At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
Whether leading an individual, pair, or group, Evolutionary Fitness’s trainers add muscle to their workouts with StrengthFlo. Created by Josh Parish, winner of Living magazine's Best Personal Trainer of 2013 award, StrengthFlo is a medley of functioning training techniques meeting each exerciser where they’re at, so anyone can take on its sequences of repetitive movements. It not only strengthens and lengthens the whole body, but also bolsters connective tissues, which can mean quicker recovery from injuries. A trip to floCamp doesn’t just burn calories; it also decompresses the spine as cores strengthen.
The trainers at God Body Sports Academy use parachutes not as an escape plan but as a tool to challenge clients, tying chutes to clients' waists and creating drag that makes dashes a greater feat of strength. It's just one of the techniques the company uses to push clients past their limit and into greater physical fitness or, one day maybe, past the sound barrier. Their staff of former collegiate and professional athletes design sports-training programs for youth and adult clients that may consist of pulse-pounding workouts held in the gym or outside at a nearby park. In addition, many God Body Sports Academy programs supplement the exercise with nutritional guidance and meal plans.
There are no treadmills at Kaia F.I.T. Katy. In their place, members find certified coaches, nutritional counseling, and exercise regimens that focus on strength, coordination, speed, and balance. The full-body workouts change with each class session, incorporating an approach called muscle confusion that keeps participants from getting bored and muscles from remembering their times tables. Even outside of classes, supportive coaches help clients reach their goals, providing nutritional counseling in addition to setting a foundation for camaraderie.
When dance class commences at Move Dance and Fitness Studio, kids aren't the only ones expected to get moving. There's a fitness room located just beyond the studio's viewing windows with a modest collection of ellipticals and treadmills awaiting parents, who can work out for free while their kids are in class. They can even commission a personal trainer (for an additional fee) to help create a customized workout or send the treadmill to bed without dinner if it's pushing everybody too hard. This fitness room exemplifies Move's commitment to keeping the community fit and in motion, no matter the method. Of course, the studio's main draw is dance classes for kids, which range from ballet and jazz to hip-hop and tap.
But the dance classes represent just half of what the studio has to offer. It also holds dance-inspired fitness classes. For example, at Soma Forma barre classes students lean on the ballet barre as they perform small isometric movements designed to sculpt muscles that rival a ballerina's.
The instructors at Elite Krav Maga and Kickboxing teach a blend of advanced fitness techniques and offer practical advice, whether in the realm of combat, exercise, or health. They help pupils tone their bodies by pounding away on heavy bags while intermittently switching to endurance exercises. They also employ strength and endurance during krav maga classes, which focus on a suite of practical self-defense moves used to fend off attackers armed with fists, knives, or guns. Individuals can opt to take group classes or receive one-on-one training within the 3,900 square-foot facility.