Are you bored of the same old routine? If your bike is a bit dusty, you’re slacking with your squats or simply can’t get excited about exercise, here’s our guide to the best alternative fitness classes to get the va va voom back into your fitness routine.
British military fitness
What is it?: Time to stop slacking when it comes to exercise? British Military fitness is a series of bootcamp-style outdoor fitness classes designed to put you through your paces and push your body to the limit. The classes are hugely varied, you’ll work on different exercises using different apparatus every week so it’s never boring!
What are the benefits?: The best thing about British Military Fitness classes is that the same people tend to go every week so it’s very sociable. You work in teams of in smaller groups to help push each other when the going gets tough. It’s a challenging workout but thoroughly enjoyable and you can burn up to 800 calories per session!
Anti- gravity yoga
What is it?: It’s a mix of conventional yoga and acrobatics as you are suspended upside down by a sling hanging from the ceiling with your legs wrapped around two lengths of material.
The sling supports your body and provides resistance for you to push against and manoeuvre yourself into positions that you never knew you could get into!
What are the benefits?: Anti-gravity yoga is great for easing tension around the neck and shoulders as well as elongating the spine giving the whole body a stretch. One of the main muscle areas which this alternative fitness class benefits is your core and abdominal muscles.
As well as building strength, anti-gravity yoga flattens your stomach and can also help to ease back pain. A one hour session burns around 500 calories, oh, and it’s heaps of fun too!
What is it?: Pole fitness is a fun mix of athleticism, dance and acrobatics. Far from it’s more seedy reputation, pole fitness is the hottest new fitness craze; it’s a full body workout!
What are the benefits?: Don’t be fooled, pole fitness is one of the most challenging fitness classes there is as it works a number of different muscle groups simultaneously. Pole fitness is fantastic for strengthening your core, improving your flexibility and perhaps most of all, boosting your upper body strength as you work your way through various spins, climbs and transitions.
Ballet - barre fitness
What is it?: Think your ballerina days are long gone? Think again. Barre fitness is where ballet meets pilates, incorporating a variety of subtle toning exercises, stretches and bends to give your body an invigorating workout. Using the barre to balance, barre fitness consists of small muscle contractions and small-motion movements.
What are the benefits?: Barre fitness has a whole host of benefits. Not only does it improve your posture, balance and core strength, but the more you go, the more flexible you will become.
What is it?: This fitness class incorporates kettlebells (steel or iron weights with a handle) with a variety of controlled movements, squats and lunges.
What are the benefits?: Using kettlebells to workout improves your overall strength and tones the whole body, you may start to notice differences in your hamstrings and glutes first. Working out with kettlebells can also improve your coordination and flexibility.
Team GB Pro Athlete Training
What is it? Exclusive to Fitness First, this fitness class takes its inspiration from Olympic athlete training and is designed by Team GB fitness professionals. The duration of the classes is 40 mins and the aim is to work the whole body, incorporating expert cardio, endurance and fitness training.
What are the benefits?: The classes offer an intense full-body workout in just 40 mins so you can squeeze in a class no matter how busy you are! The classes are tried and tested and with Team GB coaches you’re in the best hands possible. Working on five key areas, power, agility, strength, speed and endurance, this workout is great for losing weight, building muscle and improving overall fitness.
What is it?: Don’t be intimidated by the name, you don’t have to be insane to go to one of these classes! Insanity is a high intensity fitness class which works the whole body. Performing a mix of cardio-intensive exercises such as squat-jumps and burpees, Insanity classes are structured into 3 minute intervals with 30 seconds to rest in between.
What are the benefits?: Insanity is a brilliant cardiovascular workout, it may leave you feeling absolutely knackered but an hour class can burn up to 1000 calories making it a great option for busy people who don’t have time to go to multiple classes a week.
Hot / Bikram Yoga
What is it?: Hot yoga offers a twist on the yoga classes you may be more used to in that the studio is heated to approximately 40°C. The aim of the class is to build flexibility, balance and endurance and increase muscle relaxation.
What are the benefits?: Hot yoga is great for blood circulation and flexibility as well as helping to prevent or rehabilitate any injuries. Not only is hot yoga great for your overall fitness, but it also has a number of wider health benefits. The intense heat means that you produce more sweat which is important for flushing out toxins and improving your complexion. Hot yoga also has a hugely positive effect on your mental wellbeing as it works as a calming influence and improves your sense of focus. If that’s not enough, an hour long session can burn between 600-800 calories.
What is it?: Too busy partying to workout? Now you can do both! Rave aerobics is a club-inspired fitness class combining dance and aerobic movements. The classes are held in the dark with loud club or disco music to get you in the mood to get moving!
What are the benefits?: What’s great about rave aerobics is that it’s an extreme energetic class but so fun that you don’t realise you’re working out. The class builds stamina, tones and burns calories, so it’s great if you’re looking to lose a few pounds and enjoy yourself at the same time. You can burn up to 500 calories in an hour long class!
Worried that you’ve got two left feet? The lights are dimmed so you can let go of any inhibitions and just go for it!
What is it?: Hula hooping is no longer just for the playground. Hula hooping fitness classes offer the perfect balance between fitness and fun.
What are the benefits?: Hula hooping is great class for those who struggle to get excited about the prospect of working out, you forget you’re exercising at all! Hula hooping is fantastic for improving your core strength and coordination, toning your tummy and burning lots of calories. Hula your way to healthy!