Exercising doesn’t look the same for everyone — what’s fun and muscle-building for one person may be a slog for someone else.
City Editor Callie here. When it comes to working out, what I find important is a place centered around building a community. There’s nothing better than walking into a space where the people know and care about you. Bonus points for all the non-judgemental spaces that keep the main thing the main thing (the workout) and fully embrace the messy bun.
Fortunately, Charleston is home to many opportunities for exercise, whether you enjoy lifting weights, dancing to hip-hop tunes for a little cardio action, or boxing for a full-body workout. Use this guide as a resource for all things fitness in the Holy City.
Pro tip: Not sure which to try first? Try out multiple gyms with a free trial on ClassPass.
For those who are looking to workout but not in a gym
It’s a workout, a hobby, and even a lifestyle. Climb to new heights in your workout journey and check this 7000+ sqft space of bouldering, climbing training room, fitness area, and stretch space. Pro tip: Youth walk-ins are limited if you have a young climber book timeslot.
Deal: If it’s your first time climbing, you can snag a day pass for $20 and rental gear for $5.
Soak in the sunset and find your center with these daily sunset restorative vinyasa yoga classes. This yoga takes place at the Regatta Inn on the beach and gives you a front-row view of some of the best sights in the Lowcountry. You can also book solo or private sessions, which would be great for bachelorettes or a work event.
It’s not your typical workout. Switch things up now and then, explore your limits, and challenge your capabilities in a ropes course. Currently, the course is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. By appointment, you can book a weekday for groups of 12 or more.
If you want to be outside but are not ready to get that wild, check out our guide to Charleston-area running clubs.
This gym is located in the heart of downtown, nestled between King and Meeting Streets. Classes are offered daily, and times vary. The earliest class starts at 6:30 a.m. with the latest offered most days at 6:30 p.m. Fun fact: the gym says it’s the longest continuously operating CrossFit box in the Lowcountry.
Deal: Free introduction includes a chat about your goals and gym tour.
Think classic CrossFit. Yes, even complete with climbing ropes suspended from the ceiling. Co-owner Cara Jones, a former college athlete, helps run this gym with the help of certified coaches who are also members of the North Charleston community.
Not your typical box. This CrossFit gym also offers personal training and aerial art classes. This gym isn’t just Monday through Friday — it also has weekend offerings. There are several membership options available. Pro tip: law enforcement, firefighters, military, and full-time students get a discount.
There are several options for joining the Crossfit Wando team. Offer traditional CrossFit memberships, hybrid fitness classes for those not quite ready for full-fledged CrossFit, and the iD Program, which offers personalized programming for people who want to work toward fitness goals. See it before you go; you can get a feel for the gym before you step in with their only gym tour.
MpFitCo, 3365 S. Morgans Point Rd., #107, Mount Pleasant
Does the thought of barbels, assault bikes, and burpees scare you? This gym is here to change that, guiding you to your CrossFit and fitness goals — and breaking down any intimidating barriers you might face. Gym owner and head coach Zack Gibbion is a former college athlete with 15+ years in the fitness industry. There are several ways to join, with drop-in, weekly, class passes, and unlimited options.
Deal: Free class trial offered for residents.
For those who want to punch up their fitness routine
This gym offers several ways to get active, including high-intensity interval classes, mobility, strength, stretching, and breathing classes to name a few.
Deal: New members can try a seven-day trial for $50.
The Works, Charleston, and Mount Pleasant locations
Get your grove and your sweat on. Whether you’re looking for yoga, weight work, or just a good stretch these spots offer it all. While you’re at it check out The Works Cycle, a cycling class in a sauna studio.
Gym owner Taylor says she discovered Pilates after learning she has scoliosis and, 15 years later is still practicing. If you want to join, no experience is needed. Instructors will show you the equipment and take you step-by-step through this low-impact exercise.
This boutique Pilates studio offers group and private sessions to help you strengthen muscles, improve posture, and flexibility. You can purchase session-by-session or buy them in packages. This studio is open Monday through Sunday; times vary.
This studio says it’s not only focused on the body but also the mind. You can purchase a private session, class, or event, along with an essential oil, sage bundle, or tarot deck. Recommendation: try out the introductory package.
This Boutique fitness studio is located in the heart of Mt. Pleasant and offers group, semi-private, and private classes. Pro tip: there is special pricing for group classes for new clients. You can purchase one class for $25 or three classes for $75.
This workout was created by Radio City Rockettes Jacey Lambros and Danielle DeAngelo. Jane DO offers 50-minute total body workouts, which include aerobics, strength training, and flexibility training.
Deal: New clients can purchase unlimited classes for $40 for a week.
Hylo Fitness, Mount Pleasant, Charleston, and Nexton locations
Balance is key. This studio and health club offers the best of both worlds with HIIT (High-intensity interval training) and Low-impact classes.
Deal: The $10 intro offer is only valid for residents at a single location.
O2 Fitness, James Island, and West Ashley locations
Both Lowcountry locations offer several group class options, like full-body weights classes, Zumba, cycling classes, and martial arts-inspired workouts. For an additional $10, your children can enjoy the Kids Club. The service is offered to those six weeks to 12 years for up to two hours (one hour for infants under one year of age) while you enjoy your workout.
This downtown studio offers various practices that work on having a strong body, still mind, and soft heart. There are daily public yoga classes and custom private practices for individuals and groups.
In the heart of West Ashley, Sculpted Lotus wants to take you from chaotic to calm. Classes are trauma-informed and structured to improve your mental health. Parents have the option to take a class with their children.
Serenity Tree Yoga offers weekly beach yoga classes on Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Mount Pleasant. There are also offerings for special events like bachelorette, wedding day, and birthday yoga. Find a class that works for you.
Don’t forget to set your movement adventure up for success with tried-and-true gym favorites.
Owala FreeSip water bottle | Stay hydrated at the gym with a beloved stainless steel bottle — you can get it as large as 40 oz. for max hydration.