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.
Niki Gauthier has always loved fitness. Some of her earliest memories include watching her mom exercise at home and wishing she could escape from the gym's childcare center to join the grown-ups who were working out. And as a mother of two who lost 50lbs after each child, she knows what it takes to lose weight and tone up. Today, she tailors her boot-camp classes to be more than just a fitness class. One that helps women achieve their fitness goals, whether they'd like to lose weight, tone up, or look more like their favorite marble statue. Trainers work to provide a complete personal fitness programs and keep their students accountable for showing up to class and putting in a good workout, and they offer exercise modifications that help customize the workouts to every ability level. Classes develop camaraderie among participants as they encourage each other through varied exercises, whether they're swinging kettlebells, practicing kickboxing motions, running a mile, or cooling down with yoga poses. Regular body assessments help students see their results, and the trainers bolster the workouts with continual nutrition education.
While music lilts through the workout spaces of BarreAmped, instructors guide limbs through the muscle-lengthening maneuvers of Suzanne Bowen's BarreAmped programs. Many of them have augmented their extensive dance, gymnastics, and fitness backgrounds with training from Suzanne Bowen herself—including the Franklin studio's Amy Weber, who has practiced BarreAmped since before it was branded and now trains fellow teachers. She is one of five instructors onsite, not including subs. All of them specialize in the method's combination of dance, Pilates, yoga, and orthopedic stretching, demonstrating how to leverage the body against a ballet barre for deeper holds. With small movements that shift each posture, they tighten traditional problem areas such as the seat, thighs, and water wings that have been stuck on arms since childhood. They also align each student's physique with hands-on corrections during class.
After obtaining a bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology, Kristen Nicole Hall seemed destined for a medical career. But after 14 years of competitive cheerleading and gymnastics, she couldn't shake the desire to share empowering, rhythmic routines with others—and an aerial-dance and flirty-fitness studio provided just the right venue to share her dream.
More than 15 classes are scheduled per week at Studio Goddess, including pole- and flirty fitness workouts that help participants bolster confidence and climb up trees quickly when confronted by a prowling wolf pack. Sessions such as Pole-Lates and Shake Your Abs blend dance and muscle-toning movements, and various pole-fitness levels progress students from basic spins to upside-down high-fives. Private pole parties teach small groups to twirl around the studio's 14-foot poles while celebrating special events or simply helping to "unleash the goddess" in each woman.
Behind the building's white brick façade, an eco-friendly, community-based studio welcomes yoga practitioners of all skill levels, ages, and body types. Every day of the week, experienced instructors with diverse backgrounds teach a variety of classes and yoga styles, each of them sharing a passion for what they do and for creating a space that’s welcoming for all in the community.
Inside the handicapped-accessible studio, attendees roll their mats onto a cork/rubber floor, which is designed not only to be kind to joints and prevent slipping, but also to be antibacterial and antimicrobial. Thanks to an air filtration system, lungs stay clear of indoor mold, allergens, and odors as participants breathe deeply into poses or play polka music on the traditional yoga tuba. The studio is heated by new infrared technology, which is designed to increase a higher release of toxins and aid in cellulite reduction.
The Delta can trace its origins back to 1995 when a group of certified trainers and fitness specialists began coaching their innovative program called Boot. A comprehensive fusion of strength, cardio, and nutrition training, the 6- to 10-week program is designed to help patrons build both physically fit bodies and healthy lifestyles. In 1998, the trainers opened The Delta fitness club, where they continue to host the Boot training program alongside a variety of group fitness classes and personal-training sessions. The elegant and intimate club offers cardio and strength-training equipment, as well as a range of amenities that include steam rooms and a supervised childcare area. At the front desk, accommodating staff members await to explain equipment operation, register students for classes, and politely let guests win thumb-wrestling matches.