Beverly Clark helms a troupe of experienced fitness instructors at Excelerated Fitness & Pilates, folding her personal training certification into each of her classes. With her signature high energy, she leads students through the strengthening and elongating poses of yoga or helps them to build stronger cores ab by ab in Pilates. Peppering in self-defense moves with workouts, her six-week Strike sessions blend kickboxing and strength-training moves to give students a fighting chance against mugging kangaroos. Guests can also zero in on fitness goals during seasonal outdoor boot camps and month-long Pilates sessions.
Recognized by Fox 8 as a top-five area yoga studio, Sacred Ground Yoga encourages bodies to bend and breathe freely with 90-minute sessions led by certified instructors. No matter which level, all classes increase strength and flexibility, turning inert, scrawny muscles into lithe heavy-lifting machines. Hatha yoga moves more slowly, with a focus on meditative postures and breath work, and advanced classes incorporate more vigorous sequences of moves, such as sun salutations and moon shout-outs. Carefully guided senior/gentle sessions welcome elderly students, as well as those suffering from chronic pain and recovering from surgery, with less strenuous poses meant to decrease circulation and alleviate stress. Students should wear comfortable workout clothes and bring a mat and blanket. Check the schedule for times.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from jazz dance, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 600 calories with each go-round.
T.R.Y.-certified yoga instructor Kim MacKay funnels more than 25 years of experience into yoga classes for students of all skill levels. Steeped in ancient traditions such as Kripalu and Anusara, she infuses routines with classic yogic elements such as strength-building poses, deep-breathing exercises, and limbo competitions. Kim makes inhalations and exhalations a central focus during Vinyasa classes, which revolve around dance-like sequences of stretches and bends. Instead of eating sandwiches mid-headstand, class participants can explore mealtime poses during 30- and 60-minute Yoga for Lunch sessions.
Colleen grew up playing soccer and doing distance running. Now she holds instructor certifications in four different types of fitness class. Even though she finds Zumba the most upbeat and fun class, she also leads groups through gritty boot-camp sweat sessions and introspective yoga stretches. Believing fitness should be accessible to everyone, she adjusts the techniques during challenging movements to accommodate all fitness levels and wears a microphone so she is easily heard.
The fitness instructors at Sass Fitness believe that working out doesn’t have to involve the inexorable sadness of treadmills. They’ve developed a schedule of group fitness classes that replace monotonous machine-driven exercise with music, rhythm, and constant motion, such as Zumba classes, which motivate hips to gyrate and heels to twist even harder to Latin-infused beats.