For fitness buffs looking for ways to stay inspired and in peak condition, Brooklyn delivers nonstop variety—from classes at warehouse-sized sports centers, year-round activities in Brooklyn’s beautiful parks to unique studios that spice up any routine. And for those just starting their fitness journeys, visiting the area or looking for organized sports with their families, Brooklyn has something for everyone. We’ve mapped out just a few of Brooklyn’s great fitness-focused spots. Be inspired and get fit!
LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Prospect Park
171 East Drive, Brooklyn, NY
This October, The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Explore Brooklyn are promoting health and wellness for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn! Autumn is the optimal time to enjoy the outdoors in New York City, and where better to appreciate it than in Prospect Park? On Thursday, October 11 at 5 p.m., join the Chamber for its first-ever BROOKLYN RUNS 5K! Companies can participate in teams of four, or individuals can sign up to run/walk. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Prospect Park Alliance, the nonprofit organization that cares for the Park. There will also be an awards reception at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside following the run from 6-8 p.m. with food and drink. For more information about the run, and to register, please visit www.brooklynruns.nyc
3159 Flatbush Ave, Marine Park, Brooklyn, NY
With hundreds of five-star Google reviews, the secret is out on this fitness oasis. One review captures Aviator’s universal appeal: “Lots of fun, and great for people of all ages.” This cavernous Marine Park recreation complex, housed in former airplane hangars, keeps fans loyal with diverse options such as indoor and outdoor turf fields, two ice rinks, a rock-climbing wall, sky jump, arcade and a gymnastics center with trampolines. Try the gymnastics class for adult beginners, just $22 for 90 minutes. Parents rave about the after-school and summer camp activities, as well as organized sports. Full-day passes to Aviator let you explore its diverse fitness options.
526 Baltic St., Boerum Hill
Are you addicted to the U.S. Open? Did you catch the new movie Battle of the Sexes, based on the world-famous 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs? For tennis neophytes, Court 16 is the place to learn the sport. With its perfectly kid-sized, USTA-approved courts, this tennis club is dedicated to giving kids a foundation that cultivates a lifetime love of the game. Court 16 has group classes and private lessons taught by international tennis coaches in a modern, sleek setting. Its after-school, holiday and summer programs are a favorite with kids (and their grateful parents). Court 16 offers a free trial to its exceptional facilities, so there’s no excuse not to incorporate tennis into any fitness regime.
Floyd Bennett Field: 50 Aviator Rd., Mill Basin
Gateway’s tagline is “many places, one park,” a fitting description for a treasure with locations in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island as well as in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The Brooklyn component, on the shoreline easily reachable by the Belt Parkway, includes Canarsie Pier and Floyd Bennett Field, sites for bird-watching, fishing and soaking up nature. The park is a welcoming base for physical activities: in summer, there is swimming off the beaches or kayak rentals in Marine Park, and in winter, there is cross-country skiing through the North Forty Natural Area. Year-round offerings are horseback-riding, archery, hiking trails and miles of paved bike paths.
575 Degraw St., Gowanus
Brooklyn Boulders opened in 2009 and has since brought a bit of Brooklyn to new sites in Queens, Chicago and Boston. Brooklyn Boulders’ success is built on its artistry in making rock climbing accessible and exciting. First-timers are encouraged to get out of their comfort zone and try a new experience. The site offers introductory classes nearly once an hour on weekends for newcomers, as well as intermediate classes in grip and finger strength for veteran climbers. The 22,000-square-foot facility is spectacularly designed with graffiti-splattered walls and neon-painted boulders. For a break from the boulders, there are weight-lifting, yoga and fitness classes.
This nearly 60-year-old nonprofit arranges races all over the city, including the famous TCS New York City Marathon. While the Brooklyn Half Marathon is the largest race of its kind in the country, NYRR offers lots of other Brooklyn events or running clubs: the NYRR Striders is a running and walking club geared toward adults over 50, while open runs are weekly jaunts through four Brooklyn parks: Brooklyn Bridge, Highland Park, Canarsie and Marine Park. Weekly runs are mostly free.
467 Marcy Ave., South Williamsburg
With an easily accessible site that borders Williamsburg and Bushwick, this trapeze school says most students are able to nail holds and flips on their very first lesson. Once you’re hooked on the experience, build on your skills in an advanced tricks class, or take part in an Intensive Flying Workshops. There are static trapeze classes with a stationary bar for seated positioning and lessons in aerial silks and on the trampoline. Optional landing spots include nearby Brooklyn eateries that will satiate any post-workout appetite. Within a ten-minute walk, you can find comfort food at Sweet Science, ramen at Samurai Papa and an American/Middle Eastern menu at EastWick. Mexican restaurant La Lupe, craft cocktail bar Skytown and café Little Skips are also good neighborhood options.
Multiple locations in Brooklyn
A true Brooklyn staple, YMCAs are synonymous with fitness. The YMCA maintains a proud standing in Brooklyn, with nine facilities across the borough. Offerings include weights, exercise equipment, swimming and fitness classes such as spin, Pilates, yoga and kettlebells. There also are adult and kids sports programs. Try them all with free passes for a few visits.
82 Wyckoff Ave., Bushwick
This community-focused gym is about so much more than boxing. For two decades, this non-profit arm of the New York Boxing Academy lets trainees learn the basic skills of boxing. The gym is known for supporting local community and businesses with its after-school program for kids, including homework help, as well as a networking and employment board for adult boxers who are job hunting. Founder Ray Cuadrado, who runs the gym with his wife and children, has coached more than 70 amateur tournament champions and 17 Golden Glove finalists. His facility is an enticing entry point–friendly and non-intimidating–to the sport of boxing. Among Brotherhood’s most popular offerings is a daily workout that starts with a morning bootcamp, then on to work on the pads or bags, with plenty of expert coaching advice.