We’re big fans of studio classes. For starters, they make a great way to add some variety to your routine. An energetic and expert instructor will push you to your limits. And there’s often a social aspect that can make it all a lot of fun too. But let’s be honest, discovering something new isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
A class for everyone
What kind of class are you going to try? Do you need experience? Do you need to have a certain level of flexibility or fitness? Well, don’t worry about being the newbie looking clueless in the corner. Because here are five of the most accessible and rewarding studio classes around that are open to beginners and to all levels of fitness. All you need to bring is the right attitude.
Studio class 1: Pilates
Pilates is designed to build flexibility, strength, coordination and endurance. Sessions place a strong focus on your core – abdomen, lower back, hips – taking the approach that this powerhouse is the key to stability. The exercises are also intended to strengthen your mind as well as your body, as founder Joseph Pilates believed that mental and physical health are closely interlinked.
Studio class 2: Boxing
Had one of those days at the office? Feel the need to get a sweat on? Or just fancy yourself as the next Floyd Mayweather? When it comes to conditioning your body, building your strength and de-stressing your mind, nothing beats throwing a few quick combinations. And if you think you need to be a seasoned slugger with a broken nose and cauliflower ears to make the most of a boxing class, think again. Sessions take place under the watchful eyes of highly trained instructors and are open to everyone at every level.
Studio class 3: Yoga
Yoga is good for the body and it’s great for the mind, aiding meditation so all those cares and worries can just float away. But with an abundance of different styles on offer, it’s not always so easy to find the one that suits you. Well don’t stress. As a beginner it’s all about the basics, so your best bet is to start with a controlled, slow moving class that focuses on your posture and breathing. That type of yoga is known as ‘Hatha’ – an approach dedicated to postures and practising the ability to balance your energies. If you decide to build yoga into your regular routine, you’ll probably want to invest in your own mat – most classes will expect you to bring one.
Studio class 4: Spinning
Even the thought of spin classes are enough to leave you dizzy. Dozens of highly motivated ‘on the spot’ cyclists. Demanding high tempo instructors. The darkness. But you know what? All that works for your benefit. Because even though spin classes mean pain, they also mean plenty of gain. They provide a highly effective workout in a short space of time, tearing up anywhere between 600 and 1,000 calories. And they melt away the stress just as quickly. Plus, in the middle of all those people in low light you’re virtually invisible, so nobody’s going to bother you.
Studio class 5: Zumba
Zumba is a melting pot of Salsa, Rumba and exercise routines seasoned with addictive beats that serves up a low impact, high energy workout. If you’re looking to build strength, incinerate calories and build self-confidence – and have some fun along the way – this is the class for you. Then there’s the fact that dance classes often include a highly social element, so if you’re looking to grow your fitness friendships then you’ve just found a great place to start.
Fancy any or all of these classes? They’re all available at some of London’s most sought-after gyms on demand. On your smartphone. On E².