September 26, 2012

Core Fusion at Exhale Spa- Mad Props

The Exhale Spa offers several different types of "Core Fusion" and yoga classes.
After hearing about Exhale from a co-worker we decided to give it a try and were psyched that they offered a great deal which included a week of unlimited classes!

First stop was the Central Park South location for the Core Fusion Barre class. My first impression was, wow this is a really nice spa... so much so that I think I forgot I was there to workout for a minute. The class is described as a "barre-based workout, which combines core work with pilates, yoga, ballet and dance principles". My interpretation of the class was kind of an old school aerobics class with a mix of barre exercises and pilates mat work. Our instructor was also one of those extra peppy aerobics instructor types which a. made us both giggle, and b. made it a little hard to take her seriously. Remember when the Saved by the Bell girls made an exercise video?

"Put your mind to it, go for it, get down and break a sweat...."

The class uses a ton of props- mat, hand weights, strap, ballet barre, and a red rubber ball (like a smaller version of a dodge ball/ kick ball) and the room looks like a large ballet studio, but with fluffy beige carpeting which kind of made you feel like you were sweatin' to the oldies in your parent's basement. The barre section was especially difficult and really gets your thighs and core burning. This was especially uncomfortable because we were STILL sore from the Refine class we had taken several days earlier (post on Refine Method to come). Oh, and you are required to wear socks for this class. Regular athletic socks are fine, or you can purchase their special Exhale socks with grip on the bottom. By the end of class we were still unsure what purpose the socks served, but we did get a good workout.

Socks Only Zone

Next we tried out Core Fusion Bootcamp on the Upper East Side. Exhale calls this the "ultimate strength and cardio challenge".  I am generally not excited by anything with bootcamp or challenge in the name, but we SweatNtheCity girls have been good at encouraging/ challenging each other to try new things.
This class also used quite a few props- here I am trying to get mine organized before class.

"Medicine ball- check, mini red dodge ball- check, weights- check."

This class was no joke, definitely a "cardio challenge".  Moving quickly through yoga elements, weights, core work, and did I mention PLANKS? OMG the planks! Plank hold, plank run, side planks, push ups, push ups on the medicine ball, burpees, chaturanga..... the list goes on. It literally felt like we were in a plank or push up the majority of the time. Overall it was a great cardio class with plenty of difficulty, this class will really get you sweating and bring back a few fond (or not so fond) memories of gym class.

The Exhale staff at both studios were helpful and courteous, the locker rooms were luxurious and stocked with great products, and the overall vibe was very calming. So basically everything you would expect from a nice spa, but not necessarily a gym. A membership here gets you unlimited classes and discounts on spa services and merchandise, but they do not have a traditional gym with weights or machines which I think would be a great addition. If I was a member there I can totally picture myself skipping out on bootcamp for a massage or facial..... so maybe not the best fitness option for me.

Central Park South location

Studios- 5
Instructors- 4
Sweat factor- 4
Amenities- 5
Price- 3


  1. Looks like a great place to get in shape, but definitely not what I usually have in mind when I hear "spa in Manhattan"! Where are the masseuses and sliced cucumbers? :)

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