Hot air swirls around Bikram Yoga’s studio, heating limbs and relaxing tense muscles as students sink deeply into their practice’s 26 postures. During 90-minute sessions, a Bikram-certified instructor leads classes through a consistent routine of standing and seated poses mixed with two breathing exercises. In the space’s equatorial temperatures, students of all fitness levels burn calories, strengthen muscles, and eject perspirable toxins as instructors offer encouragement and personalized modifications. In addition to bringing a yoga mat and towel from home, students should prepare for class by drinking enough water to float a flock of rubber duckies.
Ship Shape Boot Camp's enthusiastic instructors rally physiques of all fitness levels for 60-minute workouts that roast calories outdoors in a women-only setting. A medley of exercises keeps heart rates peaked during fat-busting routines, which work to slim limbs and flatten tummies. The instructors forge a supportive atmosphere with free-flowing words of encouragement to boost self-esteem and watch to ensure no participant is left behind or doing the hand jive instead of sets of burpees. Gals of all ages are welcome in the fitness sessions, with high-school or middle-school students joining their moms to train for upcoming sports seasons in Ship Shape's communal workout setting. Though the sun oversees the majority of boot-camp classes, instructors will transport attendees to the confines of a private gym in the event of inclement weather or opposite day.
At Elite Muay Thai, a team of martial-arts instructors passes martial-arts wisdom to trainees in a range of daily classes. Day and nighttime classes include muay thai kickboxing, jiujitsu, mixed martial arts, and general fitness.
Powerhouse Gym's clean, brightly lit fitness facility blooms with activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As clients speed toward goals on cardio machines—including ellipticals, rowing machines, and recumbent bikes—or tussle with a huge selection of free weights, instructors lead hundreds of fitness classes that range from TRX Suspension to ballroom dancing. After working out, members can unwind on the facility's clinical-grade hydro-massage machine, kick back in one of the lie-down tanning beds, or socialize at the onsite café area. As a family-friendly facility, the gym also offers a supervised Kids Club devoid of child-devouring boogeymen.
The instructors of Cherise’s Heavenly Fitness structure their lessons to adhere to the club slogan, “Where friendships are made and bodies are changed.” Instructors, including AFAA-certified Kelli Durrance, believe that when people have fun at the gym, they're more likely to continue their fitness regime (plus a little fun during exercise never hurt anyone). Whether sweating in a Zumba class, strengthening in a yoga session, or bench-pressing legal documents in a boot-camp class, students are surrounded by like-minded folk ready to slim their torsos and share a smile.
The staff at Yoga Bala believes that true yogis perform each move with all of their attention focused on the body and that this level of inner peace that can be achieved by students of all experience levels. They help participants free their minds in all of their classes, which range from restorative yoga, to strengthening ashtanga yoga, to posture clinics, during which students learn the proper form for extra-challenging arm balances, inversions, and twisting postures. Through yoga, one can tap into a wealth of bodily benefits, including a boosted metabolism, prolonged endurance, and improved pliability.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old–12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine.