For yoga and Pilates practioners who want to take their work out up a notch, Core Fusion Sport, offered by Exhale at the Epic Hotel is a great option. The hour-long class takes place on Epic's front lawn with vistas of the skyscrapers at Brickell Key and downtown. The instructor, Julie Weisman, a Miami Heat dancer on sabbatical, fuses cardio, yoga moves, pilates exercises, calisthentics and stretching and relaxation techniques to give a challenging workout.
The class starts with a warm up, followed by some deep stretches. To get the heart pumping, she leads a series of movements involving squats and planks with a dumbbell as a prop, then down on the floor to a few pushups. My heart rate got up to 165 at a few points, but there are a few places during the sequences to recover.
Julie then does an upper body series involving the bands that is a lot more difficult than it appears, especially to folks who are accustomed to using free weights for upper body work. The band work continues on the floor with a killer series targeting your glutes and inner thighs from a side lying position. The ab work is Pilates-inspired with resistance provided by the band.
After all the intense work, she has you lie on your back and relax and she finishes with a good stretch. In the 57 minutes of working out I burned 444 calories, which is great considering I usually only burn around 320 calories in a regular Pilates class.
When the workout is done, you can head over to Area 31for extended happy hour specials. But after a workout like that, a cocktail isn't really what your body is craving.