San Francisco’s Best Boutique Fitness Classes

One of my favorite things to do when I travel, whether it’s for work or play, is to check out the area’s famed fitness classes. I recently spent a week in the San Francisco area and sampled all of the Bay Area’s best workouts. Here’s our ultimate list to our favorite classes:
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Core40
The Skinny: I had no idea what to expect before I went to Core40 for a full-body reformer workout. I left pleasantly surprised (and a bit sore). Located in the adorable Nob Hill neighborhood (but there are a number of locations in SF) is Core40, a light-filled studio filled with 12 megaformer machines that will give you a killer workout. I loved that the class was small in size, and that the instructor went into detail on how to do each move correctly. Even as a newbie, I found myself picking up the moves relatively quickly. We went through a series of exercises on the reformer that worked our core, thighs and arms, doing lunges, resistance work and other exercises. Plus, the music is high energy, which is an added bonus. They also offer a class that is half spin, half pilates which sounded great for those who want to get some cardio.
Cost: First time members can take a class for $10. Classes are usually $35 each.
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Pop Physique
The Skinny: This barre class in San Fran’s Russian Hill neighborhood delivers on every level. The location is ideal, surrounded by amazing restaurants and bars and shopping, meaning you can make your workout social. The studio is flawless and fun, with hot pink barre balls, bamboo floors and fun gear (we love the “Barre so Hard” grippy socks) and most importantly, the class is kick ass. I recently took a class with Maddie and came out sweating. We did a mix of weight work, barre work and core, and your legs will shake throughout, which means your muscles are really engaged. I liked the pace of the class as well because the instructors communicate how long you have left for each move and guide you through the exercises.
Cost: $25/class.

Running The Golden Gate Bridge
The Skinny: The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is the ultimate workout (and free to boot). I ran it for the first time on this trip, and it is the ideal workout experience because you are surrounded by gorgeous views, meaning your workout will fly by. The trail is 1.7 miles each way, and it is steep at parts, meaning you’ll get a nice thigh workout. I did stop a few times to take photos (it’s too beautiful not to) but you leave having a nice cardio workout and some killer instagram posts!
Cost: Free.

Pilates ProWorks
The Skinny: In San Fran’s Financial District (with a location in the Marina area, too) is Pilates ProWorks, a studio with a number of different classes, from Pilates to Barre. I recently joined them for their newest class offering, called MatBox, which is a mix of kickboxing and floor pilates. This class is super high intensity and you will leave sweating. Even the warm up is intense — a mix of squats and jumping jacks and burpees. We then moved onto the punching bag, where we jabbed and kneed and learned combinations, while doing squats and burpees in between movements. The class is small, meaning you’ll get personal attention. I also liked how we moved back and forth between cardio and boxing, keeping the heart rate up. We ended with yoga and stretching. Because of all of the movements, the class flies by. I’ve also heard great things about Pilates ProWork’s traditional pilates classes and barre, and if you buy a package or membership, you can rotate between all of their classes.
Cost: $30/class.

Core Studio
The Skinny: If you’re venturing out to Palo Alto or San Mateo, we have you covered. We recently popped into Core Studio for a barre class and got a great workout. The studio offers reformer pilates, barre and spin, meaning you could switch things up pretty frequently. The barre class was small in size so I got a ton of individual attention. I also loved that the class incorporates several “cardio blasts” into the workout, so that you get a tad more cardio than a traditional barre class. We did 45-second challenges that involved squats and jumps and other moves.
Cost: First time members $15

Related Reading: NYC’s Best Fitness Classes

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