Female fitness classes continue to grow in popularity in the Chicago area, as well as other major cities in the US, and there’s no sign of it letting up anytime soon. While the individual trends may evolve, group fitness classes at all-women’s fitness studios seem to be here to stay.
What are the driving factors that make women head to the studio? We have the answers that show why women’s fitness classes will always remain popular.
Today, it’s about more than “Getting Physical”.
Women began flocking to fitness classes as early as the 1930s, but initial efforts were more about losing weight, and classes were on a much smaller scale, sometimes on a one-to-one basis. Women back then were also hesitant to exercise to a point of sweating. They wanted to maintain their femininity.
Aerobics found its way into the women’s fitness world in the 60s when an air force surgeon made his point that there was no point unless women exercised vigorously.
But, it wasn’t the doctor who made aerobics a household word, it was Jane Fonda. And, aerobics was the key exercise movement that has led to all modern fitness trends since. Modern barre, which has resurged in popularity today, also began in the 60s.
In the 80s and 90s, both big-box gyms and boutique fitness studios offered women a structured way of getting fit. But, more women ditched big-box gyms in favor of group fitness classes held in local boutique studios.
Women everywhere from Lincoln Park and Chicago to L.A. and New York began to discover that their “me” time was best fulfilled by sweating it out in fitness class to their latest fitness trend, whether it’s barre, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, or boxing.
Today, women’s boxing and barre classes are two of the more popular trends in Chicago’s fitness studios.
Women’s fitness classes offer something that gyms and exercising alone don’t.
Time has shown that women who are die-hard fitness enthusiasts tend to choose group fitness classes over exercising alone. The reason: community.
Women favor exercising in a group atmosphere for multiple reasons. Men like to pump iron, often alone, while women crave the ambiance of a community that fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Women get that there’s strength in numbers. They root each other on and lift up one another to keep the motivation going.
They also prefer performing their fitness routines with other women and avoid the big co-ed gyms because they don’t want to feel self-conscious around men. Women want to let it all go and have fun without worrying about whether men are staring.
In a nutshell, women love to feel sexy and perform sexy moves in fitness classes, but they want to do it all for themselves. They don’t want to do it around men who will sexualize every move they make.
Another reason? Because group fitness is fabulously fun! Exercising alone to women is mundane and boring, whereas women who exercise together cheer each other on, set goals, and inspire each other. And, they do it all in a fun and relaxing atmosphere that has the huge benefit of helping them get into shape.
Female fitness classes will always be popular because women receive something that’s hard to find in the world today: connection. Whether it’s aerobics, Pilates, Zumba, yoga, boxing class, or barre class, women feel connected to each other in a way that they don’t find at home, in their local community, or at the office.
Why barre and boxing classes are trendy right now.
Barre workouts are done almost exclusively by women. While barre workouts vary, it’s often a sweet combination of yoga, Pilates, and dance exercises. Barre promotes good posture and encourages graceful movements as well as gives just the right muscle tone.
In a day when many women are bent over at computer desks all day, barre is a great way to regain good posture and tone.
Another great thing about it is that the intensity level of barre exercise is toned down, which means just about anyone can do it, no matter what their fitness level is. The benefit is that barre focuses on the core muscles women want targeted: the abdominal muscles, the hips, and the inner thighs.
Boxing classes are also huge right now in the Lincoln Park and Chicago area because it’s a cross between cardio and resistance training. It fills a need for women who want something more aggressive than barre training.
Women who flock to boxing classes may be using it as a symbolism of sorts because women are fighting for themselves more than they have in a long time.
Before women’s fitness studios began offering boxing as part of their repertoire, boxing was less accessible to women. Now, women have more reasons than ever to put the gloves on. It helps women feel empowered while getting a full-body workout on.
It’s a great way to relieve tension, as well, so women benefit from having a great physical workout while offering a bit of mental release on the side.
In the end, it doesn’t matter which trend is taking women’s fitness classes by storm. Women will be there getting their workout game on, and they’ll have the fun they need in the community atmosphere they desire.