Thursday, December 01
Follow us

Beach Bodies


Beach Bodies
Where To Workout In The Hamptons by Heather Bryce

There are a lot of toned bodies sashaying around the Hamptons: women sporting shoulder-baring tops and men in shorts showing off shapely legs. With all the workout options it’s no wonder we’re all in such good shape. There are tried-and-true places like Hamptons Gym Corp, which has been around for a couple of decades. Then there are popups such as Flex Studios, an outpost of the Manhattan heart-pumping workout transplanted to the Surf Lodge in Montauk for the summer. Speaking of Montauk, Tracy Anderson, whose partner is Amagansett’s Gwyneth Paltrow, has just opened a studio in that hamlet.

We sent our intrepid reporter, Heather Bryce, to check out various workouts.

Paddleboard Yoga

One Word: Refreshing

If I was sweating, I wasn’t aware of it. Yes, the poses were challenging and the late morning sun intense, but the pleasant bay breeze kept me cool and refreshed. The handful of us in a PaddleDiva standup paddleboard yoga class had hitched our boards to a buoy and were following the lead of our teacher, the matchlessly toned redhead, Jessica Cadden Osborne, an accomplished athlete and dancer who really knows her stuff. Not only was she a Radio City Rockette for seven years, but she is also an aerial acrobat with Fuerza Bruta, which has been described as a “theatrical equivalent of the X-treme sports phenomenon.”

Before performing our asanas we paddled along the coast of Three Mile Harbor, ogling the waterfront properties that cannot be seen except from the sea. Who knew there are such impressive houses with lawns sloping down to the beach way out in Springs? Jessica bid us to bend our knees as we dipped the paddle beneath the surface as if “scooping a curl of butter,” reminding us to breathe with our strokes and to paddle through the choppy waves that threatened to nudge us into the drink.

The class involved the usual sun salutations and warrior poses, made extra difficult by our wobbly boards, but we managed to stay dry until a balancing pose resulted in a large splash made by one participant who had admitted to not having a regular yoga practice (something that is probably recommended). The class ended with a headstand, a pose none of the students achieved. Between poses we rested on our boards, our faces at water level soaking up the view of boats and clouds passing by, the water lapping beneath us lulling us into an almost hypnotic state.

Butt and Legs

One Word: Grueling

I’d passed by Barry’s Bootcamp on the highway in Wainscott countless times. But what is Barry’s Bootcamp? And who is Barry? Inside the lobby is a sign that states: “The Best Workout in the World.” Yikes. Having not been doing much more than yoga lately, I’m intimidated. The couple of dozen women and four men in the class before mine exit the studio soaked in sweat.

“It’s tough,” admits one of them, Rocco Basile, a real estate developer in the city. Inside the studio are gargantuan World Wall II posters: soldiers planting the flag at Iwo Jimo, a WAC with the words “We Can Do It.” The class is so hard you need all the encouragement you can get.

The week is broken up into separate muscle groups so that no class is ever the same: Monday is arms and abs, Wednesday chest and so on. Weekends are dedicated to full body. My class, Tuesday, is Butt and Legs. We start at the treadmill where our teacher, Jenna, shouts instructions at us over loud driving music. We walk, jog and sprint at various speeds and inclines. When we rise to a 15% incline I feel like I might fall off, especially since we are instructed not to hold onto the bars, but instead “pump” our arms.

Next we hit the floor where we put our legs into fancy elastic bands and do kicks, squats and leaps. While holding weights! Then we repeat the whole shebang all over again. Despite the powerful AC and fans, we’re sweating like proverbial pigs.

It turns out that while Barry started his boot camp in West Hollywood in the ‘90s, he doesn’t have much to do with the business now. Poor him. The brand has expanded to locations all over the country and Europe. And has just added a third Hamptons location in Southampton.

Ballet Moves

One Word: Graceful

Elements Fitness, a barre class that opened in East Hampton a couple of years ago, has moved into pretty new digs next to Soul Cycle on Newtown Lane in East Hampton. The bright new studio sports blond wood floors, is festooned with colorful mats, bands and balls, and is lined with mirrors, the better to watch yourself as you stretch and pump at the bar like an athletic ballerina.

The studio is owned by celebrity personal trainer/professional dancer Andrea Fornarola Hunsberger, whose dance-infused routine also incorporates yoga and Pilates. We work on mats and at the barre, alternating between challenging isometric exercises (squeezing muscles with tiny movements) and swan-like stretches. Much of the work is based on the Lotte Berk Method, a decades-old technique that has been called the “ultimate body transformation system.”

Elements has garnered a roster of celebrity clients including Bridgehampton’s Sarah Jessica Parker, Amagansett’s Jessica Seinfeld and East Hampton’s Christy Turlington – all beautifully fit.


One Word: Fun

For me, a tennis clinic is about its happiness quotient. You’re outside among the birds and bees, and in the case of Hampton Racquet in East Hampton, the occasional train roaring by and private jet whizzing overhead. You’re inhaling deep gulps of fresh air while your legs take on a golden tan. There’s camaraderie among your fellow players who laugh at your mistakes and share in your triumphs. “Give each other a high five!” is one of the constant reminders of our vivacious coach, Kathleen Kropp-Bernard.

Hamptons Racquet is an especially pretty tennis club, beautifully landscaped with outside sitting areas furnished with stylish cushioned sofas, giving it a resort feel. (Co-owner Monica Graham is known for the exquisite gardens at her East Hampton home.) There’s even a café that sells snacks on weekdays and sandwiches and crepes on weekends.

I took a weekday morning clinic designed to both provide a workout and enhance your game. (Other clinics include Cardio and Beginners.) There were four students on the court and two coaches, with Kathleen – Ms. Personality Plus – in the lead giving us a nonstop barrage of pointers as we zoomed through a series of fun and instructive drills. “Rotate your shoulders!” “Don’t rush!” “Keep your racquet back!”

But mostly Kathleen was full of encouragement: “Wonderful!” “Lovely!” “Beautiful!” I began to feel like a fashion model in front of the camera. We were having so much fun that it came as a surprise when the 90 minutes was up. We all left having formed mini-friendships and looking forward to seeing each other again soon.