Got a New Year’s resolution to exercise more? Pat yourself on the back — getting enough exercise is one of the best choices you can make for your health.
Even better, it doesn’t have to be boring or wreck your budget. Here are some of our top Phoenix picks. Some are currently offering deals for new students.
1. Take a Free Ballet Class
Ballet isn’t just for kids. Anyone can benefit from what classical ballet has to offer: It’s one of the best forms of movement to improve your balance and increase flexibility, strength, and coordination.
If you’ve ever been curious about taking a ballet class, there’s no better time than the present. Ballet Arizona is offering free adult classes from January 6 to 10, including three levels of ballet, modern, Horton Technique, and American Tribal Style Belly Dance, as well as teen open classes. A full list of dates and times is available on their website.
2. Learn Pole Dancing (and Twerk, Belly Dance, and Samba)
Not about that ballet vibe? Not to fret — there’s something for everyone. Like ballet, pole dancing builds strength, flexibility, and coordination. It’s also a hell of a good time (and much harder than you might expect).
For new students, Scottsdale’s Violet Flame Studios offers the best twerk technique classes in the Valley, in addition to dancehall, belly dance, samba, and more — pretty much any non-ballet dance class you could ever want.
3. Train Muay Thai With the Pros
For those who aren’t immersed in it, the Arizona Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) community is truly a hidden gem. Phoenix is home to a number of world-class coaches, pro fighters, and up-and-coming amateurs, whose gyms offer you the chance to train directly alongside them.
No matter what part of town you’re in, there’s likely a Muay Thai gym close to you. Sitan Gym Arizona in Chandler, Best Muay Thai in Tempe, and Arizona Muay Thai in Mesa all offer specials for new students so you can give it a shot without breaking the bank. Who knows? By 2021, you might find yourself training for an amateur fight at one of Phoenix’s local competitions.
4. Cycle Your Way to Your Happy Place
If you’ve ever taken a good spin class, you know they can be grueling, yet oddly peaceful. The workout is as exhausting as you can make it, but when the lights are off and the music is pumping, you sometimes find yourself focused and energized enough to crush all those imaginary hills.
Tucked away in a shopping center off Indian School and 36th Street, Studio 360 is one of those studios that can help get you into that dual state of fatigue-meets-calm.
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5. Get a Little Twisted
Everyone knows yoga’s great for body and mind, but what if you’re looking to amp it up a bit? Aerial yoga might be the just the thing — it incorporates a hanging swing into your yoga class, combining traditional yoga with acrobatics and dance.
In addition to letting you pretend you’re in Cirque du Soleil, aerial yoga is amazing for spinal decompression, strength-building, and improved confidence. Go ahead and find out for yourself: Metta Yoga on Thomas and 40th Street is currently offering a 30-days-for-$30 special for new students.
Editor's note: This piece originally ran in January 2019 and has been updated.