18 Mar Be in the know: Alternative exercise classes
For the majority of us the thought of exercise fills us with dread, but we should all be doing more and with summer rapidly approaching we need to be bikini-bod ready. Now, unless you want to look like a whale in a wetsuit come summer we suggest you immerse yourself in exercise to get your bod in tip-top-shape.
But fear not, exercise doesn’t have to be boring, no more falling asleep in yoga and dying in spinning. Innovative fitness classes have sprung up all over London, with something for even the most sceptical.
The Wilditch Centre, 48 Culvert Road, Battersea, London SW11 5BB (nearest underground station Battersea Park), Gym Box, 20 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 3AP (close to Farringdon underground station)
The self-proclaimed ‘Greatest gym on earth’ is the first and only gym to offer aerial fitness classes! With two venues in Battersea and Farringdon, Flying Fitness offers a range of aerial classes, including, yoga, pilates, slings, hoop, trapeze and aerial silks. So vent your inner circus artist and have a go! Classes last for 1¼ –1½ hours, running regularly Monday to Thursday at the Battersea gym and Wednesday and Thursday at their Farringdon venue (some Saturday sessions, check availability and book all classes on their website.
My Gravity Fitness & Dance, Suite 4, 81c Church Road, Hendon, London NW4 4DP (Close to Hendon Central underground station)
Aiming to manipulate physics while getting in great shape, AntiGravity® Yoga sees you upside down, cocooned in a hammock attempting yoga moves. This gravity-defying workout helps to improve your core muscles and balance. Classes run for an hour and are held on Monday mornings at 10:00, Thursdays 18.30 and 19.30 and Fridays 18.30. Book classes online at Info@mygravityfitness.co.uk or give them a call on 0203 444 0065. You can also find regular classes at all Virgin Active Health Clubs across London
Pole Dancing School
Hatton Square Business Centre, 16–16A Baldwin’s Gardens, Unit B9, London EC1N 7RJ (underground stations nearby Chancery Lane, Farringdon)
Don’t worry, we aren’t suggesting you jump on the pole at Spearmint Rhino; contrary to assumptions about pole dancing, it is in fact an impressive body workout, improving your strength, core and endurance fitness levels. Holborn’s Pole Dancing School offers 30-minute to 90-minute classes for all competence levels. Session timetables vary every week and you can also book private one-to-one and group lessons, check them out here.
Potters Bar Health Club, DHC, Mount Grace Road, Potters Bar, EN6 1RB (Closest rail station, Potters Bar and the Health Club has a car park)
For the uninhibited among us, Clubersize classes offer a Saturday night of drunken dancing at £3 a shot, but on a Thursday at 19:30 … sadly minus the alcohol. Fun and easy dance fitness routines, all to club classics. From 90′s rave to recent dance anthems. Club aerobics is taught in a darkened room with disco lights and glow sticks.’ Book your session online or call them on 01707 651086.
S&M – Stretch & Massage
Gym Box, gyms at Bank, 71 Lombard Street; Covent Garden, 42–49 St Martins Lane; Farringdon, 20 Farringdon Road; Holborn, 100 High Holborn; Westfld London, Westfield Shopping Centre (all gyms are close to an underground station)
‘Do you enjoy pain? Then get ready to embrace the pleasure and pain of S&M. Work your way round the body massaging hard-to-reach muscles with foam rollers, and increase flexibility with effective stretching techniques using ropes. Whips and chains optional!’ Gym Box gyms present a stretch and flexibility class with muscle massage thrown in. The emphasis is on fun with ‘no pain no gain!’
Written by Lily Lanigan-Mackintosh.