In 2001, Carrie Rezabek Dorr's only venue for her Pure Barre workouts—a blend of dance, Pilates, and strengthening stretches—was the basement of an office building. Crowds drawn by Carrie's choreographing expertise and the infectious music of her routines necessitated expansion, however, and eight years later, Pure Barre spread its franchises to what is now more than 160 locations across the country, spurred by mentions in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Health magazines.
Pure Barre guides students through precise isometric movements that craft lean, not bulky, muscles. By flowing through scalable maneuvers that balance limbs against a ballet barre, physiques can lift and tighten traditional problem areas such as the thighs, abs, seat, and arms. The total-body workout is accessible to all fitness levels, and can help new mothers to regain their desired shape without leading the daycare's piggyback carpool. High-energy, intimate classes with small amounts of attendees ensure personalized adjustments and tips, allowing each guest to derive the deepest possible burn from the workout's alternating strength and stretch drills. Pure Barre also offers private barre-ties, DVDs, equipment, designer exercise apparel, and more.
Beneath the purple-and-white-striped walls, ladies of all ages and fitness levels twirl around poles and sink seductively into chairs during The Perfect Poleforma’s alternative fitness classes. Instructors lead groups of up to 10 women through beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes. The classes start with basic pole spins and leg-strength exercises and graduate to swinging upside down, hanging onto the pole with just the inner thighs, and climbing flagpoles to add stars as new states are discovered. They also conduct parties for bachelorettes and birthday girls, allowing groups of friends free rein of the ceiling-mounted poles.
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In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their child’s development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable visitors to fortify their physical well-being with a cornucopia of advanced fitness equipment and certified personal trainers. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man or one of his many secretaries tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength-training gear or top-of-the-line cardio machines, which feature televisions and other media diversions. A friendly, unintimidating atmosphere provides a refreshing change of pace from aloof gym employees and ear-splitting pump-up jams. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
More than just a fitness studio, The Vertical Barre and its cadre of certified trainers help clients discover their bodies’ potential by transforming limbs and building strength through fluid motion. Suited for every skill level, the studio’s pole-dancing and pole-fitness classes get students off the ground and into the air, covering everything from basic grips to higher-level inverted spins that target specific physical goals such as flexibility or weight loss. Co-ed and single-sex classes are available, as are personal training sessions. The Vertical Barre also dusts off its poles for private celebrations such as bachelorette parties and birthdays for groups of six to 20.
The experienced personal trainers at XLR8 are half drill sergeant, half high-school football coach, and half mathematician, but all expert. They want you to go tactical on flab, but not without realistic encouragement and support. In this boot camp, the enemy is predictability. Each day, your instructors will throw down a fresh guerrilla-ambush worth of challenges for your muscles and your brain, fueling constant gains and keeping you engaged. Over the course of the one-hour sessions, you'll run, jump, lift weights, slam through obstacle courses, chase chickens, punch slabs of beef, and end with a live-crocodile wrestle. Early morning and evening classes are offered outdoors at West End Park and the adjacent Coconut Beach, and additional morning classes are conducted at the Hopkins School of Dance in Kenner. Check the schedule to find a class that works for you.