Fueled by Joseph Pilates' belief that exercise should enhance and support the natural machinery of the human body, instructors lead students through a tapestry of intense, focused moves that draw from weight training, aerobics, yoga, and tai chi. In addition to leading group mat classes aimed at boosting core strength, they stock their hardwood studio with machines such as Cadillacs, ladder barrels, and reformers that rely on handles, ropes, and pulleys to heighten the workouts. The staffers offer semi-private and private lessons that focus exclusively on these reformer machines, which each face their own mirror so practitioners can perfect their poses and James Cagney impersonations simultaneously. To liven up the floor routines, they sometimes combine elements of TRX suspension training or ballet-barre workouts, both excellent complements to the intense core work of Pilates.
The trainers at Fitness Edge simplify physical wellness by assembling all the building blocks for healthy living in one place. In addition to meal planning and personal training, their iSweat program – formerly known as Adventure Boot Camp – devotes a solid 20 days to completely reinventing bodies. With sessions held five days a week, the regimen builds strength and endurance through a series of circuit training workout. The dynamic group classes wrap up with a final weigh-in, test of athletic ability, and pat on the back for anyone with enough breath left to whistle the national anthem. Trainers also help out existing athletes with sports training designed to improve play at game-time while simultaneously warding off injuries.
Gretchen Dusseau faced a challenging paradox: After having two children, she needed more time than before to focus on her health, yet motherhood left her with less. When she could squeeze in a fitness class, she felt the workouts weren’t meeting what her body needed. So she quit the classes and founded her own fitness philosophy, launching System of Strength.
At SOS, Gretchen and her team take participants through a five-part training system that covers metabolic, eccentric, strength, and isometric training, with a healthy smattering of stretching and diet tossed into the bargain. This approach guides each of SOS’s classes, creating dynamic workouts that incorporate exercises such as plyometrics, yoga poses, and Pilates combinations that can be adjusted for every fitness level.
Gretchen empathizes with her clients, understanding how easily mental obstacles and everyday distractions can get in the way of a fitness regimen, what with family obligations and smart phones that need to be fed every hour. To help clients soldier through these challenges, she peppers SOS’s site with motivational quotes and posts success stories as sources of inspiration.
Urban Acupuncture Center grew out of the shared vision of three friends. Licensed acupuncturists Steve Drugan, Sue Bowlus, and Linda Chun were passionate about the ancient Chinese technique's potential to heal—especially after finding personal relief from conditions such as migraines and sciatica—and wanted to make it accessible to more people. After learning that clinics across the country were offering services on a sliding scale, the trio took a trip to Detroit to visit three community acupuncture centers. They saw people from all walks of life receiving acupuncture treatments together, and, recognizing the need for a similar establishment in Ohio, decided to found their own community-minded clinic.
Today, within the center's open, communal setting, patients relax in cushy leather recliners among Asian-inspired room dividers and multimedia works crafted by local artists while thin, sterile needles alleviate the stresses and imbalances that leave bodies low. Patients await treatment on the reception area’s pew-like bench beside a trickling fountain, where they can focus on centering their energies or finding the moisture needed to affix a temporary tattoo.
Michele Mangione thought she might never dance again after a car wreck smashed her skull and fractured four fragile vertebrae. By practicing yoga, she regained her mobility and acquired a new passion: helping others find health and happiness through movement. To this end, she eagerly studied the mind-body connection, earning a PhD in the topic from Ohio State and an advanced teaching certification from the Yoga Alliance. Armed with extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and philosophy, she founded WiseWays, a studio that blends Hatha yoga with healing arts, such as tai chi, structural integration, and the Feldenkrais method of somatic education. Here, students of all skill levels build strong bodies, centered minds, and spirits as buoyant as the studio's suspended-wood floor. Yoga instruction takes place in one-on-one sessions and small-group classes, where pupils hone poses that gently unlock hips, shoulders, and safes filled with middle-school-era diary entries. As strength and flexibility increase, students progress to sun salutations that cultivate balance, focus, and a pervasive sense of calm.
You don’t need a million-dollar ego to train like an elite athlete with today’s Groupon: $35 gets you four classes at D1 Sports Training, an $80 value. The 25,000-square-foot facility, about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville, is the same place where pros such as Peyton Manning and Chris Hope, among others, have pumped iron. We’re not saying that a trip to D1 will make you next year’s first-round draft pick and we’re not saying it will make you a second-round pick either; what we are saying is you can train as if you were.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
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