Light floods through Midwest Fit Club's floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the exercisers a healthy glow as they run on treadmills, track their heart rates on elliptical trainers, and grunt through free-weight reps. In the gym?s spacious group fitness studio, experienced trainers lead students through the flowing poses of power Vinyasa yoga, work full bodies during Fit Camp sessions, and groove through Zumba classes? thumping global party beats. Trainers also lead one-on-one and group personal-training sessions focused on each student?s goals, whether they're beginners who?ve never exercised regularly or fitness enthusiasts who did burpees in the womb.
The multi-colored lights at ZFitness Zone flood the studio with bright energy that is only heightened by the infectious dance music that pumps through the speakers. While this dance-party vibe might confuse those looking for a traditional workout or the library, instructors feel right at home. They lead Zumba classes filled with cardio dance moves and easy-to-follow routines that make working out a fun, engaging activity as well as hip hop and step bench. And in addition to original Zumba, they also offer low-impact classes for beginners.
If you walk into USA Skate Center on the first Saturday afternoon of the month, you might think the aliens have landed. But there's no need to panic?it's just black-light skating, where skaters roll around the rink in the radioactive glow of purple lamps overhead. If that's not your style, the rink also hosts regular open-skate times and lessons, the latter of which include an R&B-inspired session for adults. Even when they're not attending a birthday party, younger skaters can refuel with a slice of pizza at the snack bar.
Equipment: Aerial hammocks, poles, Pilates equipment, spin bikes, weights, yoga mats
Students Should Bring: Water, yoga mat
Registration Required: Yes
Good for Beginners: Yes
Average Class Length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class Location: Indoors only
Parking: Parking lot
The sky's the limit at Flying Buddha Fitness. Or, perhaps more appropriately, the ceiling is. Aerial yoga is one of the fitness studio's specialties, and challenges students to perform traditional yoga moves while suspended in fabric hammocks that are attached to the ceiling. It sounds both exhilarating and exhausting, but the method is actually quite accessible for students of all fitness levels. The hammocks are hung close to the ground, so beginners can feel safe as they learn how to use the fabric to maneuver in-and-out of poses, support their body weight, and make old workout clothes feel stylish again, while experienced aerial yogis can work their way up to performing acrobatic maneuvers such as inversions and flips.
Of course, Flying Buddha has plenty of classes for those who prefer to stay on the ground as well. The schedule features everything from meditative vinyasa yoga sessions to upbeat turbo kick and piloxing classes. And, although challenging workouts abound, the studio maintains a family-friendly vibe, as evidenced by its array of youth classes and Friday night family fitness sessions.
For 28 years, Master John Carroll has assisted students in the journey to fitness by teaching Shorei Goju karate, guiding pupils from fledgling white belts to expert black belts. Master Carroll and his fellow instructors currently engage students of all ages in the study of martial arts and fitness. They arm students not only with karate techniques, but with the more meditative skills of tai chi and even the Latin-infused dance moves of Zumba. During these Zumba lessons, certified Zumba instructors blast Latin beats and lead easy-to-follow dance routines, ideal for burning calories or surviving the effects of a rampaging musical number.
Chicago Racquet & Fitness Club boasts a team of trainers dedicated to a wide range of group fitness regimens. Staffers helps members refine their racquetball game on one of three state-of-the-art glass-back courts, or lead classes in everything from yoga and Zumba to cycling and suspension training. Members can work out independently using the various fitness equipment or swimming pool. Locker rooms and a sauna are available for visitors' convenience, as is a children's play area that keeps members' youngsters occupied with toys and picture books about the importance of maintaining toned biceps.