10 New York City spots where you can tap your inner athlete

Got World Cup fever? You may not make it onto Team USA anytime soon, but you can absolutely work out like the players.
Tone House
(Photo: Simon Mcdermott Johnson for Tone House)

Got World Cup fever? You may not make it onto Team USA anytime soon, but you can get in on the action by working out like the players.

“Soccer players are some of the best conditioned athletes in the world because the game requires so much cardiovascular endurance. Players run up to 13 miles in a single game!” says Tone House owner Alonzo Wilson, who was an athlete himself before transitioning into training them. “Agility is also incredibly important as the sport requires quickness and changes of direction—and all with control.”

So where can you find drills that will get you moving like Neymar? Thankfully, New York is currently full of sports-inspired workout destinations that want to help you tap your inner athlete. We’re talking places that use equipment and techniques proven to work on the pros.

Here are ten (in no particular order) to check out as the finals approach. —Lisa Elaine Held

1. Tone House
Tone House owner Alonzo Wilson was a football star, and his head coach was the same in track and basketball. Either will lead you through a majorly athletic group workout that trains your body on multiple planes of movement, using all kinds of cool tools, like wall harnesses and sand bags. And a team mentality prevails when you’re on the Astroturf “field,” where you’ll engage in team chants and huddles. www.tonehousenewyork.com

2. The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers
Whatever your sport, you won’t have to settle for drills at this massive facility on the West Side—they’ve got the space for you to actually play the games. Hit the boxing ring, hockey rink, or sand volleyball court, or book an individual session in the Performance Center to get competitive in, say, a triathlon. www.chelseapiers.com

3. Soho Strength Lab
The founders of this boutique gym all come from competitive athlete backgrounds—from gymnastics and running to weightlifting, and they focus on multi-planar athletic movements (where you’re moving in more than one direction at the same time) that will make you slim, strong, and agile in both their small group classes and personal training sessions. www.sohostrengthlab.com

City Athlete
(Photo: City Athlete)

4. City Athlete
Three strapping rugby players created this Central Park boot camp, and they believe the functional strength and endurance that makes you successful on a field is also really useful when it comes to mastering city life, too. As in, the quick footwork and speed drills you’ll practice in the grass will be really useful when dashing to make the subway. www.city-athlete.com

5. Peak Performance
Joe Dowdell’s Flatiron personal training studio is known for serving an elite clientele, including serious athletes, and it’s hard to find a trainer on its team roster who was not a competitive athlete at some point in time. And just like pro athletes have access to anything they need to stay in top physical shape, you can sign up for nutritional consultations, soft tissue therapy, and more, without leaving the building. www.peakperformancenyc.com

6. S10 Training
Sled pushing and TRX intervals are par for the course at this high-design Tribeca destination, where fashion world execs share workout space with ultra-marathoners and runners looking to shave minutes off their race times. S10 stands for sub 10 percent body fat, by the way, which is where owner Stephen Cheuk will want to get you to. www.S10training.com

7. Right Fit NY
You’ll have to duck your head to get into this (literally) underground studio, but a slew of pro athlete training tools will meet you down there, like a Woodway Curve treadmill used by NFL players to work on directional running and a glide board for skating side to side (hello, hockey?). www.rightfitny.com

As One
(Photo: As One)

8. As One
You’ll need soccer-player endurance to make it through As One’s tough boot camp classes, which are super high intensity and will make you strong, fast, and flexible. And they’ll train you to compete in adventure (AKA mud) races like the Civilian Military Combine, if that’s the kind of athleticism you’re interested in. www.as1effect.com

9. Exceed Physical Culture
Now with two Manhattan locations, in Tribeca and on the Upper East Side, Exceed’s intense interval training classes will make you feel like you’re working towards a medal at every moment, using full-body functional equipment like kettlebells, jump ropes, rowing machines (regatta!), and instructors who speak the language of sports conditioning, since most are former athletes. www.exceedphysicalculture.com

10. Body Space Fitness
Body Camp classes on the Astroturf at this small functional gym feel more like after-school team sports practices than workouts, and its Training for Warriors program is meant to mold you into the athlete you once (or never?) were. They’ve also got lots of athletic personal training options, on-site physical therapy for injury prevention,  and a partnership with Hot Bird Running if your sport of choice is pavement pounding. www.bodyspacefitness.com


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