To help you save your energy for class and stay motivated, we've done our due diligence to find the nine best workouts guaranteed to make you sweat. From getting down with your downward dog to kicking ass like a marine, you'll be in tip-top shape no matter your fitness level—just be prepared to work it. After all, you've got nothing to lose…but a few inches.
Check out Chicago's nine best calorie-burning workouts you'll want to show up for.
For That Longer, Leaner Effect
Core Power Yoga
If you are a devoted Chicago yogi, then you've probably already been to CorePower Yoga 10 times since Sunday. With five openings in less than two years (see the Chicago batch here), it's obvious that Chi-town guys and gals like to get down with their downward dog. If you can't take the heat of hot yoga in 90-plus degrees, there's CoreRestore Yin Yoga, which takes place in an unheated room. Your first week of classes is free, so you've got nothing to lose!
CorePower Yoga, 12 West Maple Street (between State and Clark Streets), 312-266-9642.
The Dailey Method
What exactly is the method to this workout madness, you ask? With origins in California, the Dailey Method is a nonimpact, weight-bearing workout involving an amalgamation of challenging barre work, core conditioning, yoga, and orthopedic exercises to get you in shape from top to bottom.
The Dailey Method, 1714 North Damen Avenue (at West Pierce Avenue); 773-904-8913.
Floor Play at Fitness Formula Clubs
Get your mind out of the gutter. Floor Play (available at all FFC locations) is a fusion of core strength and stability (thanks to challenging planks and bridges), while integrating pilates principles through a cool-flow stretch. In addition, the fluidity of moving from one exercise to the next will slightly elevate the heart rate, burn calories, and increase flexibility. How's that for making the most of your precious time?
Fitness Formula Club, 1235 North LaSalle Street (between Division and Goethe streets); 312-640-1235.
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Photos courtesy of CorePower Yoga, The Dailey Method, and Fitness Formula Clubs.
To Help You Get Strong
Flex Pilates is a boutique studio located inside the famed Indigo Studio. The Flex method of teaching blends traditional Pilates and dynamic strength training for an amazing full-body workout. With only four state-of-the-art Allegro 2 Reformers, each class provides hands-on, semi-private instruction. If you need proof as to how effective this workout is, it was all the rage with Hollywood stars long before being practiced in the Windy City.
Flex Pilates, 213 West Institute Place (between Wells and Franklin streets); 312-857-3539.
If you are looking for a serious sweat session and have a competitive streak (a big ol' screen displays how everyone is doing), then 45 or 60 minutes at Flywheel's is all you need. Between the upbeat tunes curated by its own in-house DJ to the adjustable bikes that are actually comfortable, this workout is actually, well, fun!
Flywheel, 710 North State Street (between Superior and Huron streets); 312-624-8485.
Urban Fit Club
Urban Fit Clubs is the health and wellness equivalent to those shopping aggregators that pull together all your favorite brands and stores. Your one membership gains you access to 500+ weekly classes between 26 different gyms and studios all over the city, leaving you with no excuse to be a couch potato. We love the intense strength-building classes at CircuitFit and Rowfit Chicago!
Urban Fit Clubs
Photos courtesy of Flex PIlates, Flywheel, and Urban Fit Clubs
For Your Ultimate Endurance Challenge
The Shred415 interval-style workout (another Hollywood transplant) involves alternating cardio on Woodway treadmills (opt to walk, jog, or run) with weight training throughout the course of 60 minutes, resulting in a calorie burn that surpasses most traditional workouts. While each session works the entire body, there are certain classes that focus more on those trouble spots we fret over: legs, tummy, arms, and back — pretty much anything that would affect the way you look in that little black dress or bathing suit.
Shred 415, 2156 North Clybourn Avenue (at North Southport Avenue); 773-360-8228.
On Your Mark
If you want to work out like one of the boys without bulking up like one, head over to one of two On Your Mark Coaching and Training locations. While we love the fun names like Gumby and Ass + Abs, the best classes to remove yourself from your comfort zone are those that involve functional equipment like suspension cables, free weights, Swiss balls, bands, dead balls, heavy chains, and tires. Are you up for the challenge?
On Your Mark, 1101 West Monroe Street (at Aberdeen Street); 312-733-9330.
Deep Extreme at Equinox
We love a unique workout that takes us out of the exercise-equipment box. Equniox's Deep Extreme class (available at various Chicagoland locations) challenges your endurance with a blend of cardio bursts followed by strength and flexibility exercises using your own body weight. We couldn't think of a better way to describe it than Equinox did: bootcamp without the militant attitude.
Equinox, 1750 North Clark Street (between Eugenie and Menomonee streets); 312-254-4000.
Photos courtesy of Melissa Hayes, On Your Mark Coaching and Training, and Equinox