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Courtesy Aqua Studio Robin Cerutti

Weird fitness classes in NYC everyone should try at least once

Add spice to your calorie burn with one of these whimsical and weird fitness classes in NYC

Written by
Time Out editors
It’s time to turn your routine up a notch with one of these funky fitness classes in NYC. Why squander your free time in the usual yoga or spinning classes in NYC when you could be learning to surf or flexing in a fridge? You’ll have to leave behind your typical gyms and health clubs and start checking out boutique studios to find the truly unique offerings, but trust us, it’s well worth venturing outside your comfort zone. Pump up your playlist of the 50 best workout songs and get ready to sweat!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to fitness classes in NYC

Weird fitness classes in NYC

Leave your clothes—and inhibitions—at the door and perfect your down dog in your birthday suit at this gathering of free spirits (and nudists). These yoga and Pilates sessions focus on body acceptance as you twist and contort while surrounded by unclothed practitioners of all shapes, sizes, ages and genders. It may be a bit jarring at first to work on aligning your chakras in the buff, but just think how much easier it will be to double-check your form! You definitely won’t get away with a curved plank in this class. $30.


Though New Yorkers can't ride the waves at Rockaway Beach year round, this comes close. By balancing on a wobbly board, you learn the movements, rhythm and tricks you’ll need to stand on an actual surfboard—all while you’re still on dry land in a NYC studio. All the core strength and balance it requires to stay upright translates into a killer workout. That must be why surfers generally have such incredible bodies, huh? Once you manage to calibrating your body and “cut waves"—cowabunga, dude. $25$32. 



Imagine high-intensity interval training in a frigid 50-degree studio. During the course, you alternate between slamming down heavy battle ropes and lifting weights. If you’re prone to feeling a bit dehydrated in your typical sweltering workout room, this may feel like a breath of fresh air. $34.

Learn how to seductively sway your hips and wiggle your waist in various combinations in this belly dancing for beginners at Bellyqueen. Work up to the intermediate level to work with props like veils, finger cymbals, fans, wings and swords. You’ll be smiling from ear to ear in no time—the workout for your core, butt and thighs is only an added bonus. $20.


Here’s a fresh new twist on cycling: doing it underwater. All of AquaStudio’s classes take place in stationary bikes submerged in a four-feet-deep swimming pool. It’s a combination between spinning and swimming where instructors also incorporate upper-body exercises by having you paddle while you pedal your submerged bike. $35.

Low-Frequency electrical currents cause your muscles to contract while you perform push-ups, lungs and other moves— so a 30-minute sash of this supposedly creates the same results as a three-hour workout. Be ready to wear a padded vest that will probably make you feel like you’re in the Matrix. $30–$55.


For circus-arts beginners, this whimsical Brooklyn studio offers an acrobatics class, which teaches useful party tricks, like how to hold someone else’s entire body with just your feet. While this workout it’s a massive  calorie burner like something more cardio-heavy, you’ll be sculpting your core, arms and legs. Trust us you’ll be too sore to run away and join the circus the next day. $27.

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