Rock climbing is just one of the many indoor fitness activities available around Phoenix. // Photo: alysta/Shutterstock

How to Keep Fit During Phoenix’s Sizzling Summers

Phoenix’s hot summers can make it tough to exercise outdoors. But the Valley has plenty of indoor fitness options for residents looking to work up a sweat, minus the glare of the sun.

Rock Climbing

Indoor rock climbing gyms feature high walls fixed with synthetic holds to grab onto while you’re scaling the surface. For example, the Phoenix Rock Gym features 15,000 square feet of climbing surface and offers various routes to accommodate everyone from beginners to expert climbers, according to the gym.

In addition to regular climbing, some gyms offer bouldering, which involves fewer, more difficult movements, according to Mesa’s Focus Climbing Center. No matter which type you try, you don’t need to bring your own climbing equipment — you can rent everything from shoes to a harness there, the center says.

Make sure to wear workout clothes that allow for easy maneuvering, but avoid short shorts to prevent chafing from the harness, recommends AZ On the Rocks, a Scottsdale gym with 14,000 square feet of terrain. First-timers should expect to attend an orientation before ascending the wall.

Aerial Yoga

Imagine hanging in midair, supported by a fabric hammock suspended from the ceiling. An instructor leads you through stretches and movements befitting an acrobat, but that can be accomplished by ordinary people, according to Tough Lotus, an aerial fitness facility in Chandler.

Touted benefits of aerial yoga include improved stability and balance, along with spinal decompression due to time spent hanging upside-down.

Other Valley of the Sun facilities offering aerial yoga include the spa at the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess resort, where classes are accessible by purchasing a day pass or spa treatment, and Phoenix’s Fit’N Lean X-Ercise.

Black-Light Workout

Loud music, glow sticks and laughter — it may sound more like a party than a workout, but several facilities around the Valley offer sweaty fun in a nightlife-worthy environment.

At Phoenix’s Madison Improvement Club, regular black-light spin classes complement occasional black-light yoga events. Participants can add to the atmosphere by sporting glow-in-the-dark workout gear.

Fitness students can also party on at Peradise Fitness, also in Phoenix, where black lights add excitement to Zumba, boot camp, and other cardio classes.


If you want to skip the five-hour drive to San Diego, you can get your surfing fix at the gym. The workout takes place on an elevated board that wobbles as if it were floating on the ocean, according to, and exercises focus on building core strength and cardiovascular fitness, with the added challenge of balancing.

Classes are offered at the Well and Being spa at Scottsdale’s Fairmount Princess and at Phoenix’s AZ Extreme Fit, which also offers yoga classes atop the faux surfboards.

Regardless of your athletic ability, gyms in the Phoenix area offer plenty of indoor summer exercise opportunities for those looking to escape the heat of the summer sun.

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