FitChicago: The Best Classes and Gyms
Spring break is just around the corner and we're entering swimsuit season. If looking at your bikini makes you nervous, we feel you. Check out these Chicago workout ideas, because being strong is sexy.
Body R+D Don your grip socks and get ready to strike a pose on the fitness world’s famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) Megaformer. A Pilates reformer on steroids, it's a platform attached to a variety of springs and cables that provide continuous resistance as you put yourself through a series of isolation and total-body moves. According to Body R+D, the method "isolates and attacks specific muscles until they can no longer move," burning between 500 to 700 calories during a single 50-minute class.
Body R+D // 2940 North Lincoln Avenue// 773-935-3200
AIR A unique combination of resistance and suspension — achieved by hanging from the ceiling in gorgeous silk hammocks — lengthens and tones muscles while keeping you more than entertained. The classes, which blend the best of barre, yoga, and Pilates in one, tap muscles you didn’t even know you had. AIR currently has a River North and Lincoln Park location, with a Streeterville studio in the beginning stages.
Lateral Fitness This Gold Coast boutique gym takes a scientific and systematic approach to fitness progressions. It offers personalized endurance training, yoga and kettlebell classes, massage, and acupuncture. It also has staff who specialize in Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), which applies force to muscles to help reactivate them and ease muscular imbalances.
Lateral Fitness // 314 West Superior Street// 312-291-9466
Challenge your core and channel your inner surfer at Moirai's Surfset Fitness classes. The class consists of almost every exercise you can possibly do is done on a destabilized surfboard that’s about 6 feet long – think mountain climbers, pushups, squats. It’s a whole new level. The classes tone your entire body and remind you of the sun and beach in your near future
Moirai Health & Fitness // 820 North Orleans Street
David Barton Gym This super-swanky gym, founded by the legendary David Barton, combines top-tier training and equipment in a luxurious space that'll make you want to hang out for hours on end. The 30,000-square-foot gym, on the edge of the Chicago River, boasts live sets by local DJs, saunas, steam rooms, and dozens of classes including Yoga for Jocks, Gravity Surfing, and Pressure Cooker.
David Barton Gym // 600 W. Chicago Ave // 312-836-9127
Shred415 This high-intensity interval class combines the best of running and lifting into one 60-minute session. At the studio’s four city locations (more in the 'burbs), exercisers move between fast-paced treadmill and strength workouts, tackling free weights, medicine balls, resistance bands, weighted bars, and sand bells. High-energy, pump-it-up music and top-notch instructors (trained in sports medicine, rehabilitation, MMA, physical therapy, running biomechanics, and other disciplines) will lead the way.
Flex Pilates Chicago With just nine top-of-the-line reformers, this studio provides your most personalized Pilates workout ever. Plus, by combining traditional Pilates moves with exercises from other fitness disciplines (including yoga, barre, and dance), instructors guide you through slow and continuous exercises that will work your entire body to exhaustion (in a good way!).
Flex Pilates Chicago // 213 West Institute Place, #709// 312-587-9000
East Bank Club This mini city of a gym (it spans a legit city block) has more cardio machines than you’ve ever seen in your life, jaw-dropping outdoor and indoor pools, a golf course, tennis, racquetball, squash courts, and more. Plus, while you’re sweating it out, you can get your car washed and your clothes dry-cleaned. Then, get a quick mani/pedi and blowout and meet your date in the club’s high-class restaurant.
East Bank Club // 500 North Kingsbury Street// 312-527-5800
Flywheel Sports Forget blindly turning your Spin bike’s resistance knob. This studio’s tech-heavy machines display your resistance level, speed, and your power output (both current and cumulative for the class), so you can push yourself as hard as you want. If you want to compete against others, log in to your class’s Torqboard — a large-screen leaderboard that shows how your performance stacks up against others’. Every ride’s stats are recorded, and you can track them online.
Equinox This top international fitness brand is known for its classes, and come January 1, it will launch its newest body-changer: Elimin8tor. The intense, 45-minute sessions replace regular instruction with interactivity, in which participants select both moves to "eliminate" from the class's four rounds, and extra high-intensity ones to finish off each round. Check out Elimin8tor at any of the gym’s three city locations (plus one in Highland Park).
First Ascent Climbing & Fitness Soon, you’ll be able to climb the flatlands of Chicago. Opening in late spring/early summer, this world-class climbing gym will feature not just 26,000 square feet of climbing and bouldering walls, but also yoga and fitness classes, personal training, and a hefty helping of fitness equipment, too. It's yet one more reason to look forward to spring.
First Ascent Climbing & Fitness // 3500 North Spaulding Avenue
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