Cycling through Central Park, jogging along the West Side Highway and climbing the 354 steps to the Crown at the Statue of Liberty are all great ways to burn calories in New York. That being said, the city is home to a number of innovative workouts health-conscious travelers won’t want to miss, from aerial ballet to simulating surfing and beyond. To help you indulge in delicious Brooklyn pizza, the Big Apple’s tastiest restaurants and creamy slices of cheesecake without guilt while also introducing you to something new, here are six trendy New York City workouts to try on your next trip. Tip: Most New York studios offer discounted multi-class packages, so check the websites below to buy classes in bulk and save.
1. AntiGravity AIRbarre
Adventurous types in NYC should try AntiGravity AIRbarre, the brainchild of Broadway dancer and Aerial Choreographer Christopher Harrison. The idea is that in order to have a butt that defies gravity, you need to defy gravity, and the ballet-inspired moves in the class take you off the ground via a Harrison AntiGravity® Hammock. Picture jumps, plies and releves performed in the air, with the average class — offered at the AntiGravity Lab in NYC and at CRUNCH gyms — burning 650 calories. Bonus: It’s also a glam NYC experience, as turning the body upside down is one of the oldest ways to maintain a youthful glow.
- Pricing: $22 per session, although first-time New York locals pay $10.
2. SURFSET New York City
Surfing probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when picturing the concrete jungle of NYC; however, SURFSET New York City’s 45-minute surf-inspired workouts put you on top of an unstable surf board set atop three balance balls. It feels like you’re actually on water, improving balance, building muscle and strengthening your core. During the class interval training mimics the timing and tempo of actual surf lessons, with exercises ranging from paddling and popping up to your feet (to catch a wave!) to tricep dips and pushups.
- Pricing: $32 per session, although first-timers pay $25.
3. The Bar Method
While barre classes are trendy in NYC, The Bar Method has staying power, having launched in 2001. In fact, the creators of the Bar Method studied under Lotte Berk, thought to be the inventor of barre-style classes, infusing her concepts but using physical therapist guidance to offer a workout that’s safer on the joints while incorporating more targeted movements to reshape muscles, burn body fat and improve posture. The focus is on small movements and deep contractions working the muscles to exhaustion and then stretching and elongating them while they’re still warm — all to the beat of the music — for a lean dancer look. Because specific muscles are targeted, fitness-goers see immediate results — the perfect workout before slipping into an outfit for a night on the town. At their SoHo location, you can also try the advanced Bar Move, a fast fusion of cardio and strength training. Another option for those on the go is their online classes, called Bar Online, which you can perform in your NYC hotel and start at $5 per day.
- Pricing: $35 per session. New clients can sign up for a 30-day unlimited package for $149.
4. ReXist360 HIIT
At The Movement in Flatiron, those wanting a high-energy workout can take ReXist360 HIIT, combing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with resistance to the largest muscle groups — all to the beat of high-energy music. What sets this class apart are the ReXist360 training bands, which boast the market’s only patented resistance bands. Attached at two points by velcro, the bands provide 360 degrees of resistance — you can even run and climb stairs in them.
- Pricing: $26 per class, with a buy-one-get-one-free offer for new clients.
5. Body Conceptions
Created by a former professional dancer, a Method trainer and the former creative director at FlyBarre, Body Conceptions — weekday classes are held at Adelante Studios and Stepping Out Studios on weekends — fuses sculpting moves from Barre classes and core work from dance, blending a variety of dance genres from heel kicks to leaps to lunges to upbeat dance music. Different Body Conceptions classes have different focuses, such as BoCo Classic, which mixes cardio and sculpting to focus on all areas of the body, and BoCo Blast 45, an uber high energy experience lots of jumping and plyometrics.
- Pricing: $20 per class.
CityRow CEO & Founder, Helaine Knapp, doesn’t come from the fitness world; however, she loved the way group classes made fitness fun and social. That being said, she felt NYC’s endless supply of spin and boot camps were getting old — not to mention gave her lower back pain — and so she set off to develop a routine that was both high intensity and low impact. Meet, CityRow, a hybrid row class incorporating both cardio and strength to use 84% of the body’s muscles — 60% legs, 25% core and 15% arms — for a total body workout.
- Pricing: $32 per class. New members can also purchase three classes for $90.
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