In a story by Patch reporter Elizabeth Janney, owner David Sturman described Elkridge Athletic Club as "a friendly gym," stating that “no matter what your fitness level is or what your shape is, you feel comfortable here." The welcoming environment—together with high-energy classes and cutting-edge equipment—may be why voters named the health club as the best local gym in an Elkridge Patch poll.
Each initiation-fee-free, month-to-month membership includes access to the sauna and hot tub along with unlimited group classes. Guests dance to straightforward moves set to Latin beats in Zumba workouts, and combine cardio and mind-body techniques in Hour of Power classes. Members also receive a complimentary personal-training session to design a customized fitness plan or learn to make a black leather purse that looks just like a kettlebell.
Emily and Philip Vendemmia look after their students by wrangling a massive schedule of more than 72 classes per week spread over three locations. Bolstered by a strong team of certified Bikram yoga instructors, the duo guides students through Bikram’s 90-minute routine, consisting of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Instructors crank each studio’s practice space to a hot and humid 105 degrees to help pupils’ muscles safely sink into deep, healing stretches and purge harmful toxins from the body. Each of the standing and seated poses is designed to work every muscle, ligament, and joint while sending freshly oxygenated vampire food to the organs to help support health and fitness.
From its scenic perch upon Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Canton Club rallies small groups for fun, distinctive, strength-building workouts. Air yoga elevates traditional yoga poses with a supportive silk hammock and shoulder-stretching trapeze, enabling a greater exploration of the body's range of motion. The airborne equipment helps strengthen core muscles without straining joints or compressing vertebrae, allowing necks and backs to attain giraffe-like grace and browse from the highest PowerBar trees. FitWall classes gift bodies a spider-like workout, requiring all muscles to band together to adjust to a new, vertical universe. Designed to burn 900-plus calories per hour, workouts order up a menu of more than 100 cardio, climbing, and resistance-training moves to buff up biceps and prolong endurance.
There's a Zumba class for every type of student at Savage Fit LLC. Beginners start with Zumba Gold classes, learning four basic rhythms ranging from merengue to reggaeton, and following along as an instructor sets them to international beats. Next, they expand upon this foundational repertoire with moves such as samba, belly dance, and flamenco, working their way up to follow simple choreography or incorporate strength-training with maraca-shaped hand weights.
While AquaZumba classes turn the dance party into a pool party, Zumbatonic turns it into a kids party where pint-sized students can shimmy and shake with friends of their own age and ability. When Savage Fit Studio isn't teaching Zumba, they also offer Pilates and yoga classes, as well as a girls' night out event on the last Friday of each month.
At the age of 14, Baltimore Yoga Village founder Anjali Sunita traveled to India, where she discovered the joys of simple living mixed with the sorrows of yearning for a greater purpose. After years of expanding her education and worldview through reading and the guidance of a college mentor, Anjali found peace within the rigid discipline and spiritual focus of a South Indian ashram. Soon setting her mind to sharing the physical and mental benefits of yoga with others, she taught in private homes and underserved schools before opening her own pair of studios known collectively as Baltimore Yoga Village.
There, a team of certified yoga instructors oversees a supportive community dedicated to peace, health, and spiritual growth. Whereas many studios’ teachers spend too much time teaching students to knit their own mats, Baltimore Yoga Village’s programs focus on the ancient practice of Hatha yoga, which includes deep breathing techniques, yoga postures with attention to physical alignment, and guided relaxation. The staff also leads regular workshops in a variety of topics, from Thai-yoga bodywork to meditation through devotional songs.
After absorbing core Pilates principles from Stott & Balanced Body, head instructor Fran gathered a crew of yoga, Pilates, and ACE–certified fitness masters to oversee the classes at Coreworks Fitness. Fran and her staff run two levels of mat classes, as well as two levels of reformer classes in a separate studio dedicated to the foundational apparatus. Students may also stretch their abilities on more advanced apparatuses, including the CoreAlign, which heightens the cardiovascular element of Pilates, as well as improves posture and balance. Coreworks Fitness is also an authorized Balanced Body University training center. The studio's academy equips aspiring instructors with pedagogical techniques and even extends its kinesthetic expertise to the performing arts, with body-aligning workshops for Irish dance instructors.