As a ballet dancer, David Gensheimer didn't need much help becoming lean, limber, and lithe. But when he found himself recovering from knee surgery, he knew he needed to find something that would keep him strong without compromising his healing process. In addition to physical therapy, he turned to Pilates and was won over by the sport's ability to strengthen core muscles and enhance flexibility. Though he was back to pirouetting in no time, David never lost the Pilates bug and went on to complete his Pilates training while serving as a company member with Ballet Austin and Nashville Ballet and dancing with the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and Stillpoint.
Today, when he's not busy dancing his way through guest performances around the country, David helms Simply Balanced where he helps others strengthen, rehabilitate, and challenge their bodies through Pilates and yoga classes. Students can also try Gyrotonic classes, which blend elements of gymnastics, yoga, dance, and tai chi, performed on a weight and pulley machine that engages the entire body. Beyond transforming the way visitors look, move, and feel about spandex shorts, the Simply Balanced studio also showers them with feel-good perks such as complimentary beverages, free parking, and access to a team of highly trained massage therapists.
Personal trainers Matt and Emily Hecker teach clients how to sculpt and strengthen their bodies using cardio, resistance training, and nutritional plans. The team of trainers—including a former Marine and a professional gymnast—lead one-on-one training sessions and small-group weight training, soothing yoga, or invigorating kettlebell classes .
The kettlebell workout, one of the trainers’ specialties, traces its origins to Russia, where for 350 years the round weight with its sturdy handle has been used to build functional strength and flexibility. At Hecker’s Fitness, teachers lead dedicated, supportive groups of students as they tone their cores and condition their muscles through this time-tested workout.
Energetic music pumps bodies into motion on treadmills, stationary bicycles, and elliptical trainers. Meanwhile, patrons heave dumbbells and heft weighted balls. And in the group fitness studio, classes punch and kick their way through high-intensity kickboxing routines or breathe steadily as they bend into yoga poses. Such scenes play out daily at each of Better Bodies' three locations. In addition to group training, the gyms also offer one-on-one training from personal trainers with years of experience in the fitness industry, including former Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Mike McGuire. The trainers also boast masters degrees in fitness-related disciplines, including physical therapy and flaming bowling-pin juggling.
Though Perfekt Fit is an intimate studio, it houses an impressive and diverse selection of fitness classes. Sunlight pours through its lofty windows as trainers motivate students to pedal furiously atop stationary cycles. During other classes, students twist into yoga poses, dance to energetic Latin-inspired Zumba routines, or work their abs in pilates atop the glossy hardwood floor. Groups line up along ballet barres during innovative barre classes, practicing traditional ballet exercises to strengthen muscles and improve coordination. The studio's expert trainers also offer private training sessions, where they work with students individually to accommodate unique fitness goals and overcome restrictive issues, from recovering from injuries to coaxing a stubborn tarantula out of their gym sneakers.
Both visibly and behind the scenes, Z Fit Club stands for the strength of community. Its group classes build camaraderie between participants who dance, weightlift, and stretch for their wellness goals, whether they hope to drop pounds or tone muscle. Certified instructors keep their students engaged with constantly varied routines; their curriculum includes Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and Body Blast sessions, held at spacious churches and the Stonegate Meeting House. As for the club's out-of-class community benefits, much of its proceeds are donated toward local fundraisers, such as efforts to aid special needs families or buy new uniforms for area teams.
Pilates Wellness Studio's owner, Tobie Hall loves exercise and meeting new friends. So it's no wonder that at her studio she and her team of experienced instructors focus on creating a fun, friendly environment where people can exercise safely and comfortably. Students here are motivated by good health, personal challenges, and developing core strength, whether it's through Pilates or yoga mat classes, or Pilates Reformer sessions. Massage therapy and specially designed Pilates programs for individuals living with multiple sclerosis are also offered at the studio.