Dim red lights cast a glow over the women?s only pole-dancing studios at Unveiled Fitness. Periodically, the shadows of pirouetting bodies flicker against the wooden floor and reflections streak along the metal of 16-foot stationary and spinning poles. Within this environment, owner Kristin Mason and her team of instructors lead their students through pole-dancing classes. Combining the battle-tested fitness techniques of strength training, yoga, pilates, dance, cardio, and pickle-jar-opening, Kristin and her team aim to make every woman they work with feel confident in her body. The supportive staff also offers personal training, private parties, and foam-roller classes, which use a cylindrical piece of foam to boost flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.
At Bikram Yoga Laguna Hills, the impassioned instructors encourage students of all skill and fitness levels to challenge themselves mentally as well as physically by participating in physically demanding classes held within a heated studio environment. The classes specifically consist of two breathing exercises and 26 standing and seated asanas, which use deep, sustained twists and stretches to work most major muscle groups. With the addition of the joint-loosening heat, students are better able to sink into each stretch while maintaining an unwavering focus on the connections between mind and body. Continued practice can help build strength, flexibility, and endurance over time, but it also teaches folks how to quiet their minds.
The certified trainers at Pilates Plus offer one-on-one and group training designed around the Pilates system, which builds powerful core muscles while toning and lengthening other muscle groups. Fifty-five-minute sessions use equipment such as reformers, ladder barrels, and Wunda chairs to work different sets of muscles. Besides Pilates, the center also offers Zumba, reiki, and massage therapy.
The instructors of Pilates Power help clients stay in shape with mat and reformer Pilates sessions as well as Pilates boot camp. The workout sessions, suitable for guests of all fitness levels, help develop core strength and cardiovascular health.
Between the two of them, Viktor and Kelly Uygan have more than 25 years of experience in two disciplines that require intense conditioning: personal training and professional ballet. So perhaps it's not surprising that at Konnect Pilates, the fitness studio they opened in 2002, they emphasize physically challenging routines that push clients to tone their physiques. Often these routines incorporate special equipment, such as Reformers and Pilates chairs, though some classes simply take place on a Pilates mat. The studio even holds a 30-day lifestyle challenge that can help clients get in the habit of exercising without having to tie a barbell to their index finger to remind them.
Watching some of the lithe women coming out of Pure Barre classes, it's easy to believe that they've been ballet dancers their whole lives. But that's not necessarily the case. Pure Barre's instructors stress that the workout requires zero dance experience, and they say that as long as you can hold onto the bar and quote Center Stage verbatim, you can participate in the classes.
Because small isometric movements are performed in the classes, women of all shapes, sizes, and ages can take a Pure Barre class. These small movements work each muscle to fatigue, and then stretch it back out, which creates the lean lines dancers are known for. The movements also work areas of the body many women struggle with, including the abs, butts, thighs, and arms, and they burn fat—all without putting excessive stress on the joints.