Not Down with the Gym Scene? Try These Workouts Instead
The nonstop #gymspo in your Instagram feed is proof that plenty of folks live for their daily classes and treadmill time, but traditional workouts aren’t for everyone. Looking for something that focuses on practical skills while getting your heart racing? Then try one (or all) of these non-traditional workouts.
ODC, 351 Shotwell Street
You’ve watched Flashdance, Center Stage, Step Up, Dirty Dancing, Save the Last Dance, and Honey more times than you care to admit. In your heart, you know all of Britney’s best dance moves. Your feet, however, betray your lack of actual skill. It’s not too late to learn. Check out ODC for tap, ballet, hip hop, and more. Tone your body and pick up some sweet new moves.
Dolphin Club, 502 Jefferson Street
Dolphin Club swimmers have been braving the chilly waters at the Fisherman’s Wharf Aquatic Park since 1877. On top of regular swims, club members also participate in famous races like the Escape from Alcatraz. The Club accepts members on a quarterly basis. Because the city owns the building, the facilities are open to the public on alternate days each month, Tuesday through Saturday, for a daily fee of $10.
Halberstadt Fencers’ Club, 621 South Van Ness Avenue
Every time I watch an Inigo Montoya scene in Princess Bride, I want to pick up a foil. To get serious about saying things like, “en garde” while holding a sword, check out the Halberstadt Fencers’ Club. The Club hosts intro, beginner, intermediate, and competition classes to help you learn the sport and casually throw phrases like, “When I was at my fencing club last week…” into conversation.
Dogpatch Boulders, 2573 3rd Street
It’s the newest climbing gym in San Francisco, and the largest bouldering gym in the country. (Bouldering = no ropes or harnesses.) With 17-foot boulder walls and 14,000 feet of climbing terrain, there’s plenty of room to roam at Dogpatch Boulders. DB offers introductory classes for folks who are new to climbing.
Krav Maga, 1455 Bush Street
Yes, as in the self-defense system created for Israeli Defense Forces. Look, I know that Gigi Hadid and the Victoria’s Secret Angels are into all boxing, all the time, but Krav Maga takes self-defense to an entirely new level of badassery. Entry level classes available for those who aren’t already elite military operatives.
Circus Center, 755 Frederick Street
If you start taking circus classes now, running away to join the circus could become a viable career alternative later. The Circus Center turns mere mortals into trapeze artists, aerialists, and more; whether you’re learning to fly or balance, you’ll be building serious upper body and core strength. To get started, try the handstand class. Don’t worry: you needn’t be an aspiring performer to sign up.