, students may meet with the studio's registered dietitian or its resident massage therapist, whose soothing strokes can ease soreness and enhance flexibility.
"Torture chambers"—that's what Bikram Yoga's founder Bikram Choudhury calls his yoga studios. It's an apropos name for places set at a blazing 105 degrees that feature students twisting their bodies into 26 yoga postures as Bikram shouts: "Lock the knee!" "Lock the knee!" at someone who isn't quite into the desired position.It might sound unpleasant, but Choudhury believes that if you follow his instructions, which are passed on to each Bikram yoga teacher at the various franchises located around the world, you'll "live a better, healthier and more peaceful life.”The yoga guru, who was born in 1946, has strived to live such a life since he was a little boy in India. At the age of 4, after giving up dreams of being a robot, he started practicing yoga with India's most renowned physical culturalist at the time. At the age of 13, he won the National India Yoga Championship and went undefeated for the next three years before retiring as the undisputed All-India National Yoga Champion.However, when Choudhury was 17, his life took a terrible turn. He severely injured his knee during a weight-lifting accident and was told he would never walk again. Ignoring the doctors, he turned to his old yoga teacher, and within six months, his knee was totally recovered. That's when he realized how effectively yoga could heal the body, and he decided to develop his Bikram method.Bikram is a form of Hatha yoga that is taught in specialized studios throughout the world. The studios are always set at 105 degrees, which helps the body flow through the 26 Bikram postures effectively. The studios can be found everywhere from the United States to South Africa to Antarctica's vast polar bear caves.
Fitness Rx's team of instructors deploys to dozens of locations throughout southeastern Michigan to lead a staggering array of fitness classes. Whether they're guiding groups through kickboxing's strikes, yoga poses, or Pilates’ core-strengthening moves, they draw on their diverse backgrounds, years of experience, and enthusiasm. Additionally, trainers meet for one-on-one or semi-private sessions, and supplement workouts with nutrition support to help clients achieve varied goals, from building strength to fitting back inside their high-school-graduation cap.
Kristen Cronin has witnessed first hand how Pilates can transform a body and enhance overall wellness. Her experiences as a student of Club Pilates San Diego soon led her to complete a 500-hour teacher certification program, which she finished before returning to her native Michigan home. Today, she imparts her teaching knowledge as the owner of Club Pilates Michigan and certified instructor of the Club Pilates Method. Cronin engages students with tools including the reformer equipment from Balanced Body, which is the foundation of every class at Club Pilates. With its sliding platform, pulley-driven straps, and adjustable resistance, the reformer stretches and strengthens the entire body while decompressing the spine. When paired with instructor-led routines that focus on breath control and core muscles, the equipment creates an all-encompassing workout that helps bring balance to the body.
From that base, however, classes diverge. Courses for beginners focus primarily on stretching and alignment, helping students get to know the equipment without taking it out for milkshakes. Higher level classes move at a faster pace, with more reps and a more varied roster of moves. Fusion classes mix in moves from other disciplines; Cardio Sculpt, for instance, incorporates jumping exercises, whereas Barre Reformer classes blend Pilates with moves at a ballet barre.
Franklin Athletic Club's seasoned instructors shepherd racket wielders of all skill levels through comprehensive group classes designed to impart and bolster proper tennis fundamentals. During one-hour beginner group tennis clinics, four to six sphere swatters gather on one of the 13 air-conditioned tennis courts to learn basic techniques and rules. These experienced professionals mentor novices, helping them tell the difference between a backhand stroke, a forehand stroke, and the ill-advised no-hand stroke. Meanwhile, more practiced swingers can hone their crosscourt shots in advanced-beginner, intermediate, or advanced clinics.
When Kelle Ilitch turned her dream Pilates studio into a reality, she spared no consideration. The airy blue space is instantly calming, although its abundance of high-tech Reformer machines makes it clear that she and her fellow instructors mean business. The space accommodates many class styles, from classic mat Pilates lessons—including specialized sessions for seniors and kids—to ballet-barre-based workouts. Like Pilates and cummerbunds made of cement, the barre workouts strengthen cores while lengthening and toning thighs. The staffers also teach Kinesis, a form of strength training that allows for an entirely free range of motion, making it easier to tone muscle groups across bodies simultaneously.
Following the principles of the Pilates’s eponymous founder, Joseph Pilates, Teaser Pilates’s instructors help students sculpt lean, flexible physiques. The studio’s schedule includes mat- and apparatus-based classes, such as apparatus classes where students in gaggles of five climb aboard Reformer, tower, and small barrel equipment, performing a series of exercises that apparatuses resist with a system of springs, ropes, and the will to prove the superiority of machines over man. Students can also choose to learn the fine point of technique and form during private sessions, which partner clients up one-on-one with an encouraging instructor who tailors workouts to suit each individual's needs and desired amount of abdominal muscles.