A guide to group fitness classes in Chicago

Group fitness classes are a great way to stay in shape – you literally just have to show up to class. Of course, you need to put in a little effort too!

Group fitness is great because instead of planning your own workout, you’re led by an instructor. Fitness classes are also a great way to connect with other people, find workout buddies and make new friends.

There are lots of group fitness classes out there, and they can often be intimidating if you’ve never set foot in an instructor led class before. Today, I’ll discuss some of the more popular fitness classes.

Zumba/Cardio Dance – Zumba is a really popular class for a reason – it’s so fun! Some gyms may call this class cardio dance but the concept is the same – you shake your booty! Zumba is great for all fitness levels and dance levels. You don’t need to be a dancer to take this class, and the more you attend, the better you’ll get.

BodyPump/Pump/Toning classes – Les Mills BodyPump is one of my favorite fitness classes. I love it so much that I became a BodyPump instructor. Some gyms may call this class by another name but a lot of body toning classes are similar. It’s basically a full body strength training class using barbells, body bars and dumbbells.

Spin/Group Cycle classes – These classes involve using a spin bike. You can tone your legs and arms while pedaling to music. You are able to adjust the resistance level on the bike so you are able to work out at your fitness level.

Aqua classes – There are so many different aqua classes! Aqua classes are great because they are low impact and easy on the joints. Look for aqua Zumba, aqua arthritis, deep water running, aqua toning and aqua boot camp classes.

Barre classes – Barre classes are becoming a lot more popular and there are even barre studios that focus just on barre classes. Barre classes utilize the ballet bar to develop strength, muscular endurance, balance and flexibility.

Yoga/Pilates classes – Yoga and Pilates classes are a great to connect the body and mind while working on strength, balance and flexibility. It’s often a great low impact class, but can still be challenging.

Kickboxing classes – These classes are fun, high intensity workouts. They often involve punching, kicking, boxing drills and core work. They can be a great way to get your aggression out!

Boot Camp – Boot Camp classes are also usually high intensity classes that involve a little bit of everything – strength training, circuit training, cardio, core work and high intensity training.

Tabata/HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes – These classes also becoming hugely popular. Tabata and HIIT classes consist of a high intensity workout for a set amount of time followed by a period of rest. This is a great way to get your heart rate up and keep your metabolism burning calories throughout the day. It’s often a shorter workout because you’re working out at a high intensity.

There are so many different fitness classes offered and trying them all out is a great way to find which classes you enjoy. Maybe you’ll find one that you love and do it every week or maybe you’ll enjoy taking a variety of classes. Group fitness classes are a great way to keep you fit and active!

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