In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
Jill Dailey McIntosh has always been intrigued by the human body and how it moves—so much so that she graduated in 1991 with a kinesiology degree and soon thereafter decided to open her own Pilates teaching studio. But it wasn't until years later that this curiosity would manifest itself in a single question: "How can one aggressively transform the shape of their body while still maintaining proper alignment of the spine?" Eventually Jill began to examine her diverse fitness background, pulling low-impact movements from ballet, Pilates, and even orthopedic-exercise routines to create the basis for her fitness style, The Dailey Method.
Now, more than a decade later, Dailey's fitness routine has ballooned into studios sprawled across more than 10 states and gained praise from Self, Allure, FitPregnancy, and InStyle magazines. Regardless of the location, instructors remain true to Jill's mission of offering a diverse series of exercises that focus on toning and lengthening the body while lengthening the spine and building strong core muscles.
Master trainer Grace De La Rue understands the difficulty of losing weight. Even as a proficient martial artist with a third-degree black belt in tae kwon do and several championship titles, she still carried around a bit of extra weight. It wasn’t until she studied nutrition—and eventually garnered an APEX nutrition certification—that she was able to drop the pounds and understand the ins and outs of weight loss. Today, Grace puts her expertise to use in developing Fatfighter Fitness’s boot-camp programs, through which she and certified personal trainer Erick LeVell guide her clients. In addition to challenging workouts at Fatfighter’s indoor facility, she provides trainees with meal plans and tips to help them shed weight and maximize their fitness.
In 1991, professional Swiss soccer player Ruedi Graf began World Cup Soccer Camps & Clinics as a humble operation with two small camps. Today, his team of 90 coaches interacts with about 5,000 children a year along the West Coast from Portland to San Diego. Despite their expansion, the clinics strive to maintain a 10-to-1 player-to-coach ratio in order to provide kids with individually tailored instruction. Sessions are divided by age group and skill set—U6 Fussball Academy camps introduce 5–6 year-olds to the fundamentals, the Classic Skills camp polishes basic skills and soccer concepts for 7–9 year-olds, and the Advanced Player's camp focuses on a more accelerated level of play for 10–13 year-olds.
Bikram Yoga Morgan Hill is a certified hot-yoga studio that teaches the original 26 hatha yoga poses, plus two deep-breathing exercises, in a room heated to 105 degrees with 40% humidity. Based on the idea that heat helps muscles stretch more deeply, Bikram yoga helps you build strength and flexibility while reducing stress and toxins in the body through sweat. These postures help detoxify the body, increase circulation, and promote balance between the body and mind. Yogis work their way through all 26 challenging poses during each instructor-led class, which are taught inside a calming, minimally decorated studio equipped with regularly maintained locker rooms.
A certified personal trainer, Justin Cordeiro understands that fitness is not universal. That's why he designed his boot camp to accommodate different exercisers and their exercise goals. Justin's clients include athletes looking to stay fit in the off-season as well as individuals looking to simply shed some pounds. Justin is passionate about what he does, and even shares photos of his own fitness journey to help clients understand what they're capable of.