Make Over Your Exercise Routine

Edina mom and blogger Nina Badzin samples local fitness options.
Nina Badzin, freelance writer and blogger at, tries a new fitness routine at Title Boxing Club in Edina.

As a busy mom of four in Edina, I get attached to one workout routine when an activity fits my schedule. In the spring and summer, for example, I walked the same paths beyond the point of boredom. With the weather changing, I’m motivated to find new and interesting indoor workouts and to seek out some group camaraderie. Luckily, I have numerous choices right here in town.

Title Boxing Club Edina

On the way to Title Boxing Club, I pictured a boxing ring and imagined my shrieks as I cowered in the corner. What I found was a boxing-inspired cardio workout. After learning how to wrap my hands before placing them in boxing gloves, I sampled a Power Hour cardio class.

We moved through a 15-minute warm-up, including arm circles, shoulder raises, and laps around the 100-pound boxing bags. Then we put on gloves for eight rounds including three minutes of punching and one minute of active rest moves such as squats and push-ups.

While the lunges and push-ups were a familiar challenge, I was in foreign territory with the punching. Gwen, the instructor, patiently taught me how to do a jab, a hook, and an uppercut. The hour flew by quickly as I learned new skills and had a great time. I also found the atmosphere and staff welcoming and casual. Next time, I’d like to try one of Title’s signature kickboxing classes.

Ross Erickson

Title’s general manager in Edina, Ross Erickson, explained that they’re trying to spread the word. Erickson says, “In other markets where Title is a more established brand, when people say ‘I have a membership at Title’ potential clients know that it’s not fighting. It’s all about fun and getting in great shape using an authentic style of boxing. Heart, muscles and lungs all get a workout.”

Monthly single and family memberships are available after a complimentary class. Kids can work out starting at around nine years old.

Title Boxing Club Edina
5300 Edina Industrial Blvd., Suite 100


After hearing so much about the increasingly popular CrossFit workout, I was nervous about trying their strength and conditioning regimen, which I had assumed was only for serious athletes and military squads. However, according to Damian Hirtz, owner of CrossFit Minnesota, “The beauty of CrossFit is scalability. Fitness level doesn’t matter, just the understanding of the basic movements and the ability to perform them safely.”

Indeed, I saw different levels come together in this no-nonsense gym. Hirtz led me, one other beginner and several extraordinarily fit men and women through a typical CrossFit class consisting of mobility drills, a skill based warm-up, and the workout of the day, which is a round of calisthenics, strength moves and other combinations completed by CrossFit gyms around the country.

Although Hirtz modified my workout with an easier burpee and lighter weights on my barbell, I still felt like part of the group. Participants keep track of how many sets they complete in each round, creating a competitive yet friendly atmosphere. The group motivation at CrossFit is as big a draw as the intense workout scaled to each person’s strength. I liked that Hintz encourages even his most dedicated members to keep walking, running, skiing, playing basketball or whatever activities they enjoy. “CrossFit is meant to support our clients’ lives,” he says, “not become their lives.”

Someone like me walking into CrossFit for the first time should take advantage of the one-on-one or smaller group options to learn all the standard moves so that entering a class would be that much more comfortable.

Monthly memberships and class packages are available after a complimentary class.

CrossFit Minnesota
7399 Bush Lake Road

Personal trainer Justin Trangsrud gives Nina a workout at Title Boxing Club.

Corepower Yoga & Spa

During my first-ever visit to this beautiful space overlooking the water at Centennial Lakes, I was tempted to spend all my time in the lobby as I perused the spa menu, the large retail selections and tasted a cold-pressed juice from local company Juice-So-Good.

The yoga sculpt class I sampled was one I already knew well from other locations, so I was accustomed to the heat, humidity, weights and bursts of cardio. What made this particular session special was the teacher, Lee Hersh, who writes one of my favorite food blogs, Franchise director Nikki Peters suggested that next time I try one of several classes unique to the Edina studio. In addition to the standard heated beginner and intermediate classes, sculpt classes and hot power fusion classes available at all locations, the Edina studio offers a meditative class, yin yoga, where poses are held for three to five minutes; Candlelit Flow, which may include guided meditation; a vinyasa class with live music every Friday night; a gentle morning flow class called CoreRestore; and a year-long course, Year of the Yogi.

Monthly memberships and class packages are available after a free introductory week.

Corepower Yoga & Spa
7495 France Ave. S.

The Barre

Those new to barre as an exercise practice might confuse it with the ballet barre-mirrors, wood floors and lithe teachers—then run out the door before giving this method of muscle work a chance. I went through a long barre infatuation (years after my Pilates phase) so I already knew to expect a concentrated full-body toning workout at the Barre. Nevertheless, the best way to know the quality of a business and its staff is to experience it yourself.

The studio at the Barre is lined with windows overlooking the busy intersection near 50th and France, allowing for good light and none of that dungeon-like feel that happens in some gyms. Street parking on Ewing Avenue South or nearby was easy, and the clean, pleasant locker room with provided locks made it easy to stick my computer in a safe place and get to work. The class itself was exactly what I expected: a guided and challenging workout for big and small muscles using small movements and requiring no dance experience whatsoever.

Sisters-in-law Rachel and Paula Warford opened their first barre studio in Wayzata after discovering how barre classes in New York gave them newfound strength and lean muscles unattainable through cardio or weight lifting alone. A special feature of both the Edina and Wayzata studios is the option for child care during certain class times for an extra $5.

Monthly memberships and class packages are available after a complimentary class.

The Barre
3801 W. 50th St., Suite 200

Rachel Warford helps Nina with her form at the Barre Studio in Edina. Photo courtesy of Rachel Warford

Paragon Pilates & Physical Therapy

Walking into the calming atmosphere of Paragon Pilates was like coming home. Not to my home, where I have four kids ages 10 and under, but it reminded me of the Pilates workouts I loved five years ago during a less hectic time in my life.

Paragon Pilates offers private and small group sessions appropriate for multiple fitness levels. Co-owner Cari Riis Stemmler says, “We work with people from 8 to 80, elite athletes to post-surgical patients to everything in between.”

Since I went through the aforementioned Pilates phase, I was permitted to sample a small group equipment class at Paragon without completing the requisite 5 to 10 individual or duet sessions first. Within minutes, the arm and ankle ropes and springs of the strange-looking reformer felt familiar, natural and worked my core. The highly trained instructors at Paragon provide the personal attention only possible with a group of four clients, ensuring everyone breathes properly through each movement and uses deep core muscles.

Another unique offering at Paragon is Core Align, a system that gets at more of the standing element than a typical Pilates workout. Paragon also offers mat classes, which are a less expensive option than equipment classes.

Stemmler says that Pilates changes people’s bodies. She added that clients should also find a cardio routine they enjoy, since Pilates is meant to enhance and complement whatever sport you love to do, even walking or golf.

Package rates are available for mat classes and for small group equipment after the completion of 5 to 10 individual or duet sessions.

Paragon Pilates & Physical Therapy

5101 Vernon Ave. S., Suite 2A

Additional Options in Edina

Steele Fitness announced plans in June to expand their space and offer personal gym memberships in addition to personal training. Similar to other Steele locations, the Edina gym will have a limited number of memberships available.

Steele Fitness
3908 W. 50th St.

At the Edina Community Center, popular Zumba classes with instructor Katherine McGraw sound like a fun and challenging workout in a casual setting.

Edina Community Center

5701 Normandale Road