Chicago's Outdoor Workout Options: Fresh Air Fitness For Summer
It's nearly 100 degrees, but all the pizza you ate during the seemingly endless winter is still with you. Whether you want to get your bod ready for the beach, or just want to step up your personal fitness, there are plenty of outdoor workout options around the city to help you forget winter ever happened--for awhile, at least.
Barre Bee Fit on the Roof: If it's 6:30 a.m. on a summer Wednesday and a helicopter flies directly over River North, the pilot will see Jillian Lorenz and Ariana Chernin on the roof of the Hotel Palomar, leading a cluster of people in a fusion of basic ballet moves, pilates and yoga. Lorenz and Chernin, the founders of Barre Bee Fit -- as in ballet barre -- start their rooftop classes this month. Lorenz says the class will use plenty of isometrics, which focuses on strengthening specific muscles, like those in the butt and abdomen. For now, Lorenz says there won't be a ballet barre on the rooftop, but the class will incorporate many of the basic ballet moves performed in Bar Bee Fit's indoor studio classes. The fresh air should prove extra inspiring. "We're all cooped up for so long," said Lorenz. "Who doesn't want to work out on a rooftop?"
Classes run 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. starting Wed., June 15 at the Hotel Palomar Chicago rooftop, 505 N. State St. $15 for one class, $70 for 5 classes, $150 for 12 classes and $125 for an unlimited monthly membership; Rooftop "Bee Fit Brunch" on Sat., June 11 runs from 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (a 90-minute class followed by a brunch by Kimpton Hotels). $35 for class and brunch. 312-595-1600
Millennium Park Workouts: The Great Lawn of Jay Pritzker Pavilion has hosted indie band Pavement, famed Chicago Symphony Conductor Riccardo Muti, a taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and Mayor Rahm Emanuel's inauguration, and this summer, it could host your morning workout. Each Saturday starting this month, the Great Lawn will hold three, 45-minute yoga, pilates and zumba sessions filled with music. Workout leaders include yoga teacher Marcelyn Cole, Core Chicago Pilates and Solao Fintess & Dance Studio. A big plus? The workouts are free.
Yoga classes at 8 a.m., pilates at 9 a.m. and zumba at 10 a.m. on Saturdays from June 4-Sept. 10 at the Great Lawn of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Randolph and Columbus in Millennium Park. Free
TeamiFit Tabata Bootcamp: This bootcamp with the funky name by TeamiFit will leave you gasping. The idea is to do repetitions of a variety of bootcamp exercises in short, high-intensity periods. So you'll go all-out on an exercise for 20 seconds and rest for another 10, meaning that each series of moves will get 8 or 9 rounds.
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Wednesdays at Millennium Park/Lakeshore East. Meets on the south side of Randolph and Field Street.
$16 for one drop-in class. 312-204-7333
Flying Trapeze: There's more to the flying trapeze than just circus-like fun. It's a monster workout for your upper body, too. You'll be hopping off a 23-foot-high platform on the new rig at Trapeze School New York: Chicago, or TSNY Chicago, at Belmont Harbor and bearing your weight as you swing through the air. The act of tucking in your knees and pulling them onto the bar for an upside-down knee hang will cause first-time flyers to be sore for days afterward. But the thrill of swinging high above Chicago and the uniqueness of it all might just lure you back for some lat-honing swings.
Classes range from and range from one to four sessions, starting from 10:45 a.m. and running until 6 p.m. at the marina at Belmont Harbor. Price ranges from $47 to $67 per class (packages and group discounts available), depending on the time and day. 773-484-8861.
Tai Chi: If the gentle movements of tai chi are known for their tranquility, think of what they would be like if they were performed in a serene, fresh-air environment. Longtime tai chi practitioner Sas Stark, of the Tai Chi Center of Chicago, conducts an hourlong session of the ancient Chinese martial art on Saturday mornings near the ornate green gazebo at Welles Park in Ravenswood. Stark will go through 64 postures of a Yang-style form of tai chi.
Outdoor tai chi sessions run from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Saturdays, weather permitting. Classes meet near the gazebo at Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave. Outdoor sessions are free. 773-396-2653.
Biceps, Babies & Buggies: Mamas looking to get their pre-pregnancy shape back can bring their babies to their workout with the Active Moms' Club. Moms can bond with other moms at this class, which meets at Oz Park in Lincoln Park, while toning each body part with a series of cardio and anaerobic exercises. The 50-minute classes include a power walk or jog, though a jogging stroller is not required to participate. Babies, however, must be at least six weeks old and enjoy chilling in a stroller. Expectant moms are also welcome, too, and exercises will be modified for them.
4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. Mon., 11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. Tues., 4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. Wed., 9:30 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Fri. through Sept. 30. at N. Larrabee St. and W. Dickens Ave. at Oz Park. $5 for a one-time "test drive," $13 for drop-in class, $49 for a five-class pass. 773-687-9905.