Led by co-owners with backgrounds in professional dance, the experienced instructors at Pilates Studio City cultivate carved torsos with exercises that target the core. During personalized private sessions, pupils to bend into Pilates poses or the shape of their own initials atop a mat and sliding equipment such as the Reformer, Cadillac, and Wunda chair. Teachers also divide their attention among students of all levels during group classes, which range from Level 1 mat sessions to dynamic Nia workouts. Nia blends elements of dance, martial arts, and the healing arts into a series of 52 movements that rotate from session to session to keep muscles from getting bored.
Fitness blooms at three locations, which together host more than 130 classes each week. The Studio City location surrounds exercisers in rustic wooden walls, in contrast with the floor-to-ceiling mirrors and undulating modern lines of the Porter Ranch studio's décor. Mat classes at The Annex stretch and bend beneath a large photo mural of a forest so that students can draw inspiration from branches' ability to hold themselves indefinitely in plank pose.
Throughout her 15 years as a certified personal trainer, Karyn Graham has earned an unusual nickname: “The Butt Queen.” The moniker references her signature workout, the Karyn Technique, which firms glute muscles without bulking up thighs. Karyn teaches her eponymous classes at RPM Fitness Studio, a boutique workout venue she co-owns with her sister, Cynthia. The duo finesses clients’ physiques with rigorous spinning classes, whose minimal joint impact renders them ideal for injured athletes and knee models. Complementary Pilates classes, conducted on mats or Reformers, streamline physiques by building long, lean muscle. Five-week Slimfit Bootcamps fuse Pilates with cardio-kick, boxing, body-fat analysis, and nutrition counseling.
Within The Yogi Tree's orange-hued interior, deep-breathing bodies follow instructors' poses in classes open to all ages and skill levels. Flex vocal cords and tendons in the Kundalini yoga class, which works sound currents and breathing passages along with external movements, drawing on a 5,000-year-old tradition that allowed ancient news anchors to shout breaking updates for thousands of miles. Qi gong classes seek to synchronize circulatory systems with movement and breath, and the musically scored motions of the Hatha yoga class focus on balancing the body's natural opposing energies, such as hot and cold or butter and peanut butter. Lunchtime yoga classes add flexibility to the most rigid schedules, providing a low-calorie snack and an hour of Kundalini-based yoga exercises to purge midday slumps. Prenatal classes keep bodies spry through pregnancy, and kids' and teen yoga courses keep youngsters nimble and teach them how the shapes in their geometry textbook really feel.
A master Pilates instructor, a boxer, a bodybuilder, a fitness studio owner, and a personal trainer walk into a bar. It sounds like the beginning of an elaborate joke, but really it encompasses every credential Piloxing’s creator, Viveca Jensen, possesses. After years in the fitness industry, the multi-talented Jensen created a workout as diverse as her resume, which has since been featured in magazines such as Women’s Health and O Magazine. A blend of reformer-based Pilates, boxing, and dance, Piloxing is an interval-based workout, whose three components all foster core strength more effectively than allowing a sea walrus to lay on top of you. At her Los Angeles studio, Piloxing, Jensen teaches not only Piloxing, but barre exercises that will hone students’ Piloxing technique, and reformer-based Piloxing classes that also incorporate Wunda Chairs.
When they aren’t gracing the pages of Vertical magazine, the instructors at Metamorphosis: Mind, Body and Pole can sometimes be seen illuminating the stage at Cirque du Soleil, sashaying in Usher videos, or bringing the aerial arts into living rooms nationwide on HBO and American Idol. All of this positive press comes as no surprise to owner Blue Britt, the Xpert-certified pole instructor who founded Metamorphosis as an empowering haven for women to rediscover their sensuality and reshape their bodies. Along with these pros, she leads a variety of classes for students of all skill levels, ranging from intro and advanced pole dancing to lessons with aerial hoops and silks. Instructors also hold Pump Camp, which sends students strutting through routines in confidence-boosting heels.
Sara, the owner of i heart fitness XO, didn't just trade her spot behind an executive's desk for a spot in front of a Pilates class—she came up with her own workout method, too. Her signature Control Method classes comprise a full-body workout that combines barre, mat, and reformer exercises to strengthen and condition. In addition to their full-body effects, workouts are scheduled all week long for student convenience.