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.
UpDog Yoga Centers’ master instructors lead students of all skill levels through yoga, tai chi, and kung fu workouts. The studio’s robust, six-day schedule of classes includes Yoga 101, where instructors acquaint beginners with the foundational postures and secret yogi handshakes that prepare them for more challenging classes. Seasoned yogis gather for hot Vinyasa sessions, where intense heat helps bodies wring out toxins while students flow through a series of strengthening poses. During Yin yoga, students target connective tissues, ligaments, and tendons by holding deep stretches for up to five minutes at a time, or until the tyrannosaurus rex decides the classroom of yogis are nothing but unappetizing trees. Instructors in traditional tai chi classes help center spirits by demonstrating a peaceful practice of flowing movements; students in kung fu work to master precise moves for cardiovascular and self-defense benefits.
Heather and Sarah may both be seasoned exercise instructors and personal trainers today, but they took very different routes to fitness. Heather Miller grew up living and breathing sports, as an active participant in the outdoors at her family horse farm. Whereas Sarah Roap only turned to exercise as a last resort when her doctor informed her in 2009 that at 285 pounds, she wouldn't live to see her grandchildren. Through a combination of working out and gastric-bypass surgery, Sarah shed those dangerous pounds. Today, both trainers help clients stay on a healthy track at Sustainable Fitness, where they offer group fitness classes and personal training.
At Dynamic Krav Maga & Fitness, self-defense comes first. That’s why the staff teaches the same martial-art discipline employed by real-life self-defenders from the Israeli Defense Forces to the Navy SEALs and US Special Forces. Krav maga combines elements from a variety of martial-arts disciplines, including boxing and self-defense techniques. These have been forged into a system capable of dealing with any dangerous situation, from defending against a single or multiple opponents to disarming and disabling a weapon-wielding assailant. You won’t find official uniforms or katas at the studio, just experienced, patient instructors and committed students.
After discovering a passion for pole dancing, friends and business partners Mia King and Ashley Nelson founded Black Diamond Studios so they could share the sensual fitness regimen with the women and telephone poles of Huntsville. Their candy-colored studio hosts a range of classes designed to boost both strength and self-confidence, including pole classes for all abilities, belly dancing, and tantalizing burlesque sessions. Instructors also lead occasional workshops to school students in a particular modality or subject, demonstrating the sultry moves required to get inside a fireman's heart without the use of chili.
Spartan Group X, or SGX, is a group fitness experience designed to transform not only bodies, but also participants' perceptions of fitness and health. The rigorous program challenges students to overcome physical and mental obstacles as they move through resistance, weightlifting, and circuit-training exercises. With a boot-camp-style method of teaching, Spartan trainers use motivation and personal attention to lead students through workouts.