Ann Kamhi Toran credits Pilates practice with saving her dancing career. After a major back injury threatened her ability to continue performing, Ann devoted herself to Pilates, and the exercises helped rehabilitate her body so effectively that she was eventually promoted to soloist after recovering. Although she stopped professionally dancing more than 20 years ago, Ann still practices Pilates daily.
Ann?s husband, Dr. Errol Toran, also is a believer in the rejuvenating capabilities of Pilates, and he suggested it to his chiropractic patients, incorporating the exercises into their physical rehabilitation. Together, Ann and Dr. Toran decided to create a studio that shared these benefits with the general public, introducing the time-honored exercise techniques that improve posture and build lean, toned muscles.
The studio boasts four locations throughout the New York area, each featuring an arsenal of traditional Pilates equipment. The signature apparatus, the Reformer, generates gentle resistance with a system of springs, pulleys, and miniature black holes. Students push and pull against this resistance while performing sequences of relatively simple movements that require unwavering mental focus to maintain the ideal technique and alignment. By emphasizing controlled, quality movements over flailing your body against a boulder, Pilates exercises can evenly tone muscles across the entire body, with a particular emphasis on the core muscle groups.
Ann and Dr. Toran encourage their instructors to take initiative when leading classes and tailor the pacing or sequence to accommodate students, but each studio does host sessions for particular skill levels. Introductory and Level 1 classes work to develop form and technique, whereas the more advanced sessions begin to include modified exercises or long-division flashcards to ensure a more challenging workout.
At first sight, David Barton Gym might appear to be an art gallery or swank pad complete with pounded steel plating, leather-wrapped door handles, and weekly DJ sets, but a second glance reveals a 30,000-square-foot fitness haven overlooking the Chicago River. The designer gym is loaded with free weights, cardio machines, a group cycling studio, steam rooms, a Russian bath, and a studio for yoga class. Meet up with an experienced hardbody personal trainer and melt fat like a George Foreman grill with a barrage of pushups, sit-ups, or 20 minutes on the TV-topped elliptical machine. Renew your will from the on-site therapist from Delos Wellness and let them unkink the knots that prevent you from having the strength needed to throw a dictionary through a thicker dictionary.
E! News anchor and Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic was born in Italy but she has strong ties to Chicago?namely, her husband Bill, the Trump-approved entrepreneur and restaurateur behind RPM Italian. In the My Chicago by Giuliana Rancic collection, the star of Giuliana & Bill gives the scoop on her favorite local spots to get glammed up, be entertained in style, and even shop for Bill.
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Exercising with friends allows you to morally support each other, and, when the time comes, to have the collective muscle to beat up an asteroid headed for Earth. Get strength in numbers with this Groupon.
Click here for an online schedule of classes. This deal is valid at the Battery Park and Washington Square Park locations only.
Stacy draws from more than 17 years experience in outdoor fitness training when leading her classes atop the pavement and under the trees of New York City parks. Using a background in tae kwon do, capoeira, kickboxing, and boot-camp drills, Stacy creates high-intensity routines that combine cardio and strength exercises that can be adjusted for various fitness levels. She forgoes fancy machines and instead uses the environment, sculpting strong arms with 15-pound weights brought in by clients or wiping sweat from the brow with a nearby leaf.
Stacy doesn’t just stay active through boot-camp instruction: She also leads an active lifestyle speaking at workshops and corporate events. Furthermore, she contributes articles to the Huffington Post, leads retreats, and teaches fitness while traveling to international locales, such as India.
With its military-style obstacles and exercises, Warrior Fitness Boot Camp is not for the faint of heart. As Vanity Fair writer Tarik Fayad said, "My legs burned ... my arms hung like lead at my sides. ... I was drenched in sweat." But instead of feeling exhausted and discourage, Fayad was "the happiest I had been in years"?and immediately signed up for three months of unlimited classes.
The boot camp, which was founded by two former marines, won't mollycoddle participants, but because it doesn't, it gets results and has garnered extensive amounts of press, including appearances on The Dr. Oz Show and CBS's The Early Show.
During its one-hour indoor classes, campers do everything from hoist free weights to run through an obstacle course complete with jungle-gym bars, balance beams, real dirt, and a pool full of sharks carrying switchblades. Kids can also get in on the action?special classes for them help build motor skills and teamwork.
Runny tofu. Limp lettuce. Bland steamed vegetables. That's how a lot of people view vegan food, and The Seed: A Vegan Experience's founder Harvey Fung was no exception. But that opinion changed in 2011. That's when the avid muay thai practitioner and owner of 82Mercer saw the documentary Forks Over Knives, which set him on his path to veganism and led him to discover that vegan cuisine can be hearty, satisfying, and, most importantly for a foodie like him, decadent and delicious. In fact, it's not unusual for him to have a slice or two of moist chocolate layer cake that leaves him "sated and happy" and able to walk past traditional patisseries without licking the window.
After realizing that his discovery couldn't be kept to himself, Fung decided to share his love of vegan fare with The Seed: A Vegan Experience, an endeavor to reach out to vegans, omnivores who really like tempeh, and vegetable skeptics all at once with inspiring talks, cooking lessons, and samples from NYC restaurants and earth-friendly vendors. The proceeds from the event will benefit two nonprofit organizations: The New York Coalition for Healthy School Fund, an organization that works to improve the health of New York's students statewide, and Mercy for Animals, a national organization dedicated to preventing animal cruelty.
The nonprofit Asphalt Green keeps children, teens, and adults in shape with an array of fitness, swim, and sports activities and programs. Members enjoy full access to a 15,000-square-foot duplex fitness center lined with Precor and Technogym equipment, including treadmills and ellipticals with built-in TV screens. In the gym's weightlifting area, patrons can take a breather between reps as they gaze at picturesque views from the gym’s adjoining roof deck. Swimmers of all abilities glide through the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, once home to Olympic bronze medalist Lia Neal and currently the home of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Those opting for fitness classes can choose from 80 different sessions weekly—from Zumba and Pilates to martial arts to swimming. The gym also offers training programs and seminars for triathletes, a variety of community outreach programs including adaptive swim for veterans, and kid-focused summer and sport camps to keep young ones from making bad decisions, such as using chewing gum to plug up holes in dams. Patrons can also take advantage of the center’s babysitting services, which are open to children ages 6 months to 6 years.