Health Beat: Fitness Thrives on Main Street in Manayunk
Main Street in Manayunk bustles with a slew of fitness and aerobics establishments offering a wide range of physical activities.
From Awakenings Pole Fitness to hot yoga, the nearly mile-long commercial strip has something for both the intense exercise junkie and the mellowed-out yogi.
“Here in Manayunk we have a huge fitness community,” said Anthony Fittipaldi, instructor and owner of RowZone. “There’s a ton of activities here. It’s a very active place, both with the fitness owners, the different studios and the people that live here.”
RowZone’s studio houses over 10 rowing machines for people of all levels. It offers a variety of programs such as rowing development, on and off the water rowing, group boot camp, boot camp weight and strength training, and one-on-one sessions. Instructors provide specialized training plans to help adult and youth clients reach their fitness goals.
“Manayunk is great for indoor and outdoor activities,” Fittipaldi said. “There’s something for everyone. Having a rich workout community around here will lend itself greatly to a group access studio.”
Stan Tworek, manager at Human Zoom bike shop, said the neighborhood is also a great place for cycling.
“Our proximity to the Manayunk tow path makes Main Street an excellent location for the bike shop and an excellent place for cycling,” Tworek said.
The tow path, located directly across the street from Human Zoom, is a paved trail that parallels Main Street and makes a perfect exercise track for bikers and runners alike.
“In addition to being a full service bike shop, Human Zoom does donations, charity, free classes, seminars and we offer a chance for beginner cyclists to practice,” Tworek said.
Human Zoom sells different types of bicycles for adults and children, ski gear and other athletic equipment. The shop offers indoor cycling training, rentals and bike repair. Human Zoom also has a female cycling team that participates in the famous Philly Cycling Classic each year.
“The cycling community is pretty diverse, just as diverse as our shop. We have everything around here, multiple parks, the tow path – cyclists come from Center City and beyond,” Tworek said.
Awakenings Pole Fitness Studio has provided aerial yoga, pole dance fitness, aerial silks and lyra classes for four years.
“Manayunk is an active community,” said Tiel Guarino, manager of Awakenings. “Finding the right vibe was huge. There was something really special about being on Main Street. It drew us here.”
Brady Gibney, manager of Cadence Cycling, agreed that the vibe of the neighborhood is perfect for fitness establishments.
“The more fitness-minded people in this area, the better for us,” Gibney said.
Cadence sells professional performance bicycles and offers riding sessions, training, classes and coaching. Along with group rides every weekend and indoor classes, Cadence also has sponsored racing teams that have participated in the annual Philly Cycling Classic.
“Manayunk is a nice middle point to a lot of locations. We have customers from New Jersey, Bucks County, the Main Line, West Chester and Delaware,” Gibney said. “There’s a lot of foot traffic in addition to being on Main Street.”
Traditional yoga, hot yoga, kickboxing, cycling, rowing and wellness coaching are just some of the health services on Main Street. Some studios offer teacher training, allowing patrons to advance in their fitness education and ability. However, because there are so many studios, managers note the competition can be fierce.
“There’s a lot of competition, but every place is different so it works,” Deena Lynn of Flatrock Wellness said.
Flatrock Wellness, a health and wellness facility, offers yoga, Russian kettlebell and tai chi in addition to healing arts services.
It’s not just the managers who deal with competition within the Main Street fitness community. Caitlin Lange, a student of the yoga teacher certification course at Yoga on Main, said picking the right studio was difficult given all the options.
“The competition of studios on Main Street made choosing Yoga on Main more difficult than I thought, but each studio is so different,” Lange said. “What I wanted just aligned with this studio, but there really is something for everyone in Manayunk.”
– Text, images and video by Kelsey Kondraski and Shayna Kleinberg