The fitness options of Greenwich Village are as eclectic and quirky as the neighborhood itself. Along with top-of-the-line full-service gyms such as New York Sports Club (which has two Village locations) and David Barton’s TMPL, the neighborhood offers plenty of boutique studios specializing in everything from barre and yoga to Pilates and cycling. Below are some of the more intriguing fitness classes available in the Village.
434 Avenue of the Americas (between Ninth and Tenth Streets), Fifth Floor
You need not be a young child to make your dream of performing pliés and pirouettes a reality. In addition to classes for young and pro dancers, Joffrey Ballet School offers classes for adults of all ages. These include Absolute Beginner Ballet, which accommodates even those who have never so much as set foot in a dance class. The class emphasizes body alignment, basic ballet exercises (including those pliés), barre work, and terminology. From there you can progress to Ballet: The Basics or Beginner Ballet, where you learn, among other things, how to twirl across the floor in a straight line, and eventually to Intermediate and Pointe classes. Joffrey’s open classes also include instruction in hip-hop, contemporary, and jazz dancing. Although the instructors have impressive professional dance and choreography credentials (this is the Joffrey Ballet School, after all), enjoyment and fitness are the prime objectives.
20 West 14th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)
Remember how much fun it was to bounce on a trampoline when you were a kid? Fithouse’s 45-minute Bounce class lets you relive that liberating thrill while getting a solid cardio workout, all without putting too much stress on your joints. Each class member grabs his or her own personal trampoline, low enough to sit right down on but high enough (and elastic enough) to provide plenty of bounce. Fithouse is not just about jumping up and down, however. The studio’s offering includes Barre, HIIT, Kettlebell and Abs, and several yoga classes.
513 Hudson Street (between Christopher and 10th Streets)
Ground Movement incorporates everything from handstands to shoulder rolls to dance steps. Image: Willspace Movement/FB
The thinking behind this class is that most fitness routines do not focus enough on footwork, handstands, and other exercises that make the most of the ground on which we stand—and squat, roll, jump, and walk. Movements from modern dance, capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian martial art that fuses acrobatics, dance, and music), and Eastern martial arts are incorporated into the workout. As with Willspace’s other classes, Active Flexibility and Strength Movement, participants of all fitness levels are welcome, and the goal is to increase the strength and flexibility of all muscles, including those that conventional workouts tend to neglect.
97 Greenwich Avenue (between Bank and 12th Streets)
If your standard Pilates class no longer leaves you as sweaty or enthused as it used to, consider Pilates Remix. The classic Pilates moves and props, and the same emphasis on proper breathing, are incorporated into a faster-paced choreography set to a driving beat. Indeed, Equinox is known for its energetic, hard-driving classes, and its Greenwich Avenue location offers plenty more, including Cardio Kick, Crossfire, Cycle Beats, and Stacked!. Those who prefer to take things slower can opt for a variety of yoga classes or swim laps in the club’s pool.
42 East 12th Street (between Broadway and University Place)
High-heeled shoes, fishnet stockings, or the slightest bit of dance experience are not necessary to enjoy this hour-long class led by professional dancer/choreographer Tony Guerrero. In fact, high heels will only be an impediment to the workout, which includes stretches and core exercises along with sassy dance moves designed to bolster your confidence as much as improve flexibility and strength. If shimmying and shaking are not to your liking, consider the Ninja HIIT circuit-training class, which includes kickboxing and boxing exercises, or Barre Vida, a low-impact class designed to tone muscles, improve posture, and reduce fat.
163 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and Sullivan Streets), Second Floor
Sacred Sounds Yoga uses the stretchy fabric hammocks that hang from the ceiling to help practitioners better hold their asanas, or poses, and to help students learn more-advanced positions without straining. Of course, hanging suspended while practicing an inverted asana—or pretty much any other posture—is also fun, making this class an enjoyable way to enrich your fitness routine. The studio’s other classes include introductory and intermediate Vinyasa-style, or flow, yoga; soothing Candlelit Slow Flow and vigorous Core Flow; Mysore Ashtanga, in which the instructor personalizes the sequence of postures for each student; and Pelvis, Breath & Spine for women.
The Village’s Coolest Workouts