When the weather outside is frightful: 7 hot workouts in Chicago

December 08, 2015                 2m read time
Libby Lowe

Now that the temperatures have dropped, many of us are contemplating how we’re going to keep up our workouts. Running and biking outside will soon be impossible for most of us, and by January, even the most intrepid athletes will be over dodging potholes. Instead of cursing the weather (or in addition to it—the snow and ice can be brutal, and you’re entitled to complain a bit), use the season as an opportunity to try some of Chicago’s best indoor workouts.

1. Take a hike (or a glide or a run)

TRAINology, voted the best gym in the city for cross training, offers three classes blending cardio and strength. You’ll run or hike on Freemotion incline trainers and hit elevations as high as 30. And you’ll glide your way to butt and inner thigh muscles you didn’t know you had.

What to know

- Your first class is free.
- If you have a heart rate monitor, you can track your progress while you train.
- Registration is a must.

2. Take flight

AIR Aerial Fitness with aerial silk hammocks in Chicago AIR Aerial Fitness

AIR Aerial Fitness with aerial silk hammocks in Chicago

AIR Aerial Fitness


AIR® Aerial Fitness promises fast results with its intense aerial training program that blends ballet barre work with yoga and Pilates and aerial silk hammocks. This workout promises to attack your abs.

What to know

- Two locations, River North and Lincoln Park, are open now, and a third studio is coming to Streeterville.
- Bring a yoga mat and wear what you would to a yoga or Pilates class.
- Registration is a must.

3. Get your Cirque du Soleil on

The Aloft Loft offers grownups classes in trapeze, tumbling, tightrope, and more. The studio suggests starting with Trapeze 1, an 8-week course designed to get you comfortable up in the air—and seriously build your upper body strength.

What to know

- There are free tester classes each month. Register early—they fill up.
- Wear clothes that will protect your skin.
- Registration is a must.

4. Go to Boot(y) Camp

People working out at Flex Pilates in Chicago Flex Pilates

People working out at Flex Pilates in Chicago

Flex Pilates


Hit Flex Pilates for dynamic Pilates. Flex fuses traditional pilates and dynamic strength training to give you a whole body workout. With nine Allegro 2 Reformers, classes are small but more affordable than traditional private reformer sessions.

What to know

- Everyone has to wear socks, and no-slip socks are best.
- Music and theme classes like Booty Fridays keep energy levels high.
- Registration is a must.

5. Ride off into the sunset (or sunrise)

Indoor cycling has blown up in Chicago. Flywheel—known for its stadium-style studios and a leader board that brings out the competitive nature in any rider, has two locations. SoulCycle, an intense cycling fitness craze, has two locations in Chicago—Old Town and The Loop—and plans for more in the future.

What to know

- Shoes are provided—you can’t wear regular sneakers.
- Your first class is free.
- Registration is a must.

6. Om it out

There are tons of yoga options in Chicago. Yogaview offers a wide range of classes from Vinyasa flow to Ashtanga and prenatal. With teachers trained in different styles, there’s a class for everyone.

What to know

- The studio has mats and props that you can use.
- There’s no need to preregister.
- You can park for free. (Call the studio for parking info.)

7. Hang ten


Hitting the waves used to be a challenge in the Windy City, but with the arrival of surfset classes at Moirai Health and Fitness you can take advantage of those body toning moves while staying safely on land. In class, you’ll use a surfboard mounted on a base that mimics the dynamic movements of the ocean. From paddling out to popping up, you'll burn fat, increase muscle, and improve balance during a surf-inspired workout that doesn't require a trip to Lake Michigan.

What to know

- This low-impact workout is easy on the joints.
- You must register 12 hours in advance.

Libby Lowe

Libby started writing—and kept writing—because she loves telling stories. She has spent the last 15 years as a marketing/communications professional and journalist. Libby lives in Chicago with her husband and her Great Dane, Bucket.

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