Exercise slings and punching bags hang above the wood floors of Jersey Girl Fitness' 3,500 square-foot studio, where ranks of all-female staff and visitors use them to build up and tone muscle. Instructors help visitors sweat out stress in dance and fitness classes such as TRX, boxing, Pilates, yoga, hip-hop, boot camp, kettle bells, and tabata.
On the last Saturday of each month, Robin Soll hosts a free yoga session, open to all. The gesture is typical of Robin, a certified instructor who has been blending her passion for yoga and her community since the 1970s. To encourage her neighbors to practice yoga, she also conducts custom sessions at homes and offices around the area, as well as demonstrations for businesses where employees can learn stress-management techniques that don’t involve ripping the photocopier in half with their bare hands.
Robin leads more in-depth classes at her Marlton studio, where she practices eight yoga styles, one of which relies on a combination of moves from yoga and Pilates. She introduces students to 26 fundamental poses during slow-paced Gentle Yoga sessions, while her faster Power Yoga courses plow through various movements and stretches. She also integrates blankets, blocks, and straps to meditative sessions where poses are held for long periods of time.
With hundreds of locations throughout the world, Fitness Together contours the global musclescape one individual at a time with customized workouts. Beginning with a body consultation and assessment, clients are classified into different training zones leading to goal-specific programs that help them reach their true fitness potential. During the 45-minute sweat sessions, a trained muscle tutor supervises squats to ensure muscles are properly stretched and showered in both praise and post-perspiring soap. The one-on-one attention allows the trainer to fine-tune movements, tone trouble zones, and push students to keep going when they'd otherwise quit or become distracted by the fragile beauty of a passing hummingbird.
At Pilates Plus Restoration Studio, instructors Laurie, Michele, Archana, Dee, Linda, and Sue lead workouts that put every client in the pilot seat of his or her own fitness journey. The instructors and space work in unison to cultivate a supportive, non-competitive atmosphere. During six different types of classes, machines like the Cadillac, the Reformer, and the Ladder Barrel challenge the body in dynamic ways. Group fitness is the focus here, but the team also offers Reiki therapy, private lessons, and small group workouts. Small group Reformer classes include Reformer, Spine Corrector, and Rings & Rollers.
Medford Fitness dedicates its 36,000 square feet to all things fitness. Two workout floors claim 10,000 square feet, filled with more than 50 cardio machines, 30 pieces of free-weight equipment, and two open studio spaces for functional training. The group exercise room spans 1,600 square feet of hardwood floors, where exercisers launch into sessions of Cardio Pump, Pilates, and kickboxing. Nearby, 20 bikes spin in place inside the indoor cycling room, four lanes stretch across a heated swimming pool, and service lines divvy up two racquetball courts, where patrons test their reflexes, courage, or hypotheses about being able to head-butt a racquetball.