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Run This Town

Niche Workouts in New York
  • Aquacycling

    “Aquacycling”

  • Soul Cycle

    SoulCycle (Image courtesy of Patrick Butler/ SoulCycle)

  • Gansevoort Park Hotel

    The Exhale Gym: Core Fusion at the Gansevoort Park Hotel

  • Manoir Hovey

    Americano On-The-Go

  • Smyth

    SURFSET® at Chelsea Piers (Left Image courtesy of SURFSET®)

  • The Greenwich Hotel

    The Greenwich Hotel

  • Smyth

    Smyth

  • Soul Cycle

    Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp (Images courtesy of Ariane Hundt/ Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp)

  • Andaz Wall Street

    Andaz Wall Street

CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

On the Atlantic coast, where the Hudson and East rivers meet the sea.

WHY GO

This is one of just a handful of cities with a genuine shot at the title of Capital of the World. If it isn’t happening in New York, it isn’t happening.

HOW

It’s practically impossible to avoid — all roads, rails and flight paths in the eastern U.S. seem to lead to New York.

TABLET TIP

Try to see the city’s much-vaunted attitude as a positive rather than a negative. Rarely will a New Yorker leave you wondering what he really thinks.

New York City, August, 2013

Working out while on the road can be a difficult proposition. Elliptical machines and treadmills are perfectly serviceable, but far from inspiring, and running in city traffic isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. In New York, though, a growing number of group fitness studios are offering innovative ways to burn some calories, with everything from underwater stationary bikes to high-tech, dry-land surfing simulators.

At the Gansevoort Park, a branch of the spa and fitness center exhale offers several inspired classes, including “boot camps,” cardio workouts and yoga classes. Each deploys an arsenal of muscle-chiseling tools that range from weights to ballet barres, combining moves like pliés, yoga poses and even mountain-climbing techniques.

Across town, grab a smoothie at the Hotel Americano’s café and juice bar before heading to the SURFSET® studio, tucked away near the rock-climbing wall in the massive Chelsea Piers sports complex. There, you’ll spend most of the next forty-five minutes on something called a RipSurfer X, a board balanced on three physio balls and tethered to a base by elastic bands. Initially, merely maintaining your footing will feel like a workout, but you’ll soon be moving through a sequence of surf-inspired moves — “catching a wave,” for example, by lying down and popping up to a surf stance. For motivation, glance over at the video footage of surfers tearing through waves, projected onto one of the studio’s walls.

For those who actually want to be in the water, there’s AQUA, a sleek, spa-like space in which fifteen stationary bikes are submerged in a four-foot-deep swimming pool. Pedaling against the resistance of the water — or “aquacycling,” as the orthographically innovative fitness community would have it — is somehow both strenuous and calming.

Riders at the nearby spin studio SoulCycle leave soaked as well — in sweat, that is. The studio’s packed, fever-pitch classes, which take place by candlelight, are equal parts motivating and muscle-building. The TriBeCa location offers SoulBands, a variation that ups the toning quotient with resistance bands hung from the ceiling above each bike. Post-spin, whether in or out of the water, limp back to the nearby Smyth or the Greenwich Hotel for a well-earned catnap.

Of course if you’re traveling to New York, you’ll want to get outdoors and see some sights. Sign up for the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp and you’ll get some killer views with your killer workout. The routine involves running across the bridge and back, stopping several times for push-ups, lunges, squats, planks and a range of other exercises that work the upper- and lower-body. At the nearby Andaz Wall Street, you may want to book an in-room massage for the next day, when you’ll no doubt be feeling the aftershocks.

Meghana Gandhi is on Tumblr.

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CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

On the Atlantic coast, where the Hudson and East rivers meet the sea.

WHY GO

This is one of just a handful of cities with a genuine shot at the title of Capital of the World. If it isn’t happening in New York, it isn’t happening.

HOW

It’s practically impossible to avoid — all roads, rails and flight paths in the eastern U.S. seem to lead to New York.

TABLET TIP

Try to see the city’s much-vaunted attitude as a positive rather than a negative. Rarely will a New Yorker leave you wondering what he really thinks.

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