20 ways to work out for free in Charlotte

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Powered by OrthoCarolina

Between gym memberships and expensive boutique workout classes, sometimes exercising isn’t cheap. But getting in a good sweat session doesn’t always have to mean spending a bunch of cash.

Our friends over at OrthoCarolina inspired us with #TheFreeWorkout movement because why should healthy living have a high price tag?

Whether you’re trying to save some dough or you’re just looking to mix up your routine, here are 20 free workout options you can take advantage of throughout the Queen City.

Going for a jog is a great way to get some exercise without spending any money. Plus, it gives you a chance to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Here are some different routes to check out.

If you want a great skyline view…

Jog along the Rail Trail
This route runs along the light rail trail. Get in your stretching around New Bern Station and then head north towards the city. You’ll get a killer view the whole way.

If you’re into scenic suburbia…

Crush it on the Booty Loop 
The Booty Loop is a popular running route for local joggers. It’s located in the Myers Park neighborhood and goes around Queens College. It’s nice and shady but, trust us, you’ll work up a good sweat.

If you want to be lakeside…

Head to Laurel Loop at Lake Norman State Park
This is a 9-mile stretch of trail located at Lake Norman. Most of the trail is shaded by trees, so you can stay cool. Expect a couple of hills but nothing too crazy.

If you’re looking for challenging terrain…

Conquer the trails at the U.S. National Whitewater Center
They’ve got trails offering a wide range of distance and difficulty. You don’t have to buy a pass to use the trails but you will have to shell out $5 for parking. Still not too shabby.

Like the atmosphere of group workout classes but don’t want to break the bank on an expensive membership right now? Whether you’re into yoga or CrossFit, here’s a round-up of free workout classes all over Charlotte.

Yoga for free

Yoga @ US National Whitewater Center
Location: 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
When: Thursdays @ 6:30pm and Saturdays @ 9:30am
The deal: The yoga classes are free but you will have to pay $5 for parking.

Corepower Yoga
Location: Park Road Shopping Center Backlot
When: Check class schedules here.
The deal: New students can try out Corepower Yoga for free up to a week.

NC Yoga Bar @ the Mint Museum
Location: The Mint Museum Uptown
When: Wednesdays @5:30pm
The deal: The weekly class is free for museum members and $10 for non-members.

Yoga @ Free Range Brewing
Location: 2320 N. Davidson St.
When: Thursdays @ 6:30pm
The deal: Classes are free every week. They also offer a run club beforehand, if you want to double up.

Box for free

There are 10 studios just in Charlotte with more in the surrounding areas. Find the closest one here.
Check class schedules here.
The deal:
New students can try their first 9Rounds class for free.

TITLE Boxing Club
Location: 2016 Ayrsley Town Blvd., Ste. E
When: Check class schedules online.
The deal: Your first class at TITLE is free.

Other free classes

STAX Bootcamp
Location: 3722 S Tryon St.
When: Every Tuesday & Thursday @ 6:30pm
The deal: The bootcamp is free every week and all fitness levels are welcome. If you are interested in STAXFIT, STAXYOGA or STAXCYCLE, you can also pop in for a free trial class. Check class schedules online.

Orange Theory
Location: There are 5 locations in Charlotte with others in Fort Mill and Lake Norman. Find the closest studio here.
When: Check class schedules online.
The deal: Try it out the first time for free.

Xtend Barre
Location: 1100 Metropolitan Ave., Ste. 190
When: Check class schedules here.
The deal: They are currently offering a BOGO special for new students. Buy one class for $25 and you’ll get your second one free.

CrossFit at Sugar Creek Brewing Co.
Location: 215 Southside Dr.
When: Wednesdays @ 6pm
The deal: It’s a free 60-min. CrossFit/bootcamp style class led by CrossFit Mecklenburg.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to leave your comfy couch and go work out. Luckily, the physical therapy experts over at OrthoCarolina put together an easy workout you can do from the comfort of your own home. No fancy studio membership required. And you can even leave the TV on. #noexcuses

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A workout mat
  • 2 cans of soup or water bottles from your pantry
  • A chair

Let’s. go.

(1) Sit to stand. 3 sets of 10 repetitions. 

(2) Hamstring stretch. Try a 60 second hold on each leg, repeat twice. 

(3) Quad stretch. 60 second hold on each leg, repeat twice. 

(4) Side step squad. Engage your core, sit back & don’t let your knees go over your toes.

(5) Balance and reach. Get steady on one leg, reach forward and return to neutral. Try 3 sets of 10 repetitions.  

(6) Quadruped bird dog. Get steady on hands and knees, engage core, reach forward with your hand and kick back slowly with the opposite foot. Don’t the leg kick higher than your bum. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions. 

(7) Plank. 3 sets of 30 second hold. 

(8) Side bridge. 3 sets of 10 repetitions. 

(9) Supine bridge progressed to single leg bridge. Try 30 second hold on both legs and then 30 seconds on each leg. 

(10) Biceps curls & tricep extensions. 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each arm. 

For more workout ideas and fitness tips, check out OrthoCarolina’s blog.

Sometimes it’s nice to break out of your normal workout routine and try something new. Here are some free, out-of-the-box options for getting active.

Take a hike
Where: Crowders Mountain State Park
Pro tip: Head up early in the day to beat the crowds. Make sure you bring a lot of water too. Trail difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous.

Go for a bike ride
Where: Charlotte’s greenway system
Pro tip: Check out the routes beforehand to get the lay of the land. If you plan your route right, you can make a full day of it.

Do an impromptu circuit workout
Where: Your neighborhood
Pro tip: Use OrthoCarolina’s #TheFreeWorkout videos for inspiration and grab a friend to do it with you for extra accountability.

Play a game of soccer (or another sport you like)
Where: At a local park
Pro tip: Check out which Charlotte parks have soccer and baseball fields here. And put someone in charge of a half-time snack. Orange slices, anyone?

Get out there and get active, Queen City.


(This content was co-created with OrthoCarolina.)



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