Snap Fitness brings its global workout focus to the Crescent City region, motivating fledgling flexers and advanced athletes alike with a personable approach and a plethora of high quality equipment within its facility, which is available to members 24 hours a day. Train for upcoming marathons, 5Ks, or underwater relay races on treadmills or ellipticals. Free weights are ideal for customizing a muscle-building workout, and the cardio TV theater keeps heart-pumpers up-to-date on the latest news or hard-hitting yogurt commercials. Tone limbs and torsos, then work on a beach-ready tan in the center’s tanning beds, imparting luscious glows and accenting pigments with virtual rays and actual shimmer.
In 2001, Carrie Rezabek Dorr's only venue for her Pure Barre workouts—a blend of dance, Pilates, and strengthening stretches—was the basement of an office building. Crowds drawn by Carrie's choreographing expertise and the infectious music of her routines necessitated expansion, however, and eight years later, Pure Barre spread its franchises to what is now more than 160 locations across the country, spurred by mentions in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Health magazines.
Pure Barre guides students through precise isometric movements that craft lean, not bulky, muscles. By flowing through scalable maneuvers that balance limbs against a ballet barre, physiques can lift and tighten traditional problem areas such as the thighs, abs, seat, and arms. The total-body workout is accessible to all fitness levels, and can help new mothers to regain their desired shape without leading the daycare's piggyback carpool. High-energy, intimate classes with small amounts of attendees ensure personalized adjustments and tips, allowing each guest to derive the deepest possible burn from the workout's alternating strength and stretch drills. Pure Barre also offers private barre-ties, DVDs, equipment, designer exercise apparel, and more.
At the helm of Freret Street Yoga, Geoffrey Roniger employs his own approach to yoga: intuitive movement and alignment to help students to achieve mental, emotional, and physical balance. He and his team of instructors do not teach just one way to practice; instead, they arm students with a range of breathing and posing techniques to best fit their ability and prepare them for successfully hiding in overhead compartments. In addition to beginner and intermediate classes, Freret Street also specializes in athlete’s yoga and techniques designed to foster workplace wellness. Newly limber muscles can find additional relief under the practiced hands of massage therapist Brad “Yogi” Barra. He tends to sore spots with deep-tissue and neuromuscular bodywork, as well as craniosacral and active-release therapy.
Yogi Michele Baker began teaching yoga at a New Orleans athletic club in 1998. Ten years later, after Hurricane Katrina forced Baker to evacuate her home, she started writing a yoga-instruction training manual. She soon put it to use, using it as a guide to lead her staff at Swan River Yoga, which she opened with business partner Keith Porteous. Today, the yoga center helps pupils practice yoga and guides aspiring instructors as they hone their craft and nurture the third eye that sprouts from their forehead.
Yoga classes are suitable for a variety of skill levels, and range from prenatal and beginners’ yoga to Anusara yoga—a class that focuses on flowing movements and proper alignment. Swan River Yoga also provides holistic services such as massage, reiki, and acupuncture.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.