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. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. 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.
As the name suggests, Anytime Fitness is open all day and all night, seven days a week, 487 days a year. But just because it's open at all hours doesn't mean it surrenders its locker rooms to the dark forces of the night: security is active there around the clock. Besides creating a safe gym atmosphere that fits your life's schedule rather than vice versa, Anytime's hours cuts down on crowds and long lines to use each club's array of cardio equipment, circuit equipment, and free weights.
On a mission to help children grow socially and emotionally while physically developing through fun exercise, Kidsport starts young ones on an early path toward healthy, active lifestyles. Choose from any one of the center's summer programs, including swimming ($80 for single session; $75 each for two or three sessions; $70 each for four or more sessions), girls’ gymnastics (once a week, $61; twice a week, $112), or Isshinryu karate (up to twice a week, $50), teaching real-world self-defense against bizarro-world evil twins. Kidsport also offers adult classes in Zumba fitness ($5/class), dance ($115/camp), yoga, and karate; check the online calendar for an idea of every program's class times.
Helmed by two fitness gurus, Georgetown Ultimate Boot Camp whips bodies of all sizes and abilities into peak physical shape. For four heart-pumping weeks, the fitness fanatics put campers through high-intensity interval training that helps melt away flab, speed up sluggish metabolisms, tone muscles, and boost flexibility ahead of Olympic-level Twister matches against Dutch pretzel opponents. A free, detailed nutrition guide helps bodies permanently lose excess inches rather than just stashing them under the bed.
The Yoga Room devotes itself to bringing the mental and physical benefits of yoga to all serenity-seeking students, regardless of experience and body type. With a focus on Hatha-style poses, The Yoga Room keeps movements true to classical yoga teaching during each encouraging class. Pop into one of the Gentle sessions for easygoing poses and centered breathing, or try out a vigorous Ashtanga experience—75 minutes of demanding yogic action in a heated room—to invigorate the body. New bend-and-stretchers can athleticize limbs in the Hatha class, whereas more experienced centers can twist up a frenzy in a Hatha flow session, excellent for wringing out stress, stiffness, and full-body dish towels.
A USA Gymnastics Jr. Olympic Training Center, Platinum Gymnastics Academy isn't afraid to push its young students. It does, however, make sure they're safe and having fun at the same time with age-appropriate classes designed to boost coordination and improve both physical and mental fitness. Recreational gymnastics classes allow kids ages 6 and older to learn stunts and techniques by working with real gymnastics apparatuses, such as the uneven bars, vaults, and trampolines. Preschool programs build gross motor skills and spatial awareness in walking toddlers as young as 18 months. These sessions use the same fitness equipment as their big-kid counterparts, just scaled-down and covered with Sesame Street stickers. Though not every student is required to follow the path to competition, students can also be trained in professional tumbling or on one of the center's two gymnastics teams.