Wailing away on person-sized punching bags, glove-wearing kick-boxers sweat and focus. Instructors weave between this forest of flying fists and furrowed brows, guiding boxers with technical feedback and a creative take onsport. Kickboxing in a group setting, say trainers, "encourages participants to push themselves by working harder." The result of this hard work is toned muscles, increased confidence, and a background in self-defense, along with pet punching bag that follows its exerciser home.
"You chart your fitness course. We'll be the compass." That's how the team at Fit X think of their roles in clients' fitness journeys. Group classes abound, manned by teachers who guide Pilates and Zumba workouts. But with an arsenal of exercise equipment available to them, Fit X gymgoers are just as likely to devise their own workout regimens. Whether enjoying a supportive group environment or jogging on a treadmill in blissful solitude, clients retain control over their own experiences.
Each year, the coaches from Kiddie Soccer introduce thousands of children between the ages of 3.5 and 6 to the most popular team sport in the world—soccer—through safe, fun classes in a constructive environment. For the first 50 minutes of each session, groups of up to 12 kids engage in team-building games such as Red Light Green Light or Sharks and Minnows to build physical and cooperative skills and, above all, have fun. Kids then split off into teams for a 10-minute friendly competition, enjoying themselves while learning teamwork under the coach's watchful, supportive eye.
Named by USA Today as one of the top 10 roller-skating destinations in the country, United Skates of America in Tampa provides indoor family fun with a spacious rink and various skating games. Jam skating combines dancing and gymnastic moves set to Top 40 hits, and skating limbo blends the formerly disparate joys of rollerblading and chiropractic therapy. When fatigued by the rigors of the rink, children can refuel on pizza and soda at the snack bar. Inside the arcade, they enjoy games of air hockey and Ms. Pac Man, which teaches kids the importance of a nutritious diet high in fruit and ghosts.
Originally founded by a group that includes retired pro boxer Danny Campbell, TITLE Boxing Club offers total-body workouts that blend boxing, kickboxing, and fitness. After donning tape and gloves, students can greet a 100-pound heavy bag with a barrage of kicks, jabs, crosses, hooks, and unkind words. Each of the club's trainers focuses on a different area, such as technicality, core and balance, or moderate- to high-intensity training. Other equipment around the facility includes a boxing ring, speed bags, and double-end bags, as well as free weights and cardiovascular machines.
At Brancée, trained instructors utilize the fun, energetic Brancee dance-fitness system, which strips the core-isolating movements from multiple dance modalities and combines them into a single abdomen-engaging workout. Using methods drawn from Turkish, Egyptian, Indian, and ballroom dance, the team teaches this fluid form of exercise to both adults and children. It can help youngsters overcome their insecurities and adults find an exercise regimen that both entertains them and increases their fitness, unlike traditional gym drudgery or lifting the remote control over and over.