By Alyssa Pinsker
New York has some of the best fitness and health amenities in the world, and the Upper East Side hosts many of them. From colonics to core fusion, check out these various oases of strength and wellness for some classic winners and new favorites.
Best Group Fitness Class:
Core Fusion ™ at Exhale Spa
The Upper East Side location of the celebrity popular Exhale Spa houses core fusion classes. Based on the core conditioning, pilates, yoga, interval cardio and Lotte-Berke methods, this new exercise technique builds lean muscle and a mind-body connection with a combination of exercise ball, weights, barre, and mat work. Check out Erin Carpenter’s popular class at the downtown location. The hour session has a positive, fun, focused, non-judgmental atmosphere, and best of all there is an in-house spa with some great bodywork and famous eyebrow shaping at the midtown and UES locations. Their heated neck pillows take the tension away; while there be sure to try the “fire” tea.
www.exhalespa.com, multiple locations
Though the classes are not as relaxingly pleasant, they get the job done with a combination of isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches. Physique 57 uses interval training and body resistance, similar to Core Fusion™ but in a less holistic or mind-body connected way. Both are as effective. “Interval overload” works, and classes have a no-frllls aerobics feel. Locations throughout the city make it accessible as well as time friendly.
Best New Fitness Trend:
MVP Kettlebell method: Lorna Kleidman
Trainer Lorna Kleidman has been studying kettlebells with a Russian competing coach and American mentor for four years and has now cured her asthma, is a two-time world ketttlebell sport champion, American record holder, 3-time Master of Sport, author of Body Sculpting with Kettlebells for Women and founder of Kettlebell Academy fitness classes in NYC. She even eats carbs, and is an inspiration to many since she began this journey in her 40s. She is the best trainer in the field, if you like your coaches perfectionists. Women can burn up to 750 calories, and men 1000 calories in this old fashioned workout with a new twist. Kleidman is developing a new line of kettlebells and a DVD for home use as well.
Best Detox Program:
Detox and Weight loss through Nutrition and Colonics
“If the motor in your car is not working right, you can know all you want to know about driving but it won’t go anywhere,” says the iconic and gorgeous Birgit Krome, whose enthusiastic, healthy and effusive presence and authentic testimonial videos where people lose weight, detoxify, clear up chronic fatigue, candida and digestive problems (one of which features a rap about colonics) are all you need for persuasion. Krome recommends colonics twice a year at sessions of a minimum of six. She says it takes commitment, but at $190 with a guru who has practiced for 30 years which includes an ongoing nutrition plan and supplements, it is a bargain. She is also a certified yoga teacher and psychologist. For a session with Birgit or her also Cayce method trained colonist, Patricia Salazar, you can contact:
Equinox maintains its #1 status as best gym for good reason. The locations are plentiful throughout the city, immaculate, cutting edge and well-stocked with Kiehl’s products. Equinox offer their signature classes such as 20/30/60, cardio class or “barre burn.” Classes range from a half hour to one hour, and membership includes fitness evaluations, a complimentary training session, and pilates private session. Membership also includes access to the sauna and steam room. It’s a health club people enjoy going to and another celebrity favorite. Membership prices vary.
Best Spa Retreat:
Plaza Athenee Spa
Plaza Athenee Spa, only a year old, housed in the historic (and Pierce Brosnan favorite) Hotel Plaza Athenee, boasts its own line of products by German Babour and Swiss Valmont. For $700 a day, a guest gets a full day of spa menu, a classic room and access to the gorgeous Thai influenced signature massage, facial or detox body treatment and manicure pedicure. $500 additional guest. For spa menu services (guests only), the “scentao” massage is the most requested.
Tracey Anderson maintains her place as Hollywood’s top trainer—lucky for us she also has a location in Tribeca. She offers unlimited classes with a 12 month contract hosted by trainers and Anderson herself. Master classes are two hours long, regular workouts are one hour. Most guests average two classes per day. Metamorphosis is based on body type determined by head trainers, which targets certain areas of the body. Anderson has designed “hybrid body reformers,” which are essentially pilates reformers with barres, and uses these alongside pilates boxes, mats, light weights, therabands and primarily body resistance. Membership prices are discussed on a per client basis. For an affordable home workout, try her metamorphosis DVD collection.
408 Greenwich St
Best Dance Class:
Alvin Ailey Ballet
Ballet is a new trend in the city, perhaps since the debut of the film “Black Swan,” for good reason; it keeps you toned and trim and is an excellent excuse to break out your old pointes. Women enjoy the dance for its elegance and community feelings. Why not take it at Alvin Ailey—at least the extension program? Each class is just $17. Drop-in classes range from beginner to advanced, with introduction specials. Finas Jhung, acclaimed ballet teacher for the stars and Billy Elliot’s dancers’ teacher, can be your instructor, as well as the wildly popular, Cat Wildish.
405 W. 55th at 9th Ave.