Sheridan Road Shape-Up
TRX Suspension Workout
THE WORKOUT: The TRX Suspension workout is a combination of Pilates and strength training. Class participants use a flexible suspension trainer, hung from the ceiling, to perform moves that utilize the core, strengthen arm and leg muscles, and increase flexibility. The TRX Suspension workout is ideal for nearly everyone, because it allows you to control the pace and difficulty level of each move.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Medium, but you can modify most of the moves to make them more challenging. You can also increase the difficulty by adding extra steps (such as hops, which add a cardio element to the workout.)
RESULTS: Weekly one-hour workouts build overall body strength, promote flexibility and balance, and help prevent future injuries.
WHERE IT'S OFFERED: Equinox, an upscale full-service fitness facility, located at 799 Central Avenue in Highland Park.
WHAT WE LOVED: Encouraging and upbeat instructors, the clean and naturally lit studio, cold Eucalyptus-scented towels to use after your workout, the steam room and full-service spa, and Kiehl’s products in the locker room.
For more information, call 847-681-7777, or visit equinox.com.
the Bar Method™
THE WORKOUT: Be prepared to take your body sculpting to a new level guided by precise expert instruction in an hour-long total body workout of killer muscle-building poses that combine isometrics, interval training, and dance conditioning to quickly and safely burn fat and carve muscle.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Very challenging.
RESULTS: Typically seen in the first 30 days of consistent classes—firm, elongated, tapered legs, sculpted arms and seat, flat abdominals, total body tightening, and improved posture.
WHERE IT'S OFFERED: The Bar Method, a smart, feng shui studio at 1770 First Street, Suite 201, at Port Clinton Square in the heart of Highland Park.
WHAT WE LOVED: First-month unlimited class membership for $100, plush carpet, quality mats and equipment, lockers with keys, and friendly, highly professional staff.
For more information, call 847-432-9150, or visit highlandpark. barmethod.com.
THE WORKOUT: Boot Camp blends cardio, strength, and flexibility training into a one-hour “back to basics” workout. Class participants use a variety of equipment, including light weights, yoga balls, resistance bands, and more. Each move—from squats and lunges to crunches and jumping jacks—is repeated for 28 seconds, followed by a 7-second break to recover and prepare for the next move.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Whatever you prefer. Most of the exercises can either be simplified or made more challenging, which means you can control how much you want to push your body. The 7-second breaks give you enough time to catch your breath, but are short enough to keep you moving for the whole class.
RESULTS: Quickly switching from one exercise to another allows you to work your entire body. Your heart will reap the benefits of a cardio workout, and your muscles and core will be strengthened. Biweekly workouts also help build stamina and burn loads of
WHERE IT'S OFFERED: Midtown Athletic Club, which offers one of the most extensive group exercise schedules on the North Shore, located at 2211 Waukegan Road in Bannockburn.
WHAT WE LOVED: The variety of the workout, which keeps you interested the whole time; the total-body exercise results; the fun, social atmosphere (both men and women love this class); and the large group exercise room, which allows you plenty of room to spread out and enjoy your workout.
For more information, call 847-945-1818, or visit midtown.com.
THE WORKOUT: Yoga devotees who are looking to kick it up a notch—or two—will love Yoga Sculpt, which combines traditional yoga with weight training. Not only does it get your heart rate up faster than traditional yoga, it also gives your upper body and arms a great workout by incorporating light weights into a fast-paced yoga routine.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Very challenging. Not for yoga virgins.
RESULTS: Yoga Sculpt lengthens, tones, and builds lean muscle quickly. Students should see noticeable differences after just a few classes, especially in their arms.
WHERE IT'S OFFERED: Fit Girl, a brand-new storefront studio at 1642 Maple in Evanston, conveniently located two blocks from lululemon.
WHAT WE LOVED: First-week-of-classes-free policy; forgiving foam flooring in the yoga studio; Beatles music on the soundtrack; individual back massages from the instructor; and peppermint-scented towels waved over you during a totally relaxing candlelight cooldown.
For more information, call 847-869-4475, or visit fitgirlstudio.com.
THE WORKOUT: Piloxing blends the power, speed, and agility of boxing with the graceful sculpting and flexibility of Pilates. Class members wear custom weighted gloves—only 1.5 lbs. each, but they deliver a powerful punch in terms of arm, shoulder, and upper back muscle definition. This high-energy, low-impact interval class format addresses multiple fitness goals and appeals to a variety of students with different fitness levels, skills, and abilities.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Challenging, but can be modified for any level.
RESULTS: Participants see improvement in core strength and flexibility, muscle toning and definition, and increased cardiovascular endurance.
WHERE IT'S OFFERED: Lake Forest Health & Fitness Center, 1200 N. Westmoreland Road in Lake Forest, the first club on the North Shore to offer Piloxing.
WHAT WE LOVED: Highly professional and upbeat instructors, Fit Kids childcare, and a full-service facility that offers sauna, steams, whirlpool, indoor lap pool, therapeutic pool, and spa services.
For more information, call 847-535-7000, or visit health-fitnesscenters.com/lakeforest/home.html.
The Dailey Method®
THE WORKOUT: A combination of ballet barre work, core conditioning, yoga, and orthopedic exercises, The Dailey Method® delivers a full-body workout in one hour. Classes consist of floor work, standing exercises with light weights, and challenging, muscle-shaking work at the barre.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: While this is a challenging workout, beginners are encouraged to make adjustments as needed.
RESULTS: The Dailey Method® strengthens and tones the seat, legs, abs, arms, and back and promotes weight loss by building calorie burning muscle.
WHERE IT'S OFFERED: The Dailey Method, a sleek Zen-like studio located at 410 Green Bay Road in Kenilworth.
WHAT WE LOVED: On-site childcare; a spa-like locker room with roomy lockers that will hold diaper bags, boots, and coats; lots of individual attention even in a packed morning class, and a super-supportive atmosphere among a clientele that represents a variety of fitness levels and body shapes.
For more information, call 847-920-5260, or visit thedaileymethod.com.