Capturing the Rhythm of
Downtown Santa Monica
Santa Monica Centric
The definitive guide to fitness in Downtown Santa Monica
By Andrea Korb

This is Southern California, land of moon juice and spirit dust, of crystals and goat yoga. While a skeptical East Coaster (hi, dad!) might call our dedication to health and wellness "self-indulgent," there isn't much that's more foundational to being human than keeping the mind and body in good working order. Life is short everywhere, but out here, summer is long. You might as well look and feel your best. 

 

In Downtown Santa Monica's 40 square blocks, there are over 30 fitness options. We have a range of gyms and studios, including spin, yoga, barre, pilates, and interval training. And I tried them all (YES, I'M TIRED), so that I could give you the low down on where to go for everything and anything fitness related.

 

Gyms

 

 

(Boxing class at Burn Fitness, one of the many free offerings for members of this friendly gym on the Third Street Promenade.)

 

 

YMCA

This massive facility on Sixth Street houses exercise equipment, pools, a spin studio, nursery and day care, basketball courts, racquetball courts, and even a climbing wall. There is something for all ages and preferences here, and as a nonprofit, the YMCA does not turn anyone away. If you are unable to pay full membership, they offer financial assistance.

Showers? Yes

1332 Sixth Street

(310) 393-2721

 

Burn Fitness

Burn Fitness is a friendly gym located right on the world-famous Third Street Promenade, and includes a rooftop area ideal for catching sunsets while you sweat. Here's a hint for Classpassers: they have challenging, fun classes that you can book through Classpass even if you are not a gym member (including spin) for just a few credits – sometimes even for free. 

Showers? Yes

1233 Third Street Promenade

(310) 394-1300

 

Equinox

This glassy Equinox with multiple levels and open staircases feels a bit like a tree house. The facilities are beautiful, they offer a range of classes, and your post workout shower will feel luxurious.

Showers? Yes

201 Santa Monica Boulevard

(310) 593-8888

 

24 Hour Fitness

This 24 Hour Fitness is pretty bare bones – but at around $40 per month for membership, it's a rare affordable option on the Westside.

Showers? No

1417 Second Street

(310) 255-0008

  

Spin

 

SoulCycle

SoulCycle popularized the modern spin class with the weights and choreography. The rest are arguably copy cats, but we should encourage healthy competition in fitness, right? As always, SoulCycle studios have high-end bikes, dark, slightly heated rooms, loud music, and nice facilities. 

Showers? Yes

120 Wilshire Boulevard

 

Ryde4 

This is Burn Fitness' spin studio. Their rooftop space provides fresh-air breezes, which I appreciate. (Something I've long suspected: if you're doing pure cardio in a hot room, you're not working out harder, you're just sweating more – though you might leave the workout feeling proud of your soaked clothes, you may have actually exercised less because you were too hot to push it to the max. Side note, toxins are cleared through your system via your liver and kidneys, not your sweat glands. Science, guys.)

Showers? Yes

1233 Third Street Promenade (rooftop)

 

Cyclebar

This spin spot has a competition board that they occasionally flash on the screen so you can see how you're fairing against your fellow spinners. Though I don't think of myself as the competitive type, seeing my name up there definitely got me pushing harder. Don't worry – you choose whether or not you want your name displayed, so if you're not into that, you can opt out. But lean in, guys and gals. Give yourself an alias and get involved.  

Showers? Yes

1221 Second Street, Suite 100

 

Flywheel

Like Cyclebar, Flywheel has the ever-motivating leaderboard (or "TorqBoard" in Flywheel speak) to see how you measure up.

Showers? Yes

520 Broadway

  

Pilates

 

(Working The Reformer at Speir Pilates.) 

 

Pilates Platinum 

Platinum classes are challenging – in fact, of all the classes in Downtown Santa Monica, in my humble opinion, this one could be the most serious body changer. Be prepared: the big glass windows are lovely, but the occasional tourist will stop and take a peep while you may or may not be looking completely uncoordinated on the reformer machine.

Showers? No

1255 Second Street

 

Sandpiper Pilates

Find this hidden gem through a lovely little courtyard and up a set of stairs. Sandpiper does one-on-one and small class (three people max) pilates, so that they can provide you personalization and attention.

Showers? Yes

522 Wilshire Blvd., Suite D

 

Speir Pilates

Speir is a big, upscale pilates studio. The "Cardio Reformer" class involves jumping (horizontally), on the "jump board," which feels kind of like a very, very tiny roller coaster ride. Fun!  

Showers? No

1427 Seventh Street, #102

 

Yoga

 

 (Balancing chakras at Kundalini Yoga.)

 

CorePower Yoga

CorePower has two rooms: one for yoga and one for yoga and weights, both in heated rooms. The yoga with weights class ("Yoga Sculpt") is a challenging, fun take on the traditional practice – definitely a solid work out.

Showers? Yes

1540 Second Street, Suite 109

 

Naam Yoga

Naam is a nonprofit that emphasizes the communal and spiritual aspects of yoga. After class, help yourself to delicious tea in the lounge behind the studio.

Showers? No

1231 Fourth Street

 

Sweat Yoga

Sweat, per the name, does hot yoga with a sexy, Burning Man vibe. The room is dark and the music is on point. The instructors take you through a set of poses and then you try out the sequence on your own, without prompts. This sounds a bit scary, but when's the last time, in the ever-narrowing experience of your adulthood, that you challenged your brain/body like that?

Showers? Yes

702 Arizona Avenue

 

Hot8 Yoga

Hot8 Yoga is a friendly, large yoga facility with an array of hot yoga options. Their "26 & 2" class, which follows the traditional Bikram Yoga sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, is a great class.  

Showers? Yes

1422 Second Street

 

Santa Monica Power Yoga & Meditation

A donation-based yoga studio. When I tried it out, yogi John Harding led us through a lovely, relaxing practice.

Showers? No

1410 Second Street

 

Power Yoga East

Another donation-based option, this place feels like it's been there forever. The studio is simple and somewhat heated, with natural light and a community vibe.

Showers? No

522 Santa Monica Boulevard

 

Be Crystal Clear

This stunning new studio has a unique set of classes (e.g. sound baths, dance, yoga for kids). If you've been stressing your mind and/or body lately (if, for example, you volunteered to try out every fitness option in Downtown Santa Monica in about a month), I recommend popping out of the office for their 40-minute midday stretch class.  

Showers? No

719 Broadway

 

Bhakti Yoga Shala

Bhakti Yoga Shala emphasizes spirituality and community. Classes are donation based and some have live music or sound baths.

Showers? No

207 Arizona Avenue

 

Kundalini by the Sea 

This cozy, relaxing studio teaches Kundalini yoga, a practice that focuses on breath work, chanting, and meditation to achieve spiritual and life goals. 

Showers? No

605 Colorado Avenue

 

Barre

 

(Channeling your inner ballerina at Pure Barre.)

 

Exhale 

Tucked away inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Exhale has barre and yoga options (it's on Classpass!). I appreciate their 30-minute lunchtime class that you can squeeze in during a busy work day, and the fact that you get to shower in the beautiful spa afterwards.

Showers? Yes

101 Wilshire Boulevard

 

Pure Barre 

This popular barre studio focuses on tough, tiny movements ("tuck!") to sculpt your muscles.

Showers? No

201 Wilshire Boulevard

 

Interval Training

 

(Hitting the row machines at Orangetheory.)

 

Training Mate

In a large space that has a vaulted ceiling and lovely wood beams, the Aussies guide you through your workout with their high-energy, good-looking selves. You move from one station to the next and complete a variety of exercises (e.g. weight lifting, TRX, cardio), so you never get bored.

Showers? Yes

1454 Lincoln Boulevard

 

Orangetheory

When I pay for an exercise class I'm looking for it to push me harder than I can push myself. If it doesn't, then I should just train myself because I'm free. Orangetheory – primarily due to the fact that they sandwich their floor/weight exercises with killer treadmill sequences – certainly does that.

Showers? Yes

1431 Second Street

 

Double Ops

Double Ops is an interval training studio with a nice "locals" vibe.

Showers? Yes

1317 Seventh Street, Suite B

 

BaseCamp

Like Orangetheory, at BaseCamp you alternate between various exercises out on the floor and cardio, but at BaseCamp, the cardio is done on those arms-plus-legs bicycles. For some reason, I can't take myself completely seriously on those things, but they are a great option if you're looking for lower-impact cardio.

Showers? Yes

1315 Lincoln Boulevard

 

Personal Training

 

Fitness Together

Fitness Together has been in the community for a number of years. They serve a range of clientele, but tend to skew older, helping the 40 to 80-year-old crowd get in shape with tailored fitness and nutrition plans and keeping them on track with the most valuable element of personal training: accountability.

Showers? Yes

1450 Fifth Street, #120

 

Show up Fitness

Show up Fitness is newer to Downtown Santa Monica and the clientele trends a bit younger than Fitness Together. Their prices vary based on how much training you commit to, and they'll offer a discount if you can train during off-peak hours.

Showers? No

1207 Fourth Street

 

Martial Arts

 

Box n' Burn

This place is utter mayhem and so fun. The gym is packed and buzzing with energy. I'm a total boxing novice, but I had a blast doing pad work with one of the many coaches in the ring, switching to a floor workout, over to the punching bags, and back into the ring.

Showers? No

1654 Lincoln Boulevard

 

International Shotokan Karate Federation Santa Monica

Martial arts training gym (ok, so there are a few places I did not personally try).

Showers? Yes

1218 Fifth Street

 

MC Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Club

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym.

Showers? No

320 Wilshire Blvd, Suite B1

 

Dance

 

Maesto Studio

Teaching primarily salsa and bachata, this lovely dance studio has a near-perfect rating on Yelp. 

Showers? No

1547 Sixth Street, Suite 100

 

Coming Soon

 

Coreology

Coreology, which is expanding up the California coast, will offer pilates reformer classes, spinning, and resistance training.

702 Arizona Avenue

 

Ritual Gym

This Singaporean fitness concept touting efficient, 30-minute classes is opening its first U.S. location on our doorstep.

315 Wilshire Boulevard

 

Yoga Collective

Popular and affordable yoga studio.

1221 Second Street, #150

 

Dash Run Studio

This appears to be like a cycling studio, but with treadmills.

720 Wilshire, #100

 

 

 




When she is not OM-ing and burpee-ing her way through the Westside, Andrea is the economic development manager for Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. In this role, she works with the DTSM team and the City on economic development initiatives, monitors activity on private properties, analyzes and follows real estate development, and supports recruitment and retention of business. Andrea previously worked as a senior advisor in the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity in New York City. She holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and English Literature from Brown University.

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