Fitness Classes in NYC Help to Add Fun to Gym Routines


Yoga classes can be taken all over the city, including rooftops and gardens. Courtesy of Caroline Lebranti.

By Amanda Giglio

Yoga classes can be taken all over the city, including rooftops and gardens. Courtesy of Caroline Lebranti.
Yoga classes can be taken all over the city, including rooftops and gardens. Courtesy of Caroline Lebranti.

While getting into a gym routine at college may be hard, there are more interesting ways to exercise than the usual treadmill and elliptical at the Ram Fit Center. With Soul Cycle being the newest and most talked about exercise class, it is clear that there is a desire for more innovative fitness classes. New York City is a great place to look for free or inexpensive fitness classes and workouts, and seeking out cool options is a great way to get into the city and explore.

For the yoga fanatics there are hundreds of options to choose from for a new yoga experience. Three Jewels in the East Village has classes that are all donation-based. Yoga to the People has multiple studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn with drop-in rates from five to 10 dollars. Yoga Agora and Hosh Yoga, in Astoria and Williamsburg, respectively, both have five dollar classes. The Earth Wellness Cafe and Go Yoga, both in Williamsburg, have drop-in classes for $12. The most expensive studio drop-in rates are Yoga Vida and Harlem Yoga Studio with $16 classes, which is still a steal for a good yoga class. Studios with great intro-rate deals include Sonic Yoga, Bikram Yoga NYC and Yogaworks, with a month of unlimited yoga for around $30. For a very different yoga experience, Willkommen Deep House Yoga hosts visiting yoga instructors every Monday and Tuesday for vinyasa flow and other practices backed to music. Prismatic lights and a twinkling disco ball top this rave-meets-relaxation yoga vibe. This studio is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with classes at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Mats are complimentary.

For anyone who loves dancing, 305 Fitness is the best place to start. These classes combine easy-to-follow, DJ-fueled dance sequences with conditioning and resistance moves like lunges and jumping jacks. The music will make you forget to feel self-conscious of your sub-par dance moves. For the early birds, Morning Gloryville has sunrise rituals starting at 6:30 a.m. that pump you up with dance floor powered music and resident spinner Tasha Blank. If you are more competitive, Swerve Fitness combines cycling and racing for a more aggressive workout. Classes are divided into three teams that race with a scoreboard showcasing the leading team. There are recovery periods of varying intensity and free-weight arm rounds to round out the class at about 45 minutes. You can re-fuel at the smoothie bar afterward. New customers get two rides for the price of one.
As trampoline studios have become more popular, fitness classes have been developed to add to this experience. Studio in the Sky is the 92nd Street Y’s rooftop gymnastic facility, aimed at adults. Whether beginner, intermediate or advanced, there is a class for everyone. Open workouts are $20 for two hours. Another trampoline fitness studio is JumpLife in Tribeca. The studio founder, Montserrat Markou, believes that airborne fitness increases production of red blood cells and lowers blood pressure.

While these fitness classes are all fun and exciting to partake in, sometimes you need some incentive to work out. The incentive of food is a great way to get your friends to join you for that high intensity workout. Located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, The Cobra Club is a coffee shop, music venue and gym, with the motto “Yoga for your dark side. Spirits for your soul.” This venue has inventive classes like Metal Yoga on Sundays and Wednesdays.
After your workout, enjoy coffee and a doughnut or a beer special. For Friday evening Happy Hours, Uplift Studios has High-intensity Interval Training Happy Hour, combining intense cardio with light-resistance training and Strength Happy Hour that is slower-paced and heavier weights. Each class comes with a glass of wine afterwards, as you comfort your friends after a hard workout.

For the Shake Shack lovers, Shack Track & Field uses burgers and fries to motivate anyone. This is Shake Shack’s free fitness club that meets for a three to five mile run on the second Tuesday of every month, or in collaboration with JackRabbit Sports, a 40-plus-mile bike ride on the first Saturday of the month or an hour-long yoga session on the third Saturday. All workouts end with food and a round on the house. If food does not motivate you to take a fitness class, I do not know what will.

Even though it is a little different from your normal gym routine, going into New York City and taking a couple of friends to try a new fitness class is a great way to have fun and get some exercise at an affordable price. If all else fails, just the trek to the D train is enough of a workout.