Sometimes, you just need a break from the treadmill and the elliptical. Enter five of Birmingham’s most unique workouts, ranging from somewhat common – think cycling or barre – to more out-of-the-box (boxing, anyone?). As long as the blood is pumping and the calories are burning, your body will thank you for it – and, hey, a shakeup in routine is always good every now and then.
Take your Pilates airborne at Aero Joe Pilates
In case you didn’t know, the founder of Pilates was actually a man named Pilates – Joseph “Joe” Pilates, to be exact. That name, and the fact that this Pepper Place studio was the first in the state of Alabama to offer aerial yoga classes, is how Aero Joe Pilates got its moniker. Throughout the pandemic Aero Joe – Birmingham’s longest-running Pilates studio, open since 2012 – has kept the health and safety of its clientele top of mind, but will finally have its aerial yoga grand opening this week, on June 3. Pilates is designed to work the entire body, helping with posture and flexibility, easing chronic pain, and even improving mood. Doing it suspended in the air only adds to its uniqueness. As Joe Pilates said himself, “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see a difference, and in 30 you’ll have a whole new body.”
Rock climb at Birmingham Boulders and High Point Climbing and Fitness
If you’re looking for another full-body workout – especially your arms and shoulders – give rock climbing a try. Grab some climbing shoes and head to Birmingham Boulders, which, according to its website, is “the training gym that was the dreams of climbers.” Located next door to Red Mountain Park, Birmingham Boulders welcomes climbers of any skill. Another option if rock climbing intrigues you is High Point Climbing and Fitness, which also offers classes if that is more your speed.
Hitch a ride at Ignite Cycle
Ignite Cycle is billed as “Birmingham’s premier cycling studio” and taps into a fitness trend that’s swept the country – cycling with the lights down and music up. Ignite offers four different types of rides, each with its own choreography: the Signature Ride, it’s most common ride, which lasts 45 minutes; the Ultra Ride, which is 60 minutes; the 30-minute Express Ride; and Soulful Sunday, which allows riders to cycle to uplifting Christian music.
Practice your punches at Battle Republic
A new way to relieve stress through a workout? Boxing at Battle Republic. For half of the class you’ll take swings at a water bag, and the other half you’ll do floorwork. At this boxing-inspired gym, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and strength training combine to produce results. You come ready to workout, and Battle Republic will provide the boxing gloves – and a DJ to spin tunes while you sweat. The studio offers a 45-minute Battle HIIT class, a 25-minute Knockout Express class, and one-on-one private training sessions.
THREE15, for when you can’t pick just one unique workout
At THREE15, you get a grab bag of workouts, all in one session: 15 minutes of cycling, 15 minutes of barre, and 15 minutes of strength training. It’s a total body workout that is “challenging and fast-paced, never boring, and always encouraging,” according to its website, which also calls the workout “unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.” Take their word for it and give it a go.