Our Favorite NYC Workouts, Ever
You’d think that having a million fitness studios in this city would mean ever-changing workouts (and, you know, abs—but we digress). In actuality, though, it can feel pretty overwhelming…which leads to us just going to the same place over and over. (Chipotle. Ha. We kid.) So we decided to poll the office on the workouts they love—and everyone from serious fitness buffs to wary gymgoers chimed in.
Cycling seems to inspire fanatical devotion in its followers, but it can be intimidating for the uninitiated. The super-friendly instructors at Crank NYC (locations on the Upper East Side and Long Island City) make for one of the most welcoming environments we’ve ever encountered and a great workout to boot.
If you have trouble getting past the whole hamster-on-a-wheel feeling, The Monster Cycle (Soho, Chelsea) keeps you entertained by screening music videos at the front of the class. (Trust us, you just feel stronger watching Beyoncé strut on-screen.)
So maybe you’re competitive, but not so competitive that you’re ready to see your name (and speed and mileage) on a screen for everyone to see. At Swerve, classes are divided into teams, which boosts the rivalry factor without singling anyone out.
Yoga studios might be minimalist or serene, but “fun” isn’t usually a descriptor you hear thrown around. Not the case at Laughing Lotus, whose locations (Flatiron and Williamsburg) are outfitted with splashy, colorful murals and instructors with the energy to match.
If it is serenity you’re after, Reflections Yoga (Gramercy) gets points for small class sizes and tailored instruction for all levels. One editor swears by its Sweaty Stretch class: “I have back and neck problems and this class has helped me in ways no doctor ever could.”
By far, the yoga that got the most raves was the heated, hip-hop-fueled class at Y7 Studio (locations throughout the city). As one staffer put it, “I hated hot yoga until Y7. I’m still in denial about it being hot yoga…but I love it.”
Strength + Cardio
We have some serious fitness fiends in our midst, and they swear by the workout at Tone House (NoMad, Upper East Side), which they say “makes you feel like a legit athlete.” We have always wondered what it would be like to be Serena Williams…
Jogging in the city is a good idea until you realize that dodging tourists and trash piles isn’t the workout you had in mind. Which is probably why so many people love Mile High Run Club’s challenging (but customizable to your level) treadmill classes (Noho, NoMad).
For the rhythmically challenged among us, dance-cardio sounds like a special form of torture. But the “shame-free” attitude at Broadway Bodies (Chelsea) might be enough to convert us—especially since it means we get to learn choreography based on everything from Rihanna to Hamilton.
If you find it hard to focus on your plank pose in a room full of sweaty dudes, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief at Uplift Studios’ women-only workouts (Flatiron). We’re partial to the 45-minute Sculpt class, which targets all your major muscles while being low-impact enough for those with knee and back issues.
Everyone knows Equinox has some of the best classes in town. Not everyone knows that you don't have to spring for a membership to get access to them: Project by Equinox, the gym's new studio spinoff (Nolita) is where instructors try out new class concepts like Babes & Bands and #TMI (tempo, metabolic, isometric).
If you haven’t strapped on a pair of gloves yet, what are you waiting for? Newbies are welcome at Work Train Fight (Noho), where you can borrow gloves for free and learn to throw punches with the best of ’em.
Church Street Boxing Gym (Tribeca) is the old-school neighborhood gym of our dreams. Classes are intense (expect lots of conditioning as well as bag work), and there’s a good chance you’ll be working out alongside a professional fighter or two.
While not strictly a boxing gym, Aerospace is a great spot to practice your hooks and uppercuts or get your heart rate way up via body-weight strength training and next-level jump rope.
First, get your rage out, then find your Zen at box + flow, which combines 35 minutes of boxing with a rebalancing yoga flow (in other words, the perfect combo for New Yorkers). Bonus: Classes are barefoot, so no schlepping your Nikes around all day.