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Review: CityRow

As well-rounded Bitches, we’re all about balance. We work hard, but play even harder. We won’t hesitate to order another round of mimosas or spring for the pastry basket, but we’ll hit the pavement or a bootcamp class later. Being in New York, we have the luxury of an astonishing array of boutique fitness classes that ensure that our workout routines will never get boring. Emily and I love a good group class and travel around the city for fun ways to break a sweat.

We were recently invited to try CityRow and I couldn’t wait to give it as shot. Synchronized rowing is all the rage right now that is loved for its full-body toning and cardiovascular bursts. I had previously taken a rowing class in Brooklyn and was bored after 45 minutes of straight rowing. However, CityRow combines rowing with challenging mat work ensuring that participants couldn’t possibly yawn during the 50 minute workout.


The intimate studio is conveniently located on 14th Street and 5th Avenue, right by the Union Square subway stop. All of the classes are held in a bright room that houses about twenty or so rowing machines with room for individual mats and dumbbells. It was refreshing to see a pretty even mix of males and females in the room, mostly 20-somethings of all shapes and sizes. Everyone was outgoing and helpful to new rowers, which immediately eased my “first timer” apprehension.


Annie, our chipper and hilarious instructor, strapped in to her rower right beside us and lead us through the entire workout. I really can appreciate when an instructor is right there with you and it’s also very helpful to gut-check your form. She paid extra attention to the newcomers and offered words of encouragement to everyone in the class. After learning the proper rowing form (#legscorearms), she led us through a variety of power and speed drills set to motivating top-40s remixes.


Within minutes, I was dripping sweat. We hopped off the rowing machines a few times during the class for toning exercises such as weighted plank variations, push ups, lunges, and squats. The time flew by and we were stretching before I knew it. I left the studio with quivering muscles after this heart-pumping, full body workout.

Try CityRow for a fun spin on group fitness and a new (low-impact) way to get your cardio. It’s perfectly gender neutral, which I find rare in the boutique fitness world; boyfriends and guy friends will love it. Singles classes are $32, with discounted packages available.


80 Fifth Ave., Suite 15o1
New York, NY
(Flatiron/Union Square)

Images by Lydia Hudgens,


Ally is a Brooklyn-based marketing pro with a passion for food and fitness. You'll most likely find her at her local brunch haunts and coffee shops, always with a book in hand.

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