Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine-maneuvering and muscle-making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottles to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
BodyMind Balance Pilates Studio designs strength-building, muscle-stretching workout regimens with an eye toward functional fitness, conditioning bodies in ways that help them work and feel better in their everyday lives. A combination of mat work and exercises utilizing specialized equipment tightens tummies, tones muscle, and ups your posture, balance, and coordination quotients. Encompassing more than 500 exercises, Pilates workouts sidestep the overly repetitious repping that characterizes other training styles, such as circuit training or competitive blinking.
At Hot Power Yoga Center, instructors aim to never teach the same class twice. That's a tall order, especially since the center hosts more than three dozen weekly vinyasa-inspired yoga classes that range from basic flow sessions to more intense hot yoga courses. They pull it off by eschewing a rigid choreography for a looser, more on-the-fly approach, which allows them to customize each class based on the energy of the room. This looser modus operandi also allows instructors to more easily tailer each pose to the specific skill levels of individuals, ensuring every student gets the most out of their practice.
It isn't just the students who've taken notice of this fresh and user-friendly approach to yoga. Cosmopolitan featured owner Kristin Caforio-Marengo in an interview in the November 2014 issue, and TimeOut New York said her classes "will wring out your emotional baggage, along with the sweat and toxins."
For 40 years of her life, Lisa Lavoie went without a single urge to perform muscle-toning spins on every chrome pole she came across. Now, she can't imagine a life where she doesn't artfully maneuver around a smooth metallic post on a regular basis. Once she discovered the intense yet fun exercise form in 2009, she fell in love with it and opened her own studio less than four years later. Today, Lavoie dedicates herself to eliminating pole dancing's negative stigma and exposing it as the artistic strength-training workout that it truly is. With help from a team of certified instructors, she leads rigorous, one-hour classes that aim to build confidence levels, upper-body strength, and core muscles. In addition to leading pole fitness classes, instructors helm other out-of-the-box fitness classes, including aerial silks and belly-dancing classes.
Though some fitness aficionados may prefer the treadmills, rowing machines, and ellipticals that fill most traditional gyms, others enjoy getting in shape a different way—through dance. At Rhythmoz Dance & Fitness Studio, visitors of all ages and athletic levels can shimmy their way to stronger midsections, leaner limbs, and healthier hearts during a variety of dynamic, fun classes. Adults match steps and rhythms with the beats of brain-burrowing tunes during hip-hop, Zumba, and african dance classes. Additionally, kids can build dance and social skills during swing dance, hula dance, and ballroom dance, the last of which readies them for the intricate, dance-centric business presentations of today’s corporate world.
At Escape Aerial Arts, students learn how to combine the grace of dance and gymnastics while defying gravity. The studio's five poles and suspended aerial silks provide an alternative to typical conditioning and strength-training workouts. As students spin, climb, and dangle inches or feet above the ground, they are using their muscles without putting undue strain on their joints. Instructors lead a variety of classes ranging from beginners' sessions that introduce the fundamentals to more advanced sessions that emphasize the aspects of performing on the pole or aerial silks.