America’s Coolest Alternative Workout Studios

Featured Article, Fitness, News and Advice
on June 4, 2014

Sick of your usual rotation of hot yoga, spin, repeat? Would you rather get a root canal than hop on the treadmill once more? If so, get out of your exercise funk and try your hand at one of these fun, innovative new workouts. From cycling underwater to aerial yoga to trampoline cardio, these activities feel more like play than work.

New York, NY

This effective water-based workout (think spinning—in a pool) burns cellulite, improves endurance, increases breathing capacity and promotes flexibility. A great alternative to exercising on land, aquacycling is impact-free on joints, but the water resistance makes it a killer strength workout. AQUA is the first and only aqua-cycling studio in New York, but we’re certain that the craze will soon catch on to other parts of the country.

Antigravity Yoga
Portland, OR 

 anti gravity

You’ve done yoga before, but have you ever done yoga while dangling mid-air? Anti-gravity or aerial yoga is the latest trend sweeping the nation, and it’s an incredibly challenging and fun experience that allows you to feel the sensation of flying. A yoga practice performed in fabric hammocks strapped onto the side of a wall, aerial yoga is designed to better understand one’s body and its relationship to physics. Zero compression inversions can reduce illness, heal injuries and provide stress relief. Be prepared for lots of laughter in this yoga class!

Trampoline Cardio
New York, NY

trampoline cardio

It’s not just child’s play; jumping on a trampoline turns out to be a great workout for people of all ages. Trampoline workouts torch mega calories without much impact on the joints. At Jump Life in New York, individuals perform movements on individual trampolines in sync with music, making it feel more like a dance party than a workout.

Chakaboom Fitness
Various locations in Virginia


One of the funnest workouts to hit the scene since Prancercise, Kangoo jumping is exactly what it sounds like: You basically hop and jump around like a kangaroo. But this workout is no joke. Kangoos are futuristic-looking bouncing boots designed to mimic the sensation of running without the wear and tear on your joints. A 45-minute Kangoo jumping class at Chakaboom Fitness burns 25-50% more calories than traditional workouts while firming up your skin and building lean muscle.

Indoor Surfing
San Francisco, CA


Surfers have some of the most banging bodies around, but most of us don’t have the luxury of calling the ocean our backyard. With indoor surfing classes, you get the best of both worlds—the awesome physical benefits of surfing without the looming fear of possible shark encounters or ginormous waves. At Sweat Republic San Francisco, clients practice yoga on real surfboards balanced on bosu balls to simulate the sensation of surfing. Now you can get a beach body without facing extreme elements!

Costa Mesa, CA 

pound rockout

Attention music-lovers! POUND-Rockout lets you drum while you tighten your core, legs and upper body. At Meraki Barre participants continually move lightly weighted drumsticks, burning even more calories than a traditional aerobic or pilates class. You’ll have so much fun rocking out that you won’t even notice the extra work!

Bliss Paddleboard Yoga
Locations in California

bliss paddleboard yoga

If your yoga practice is getting a little stale, ditch the mat and head to your nearest ocean or lake. Performing yoga postures on a stand-up paddleboard challenges balance and strength; you’ll have to really engage your core to stay afloat on the unstable surface. As far as setting goes, it doesn’t get more “zen” than paddleboard yoga. At Bliss Paddle Yoga in California, classes are taught alongside swimming dolphins. Talk about a great way to reinvigorate your yoga practice while enjoying the natural splendor of the great outdoors.