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Outdoor Workouts in NYC to Try This Summer

Picture of Esme Benjamin
Wellness Editor
Updated: 18 May 2017
With memorial day weekend just around the corner, consistently warm weather isn’t far off. In New York City that means rooftop drinking, outdoor movies, and alfresco workouts happening in virtually every ‘hood. Swap your dull gym treadmill for awe-making cityscape views this summer…
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Bryant Park Yoga

Now in its 14th season, Bryant Park’s free yoga sessions are the O.G. of NYC outdoor fitness classes. Every summer people show up in their hundreds to be led by some of the city’s most beloved teachers underneath the trees and competition for spots is fierce, so book ahead and arrive in a timely manner.

Classes take place Tuesday mornings at 10am and Thursday evenings at 6pm.

Bryant Park, New York, NY, 10018, +1 212 768 4242

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Summer on the Hudson, Riverside Park

The scenic, multi-level layout of Riverside Park makes it a great place to start or end the day, breaking a sweat. The annual program of events here includes free workouts to suit all tastes and abilities, including Zumba up in Harlem, HIIT (high intensity interval training) on 108th and gentle Tai Chi at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument.

Riverside Park, New York, NY, 10025, +1 212 870 3070

Woman jogging on Riverside Park trail in NYC | ©haeryung stock images/Shutterstock

The Rise, Multiple NYC Parks

This free alfresco workout club meets at 6:30am weekday mornings in some of the city’s most famous parks—come rain, shine or freak snowstorm. The workouts skew high-intensity (even the yoga flow is mixed with calisthenics to build serious strength) but the camaraderie this group emits breeds motivation, even at such a painfully early start time.

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Waterfront Workouts, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Along the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park instructors teach fitness classes covering everything from Broadway dance to ballet barre—all for free and with the most iconic New York view imaginable.

Seeing the sunrise or sunset over the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, Empire State Building, Chrysler and of course the Brooklyn Bridge will reaffirm your love for this city.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 334 Furman Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11201, +1 718 222 9939

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Yoga, Gantry Plaza State Park

On Sundays from June until September, Long Island studio Yoga Room sets up class on the pier at Gantry Plaza State Park. The scent of the water and illuminated Midtown skyscrapers across the river are the perfect setting for sun salutations.

Gantry Plaza State Park, 4-09 47th Road, Long Island City, NY, 10007, +1 718 786 6385

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Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp

The self-described toughest workout in NYC turns the city—more specifically Brooklyn Bridge Park—into a gym, utilizing benches and bridge structures as equipment. It’s said to burn up to 800 calories a session, so anticipate sprinkling the lawns with sweat.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 334 Furman Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11201, +1 646 354 0039

© Maridav/Shutterstock

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Yoga, The James Rooftop

When it comes to wellness in NYC, nobody is more in-the-know than SereneBook, a New York based subscription service for holistic healthcare sessions. During the summer it teams up with The James Hotel to provide dreamy rooftop yoga sessions, with mats and water included.

The James, 27 Grand St, New York, NY, 10013, +1 212 465 2000

Just a little #rooftop ❤️ and #sunnyskies to start the week. ☀️ #jamessoho #mindfullymodern 📷 @jimmyatthejames

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Fit Tours NYC

Founded by a certified Fitness Trainer and official NYC Sightseeing Guide, Fit Tours NYC provides the opportunity to take in Central Park while also raising your heart rate. Run five kilometers on a route that encompasses the park’s most famous locations, try the sunrise yoga walk, or join the a two mile course from one side to the other interspersed with strength training exercises.

Central Park, New York, NY 10024, +1 212 310 6600

Central Park | © Shinya Suzuki/Flickr

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Beastanetics, McCarren Park

Don’t let the leisurely warm-up fool you, Beastanetics in Williamsburg uses high-intensity Tabata techniques to increase your fitness fast. You’ll perform a series of moves at maximum physical capacity for 24 seconds followed by 16 seconds rest, then repeat the whole thing for several sets. It’s hardcore, but it gets the job done.

McCarren Park, 776 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11222, +1 718 218 2380

Beast is back!

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