Off-campus exercise spots to spice up your workout routine

Columbia has more to offer than MizzouRec.
Mizzou Rec is only one of the workout space opportunities available to students. Maneater File Photo

Though the Student Recreation Complex has several different facilities for most of your workout needs, it’s not the only place in Columbia to work out. Sometimes you want to spice up your routine, so here are a few places to go around town to find the fitness plan that works for you and your crazy student schedule.

Yoga Sol

Located downtown and not too far from campus, Yoga Sol is a good place for students looking to either begin their yoga practice or to delve deeper. They offer a wide range of yoga types and classes, and you can just drop in on one or two classes if you’d like.

“We have almost 30 public classes per week,” manager Megan Hall said. “They range from gentle yoga and yin yoga to all levels.”

Yin yoga is a slower paced type of yoga with long-held postures, while vinyasa yoga, also offered at Yoga Sol, is more of a flow between different poses. The yoga studio also offers an iyengar yoga class, which involves ropes and focuses on precision of movements. There are also multiple acroyoga classes, involving a base and flyer. The base is on the ground and holds the flyer up while they move through their positions.

“It’s like playing airplane with a kid,” Hall said.

The studio offers several foundations classes, such as one for acroyoga, that are good for beginners, Hall said. If you’re dropping in on a class for the first time, you can also tell the teacher that you’re new. They’ll give you more tips and attention throughout the class.

“It’s OK to be the only one who doesn’t know how to do this,” Hall said. “It’s OK to be the only one who fell over during a handstand.”

Yoga Sol is located at 210 St. James St. and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Single classes are $10 for 60 minutes or $15 for 75-90 minutes.

CrossFit Fringe

CrossFit is a high-intensity workout program that has been gaining popularity in the past few years, and Columbia has multiple gyms for doing it, including CrossFit Fringe.

This gym offers mostly group classes, though you can have a one-on-one class if you’re not comfortable in a group, said Mitch Stout, the facilities manager and morning coach.

“It’s usually 12-15 people going through warm-ups, skills and a workout,” Stout said. “It’s more hands-on, one-on-one type attention than you’d get at another gym.”

The warm-ups are specific to the workout they’re doing that day, Stout said. For example, if they’re doing an upper-body workout, they’ll warm up with handstand holds and neck presses. A workout will then consist of single-arm handstand holds, behind-neck presses, chin over bar holds, ring dips and handstand push-ups.

CrossFit Fringe offers a beginner program called CrossFit Elements, Stout said. The class meets for three weeks on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for one hour at 6 or 6:30 a.m. The program cost is $135.

“It’s very simple,” Stout said. “You’re really just getting used to moving.”

If you’re not sure about CrossFit, you can go to one of the gym’s free trial classes. These are on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and 9 a.m., respectively. If you want to try out another class, drop-in prices are $15.

CrossFit Fringe is located at 901 Old 63 N. and 3302 W. Broadway Business Park Ct. A.

MKT Trail

This trail is nearly nine miles long and runs through Columbia starting in downtown, according to the city of Columbia website. The county portion is 4.2 miles, and the city portion is 4.7 miles. It’s a connector to the Katy Trail, which is a more than 200-mile trail that runs through much of Missouri. The MKT is easy to access from the northwest side of campus, near Mark Twain Hall. Across Providence is an access point that can lead you farther from downtown or through downtown, depending on which way you go.

This trail is mostly flat throughout, with no unexpected hills. There are also water fountains along the way, if you don’t want to carry a water bottle on your long run.

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Though it’s a little farther from campus, this is a great place to run if you like more technical trail running. There are eight trails here with distances ranging from under two miles to eight miles.

The Deer Run Trail is great for a middle-distance run with a length of 3.75 miles. This trail is moderately hilly and runs along a creek for some time. Watch your footing, though, because it is a fairly rugged trail. Always check weather conditions before you head out.

Stephens Lake Park

Stephens Lake Park is huge and has many trails that are great for running. The trail around the lake is 0.6 miles long, and it connects to a trail around the whole park that’s 1.7 miles long. Along this are a couple trails that lead to other parts of town, like Hinkson Creek Trail.

The park and its surrounding trails aren’t too hilly, but if you’re looking for a more hilly workout, there are a couple spots along the trail you can stop for repetitions. Since there are a lot of people around the park most of the time, it’s hard to feel lonely on the trails.

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