What started as friendship between Pilates instructors Shannon Barbadian and Laura Fox blossomed into a united fitness philosophy. Both believe in eschewing exercise fads in favor of tailoring tried-and-true methods to suit their clients' needs, and both found the healthful benefits of combining Pilates with cycling. It was with this in mind that they opened Defy Gravity. In their modern, airy studio, they marry cycling's cardio conditioning with Pilates's resistance, flexibility, and strength training, sculpting upper and lower bodies simultaneously with the muscle-carving power of Allegro 2 Pilates reformers, EXO chairs, and Schwinn AC performance bikes outfitted with resistance bands. To keep muscles from getting bored and wandering away from skeletons mid-workout, the instructors use constantly varied exercises that tighten cores and boost cardiovascular endurance.
With Soul Symmetric, founder, certified trainer, and nutritionist Stacie Schneider divorces workouts from the gym. Instead, her fitness classes take place outdoors, some on pristine beaches, and some in the ocean itself. Aspiring stand-up paddleboarders, for example, ride ocean waves as they hone their technique and strengthen their cores. Swimmers also practice in the ocean, which many prefer over their home koi ponds, while Pilates students stretch in the glow of the sunset during classes held right on the beach. To complement their outdoor workouts, Soul Symmetric's wellness experts also craft custom nutrition plans and administer music therapy, which can help sharpen brain function.
Within Fokus Pilates Studio & Boutique, Blush by Fokus’s specialized technician delivers natural-looking tans using a 98% organic solution. The studio is owned by Sheri Myers, who turned to Pilates after years of chronic pain caused by playing competitive sports. She and the other certified Pilates instructors on staff lead private and group Pilates classes on mats and reformers, and have been doing so for more than six years. One of these teachers, Patricia Sitton, is also a physical therapist and performs her rehabilitative services onsite. By combining core-sculpting Pilates, physical therapy, and organic spray tanning, the Fokus team attempts to strengthen and beautify bodies from head to toe.
The fleet of experienced trainers at House of Fitness never lead the same workout routine twice. That's because at each session, they work with one or two trainees and tailor the workouts to accommodate the students' needs. In their personal-training sessions, they make use of interval and circuit training through medicine balls, kettlebells, and kickboxing techniques. They also work with patients in physical-therapy sessions.
As the name suggests, Graviti Fitness turns the Earth’s gravitational pull into a giant resistance band. During boot camps, body weight serves as the primary fitness tool as students climb ropes, perform lunges, or leap on and off wooden platforms. Weighted items—dumbbells, sledgehammers, and jumbo tractor tires—add further tonnage for students to heft, heave, and pound during vigorous workouts.
Employing the system used by law enforcement and the military, the trainers at CrossFit Corona Del Mar put their charges through an intense full-body workout. Since the CrossFit method utilizes functional movements such as lifting, pushing, and pulling to enhance strength and agility, it preps patrons for all daily, work, and sporting activities. Regimens change each day to stave off the boredom of repetition and include exercises such as jumping rope, handstand push-ups, rope climbing, and sledgehammer swinging.