Photo: Getty Images
Thinning down for your dream dress gets a lot of play leading up to the wedding, but finding a maintainable workout routine will help you manage stress and start the first year of marriage on a healthy, happy foot. Here are 10 Chicago workout studios you should have in rotation.
High-paced group classes combine an intense cardio workout with the strength training of pilates on an Allegro reformer machine. They claim 10 sessions is all it takes to see results, but we felt longer and leaner much faster than that.
The Dailey Method
This ballet barre core conditioning class is made up of slow and controlled low-impact movements to strengthen and tone. But don't be fooled by "slow and controlled" — it's insanely challenging on both your mind and muscles.
Four 15-minute intervals complete a 60-minute group class that moves between the treadmill and floor exercises using dumbbells and medicine balls. The changing workouts and loud, up-tempo music make the time fly by, but, trust us, the effects are long-lasting.
By now, you're well aware of the cult following for this indoor cycling class and its efforts to tap into your 'soul' with instructors who encourage you to clear your mind and ride strong. As intimidating as it can seem, the choreography is easy to follow and you set your own resistance. Plus, everyone wants to be part of the in-crowd.
Long before SoulCycle landed in town, spinners were already addicted to Flywheel, and for good reason. The studio is designed with stadium-style seating and flat screens that intermittently display performance levels to encourage some friendly competition. And the sweat-inducing ride is topped off with a quick arm workout.
Core Power Yoga
Step up your regular yoga practice with Core Power Yoga's Yoga Sculpt class, which incorporates strength-training exercises like squats and lunges as well as bicep and tricep curls with free weights into the yoga sequence. Plus, the room is heated up to 95 degrees, as if you weren't sweating enough already.
Cross Town Fitness
Cross Town Fitness offers the perks of a neighborhood gym, such as a full roster of weekly classes and intimidating-in-a-good-way personal trainers. Plus, we appreciate the flexibility — you can sign up for a month-to-month membership or take drop-in classes.
The Mercury Method
Mercury Method offers a variety of classes, from yoga and pilates to cross-training geared toward runners, but all of them have one thing in common: The room is heated to a precise 98.6 degrees, so after 60 minutes, you'll leave feeling strong and most definitely sweaty.
Multiple repetition sets of small movements will build long, lean muscles in no time.
When we say small, we mean the tiniest leg lift; and when we say multiple, we mean until your leg is shaking uncontrollably and you think you may collapse.
Exhale's Core Fusion Cardio class is a seriously high-energy hour. Be prepared to lift weights and flow through nonstop movements like mountain climbers, plank walks and karate kicks.