At Shapes Total Fitness for Women, the instructors strive to make working out as easy and fun as possible. That's why—in addition to providing access to free weights and cardio machines—they host more than 67 group training sessions per week, with options ranging from yoga to indoor cycling. That way, clients can get in shape using whatever means work best for them. Some of the eclectic classes have zero impact on joints, too—specifically the ones in the on-site pool. These include 45-minute water cardio classes and versatile aqua aerobics sessions, which are ideal for athletes with arthritis and other special needs. The most completely flexible workouts at the gym, however, are the personal training sessions. The one-on-one workouts are designed purely around the client's goals, whether she wants to lose weight or grow strong enough to carry her favorite dumbbell home with her.
Registered yoga teachers Janel Norton and Christina Lowden mix up their years of exercise experience with their passion for alternative healing methods for a yoga stew chock-full of therapeutic benefits. Whether helping students striking their first tentative poses in beginner-friendly Hatha yoga classes or pushing patrons’ muscles to the brink during the hot power yoga series, Janel and Christina create a safe, friendly atmosphere through strong guidance and focused instruction. In addition to power, restorative, Hatha, and Yin yoga classes, they host Pilates mat-work sessions that bolster cores and 30-minute Body Blast classes that send students moving through time-tested, old-school routines—such as squats, pushups, and Model T flipping—to build muscle and character.
At Flow Yoga, it's all about the individual. That's why every class is small, which is ideal for personalized attention so the experienced teachers can modify poses and help as necessary. Whether students are in a heated class, detox, or gentle yoga session, each person is encouraged to work at his or her own pace. Along with regular yoga and Pilates classes inside the studio, some classes move outside, weather permitting. Other services at the wellness center include massages, personal training, nails, and facials.
The staff at Family Fitness Centers recognizes that good health and smart fitness habits often get their start at home. To help nurture a healthier regimen for the entire family, the gym has three locations throughout the Tampa Bay region, each with a number of programs designed to educate members on nutrition or jump-start metabolisms with boot camp and group fitness classes. Kids Club, or child care, is offered at all locations, while select locations offer pediatrician-supervised programs that help kids stay healthy by incorporating group exercise, emphasizing taking daily vitamins, and teaching kids how to cut an apple with only their mental prowess. Senior programs are also available and personal trainers are on hand to offer one-on-one sessions for more personalized attention.
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.
Eve Savva, owner and instructor of Temple Goddess Dance & Yoga, began dancing at eight, exploring the worlds of ballet, modern dance, and classical Indian dance. Now, a performer of Middle Eastern dance for the past thirteen years, she welcomes students to her studio, where she is also a certified yoga instructor. There, students of all ages and abilities can find a supportive, non-competitive environment to practice in classes such as belly dance, yoga, and cardio/fitness.