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.
Even in the dead of winter you might hear the phrase, "meet me at the pool!" McCarren pool has been keeping families cool during Brooklyn summers since way back in 1936, but for the first time in its 77-year history it will welcome visitors year-round. This holiday season, the recently rehabilitated pool deck will become the McCarren Rink, a transformation that has the press abuzz, including The New York Times. The rink will also include gourmet eats provided by Hanson Bros.?which was featured in a recent article on Grub Street? and an on-site skate shop, and is scheduled to remain open through January or longer, depending on public demand and weather predictions from local groundhogs.
The family-run Astoria Sports Complex offers batting cages and indoor soccer, and has one of the largest fitness centers around. The facility got its start more than 30 years ago, when owner Steve Poliseno converted an abandoned ice house, purchased at auction, into the gigantic sports complex it is today. The most recent addition to the facility is a gigantic, Olympic-sized swimming pool, where kids can take lessons and prepare to be the Model U.N. delegate from Atlantis.
Therapists at Forest Hills Spa don't limit themselves to traditional Western spa techniques to help clients heal from daily stress and tension. Instead, the staff draws from traditional Russian therapies that include exfoliating oak-leaf treatments and a circulation-reviving salt scrub. These services together with Western-style massage are performed in private treatment rooms separate from the main spa. In public areas, clients can jump into a cold plunge, a comfortable pool, or a 12-person Jacuzzi ringed by walls of marble mosaics. The mosaics give way to aromatic cedar in one of the three saunas, where clients can loosen their muscles or interrogate snowmen. Apart from spa services, Forest Hills includes a food center that plates traditional Russian entrees, snacks, and beer alongside a squeeze-your-own-juice bar.
The instructors of Brooklyn Fitness & Swimming are at home on almost any terrain—land, water, and the air between a court and a basketball hoop. They channel this versatility while coaching students of all ages in the fundamentals of fitness. Children can learn to swim at the Sportspark swimming pool, or improve their athletic performance during sports training. Sessions for adults range from boot camps led by ex-military personnel to interval training on the beach, as well as private, custom workouts. Regardless of their specialty, teachers back up their expertise with certifications and backgrounds in exercise-related fields.
The nonprofit Asphalt Green keeps children, teens, and adults in shape with an array of fitness, swim, and sports activities and programs. Members enjoy full access to a 15,000-square-foot duplex fitness center lined with Precor and Technogym equipment, including treadmills and ellipticals with built-in TV screens. In the gym's weightlifting area, patrons can take a breather between reps as they gaze at picturesque views from the gym’s adjoining roof deck. Swimmers of all abilities glide through the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, once home to Olympic bronze medalist Lia Neal and currently the home of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Those opting for fitness classes can choose from 80 different sessions weekly—from Zumba and Pilates to martial arts to swimming. The gym also offers training programs and seminars for triathletes, a variety of community outreach programs including adaptive swim for veterans, and kid-focused summer and sport camps to keep young ones from making bad decisions, such as using chewing gum to plug up holes in dams. Patrons can also take advantage of the center’s babysitting services, which are open to children ages 6 months to 6 years.