A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
Bikers can grunt and sweat, pedalling 25 kilometres in a single session, they’ll never travel so much as an inch beyond Legacy Indoor Cycling Studio’s 2,000-square-foot space. Instead, Schwinn-certified instructors coach them along imagined paper routes, varying the intensity of hills and curves via the advanced settings on Schwinn Evolution bikes. In each class, up to 30 stationary steeds whir in place, their spokes’ constant hum drowned out by the teachers’ commands and the high-energy music blaring from a Bose stereo system.
Beyond spinning sessions, the personal trainers also bend bodies in yoga classes and incinerate calories with boot-camp-style circuit training, which incorporates cycling. With almost 30 total classes a week, the studio accommodates virtually any schedule, allowing students to fit in a workout between work and daily appointments to oil their bionic legs.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Sunlight streams in through Westside Yoga's floor-to-ceiling windows, bathing the studio in light as expert instructors lead small groups through relaxing and tranquil yoga classes. Views of swaying, outdoor prairie grasses inspire students as they bend to elongate and strengthen muscles through various poses and deep-breathing exercises atop the room's smooth bamboo floors. Gentle yoga classes couple traditional postures with holistic ideas of aligning and grounding the body for those more interested in yoga's relaxing and restorative properties. Intermediate and advanced classes explore more rigorous routines designed to challenge students and their notions of what a cobra would look like with arms.
Passionate about creating a sense of community, Westside Yoga also offers yoga camps for kids from preschool to high school, welcoming them to stretch and grow in playful, age-appropriate sessions. Instructors also lead family yoga classes for all ages and seniors yoga specifically for guests over age 55.
At Title Boxing Club, professional boxers, kickboxers, and mixed martial artists may lead the classes, but their goal is fitness, not fighting. They push patrons to strengthen their bodies from head to toe during one-hour sessions, instructing them to pummel 100-pound bags with jabs, hooks, and roundhouse kicks. They encourage members to hit the bags as hard or soft as they like and to move at their own pace, so the classes accessible to all fitness levels. During one-on-one training sessions, trainers use custom routines of weightlifting, cardio, and sparring to show students how to float like a butterfly and sting like a venomous butterfly. They also develop custom diet plans and exercise routines to help clients meet their fitness goals.
At each of its 12 locations in Kansas, the staff of Genesis Health Club strive to create a one-stop health-and-fitness center for the entire family. Supervised childcare programs entertain kids with arts and crafts, and Muay Thai classes help youngsters improve coordination and strength under the tutelage of a fifth-degree black belt. Adults can head over to yoga, Pilates, cycling, or MMA cardio classes, which are all led by nationally certified instructors. Guests can also take advantage of the rows of cardio and strength-training machines, or work one-on-one with an instructor to learn correct form and the best way to walk on your hands on a moving treadmill.