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BEST WORKOUT SPOTS by Ashli Findley, Brigid Morrissey, Tiffany White, Jennifer Wilham

If you are looking for a new exercise, take some notes from Today's Woman's exercise experiences in these 13 fitness centers around the city. Sore Factor: Although subjective per individual, our sore factor is listed on a scale from 1-10 with one being not sore at all and 10 being extreme soreness.

DOWNTOWN PILATES, NULU

ORANGETHEORY FITNESS, ST. MATTHEWS

Class: Private Session 1 hour session with co-owner Susan Bishop, who says “we epitomize whole life balance.” downtownpilateslouisvilleky.com

Class: Orange 60 1 hour fitness workout with instructor and head trainer Mike Wernert Orangetheoryfitness.com

Bring: nothing, even water is provided Cost: $18 for mat class drop-in, $40 for semi-private instruction drop-in, $70 for private instruction drop-in. It also offers package deals and other services. Sore Factor: 5 Fitness Level: any level Exerciser: Brigid Morrissey

What to Expect: It was cool and dim, and natural light shone through the storefront windows, spotlighting the Pilates exercise equipment. I didn’t even need shoes, so I slipped out of those. Comfort was an obvious emphasis the longer I was there, from the suggested attire (there was a wide range of movements, so the less exposed, the better) to the classical music playing softly in the background. My session involved a brief, yet informative history lesson about the founder of Pilates and evolution of the equipment, full-body exercises that both introduced me to the basics and allowed the instructor to evaluate my movements, and a 30-minute massage following the workout.

Bring: towel and water Cost: $99-$159/month Sore Factor: 6 Fitness Level: any level Exerciser: Tiffany White

What to Expect: Mike Wernert, head trainer at Orangetheory, gave me a thorough tour of the fitness room before class. Before class, that included 24 people with a majority of the participants being women. You must wear a heart monitor to keep track of your heart rate. Mike separates participants into two groups and has them rotate between using the treadmill, rower, and weight floor. While on the weight floor, our group did push ups and a series of upper body exercises using weights and TRX straps. Mike guided us through the exercises by showing us the proper form, but participants could also watch a demonstration video that correlated with each exercise.

LOUISVILLE BALLET, ST. MATTHEWS Class: Ballet Intro 1 hour beginners Instructive Ballet movements louisvilleballet.org/DanceSchool Bring: Water, ballet shoes if you have them, or socks if you don’t. Cost: $15 for 60+ minute mind.body. balance class Sore Factor: 0 Fitness Level: any level Exerciser: Brigid Morrissey

“A GREAT WAY TO LEARN BASIC DANCE MOVES. . .”

What to Expect: The class size was small — only three women were in attendance. I ventured out of my comfort zone, but the instructor, Justin Michael Hogan, assured me that the intro class was a great way to learn the basic dance movements and terminology. As some of the women stretched, I looked around the room. It was spacious and open, with a full-length mirror from wall to wall and a matching set of windows along the width of the side. I ditched my sneakers but opted to keep my socks on. The others had ballet shoes. I took my place on one of the moveable bars, and we set to work on a number of combinations, first as a slow demonstration, and then set to music, but always at a manageable pace.

SWEATY BUDDHA, WESTPORT ROAD Class: Bikram yoga 75-minutes. Bikram yoga is a therapeutic sequence that consists of two breathing exercises and 26 postures. The heat warms the muscles, which allows the body to stretch more effectively and reduces the risk of injury. louisvilleballet.org/DanceSchool Bring: Yoga mat, towel, and water Cost: Drop In: $18 Sore Factor: 3 Fitness Level: any level Exerciser: Brigid Morrissey

Brigid Morrissey tries an intro to ballet class at Louisville Ballet.

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What to Expect: I walked into a quiet space to a designated spot on the left side of the room. My instructor, Co-owner Wendii Brooks, informed

me that there is a 10-degree variance across the span of the mirrored room. Beginners go to the “cooler” side of the room — cool meaning 100 degrees. As the 20 or so students slowly trickled into the room (at least 15 minutes early, because the door gets locked and you’re out of luck! I learned from experience), I noticed that this class was full of people of all genders, ages, body types, and races. The key is to breathe, and fight the temptation to leave the room. Fight the heat, and ease yourself into the movements. Wendii makes a bolder claim: “Bikram Yoga can change your life, one class at a time. Nothing is set in stone, not pain, not disease, not inflexibility. We all have the capability to transform.”

Today's Woman August 2017