According to Nielsen, the global ratings firm that keeps track of consumer trends in the United States and all over the world, 37% of Americans vowed to stay fit, and 32% wanted to lose weight as part of their 2015 New Year’s resolutions. New Yorkers can be hard pressed to follow through with this commitment, however, due to a busy, hectic lifestyle as well as the lack of proximal green space for outdoor activities (not to mention the inhospitable winter weather).
Don’t give up hope, though, as there is a flux of unique, out-of-the-box fitness trends sweeping the city of late. Here’s a look at the latest and greatest workouts to make their mark on the Big Apple.
Barre: Formerly reserved for ballerinas, barre workouts are taking the city by storm. The fitness craze addresses the entire body with a focus on abs, thighs, hips, arms, and buttocks, and is comprised of an intense combination of stretching and strengthening. Some classes utilize light weights as a way to add power to the workout, and some movements may use a small fitness ball or resistance bands. The beauty in this ballet-inspired routine is that it’s easy on the joints due to the small movements. You can check it out at Pure Barre. Another NY-based option is Physique 57, a fitness studio which offers a blend of barre and cardio for a ramped-up exercise experience.
Xmovo: This is a truly unique workout experience based upon an interactive social platform accessed through the internet on mobile devices, the computer or Smart TV. The concept is based upon a goal of delivering an effective workout at home, without the isolation and lack of motivation that often accompany solo exercise. Xmovo allows you to interact with friends via real-time chat, record your progress, and gain rewards in the form of points redeemable for various products or services.
Something else sets this interactive workout apart – the free option. You can choose from three plans, two of which are pay (either pay by the week or by the year). The paid plans offer full access to all of the routines. Classes – which are limited to 10 people at a time to create a more intimate feel – are 45 minutes long and focus on lean muscle development, target fat burning, and overall body conditioning. Users enter their data after completing their class.
Treadmill Running: Indoor running is taking off in New York City. If that sounds like your speed, become a member of the city’s Mile High Club (no, not that Mile High Club!), the very first gym dedicated only to running. Workouts begin at an easy jogging pace and then ramp up, using the HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) concept to optimize the burn. This form of training is great in addition to your regular running routine and is an effective cardio option as well.
Trapeze: They fly through the air with the greatest of ease…and you can too! That’s right, trapeze classes are all the rage. If this tickles your fancy, Trapeze School New York offers two options – an indoor studio in Long Island City or an outdoor school at the South Street Seaport at Pier 40. The workouts, according to a TSNY spokesperson, are two hours long and will give your entire body an unconventional, gym-free workout, strengthening your core, bottom, legs, lats, all of it. You don’t have to start out with insane upper body strength either – instructors help you develop that as you go, teaching how to climb the ladder, grasp for different positions, and yes – they hook you up to safety lines.
TSNY offers stand-alone sessions or an intense ten-week workshop during which you train with the same instructor and students in order to solidify a variety of techniques. If flying through the air like a circus performer is worth the $50-70 per class to you, check it out here.
SoulCycle: Bored with spinning? This fresh take on indoor cycling might get your heart pounding with excitement again. Not only does this workout utilize a combination of cardio and hand weights, plus gives the core a hefty run for its money, it does so to the tune of customized, upbeat music, enthusiastic instruction, and dimmed lighting. In fact, the music is so loved by those who work out to it that it’s even available on Spotify under “Soul Tunes.” If joining the likes of Madonna and Oprah on the SoulCycle bandwagon sounds like it’s up your alley, cruise on over to the website. With 10 locations across Brooklyn and Manhattan, there’s plenty of inspired cycling to go around.
Whether you are into low-impact, lean muscle-building moves, or you crave the adventure of soaring through the air while dreaming of the big top, New York City’s fitness trends have something to offer everyone.