TODAY   |  January 04, 2014

No gym, no problem: Specialized fitness classes growing in popularity

Classes like spinning and barre workouts at boutique gyms are becoming more popular, and they may be just the ticket to sticking with a fitness routine. TODAY’s Erica Hill reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> get fit today. it is, of course, a new year. that means, of course, resolutions to exercise more. gyms are going to be really crowded but if you want to get your sweat on you may not need to get a gym membership to do it apparently.

>> traekion for a lot of people across the country who are taking more so-called boutique classes and going to a class that is just a spin class or a bar workout. they are growing in popularity and for some people may be the trick you need to stick with that fitness routine.

>> reporter: lindsey haggleman relishes her time on the bike and like many of the people in this cycling class she is here for more than just an intense workout.

>> everybody wants tore here. the atmosphere is electrifying in the room.

>> reporter: that energy and sense of community are feeling a growing fitness trend. people ditching traditional gyms in favor of small boutique studios that offer a specific workout. lindsey gave up her gym membership to cycle several times a week at fly wheel .

>> they have a full body workout. upper body strength and stretching and it's like getting that personal trainer.

>> reporter: fly wheel opened in 2010 and now has studios in ten states. but it isn't just spin classes that have people switching up their fitness routines. there are boutique studios for every personality and every type. gyms have had classes as long as there have been gyms so what makes these classes different?

>> i think you're finding that people are kind of getting specialized so, you know, maybe you don't need every single class a gym has to offer. you only want one.

>> reporter: across the country, two-thirds of people with gym memberships never use them. with boutique classes, there are no monthly fees, no long-term contracts. the price can vary. from as little as 10 to nearly $40 per class . but for adrienne watson they are worth every penny.

>> when i belonged to a regular gym and spending $69 a month i wasn't going and wasting that money. i never miss a class here. i think i'm getting more bang for my buck.

>> i had my own thing so i set a goal and one day a week i do yoga and three days a week. then i do something else.

>> reporter: pure bar is a low impact total body workout that aims to strengthen and tone. the south carolina based chain now has studios in 38 states. don't let the description fool you. those tiny movements are a big challenge. in washington, d.c., megan is on a quest to check out every class the city offers.

>> the blog follows my adventures, sweating all over the city and trying every workout and bringing the details to my readers.

>> reporter: today she is sweating it out at solid core. the studio opened just two months ago but it's already expanding into two additional locations. are we going to see it as a gym in our eyes as we know it?

>> i think we will see a more flexible gym. they are doing more guest passes and day passes and giving better rates for those kind of things.

>> reporter: a nod perhaps to the growing competition. and a reminder that the real key to any successful fitness routine is finding what works for you.

>> she also told me has homework homeworkouts are growing in popularity because we are all so busy that this lets you set your own schedule when it's time to work out. if you're looking to squeeze in a workout on the fly, jenna has two quick tips for us and the start of many tips.

>> right. here is the deal. something i thought i would bring up. anyone, any fitness level anyone can do and you can do to make your life more active. start with walking. satisfactory goal for yourself. try to get in a certain number of steps every day. if you're a beginner thinking random number . how about 7,000 steps to stop and intermediate 10,000 and advanced up to 18,000 plus. you need a basic pedometer and one here is like ten bucks. you can wear the bands and different technology around your wrist which can give more detailed information to you and try to get the number of steps in. if you're thousand short go for a walk around your building. if you set a goal for yourself every day i guarantee you will get the walking in and get the steps in and feel better about yourself. number two. we all do laundry. instead of grabbing all of your clothes and sticking them in a basket and putting them up on a counter and start folding them squaw squat down each time and pick upclothing and pick it back up and fold it. craig, you're the only one not wearing heels. knees out and go down and grab something and put in your folding skills.

>> you didn't tell me i had to fold!

>> if you grab each item of clothing from your basket you're knocking out 20, 30, 40 squats each time. why yu sit ajust sit and do nothing when you can do this?

>> he can't fold very good.

>> he hasn't folded laundry in his life.

>> two quick things to get you started.

>> and you can do that while watching "weekend today." squat and laugh and enjoy.

>> and enjoy.