With more than 120 classes and a plethora of programs offered each week, the YMCA bolsters bodies with invigorating and enjoyable fitness regimens throughout Manhattan. Aspiring circus strongpersons have their pick from brawn-building courses such as kettlebell for a full flexibility workout, spinning for 45 minutes of fat-burning cardio, and capoeira for winning dance-fights against hard-bargaining local street vendors.
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Pro Tip: Activewear is required to participate in all activities
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Recommended Age Group: 6-15
"We teach what we love to do," says Alex, president of CK Sports, "It doesn't get any better than that." For a lot of the staff, that means teaching basketball. Team CK's clutch of coaches run a robust, year-round basketball program. They hold training three days a week and focus on fundamental skills, sportsmanship, and teamwork. They train hard to give their athletes as much competitive edge as possible, while still teaching their students to play nice, according to the rules of the Nice League. "Out basketball program is for anyone who wishes to get great exercise while having fun and making friends," Alex reiterates.
Of course, they've got a lot of square footage between their gym and fitness center, and not all of it is court space. They also teach a variety of other sports-specific programs, including swimming and wrestling. They focus on a variety of seasonal activities in both summer and winter camps, and even offer general fitness training through one-on-one sessions in their gym.
The hiss and clank of weight machines from manufacturers such as Cybex and Precor blend with the whir of recumbent cycles and treadmills to form the perpetual soundtrack at each of Dolphin Fitness's locations, open 24 hours most days of the week. The clubs' trainers also welcome exercisers looking to expand their wellness regimen, helping clients with lessons on how to safely warm up, craft a sensible nutrition plan, or block incoming phone calls from the local donut shop.
Every summer, Angler Fishing Fleet's Captain Ken welcomes youngsters aboard his fishing boat for a weeklong fishing camp. He schools campers in fishing techniques, conservation, and boat safety in a demonstration of the company’s initiatives to empower budding fishermen in exploring local waters. In addition to camps, staff captains host frequent lectures that cover subjects such as anchoring techniques, bait, and which fish are the likeliest to grant wishes.
On private charters, the crew seeks schools with onboard sonar equipment and supplies passengers with fishing gear and bait. The Angler II ferries up to 39 passengers on fishing trips in the western Long Island Sound. It is a 50-foot Coast Guard–inspected vessel. The sleek Angler III, another 50-foot Coast Guard–inspected vessel, also escorts passengers through the sound, but it can hold up to 49 passengers and includes a cozy cabin with a galley that serves snacks and beverages. Plus, it offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The smallest member of the fleet, the Angler Express, is designed to hold up to six passengers on private charters. All three vessels in the fleet are equipped with state-of-the-art safety and fish-finding equipment.
During Group and Cuddles and Strokes swim sessions, the aqua aces at Saf-T-Swim equip bipeds with the skills and safety techniques necessary for conquering liquid-filled lands. Group classes sport student/instructor ratios as small as four to one, giving each floater more personalized attention as he or she learns to glide through the water more gracefully than a troupe of manatee ballerinas. Buyers can purchase multiple Groupons to allow families and friends to gain aqueous footing in the same welcoming environment among their peers and other swim scholars.
Brooklyn Sports Club's mission isn't just about getting people fit—it's also about getting them to have a good time. The club emphasizes the communal aspect of working out with plenty of group activities and family-friendly programs for all ages. Children as young as six months can participate in swim classes in the competition-size lap pool, and there are several martial-arts programs for older kids.
Adult members can take advantage of any of BSC's facilities, including a boxing studio and a group fitness studio that hosts everything from Zumba to Hatha yoga. There's plenty of space for solo workouts on the fitness floor, including a 14,000-square-foot section with weights and a 5,000-square-foot area with computerized ellipticals and stair climbers. Here, certified personal trainers teach clients how to lift effectively and properly unwrap a protein bar. To help members further enjoy their time at the gym, there's a massage spa and a sun deck that occasionally hosts live music.