Best Playground Workouts in NYC

Best Playground Workouts in NYC

Playground workouts are fast becoming a hot trend in New York City, with an increasing number of classes being offered all over Manhattan. But what is a playground workout? And more importantly what are the Best Playground Workouts in NYC.

I tried the top three playground classes in New York, and I’m excited to tell you all about them. All of the workouts are good, but each studio has a totally different personality and vibe. Try them all, and see which one suits you best!

Playground Experience – Equinox
Switch Playground
Throwback Fitness
Description (from website)
A supercharged team-on-team class that catapults you through the most challenging circuit-training program we’ve ever developed. Only available at The Playground, our groundbreaking in-club training space.

 

SWITCH is an experiential, total-body workout unlike anything else – rewritten and reproduced each and every day, ensuring you never repeat the same class twice in a group fitness environment.

What sets SWITCH apart is a philosophy that extends beyond simply challenging the body and living healthily; it is also designed to stimulate the mind and revive the soul. We call this the SWITCH Trifecta.

Throwback is a fitness studio focusing on fun by incorporating childhood playground games into our unique and intense full-body workout classes. Our workouts are engaging, interactive, and competitive, fostering a non-intimidating and welcoming environment reminiscent of recess or summer camp. There’s no other place where you’ll get a chance to peg an opponent with a dodge ball, or sink a buzzer beating corn hole shot for your team, all while getting a kick-ass workout!
Activity breakdown
Warm-Up – follow-the-leader and resistance bands

Four stations, three rounds at each – 60 seconds of a “power” move (examples being box jumps and wall balls) and 30 seconds of a strength move (examples being deadlifts and push-ups)

Four stations of “metabolic play,” which consists of activities with a variety of equipment such as sleds and monkey bars done for 90 seconds each

Four stations in the cardio pit (rowing machine, skii machine, rock climbing machine, and air bike), each station for 90 seconds each

Cool down

Yoga flow warm-up

20 two-minute stations consisting of various strength and cardio activities such as kicks on a punching bag, TRX rows, treadmill, box jumps, etc.

Cool down

Introductions: everyone gets in a circle and introduces themselves

Warm-up

Phys. Ed. – 3 stations, 2 times at each, with two different strength and cardio moves (examples being alligator push-ups, TRX rows, and box jumps). At my workout, we did 30 reps of each move as many times as possible

Core 101: We did three different exercises for 30 reps, 20 reps, and then 10 reps.

Recess: A team-on-team game. For us, each individual team member would do 8 jump squats, 10 tuck jumps, and 12 high knees. After finishing a round, we would take a chip and run it over to the other team’s goal. The aim was to get as many chips possible on the other team’s side.

Cool down

 

 

Facility
One of the best Equinox locations out there – no line for showers, extremely clean, spacious, and tons of equipment. The 43rd St. location also offers a Playground class, but I’ve never been. Clean facility with lots of state-of-the-art equipment. Bathrooms are well-equipped but not built well for full class peak times. Throwback is currently located in a temporary facility called Fit Factory, which offers rentals to emerging studios and trainers. It’s a pretty decent space and has all the equipment you need. The facility has showers, but you need to rent towels, which I found to be enough of a deterrent that I didn’t even try them.
Price per class
N/A – you have to be an Equinox member or guest to try this one $35 $16-18
Price per month (unlimited membership)
$210/month for membership at the 92nd St. location $300 $199 is standard, $189 if you do auto-renew, and $119 if you only do morning classes
Intro deals available
Free passes when you consider membership, but depends on the membership adviser. For your first class, you get to buy two for one — so $35 for two classes. They also give a free birthday class. The first two classes are $19 total.
Instructor quality (based on personal experience)
I really like Eric and Jasmin over at 92nd St., but I can’t speak for all of the instructors. My review goes into more detail here. Switch’s classes have a head coach and a number of other coaches who are assigned to 2-3 stations at a time to demonstrate movements and help students with form and other issues. I haven’t met anyone I didn’t like there — you can see in my review here. I’ve only taken one class here, but Brian Gallagher was a superstar instructor. He was extremely attentive and led a great class. You can see more in my review here.
Difficulty (scale of 1-10, 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest)
8 9 5
Class size
Each class is capped at 24 students. Each class is capped at 40 students. There are two students per station. My class had approximately 10 students.
Instructor/student ratio
There are two instructors for the whole class, so about 1:12. There are up to 6 coaches in a class, as well as the head coach, so the ratio would be about 1:6. There is only one instructor for the class, but given the size, you really don’t need more. My guess is that the classes are capped around 20 students, but I don’t actually know.
tips
This class is team-focused and is a lot more fun if you have a partner.

Bring weight lifting gloves — activities on the monkey bars tend to come at the end of class, after your hands are already sweaty.

The room is dark and feels like a club, which I personally like. There’s a live DJ and  smoke machines everywhere, which definitely gets you in the mood to get moving! However, students should be careful. When I went for the first time about a month ago, the girl who used the treadmill before me didn’t turn it off, which was impossible to see in the dark, and I got a gnarly bruise on my leg.

There isn’t a lot of downtime in this one — basically just the 30 seconds in between stations to switch.

This studio is extremely down-to-earth, and the workout will be as hard as you make it.

Bring a towel or go to a class at a time when you won’t need to shower.

This class is social – not a good class if you just like to zone out during your workout.

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