Mindset of the modern workout

Health + Wellness People

May 23, 2024

Charlotte fitness spot Barre3

8 modern workouts to level up your fitness routine in Charlotte

by Angela Williams

How and why we work out has evolved — we’ve left the feel-the-burn mentality in another life and embraced a wellness-centric routine that includes not only exercise but mindfulness, recovery, stretching and the power of community. In Charlotte, our mindset has shifted when it comes to what it means to take care of ourselves. We are determined to become the healthiest versions of ourselves. Mind, body, heart. And soul. 

The desire to look good is still there, sure. But this time around, we understand there’s even more at stake. To be comfortable and confident in our own skin is the result we crave — and the long-lasting, feel-good effect we need. 

With a few more years of perspective, we’ve also come to understand the correlation between exercise and our mental health. Moving our bodies means fighting the hard stuff — the difficult days — which has become both about the physical and the mental. Charlotte is wearing a crown, after all. We’re doing important things dependent on our best selves.

Parsing through the options of where to get results can be tricky. There are exercise studios, stretch labs, cycle bars, gyms and more. How do we choose what modern workout component best suits us in our wellness journey? It takes some gentle exploration — trying new things, finding the right spot.

Exploring the options

Lucky for us, here in Charlotte we’ve got former athletes, corporate leaders, and entrepreneurs changing the business of body.

Barre3 South Charlotte owner and instructor extraordinaire, Lauren Melillo, has one such studio. Chatting with Melillo, a former collegiate diver, four-time national champion and Olympic Trial qualifier, we are reminded she knows a thing or two. Her location, just down from Blakeney, is airy and bright. And her barre plies aren’t squats … they are the deep muscle-toning, butt-lifting masterpiece one would expect. 

In fact, you never know what you’re going to get in a Barre3 South Charlotte class. Maybe sliders, definitely speed-skaters, and always the ease of not feeling bad about modifications — because some of us just can’t crunch like we used to. Melillo has created a truly judgment-free zone. “Modification doesn’t mean easier — it means better for you,” she shares. Her studio allows us to learn what our bodies can do, rather than what they can’t.  

Looking for a semi-private option? HotWorx might be the place for you. Their 24-hour infrared fitness studio gets steamy, and there are a dozen Charlotte area locations, including SouthPark, Ballantyne and the Arboretum

courtesy HotWorx (top left), BK Pilates (lower left) and Barre3 (right, photograph by Morgan Amanda Photography

According to Ballantyne studio manager Kaliegh Moulton, infrared’s benefits include increased calorie burn, detoxification, muscle recovery, inflammation relief, improved circulation and pain relief. Unfortunately, pain management becomes a factor as we age. But it shouldn’t keep us on the sidelines.  The Ballantyne studio has more than a dozen saunas offering eight different high-intensity, low-impact isometric workout options, making the benefits of infrared accessible.

Pilates has been around for decades and has been a go-to for anyone looking for low-impact, body transforming results. Meredith Opsahl owns two BK Pilates studios in Charlotte, in South End and at Apex SouthPark, and a newly opened location in Charleston, S.C., Meredith shares that BK stands for “Be Kind,” as in, be kind to your body. We love that simple reminder.

Meredith, a former advertising professional, describes BK Pilates CLT as the “traditional method of slow, controlled, precise movements that build muscle around joints to prevent injury.” Her studios use one of our favorites — the reformer apparatuses. It’s on these reformers where we learn specific movements that help build a stronger core, help improve posture and strengthen muscles from our toes up through the neck. And when it comes to our spine, it’s reassuring to know that BK Pilates’ method is safe and effective for all bodies and all our Charlotte body types. 

More Charlotte fitness studios

Charlotte has a healthy amount of options for places to level-up that mindset we shoulder. Here are a few more worthy of exploration:

CycleBar (Waverly and Midtown): The name alone raises the heart rate.

Y2 Yoga (Cotswold, Dilworth & Fort Mill): The mind demands so much of us. Honor it.

Hilliard Studio Method (Myers Park): The workouts are sexy, yet serious. 

Club Pilates (Strawberry Hill, Dilworth, Plaza Midwood, south Charlotte): Strengthen your core with a full-body reformer workout.

StretchLab (SouthPark, Dilworth, Fort Mill): Stretch us, please. 

Charlotte has a plan for how we will tackle this next chapter of wellness. For the heartbeat of the city — and our own.

Featured image courtesy Barre3 Charlotte

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