When people hear the phrase "water aerobics," they might envision a dull scene of swimmers lifting buoyant weights and doing the "YMCA" at sloth speed. At Progress Fitness & Aquatic Centre, however, the 25-metre pool acts as a stage for nine high-intensity classes, in which students battle water's relentless resistance. Students can slip into suspension belts to rehearse deep-water running, or groove to swing-dance tunes as they twirl against the H2O molecules. The gym embraces the entertainment afforded by variety outside of the pool as well—its group studio hosts workouts that range from cardio-kickboxing drills to Hatha yoga stretches. In the equipment area, cycles, treadmills, and rowers whir beneath mounted televisions and free weights challenge muscles at squat racks and benches.
The centre's personal trainers and veteran swim coaches take on clients of all ages and abilities. They teach Red Cross swimming lessons for children—who progress from AquaTots to AquaQuest and, finally, AquaLawSchool—and craft custom programs for adults. An on-site massage therapist and a travel agent endorse relaxation between exercise bouts.
Already a trained yoga instructor, Erin Ball’s transformation into an aerial-silk tycoon began when she discovered circus performance at the Kingston Buskers festival in 2007, as mentioned by the Whig-Standard. She instantly fell in love with the airborne art form, and immediately enrolled in circus courses all across Canada and the United States. Now, Erin shares her passion for acrobatics at Twisted, a circus school that specializes in HoopDance, flexibility for aerialists, and Pilates.
Today, within the Loyalist Gymnastics Club, Erin works alongside skilled fitness and aerial instructors. The staff collectively teaches small groups of no more than 15 people how to flip, twirl, and spin using aerial silks, static trapezes, and aerial hammocks. Students are never pushed past their limits, and are encouraged to explore at their own pace as they learn each move elevated above precisely placed crash mats and squishy, accommodating clowns.
This kind of care and consideration has gained Erin praise from her patrons as well as the media, including the Kingston East News which said, "It's safe to say that Erin is comfortable with and well qualified to guide you in your aerial yoga practice."
Candles, plants, and flowing curtains channel a warm, relaxing vibe in Samatva Yoga's custom-built studios, where students of all skill levels practice ancient poses with a modern twist. To expose pupils to a range of yogic styles, more than a dozen seasoned instructors build an interdisciplinary class lineup that fosters experimentation and self-growth. The studio's signature classes stem from classical traditions such as Hatha and Ashtanga, whose poses and breathing exercises cultivate strength, flexibility, and focus. Many sessions take place in muscle-loosening 105-degree temperatures, which help pores eject body-bound impurities and books on tape lodged in the subconscious. In addition to teaching backbends and arm stands to groups, staffers guide individuals through assisted poses during Thai massages and dissolve energy blockages with reiki treatments. At the downtown Kingston location, a sauna invites students to unwind and detoxify after they stretch and balance in classes and workshops.
Having honed her Pilates skills during her career as a professional dancer, owner and instructor Peggy Cuthbert opened up her own studio, Momentum Pilates, to help others attain more svelte physiques. Experienced instructors lead a variety of core-focused workouts in small classes that ensure individual attention for each student. The Mat Pilates program puts participants through tiered training, using exercise props such as resistance bands, foam rollers, and weighted clown noses to develop pelvic stability and sharpen kinesthetic senses. Specialized courses such as Pre-natal Pilates proffer specially blueprinted workouts for groups with specific needs.
S.M.A. Karate's owners, Robert and Michelle Patry, brandish black belts in shotokan-ryu and goju-ryu karate in addition to gold trophies gleaned from competitions around the world. Inside the duo’s 3,000-square-foot dojo, they help students of all skill levels build strength, focus, and balance through martial-arts instruction and personal training.
Ever-changing workouts keep sessions as fresh as a tuxedo made of dryer sheets as warriors amp up endurance and flexibility. In addition to teaching karate and kung-fu to adults and kids, instructors infuse the class schedule with other calorie-torching opportunities, such as kickboxing routines and Zumba dance parties.
Jazzercise Kingston's energetic instructors help their students get into shape with fun, engaging exercise routines. As its name implies, Jazzercise blends the cardio and resistance training of aerobics with the dance moves and wiggling hand movements of jazz. Students groove to top 40, funk, rock, and hip-hop hits as they perform 60-minute workouts that may draw on everything from Pilates to kickboxing. Aside from the flagship Jazzercise workout, specialty classes such as Core, Strength60, and Personal Touch target specific muscle groups and fitness goals.