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.
The no-frills style of workouts adopted by the trainers at Combat CrossFit / Northland Strength and Conditioning perhaps stems from the fact that the business's founders first operated out of their garage. But even though the workouts are raw, they still have something for everyone. Today, in their expansive, unadorned, warehouse-style gym space, the coaches prepare first-timers with four 45-minute fundamentals classes that give students a grounding in the CrossFit philosophy while showing them proper exercise technique and how to avoid injury.
After students complete the fundamentals courses, they move on to the main CrossFit classes. Daily CrossFit routines involve a warm up and workout of the day, which the trainers constantly change to keep fresh, much like milk or opinions on whether pugs are cute.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
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.
As a registered yoga school with the Yoga Alliance and International Association of Yoga Therapists, KCFitnessLink regularly mints new instructors. The fitness company advances students through 200- or 500-hour programs that yield certifications in various styles including Hatha and Vinyasa. In addition to transforming students into teachers, KCFitnessLink empowers people to become healthier and happier. Corporate wellness programs bring relief to stressed-out employees by integrating massage, yoga, and retreats to naturally occurring water coolers. Alternatively, personal-training sessions tackle individual goals such as weight management and sports conditioning. Replete with drop-in yoga and boot-camp sessions, KCFitnessLink's class schedule caters to athletes of all abilities. Massage therapy, available in several modalities, keeps muscles limber and free of knots.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.