The Yoga Loft is a Vinyasa-style studio that leads limber bodies through safe, meaningful workouts. Under the watchful eye of owner and Wilmington native Jen Ryan, veteran instructors keep the pace steady and the atmosphere casual, injecting their personalities into each cadent callout. Beginner classes—open to both first-time students and experienced practitioners alike—focus on breathing techniques, overall strengthening, and balance. Mixed-level flow classes are marked by a variety of standing, sitting, and balancing poses, and Power Yoga classes are more closely associated with backbends, hip openers, and other challenging, yet rewarding statue impersonations.
At Reading Athletic Club, firm yet friendly trainers and modern equipment from brands such as Nautilus whip exercisers into shape. Personal trainers stage workouts in the cardio deck and weight area, packed with weight machines, treadmills, elliptical machines, and other mechanisms that foster fitness. Ladies break a sweat in the women's only section while youngsters play with babysitters. During fitness classes, instructors help boost their students’ endurance via high-energy boot camps that tighten all areas of the body or the flowing poses of yoga. After workouts, students can unwind under the soothing strokes of the center's massage therapist.
With classes in several yoga styles taught by certified instructors, Yoga Moves helps forge stronger, healthier, more flexible bodies. Hot yoga, Vinyasa, and Pranavayu yoga classes are held in a heated room to warm and relax tight muscles, which can allow for deeper stretching and toxin release while helping to protect the body from injuries to the ligaments, muscles, or proboscis. Unheated classes, such as Yin yoga, target connective tissues, promoting flexible muscles and bendable joints. Classes stress individual progress and leave the measure of success to one's own personal improvement, so yoganauts of every skill level can reap the benefits of yoga without judgment or intimidation. Students should plan to bring a sizable water bottle, a large towel, a yoga mat (or rent one for $1), and an empty stomach; click here to see a schedule of current class offerings.
Though dance is a great form of exercise, it's equally a great form of self-expression. That's the idea behind Shine On Performing Arts, a dance studio that focuses on not just the discipline of dance, but also artistry and fun. Children combine an appreciation for fitness with fancy footwork in such dance styles as hip-hop, ballet, and jazz, helping them potentially work up to a spot on the studio's competitive dance team. Adults immerse themselves in creative workouts such as the dance-heavy Zumba, barre fitness, and ballet bootcamp, which teaches students to lace a pointe shoe blindfolded.
While Pilates classes provide hundreds of health benefits (relaxation, flexibility, occupying time that could be spent eating or smoking), they primarily focus on strengthening core muscles (abs, lower back, and pelvic). Besides the obvious improvements to physical appearance, there are many other benefits you can get with Pilates:
Boston Pilates Plus's high-intensity fitness classes, designed by fitness guru Sebastien Lagree, combine the traditional principles of Pilates with strength and cardio training to help students of all abilities sculpt toned physiques. On the brightly lit studio's gleaming wood floors, students buff up their bods on Megaformer machines, which target the upper and lower body using a system of springs, pulleys, and a strategically out-of-reach donut dangling on a fishing line. Students tone their muscles as joints and connective tissue breathe easy in the fat-burning, low-impact classes. For a more cardio-centric routine, try the barre blast class, which guides students through a low-impact workout that blends cardio, barre stretches, and strength training. Boot camps similarly focus on cardio, meeting twice a week for four weeks to romp through 30 minutes of intense exercise.