Written by: Coach Kelley
January is upon us and that means new year, new you - am I right? We all start the year off with the noblest of intentions; we’re gonna hit the gym every day, do yoga, eat well, bring lunch to work, volunteer, recycle more, maybe even learn a new language. Then, the excuses hit. It’s cold, you’re tired, it gets dark too early, you’re hungry, there’s a new Netflix show to binge, new languages are hard…
Fear not fitness warriors! Here are my top 5 picks for fun and interesting workouts to check out in NYC during the winter months:
Aerial Arts NYC is a circus studio conveniently located in midtown Manhattan. With high ceilings and a friendly atmosphere, Aerial Arts is one of my personal favorite places to take a class, as well as train for performances. Expert aerialists, acrobats, and professional performers are available seven days a week to train you in circus artistry and technique. Classes specializing in aerial and floor work range from beginner to advanced.
Owner Ben Franklin says: “I believe Aerial Arts is a wonderful place to train and learn because of the vast community of people from all walks of life. Everyone is welcome at Aerial Arts NYC. Whether you are looking for a new artistic challenge or to train physically to get into the best shape of your life. We have a supportive community of staff and students where you can learn at your own pace and discover your strength, creativity, and confidence. You will strengthen muscles you never knew you had while learning to climb, invert, balance and contort. The sky is the limit!”
Aerial Arts NYC (www.aerialartsnyc.com)
235 E. 49th St, New York, NY
M-Th: 5:30pm - 9:30pm | F: 3:30pm - 8pm | Sa & Su: 1:30pm - 5pm
The Cliffs at LIC offers a variety of options to awaken your inner mountaineer. Located in the heart of industrial Long Island City, the Cliffs offers a warm and inviting space to challenge yourself physically and mentally, while celebrating diversity and inclusivity. I took our LIC Leopards competitive gymnasts there for a team bonding trip and was extremely impressed with the enthusiastic and professional manner the staff used when working with the kids. Safety was their number one priority, and the staff went out of their way to make sure every person was included and had fun.
The Cliffs at LIC (lic.thecliffsclimbing.com)
11-11 44th Drive, LIC, NY
M-F: 6am - 12am | Sa & Su: 9am - 10pm
Are you ready to put on boxing gloves and spar with your bestie? Kickboxing is great for fitness, self-defense, cardio fitness, and muscle toning. All I love Kickboxing classes are taught by qualified instructors, many of whom are actual professional fighters.
“I have become a loyal and enthusiastic member of the I Love Kickboxing (Long Island City) community. The workouts are intense and tough, pushing me far past my typical comfort zone - in a safe and supported way. The instructors are high-energy and fun, challenging us with tough love, while also helping us individually and genuinely caring about the people in their classes. Through the cardio and strength-training conditioning “appetizer” at the beginning of class, I have become my strongest self, able to do solid, “real” pushups, burpees, and long-duration planks. The kickboxing “main course” is great for body and soul, helping me develop defined arm muscles, a stronger core, and a much more limber lower back, while also enabling me to let out the stresses of the day onto a heavy bag. Through ILKB classes, I have become my strongest and most balanced self ever. I also have found an amazing community of friends in the neighborhood.” – Remie Christ (longtime LIC resident)
4545 Center Blvd, LIC, NY
M-F: 6am - 10pm | Sa: 8am - 3pm | Su: 9am - 1pm
Located in the heart of Astoria NY, CrossFit Dynamix burst onto the fitness scene in 2012 with the motto “change your fitness, change your life.” Various memberships and classes specializing in CrossFit, boxing, and personal training are available for all your fitness needs.
Co-owner Ashley Cotler says: “CrossFit, by definition, is constantly varied functional movements done at high intensity. Our program was developed to enhance the individual’s competency at all physical tasks. To do so, we have created an environment that supports the individual athlete’s goals and challenges them to grow.”
CrossFit Dynamix (cfdynamix.com)
36-05 20th Avenue, Astoria, NY
M-F: 6am - 10pm | Sa: 9am - 4pm | Su: 11am - 3pm
Unnata Aerial Yoga moves beyond flips, tricks, and gimmicks.
“Even though Unnata Aerial Yoga is a (relatively) new and unorthodox way of practicing Hatha Yoga, Unnata Aerial Yoga teachers all do embrace, practice, and teach authentic, traditional Yoga methods. The only difference is that we use the support of a hammock to help students stay in the positions longer, and access certain positions that perhaps they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. This means the benefits you can get from taking Unnata Aerial Yoga classes are the same as the benefits you can get from traditional Yoga classes: increased flexibility, increased strength, and reduction of stress which in turn helps support your nervous, circulatory and endocrine systems.
Another main benefit of practicing Yoga postures with a hammock is that even brand-new students can flip upside-down easily and safely. Inversions are usually considered an important part of a traditional Hatha Yoga practice for many reasons. Some of the reasons are energetic and spiritual. But even if we only talk about scientifically physical reasons, flipping the body upside-down helps decompress the spine (relieves pressure on the intervertebral discs) and assists with the circulation of both the digestive and lymphatic systems, and to some extent, your blood circulation as well. There are a few people who should avoid inversions such as anyone who is pregnant, or has glaucoma or high blood pressure, etc. For everyone else, though, it is not only good for you, it is fun.” – Unnata Aerial Yoga Owner/creator Michelle Dortignac
Unnata Aerial Yoga (aerialyoga.com)
163 Bleeker Street, NYC, NY
M - F: 10am - 9pm | Sa: 10am - 5pm
Hopefully one of these crazy workouts will inspire you to get off that couch and start moving. Remember, trying new workouts will help keep your fitness regime fun and interesting. You never know, you may like it!