Whether you prefer a full-service gym such as Equinox and New York Sports Clubs or a smaller studio focused on specialties such as aerial yoga, circuit training, Reformer Pilates, or barre-based workouts, Brooklyn Heights has a fitness center for you.
144 Montague Street (between Henry and Clinton Streets)
A Brooklyn mini empire, Area includes a spa, an afterschool club for kids, and three yoga studios, including this one. Vinyasa, often called flow, yoga classes include those for newbies, prenatal, and restorative, in which poses are held longer to aide in relaxation and meditation. Iyengar yoga, which emphasizes body alignment and precision, is taught as well. And MamaBear Yoga enables new mothers to stretch and tone without having to find a sitter; the babies are even incorporated into the poses.
158 Montague Street (between Henry and Clinton Streets)
Reformer beds are a cornerstone of classes at Brooklyn Heights Pilates. Image: Runway Pilates/Flickr
Located on the same block as Area Yoga, this studio uses Reformer beds, which incorporate pulleys and cords, to provide workouts with optimal resistance. As well as open-level sessions, there are classes specifically for beginners as well as those for more-experienced practitioners. As befits family-friendly Brooklyn Heights, the studio offers classes catering to prenatal and postnatal women as well. Those looking for a bit of novelty might like the Barre Variations class, which incorporates ballet and yoga into the proceedings, or the Reformer & Jump Board classes, which offer additional cardio benefits.
194 Joralemon Street (between Clinton and Court Streets)
You can take part in both Pilates and Vinyasa yoga classes at the Brooklyn Heights outpost of the national gym chain—and plenty more classes besides. The high-intensity interval training offerings include Tabata, a half-hour session composed of four-minute exercises, each of which consists of eight rounds of intense work for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. The Cut is a shadow-boxing workout with hand weights in lieu of a bag, set to propulsive tunes; Pure Strength is a circuit-training class featuring both weightlifting and body-resistance exercises; the Muse is a dance-inspired cardio workout. The five-story facility includes dedicated cycling studios as well as all manner of machines and barres, and personal training is available too.
163 Remsen Street (between Clinton and Court Streets)
The heat is on—in a good way—at this studio specializing in hot Vinyasa yoga. Open-level, hour-long classes are offered throughout the day, with infrared heating technology keeping the studio at 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit and playlists designed to coordinate with the movements and enhance relaxation. Among niceties that set Heatwise apart: Instructors take music requests, and participants are guaranteed at least a foot of space between them and their fellow attendees. The studio holds a few low-heat and even unheated classes as well.
26 Court Street (at Remsen Street)
As is the case at fellow multipurpose gym Equinox, New York Sports Clubs is all about variety. Get moving to Zumba one day, slow down with Hatha yoga the next. Tone and trim your abdominals the day after, or opt for a cycling class, or Total Body Conditioning, or kickboxing, or work out yourself on the myriad cardio and resistance machines or with the numerous free weights.
186 Montague Street (between Clinton and Court Streets)
Orangetheory Fitness provides its proprietary circuit-training workouts throughout the day, making it easy to fit a session into your schedule. Each 60-minute class consists of more than 30 brief bursts of various exercises incorporating everything from treadmills to hand weights to calisthenics. Classes are open level, but the coaches will work with you to ensure that the workout is appropriate for your particular fitness level and goals.
55 Court Street (between Joralemon and Livingston Streets)
Like Orangetheory, SoulCycle is a specialty studio with a proprietary workout, this one a high-intensity indoor cycling session. The playlists drawn up by each instructor are nearly as critical to each 45-minute class as the specially engineered bikes, so you should check the calendar for specialty sessions featuring, say, the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync, Madonna, or Radiohead.
196 State Street, Suite 2C (between Clinton and Court Streets)
If you think all Pilates classes are alike, you have never been to Streamline Pilates. This studio holds a variety of Pilates sessions. Some use the Reformer machine; other rely exclusively on mats and props such as foam rollers. You can also opt for hybrid sessions that begin with a mat warm-up before moving onto the Reformer and classes that also incorporate the Wunda chair, designed by Joseph Pilates himself. In addition to group classes, Streamline offers two-person sessions and personal instruction.
147 Remsen Street (between Clinton and Court Streets)
The signature Xtend Barre workout is a medley of ballet and Pilates with, as the name suggests, extensive work at a barre. Each hour-long session provides a full-body workout while allowing you to channel your inner Anna Pavlova (or Angelina Ballerina). The studio provides variations on the theme as well. In addition to pre- and postnatal classes, options include Xtend Pilates Fusion, with 15 minutes of barre work followed by 45 minutes of mat exercises, and Xtend Suspend, which incorporates TRX suspension training.
43 Schermerhorn Street (between Clinton and Court Streets)
At Yoga Pole you can keep your feet firmly on the ground or hit new heights by spinning around a pole or swinging on an aerial hoop. And although “yoga” is in the studio’s name, gymnastics is just as fundamental. Classes include Find My Handstand, which provides a workout for the core, back, shoulder, and hip muscles; Pole Express, a beginner class that starts with yoga postures before seguing to spinning and climbing the pole; and Aerial Hoop, where students learn how to mount, grip, and sit in the low-hanging titular device.
53 Court Street (between Joralemon and Livingston Streets)
Located next to SoulCycle, this large studio provides numerous yoga variations, from classic Vinyasa to the 45-minute Flow Express to Hip Hop Yoga, set to a soundtrack that progresses up to high energy before slowing down again. Pilates mat classes are on the menu too, along with TRX circuit training, SculptWorks resistance training, and Weekday Warrior, which combines TRX and SculptWorks into one intensive 45-minute workout.