The best boutique workouts in Lakeview

According to Yelp, there are 3,198 gyms in Chicago.

That’s a lot of sweaty laundry.

Tell your washing machine not to fear. With our short-but-sweet list of boutique studios (plus one bonus suggestion if simplicity is more your thing!), you’ll never need to leave Lakeview for a kick-butt workout.


Located in the century-old Parkway Theatre, 105F has been offering hot yoga instruction for 17 years, and co-owner Maura Vella says they “know what makes people glow.”

Mainstays like 60- and 90-minute traditional hot yoga classes are joined by creative options like a heated high intensity interval training Pilates class. There’s also a meditative Nidra yoga class (picture yourself laying down, eyes closed, as you listen to a peaceful voice guiding you through a series of meditations in an unheated room.)

Too relaxing for ya?  There’s always the somewhat hellish-sounding Inferno Hot Pilates.

A drop-in class is $24, or try the $39 two-week introductory offer. (Take as many classes as you wish for 14 days.)

There are cool workshops available too, including Gong baths (Google it), Thai yoga bodywork partner classes, and mindfulness lectures.


Call us basic, we don’t care. The highly Instagammable cult workout has devotees happily chained to their bikes for 45 to 60 candlelit minutes at a time. At SoulCycle, the music is killer and the energy from your neighbors pushes you through the combination of high-intensity cardio and muscle-carving strength work.

At $30 a class (SoulCycle does not offer memberships; you buy as you go, with first timers scoring their first two classes for the price of one), it’s certainly not cheap, but the demand is there: More than 82 boutique workout studios exist nationwide, with no signs of slowing down.

The Lakeview location is smack-dab in Southport Corridor, perched high above J. Crew. You can BYOSS (Bring Your Own Spin Shoes) or rent them on site, and don’t forget to sign up ahead of time; insiders reveal Monday at noon is the best time to snag your favorite bike.

Iron & Oar

Get your row on at this dedicated rowing studio. The Halsted hotspot combines rowing with weights in a few different ways, including a 45-minute introductory class, a 45-minute Signature Row class, and even ROWGA, which blends – you guessed it – rowing with yoga. recently named them one of “12 Rowing Studios You Need To Check Out ASAP” and raved over “the chic wood interiors, pop-y music and high-energy circuits.”

Your first class will only set you back $10; drop-in classes are $24 each or grab a 5-pack for $109. (More pricing info here.)

Hard muscles aside, Iron & Oar has a soft side: When back-to-back hurricanes devastated the Caribbean and Gulf Coast, the studio hosted a Hurricane Relief Workout, with proceeds going to The Red Cross. And last summer, they invited the public to come watch local team rowers at Sidetrack row an entire marathon, with 10 percent of proceeds given to Howard Brown Health.

Prenatal Fit

Expect to have moves like “Kiss Baby Pushups” and “Super Baby Crunches” incorporated into your workouts at this mom-centric studio, which caters to the pregnant and postpartum crowd.

Try a Pilates-based class to strengthen the pelvic floor, improve overall body strength and flexibility, and help you focus on breath work.

Prenatal Yoga promises to help you connect with and celebrate your changing body. There’s also Partner, Mommy and Me Yoga; one-on-one IVF Yoga (tailored to alleviate some of stress of infertility); Prenatal Bellydance; and more.

Owner and mom-of-three Adina Rosenberg Natanson says a postpartum rehab class is in the works, as is an internet-based membership for expecting and new moms who live too far away to get to the gym.

Drop-in classes are $25 (although there’s a current two-for-$18 special for new members); a 10-class pass costs $180. On-site massage and babysitting are available. Street parking is free and the studio is located a block from Costco, so you can easily dash over to grab some diapers after class.

Bonus: YMCA

You might be thinking: The Y? Why?!

Here’s why: Sure, it’s relatively bare bones compared to its neighboring boutique workout studios, and there are no free towels or fruit-infused water coolers.

But at the YMCA the equipment works, there’s zero pressure to show up in your cutest athleisurewear, and you can’t beat the cost: $53 per month at the Lakeview location (ages 27 and up); $27 per month (ages 19-26); and just $85 per month for an entire family, including free – free! – child care in a clean, bright, friendly kids’ area. The Y also offers affordable swim lessons, camps and more for kiddos.

When you work out at the Lakeview YMCA, you’re also helping the greater good. It’s part of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, a nonprofit dedicated not just to fitness, but also to strengthening communities, promoting academic readiness, violence prevention, community service and more.

Written by Leslie Goldman
Leslie Goldman is a writer and laptop hobo living in Chicago whose life goals are, in no particular order: world peace; happiness and health for her family and to live in Southport Corridor.