As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Armed with various facilities, group classes, and state-of-the-art equipment, 24 Hour Fitness molds amorphous adobe muscles into rock-solid flesh houses. Each location boasts cardio equipment, free weights, a steam room, and group exercise classes so social gym junkies can motivate each other. Group cycling sessions burn calories and increase energy levels, and Latin dance-influenced Zumba classes present a fun, dynamic way to slim meat suits. Before breaking a sweat, check the online schedules for upcoming times.
A Divine Journey’s team of certified yoga instructors is comprised of a licensed massage therapist, a ballet dancer, and a woman who overcame a debilitating case of arthritis. They share the art of healing by teaching a curriculum rooted in the Hatha and Vinyasa yoga styles. Their healing services extend to more than 10 modalities of massage as well as energy-manipulating techniques such as reiki. The instructors shake up their traditional offerings with belly-dancing classes and regular workshops on topics such as essential oils, which was John Rockefeller’s nickname for his children.
Owned by former athlete, personal trainer, and all-around muscle maven Ingrid Hurley, i Studio Reformer Pilates's two locations help students evenly tone their core muscle groups with a low-impact workout intended to forge lean, flexible physiques. The 2,500-square-foot Jason Court facility boasts two practice spaces with ample room for mat Pilates sessions and a selection of equipment, including Pilates chairs and Allegro Balanced Body Reformers to firm up aspiring belly-flop champions. Beginners' classes introduce the fundamentals of Pilates posture and movement, while more advanced sessions ensure low impact on joints as students push through challenging workouts to help develop balanced muscle groups with smooth, controlled movements.