UPPER WEST SIDE — Men and women outfitted in neon sportswear and spandex jumped, squatted, lunged and leapt across Central Park Tuesday night to kick off the summer-long Central Park Circuit — a free exercise class run by the Central Park Conservancy and Equinox.
The outdoor series, open to anyone over 18, will run Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. from May 14 to June 20 and July 9 to Aug. 15. Equinox and Central Park Conservancy members get priority, but otherwise the class is first-come, first-served with a cap of 40 participants.
On Tuesdays, the "Play Out" session will combine "upbeat strength and cardio conditioning" in a playful atmosphere at the Delacorte Theater in the park near West 81st Street, according to the conservancy.
For a more mellow experience, "Bliss Out" will run Thursdays at the Great Hill, as a way to "shift your attitude" and "clear your mind" through yoga-inspired moves. The group will meet at the plaza at West 106th Street and Central Park West.
At the first session on Tuesday, trainers from Equinox led a crew of 23 participants.
Sangrine Anand, 27, said she decided to take the class because she just signed up to run a challenging road race and is trying to get back in shape.
"I'm trying to explore things and get to know the city," Anand said.
For Fern Thomas, the class served a simple purpose.
"I just need to get into a dress for a wedding in six weeks," she said.
After a cool-down that included lying in the grass and stretching, Marcos Polonia, 34, said he was already feeling the burn in his muscles.
"I didn't know I was so out of shape," he confessed. "Some of these muscles I never use."
But Polonia added that he was happy to do something different.
"It was fun to get out and do something out of the ordinary," he said.