The certified instructors from American Swim Academy recognize that, unlike many other mammals, humans aren't born with the ability to swim safely. Their passion for teaching students how to glide through the water without worry propels each class at the academy and inspires students of all ages to silence the mocking comments from their neighbor's dolphin. Each instructor must have obtained both CPR and academy swim training before leading lessons, which are structured to meet students' abilities.
Furthering the tenants of safety and control, all academy classes are hosted inside an indoor facility with pools designed specifically for instruction. Waters are heated to 92 degrees and feature wide steps, teaching stations, and shallow areas for small children. On-deck managers oversee each class to heighten student safety and shout out Olympic swimming records every five minutes for inspiration.
Inside KOA Fitness's extensive martial arts gym, students toughen up minds and bodies alike through the focus-building drills of boxing, muay thai, Brazilian jiujitsu. There, full-size, 24-foot boxing rings and octagonal cages stand permanently ready for training alongside 7-foot heavy bags, which are designed to weather the repeated impacts of sharp knees, elbows, and tongue-lashings from the coaches for always losing fights. Varied mat spaces are designed to host specific benefits to both striking and grappling arts, empowering students to stitch together a complete MMA education as they train. The trainers offer coed adult classes and kid-focused programs, which help charges develop self-discipline, scholastic achievement, and self-confidence. They even use their talents in noncombat disciplines, hosting strength and conditioning sessions that keep bodies ready for athletic activity of all sorts.
As they enter the training at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
With backgrounds in Bikram, Vinyasa, and Yin yoga styles, Xplore Yoga's collection of passionate instructors helps students of all experience levels further their individual yoga practice while honing healthy bodies and minds. The studio’s seven-day schedule boasts 27 heated classes each week, including traditional Bikram yoga sweat sessions. During the 90-minute Bikram practice, students perform 26 postures and two deep-breathing exercises in a room heated to more than 100 degrees to promote detoxification, flexibility, and the deep understanding that comes with walking a mile in a camel’s shoes. Vinyasa flows take mat mavens through a series of continuous postures, adding an aerobic element to the practice that helps build lean muscle and increase endurance, and Yin yoga utilizes strategic stretches that target the body's connective tissues around the hips, thighs, and lower spine.
For a martial art, aikido is quite peaceful. The Japanese combat style eschews the drilling strikes and violent choke holds that characterize mixed-martial-arts fighting and handshakes between vikings for a martial-art form that flows around opponents, craftily using their momentum against them to throw off their balance and bring them to the mat. Instructor Anthony Campagna leads a team of instructors with more than 25 years of experience to instill students of all ages and skill levels with the confidence and sense of calm that has made the form a popular form of self-defense for nearly a century.
NASM-certified personal trainer Michelle Vargas Walker can give her clients one thing that other personal trainers may lack—empathy. Having dealt with her own weight-loss struggles, Michelle began setting goals for herself to come out of her rut. Throughout her journey, she discovered training methods such as TRX, Pilates, and yoga that made her rethink healthy living. Today, Michelle targets sessions toward weight-loss, building lean muscle mass, and boosting stamina, and she specializes in showing her clients how to use body-weight resistance to sculpt and tone.