SoulCycle in Williamsburg opened last week, and it reminded me of all the unique fitness classes that are popping up in and around New York City. As one who does not usually prefer group classes, this past month, I’ve made it a goal try a variety of challenging fitness classes that have tested my strength, stamina and flexibility. With the warm weather ahead, we all could use some toning and tightening, so check out some of my favorites that offer the best results.
Kickboxing – In a standard kickboxing class, you can burn up to 1200 calories in an hour class. Kickboxing is a high-energy workout that combines martial arts techniques and heart-pumping cardio. With classes throughout New Jersey and New York, CKO offers great kickboxing classes mixed in with some great arm, leg and abs exercises for great toned results.
Intensity level: 8
CrossFit – Many people who do CrossFit are hooked for life and make it their go-to workout. But for those of you who have yet to experience a CrossFit class, I warn you, there is immediate soreness involved. CrossFit is a program geared to prepare the body for better fitness by not focusing on any one activity. It’s a vigorous workout that combines weight training, aerobics and gymnastics all in one so that you become fit in every area of your game. Get ready for some burpees!
Intensity level: 10
Barre – Barre method is the fastest, most effective way to change your body. It will lift your seat, tone your thighs and burn fat in record-breaking time. For those not in the know, barre classes offer a dynamic mix of cadio, yoga, low-impact movements with immediate muscle stretching segments afterwards. As a class designed for women, barre is meant to build your body to one of a bonafide ballerina–lean, toned, long with improved posture. For those living outside the city in New Jersey, I highly suggest Local Barre in Hoboken.
Intensity level: 5
Cross Training – A mixture of cardio, toning, stretching and strength training in one high-energy session to generate energy and vibrancy in some muscle groups you’d never thought to work before. Anna Kaiser Training offers a fun class in downtown Manhattan, which mixes dance into the cross-training routine so you don’t even feel like you’re working out- although you sweat like you are!
Intensity level: 7
Indoor Cycling – The popularity of the spinning class has been rising steadily for several years now. At this point, it’s difficult to find a gym anywhere throughout the United States that doesn’t feature group cycling classes. Enrolling in a spinning class for exercise is a fantastic way to burn fat and improve your overall cardiovascular fitness level. SoulCycle is a great an indoor cycling class that is quickly expanding quickly, with locations in California, New York, The Hampton and Connecticut. They turn the traditional cycling class into a full on dance scene with fun instructors, on-trend music and some high-intensity arm and leg movement.
Intensity level: 6
Bikram Yoga – Get ready to heat things up (up to 106 degrees, that is!). Bikram Yoga’s twenty-six posture exercises are intended to move fresh, oxygenated blood to one hundred percent of your body to restore it healthy working order. Bikram’s signature series of 26 postures also help with a multitude of afflictions ranging from thyroid problems and weight loss to stress and insomnia. The postures work every part of your body down to a cellular level flushing toxins out of your system. Bikram Yoga NYC offers great classes throughout the city at a decent price. Get ready to say ohmmm!
Intensity level: 4