Exhale Flatiron

New YorkBarre,


byRebecca Licht, September 25, 2017

Core Fusion Barre + Cardio always gives us our money’s worth for a toning workout. At Exhale Flatiron, you’ll get sweaty in what seems like a never-ending series of plank runs (mountain climbers) and sun salutations, interspersed with cardio kickboxing, then spend the second half of class burning your buns and legs off. Definitely the hardest “no-shoes” cardio class we’ve done. Caitlin kept the mood light with some quippy comments but the pressure was on as she somehow made it around the room of 20+ people to make hands on adjustments. This class is a great one – although sometimes the room is too crowded, you’ll get a good workout.



Each Exhale class has its own set of yoga mats and additional props, so we all scrambled to grab two different sets of weights, a green stretchy band and a ball. The class we took at Exhale Flatiron was incredibly full – one of the only drawbacks – and the easy-peasy 2-pound weights were all gone by the time we got to the weight bucket in the back of the room. So we grabbed 3-pound and 5-pound hand weights and set up a yoga mat near the front of the room.

Caitlin started off class with some excellent late 2000s jams (Britney, BSB and Christina Aguilera remixes) and explained the format of the class: the first 30 minutes was cardio, and then we’d transition into barre exercises, and finally abs. Sneakers are recommended for the first half of the class, but we looked around and about half of the group was going shoeless, so we did too.  She had us sweating in less than five minutes as we moved sun salutation style through mountain climbers, twisted mountain climbers, pushups, plank jumping jacks, and then got up and vertical again with some quick cardio kickboxing style hooks.

After what felt like a loooong plank-filled warm-up, we moved into four different rounds of cardio kickboxing exercises with weights, punctuated by the mountain climber series after each one. We started off with some squat jumps, and then each round’s choreography, quick lunges and punches got a little more complicated. Caitlin offered form corrections in between Britney Spears anecdotes, which definitely kept the mood light. We’d recommend this class to a moderate to advanced group fitness freak since each person in class barely had room beyond her yoga mat to punch and kick, and there are a ton of planks..

Finally, our fourth round of cardio was over and we moved over to the barre for some chair and waterski exercises. At this point, everyone seemed drenched in sweat, and while we’ll say this isn’t the most technical or difficult barre section we’ve ever done, doing it after all those planks had our thighs on fire immediately. This section did go by fast and we were soon back on our mats for a quick glutes session: mostly clamshells and bridges. Before we knew it, we’d moved into a series of yoga stretches including cat/cow, and class was finished.


Caitlin was a friendly and down-to-earth instructor who did her best to keep things personal in a large class. She seemed a little frazzled at the beginning and didn’t introduce herself to newbies, but she did know a number of people by name and was encouraging to all throughout the class. Caitlin had a slightly sarcastic energy but a clear enthusiasm for barre, and we appreciated her lightheartedness.  She definitely enjoys her teaching without taking herself too seriously, and gets into the moves and correct form. She knew the flow for class by heart and was open to mixing things up and providing modifications for injury or less advanced class-goers. Her volume was good and her energy level was high throughout the whole session.


More than other Exhale studios, the Flatiron location feels zen and calming, with friendly people at the desk whenever we’re running late into class due to subway delays. Some merch/apparel is generally on offer, such as Swell bottles, grippy socks, sports bras, and leggings. There are lockers and cubbies as well as a clean, well-stocked men’s and women’s locker room – pro tip, if there are no men in your class we recommend sneaking into the men’s locker room after to avoid a long line for showers. In the women’s locker room, there are three showers & two toilets, which people cycle through pretty quickly, but things get heated, literally, as everyone scrambles in front of the mirror to blow dry their hair and scurry off to work after a morning class. Despite the steamy atmosphere, nice, orange-scented toiletries, large towels and free razors are provided, as well as plastic bags for your sweaty laundry.

Exhale Flatiron

19 W 21st St, New York, NY 10010
Flatiron Barre $$$$

Exhale Flatiron

Flatiron Barre, $$$$

19 W 21st St, New York, NY 10010

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