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Forget the gym!

Try these weird (and wonderful) alternative workouts in Olympia instead

Aerial yoga, or trapeze yoga, combines silk hammocks with traditional yoga practices to deliver increased health benefits to practitioners. It’s just one of many off-the-beaten-path workouts available in Olympia. Photo credit:

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Going to the gym day-in and day-out can get mind-numbingly boring for exercise enthusiasts. There's no way around it -- the gym experience will grow stale right when you're on the cusp of achieving your exercise goals. But instead of throwing in the towel and plopping your tush back down on the couch instead of the treadmill, consider trying these alternative exercise classes in Olympia, where there's a rich culture of getting fit while having fun.

Pole dancing

Hear us out. We know pole-dancing classes sound like a gimmick, but anyone who's ever taken them at Pilates at Play will tell you: Pole dancing is a hardcore workout. Each pole-dancing class is 75 minutes long and includes a full-body workout in private or semi-private settings. If you're simply too shy to shake your "groove thang" in front of others, Pilates at Play also offers milder mat, bar and floor yoga classes.

Pilates at Play, class schedule available online, 515 State Ave. NE, Olympia, 360.352.3444,

Aerial / trapeze yoga

Just as interesting, but a bit less risqué, is aerial yoga, also known as trapeze yoga. Aerial yoga combines silk hammocks with traditional yoga practices to deliver increased benefits to yoga practitioners. A session of aerial yoga is said to improve traction, strengthen the core and increase flexibility. Aerial yoga is offered right in downtown Olympia at Gravity Yoga.

Gravity Yoga, class schedule available online, 623 5th Ave. SE, Olympia, 360.451.3179,

Hip-hop dance

For a fast-paced workout, head to Studio West Dance Academy's Beat Box Studio where you can trade your inhibitions for a pair of sneakers and a boom box. SWDA's hip-hop classes are taught by professional-level dance instructors, and they're always high-energy thanks to radio-worthy beats. Classes are broken up by levels of expertise, so beginners can rest easy knowing they won't have to keep up with the pros (unless they want to, of course).

Studio West Dance Academy, class schedule available online, 1025 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Ste 3B, Olympia, 360.956.9378,

Booty barre

Another booty-popping workout (yeah, we did just go there) is booty barre, a fusion of yoga, Pilates and ballet barre exercises packed into one barre class. Booty barre focuses on body-shaping techniques that will lengthen and strengthen your entire body. And lucky for you, Focus Fitness offers weekly booty barre group classes at its studio. Instructors there are the only certified booty barre instructors in Olympia.

Focus Fitness, classes by appointment, 1801 West Bay Dr. NW, Ste. 102, Olympia, 360.878.8463,


If you're on the hunt for a more intense, fast-paced workout, ditch barre for a Crossfit class at Crossfit Olympia. Crossfit is known for its emphasis on short, muscle-shredding workouts featuring Olympic lifting and strength-training exercises. It's a great alternative to the standard gym experience, especially for those who don't have a lot of time in the day to devote to lengthy workouts.

Crossfit Olympia, class schedule available online, 503 Cherry St. SE, Olympia, 360.870.7995,  


Last but certainly not least is TRX, a form of suspension strength training in which one uses ropes and body weight to push muscles to the limit. With TRX, gravity becomes your resistance while you're partially suspended by ropes. We know it sounds complicated, but it's very simple in practice and delivers a similar "I can't believe I actually pulled that off" payoff to yoga. You can take a swing at TRX at Impact Fitness, a "TRX-based functional and restorative movement training studio," in Olympia.

Impact Fitness, class schedule available online, 1025 Black Lake SW, Ste. 2E, Olympia, 360.556.4126,

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