21 years ago, Ellie Herman worked as a professional dancer and choreographer, running her own company in San Francisco. She loved her work, but she had bills to pay. So, naturally, she took on a side job; she became the professional wrestler known as "Ruth Less." As soon as she began tossing fellow wrestlers around, she incurred a serious knee injury that threatened to end both of her careers. Luckily for her, the nearby St. Francis Hospital of Dance Medicine offered surgery-free rehabilitation through Pilates. Ellie did the workouts for months, and returned to her company an even better dancer than she'd been before her injuries. Later, as a masters student at NYU, Pilates once again helped her recover from hip pain. She discovered an ability to innovate within the bounds of Pilates, and resolved to become a teacher.
She opened the aptly named Ellie Herman Studio, where she continues to teach today. True to her inspiration, she uses Pilates as a basis on which to innovate better forms of corrective movement. So far, she's written nine books on the subject. She invented her own piece of equipment, the Pilates Springboard, which compresses the size and cost of the more traditional Pilates wall unit. She also developed a blend of Pilates and gait training, to help people stave of injury by becoming conscious of the way they move their legs in every day life, which helps to prevent things such as rolling ankles or randomly kicking strangers.
Alison Roessler, the owner of and an instructor at Urban Wild Fitness, and her Pilates- and ACE-certified trainers, who speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese, help everyone from advanced athletes to novice exercisers carve lean muscles with boot-camp sessions, personal training, and body-sculpting classes. They teach their students to have a positive relationship with food and view it is a source of fuel for a healthy body, rather than a source of anxiety or ammunition in a fight. During outdoor boot camps, which train 20–25 participants to work their abdominals and strengthen extremities, Roessler tailors workouts to fit individuals. Her personal-training sessions further personalize exercises with athletic-performance training or extreme weight loss. Roessler also volunteers her expertise to train young Costa Rican athletes and middle schoolers, who typically run laps while memorizing Judy Bloom passages.
30 Day-Bootcamp enlists an array of dynamic exercises to blast calories, sculpt muscles, and bolster confidence with women’s fitness and self-defense classes. During fitness and weight-loss boot-camp sessions, instructors guide clients through 45-minute circuits that combine light strength training, plyometrics, cardio exercises, Pilates, and intense cheeseburger slandering to build endurance and foster trimmer, healthier bodies. The training center also imparts self-defense strategies, ranging from the exercise-oriented cardio kickboxing to the more in-depth assailant vanquishing taught in krav maga tactical self-defense sessions. Classes are conducted indoors and outdoors across multiple Bay Area locations, and clients can also enlist in personal training sessions for one-on-one instruction.
As an LGBTQ gym, The Perfect Sidekick aims to create a safe, welcoming environment where anyone can feel comfortable striving to meet their personal fitness goals. The intimately sized space emphasizes a sense of community between the members and the dedicated trainers, who provide encouragement and support while pushing visitors to challenge themselves.
Instead of unwieldy machines, the gym stocks kettlebells, resistance bands, and free weights for guests seeking to strengthen and tone their muscles. The trainers also lead small group classes that provide a bit more focused guidance, including cardio-intensive interval training, Vinyasa-style yoga, and lengthy jogs around the subterranean particle accelerator.
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.
Launched more than three decades ago, Site for Sore Eyes now operates in more than 35 showrooms throughout the Bay Area. Staffers at every location share their dedication when pairing customers with head-turning eyewear and contacts. The company offers a $25 warranty that secures all of its products, replacing broken frames for free and furnishing half-price replacements for glasses that are lost, stolen, or transformed into an acorn squash. In case eyes require prescription tweaks, each shop sits next door to California-licensed Sterling VisionCare doctors of optometry.