These classes will whip your legs, arms, butt or abs into shape. By Elyssa Goodman
Wed Sep 14 2011
Photograph: Cerys Misha Handschumacher
Bellyqueen at 440 Studios
Bellyqueen at 440 Studios
Beginner belly-dancing classes
Women who want to firm their midsection but aren't necessarily aiming for a Situation-esque six-pack can work their abdominals with this sensual Middle Eastern art form. Regardless of the style (Egyptian, Turkish and others are offered), instructors demonstrate basic posture and choreography, showing you how to wind and shimmy while keeping your core tight and supported at all times. "It's a great way to get in touch with your body, make new friends and [tap into the] power of your own femininity," says cofounder Kaeshi Chai. Bellyqueen at 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette St between Astor Pl and E 4th St, fourth floor (917-515-0168, bellyqueen.com). Schedule varies; visit website for details. Drop-in class $17, five-week course $75, ten-class card $150.
During this half-hour session, instructor Felix Sanchez will push your abs toward prewashboard territory. You'll sculpt your obliques with an intense series of crunches, planks and cardio, gradually increasing in difficulty. The class is offered every day, with a different spin each time, and features a small size (four to five people max), but Sanchez switches the routines for variety. Planet Fitness, 2241 Westchester Ave between Castle Hill and Glebe Aves, Bronx (718-239-8210, planetfitness.com). Schedule varies; visit website for details. Monthly membership $10 plus $29 initiation fee.
Even if you'd rather not hang ten at Rockaway Beach, you can still practice your technique this fall: Using a wooden Indo Board resting on an inflatable circular pouch, aspiring surfers work on balance while getting a great leg, core and lower-back workout. It's effective because you're forced to control your body's stability in ways you haven't before. Bring in this article to receive a free one-week guest pass through Nov 1. Crunch, 691 Fulton St between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-797-9464, crunch.com). Tue 6:45am; day pass $30, monthly membership $60--$100.
If you're worried about being able to squeeze into that wedding dress for your big day, consider giving trainer Ray Tinneny a ring. His monthlong workout, which includes 12 55-minute sessions, focuses on flattening your stomach with strength-based circuit training exercises like overhead box squats. It's an intimate environment, too, with classes maxing out at five brides-to-be. Through October 1, bring in this article to receive this package for $450 (normally $750) or three introductory training sessions for $125 (normally $155). Ray Tinneny Fitness, 250 W 26th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, fourth floor (646-419-0324, raytinneny.com). Schedule varies; visit website for details.
Gym owner David Barton boasts that "you'll be able to crack a walnut between your butt cheeks" after taking this grueling 45-minute class, which works your entire backside and upper-leg areas (glutes, quads and hammies). A series of squats, lunges and lifts tightens your rear in all the right places; if it's your first time, let the trainer know so he or she can show you the proper form for the best results. David Barton Gym, 4 Astor Pl between Broadway and Lafayette St (212-505-6800, davidbartongym.com). Thu 6:30--7:15pm, Sun 10:30--11:15am; monthly memberships start at $125.
One hour-long course at CKO Staten Island burns upwards 1,200 calories: You'll begin with stretching and a light punching routine, eventually moving on to kickboxing combinations with a punching bag that will tone your whole body—buns included. "The most important thing is to go at your own pace," says co-owner Nick Orlando. Because kickboxing is an excellent stress reliever, you'll notice improvements not just physically, but mentally. CKO Staten Island, 4255 Amboy Rd at Armstrong Ave, Staten Island (718-984-5425, ckosi.com). Schedule varies; visit website for details. Nonmembers $20, first class free.
Latching on to this Navy SEAL--designed pulley system is a little like getting caught in Spidey's web. But the device will help you tone your body, instead of battling epic foes. Comprising squats, lunges and hamstring curls, instructor Terri Mangas's 30- or 60-minute class uses the contraption to get you deeper into each position and work your muscles more acutely than you could without it. According to Mangas, "It's a great way for people to become aware of their form and posture." The Rock Health & Fitness Club, 22-15 31st St between Ditmars Blvd and 23rd Ave, Astoria, Queens (718-204-1400, therockhealthandfitness.com). Mon 10:30--11:30am, Tue 8--8:30am, Wed 6--6:30pm; month-to-month membership $89 per month, annual membership $63 per month; $29 initiation fee.