From Roller-Derby to Mexican Wrestling, London’s Alternative Exercise Classes
You should know by now that when it comes to London, possibilities really are endless and where exercise classes are concerned there’s no exception. Whilst we can’t imagine jumping about in springy Kangaroo-style shoes or hanging from a trapeze in a tutu was the “done thing” circa 1900’s, it is without a doubt that we’re moving in a new, and way more exciting direction. So, we’ve delved into the wild world of alternative exercise classes to have you swapping running for wrestling…
We’re a soccer for a pun, but can’t seem to think of one?
Le Méridien Piccadilly
What: Floating Fit
Ever been mid-squat and thought, you know what would really make this more enjoyable? Some water. Well you wouldn’t be the first to think this as “floating” classes are the latest craze taking fitness-focused Londoners by storm. Held in Le Méridien Piccadilly’s stunning indoor swimming pool, your local lido this ain’t, AquaPhysical’s latest class is aptly named Balance, because you need a lot of it. While the simple movements like lunges and shoulder taps from a straight arm planks might seem easy enough to land-dwellers, it’s actually 1000 times harder doing it on what is essentially a rectangular surfboard.
Where: 21 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 0BH
What: Yoga To Your Front Door
MY:METHOD offers yoga and pilates, and whilst you may think this doesn’t fit into a guide on alternative exercise classes we can assure you there’s more to the story. On a Wednesday evening, as the rain pattered against the panes, a MY:METHOD yoga teacher came down to our unassuming office in Wandsworth. My colleague and I then indulged in an hour of power yoga with our cool, calm and totally zen yoga teacher organised by the group. MY:METHOD has 150 teachers in their catalogue operating across London, thus catering to men and women in all sorts of circumstances making yoga totally accessible to one and all.
Helpful? Extremely! The inconvenience of travelling to classes combined with fitting exercise around already hectic schedules can make us shun off sporting-out! However MY:METHOD allows for enhanced motivation due to the intimacy of the classes, plus a definite ease what with them coming to you and not visa versa. One of the most attractive qualities about MY:METHOD is avoiding the awkwardness some do in larger class sizes. You can also invite people along, so you’re doing what you love with the people you love!
There are a bundle of reasons why MY:METHOD is a perfect alternative. So, whether it be your home or office, just holla at MY:METHOD and they’ll fit you to your perfect yogi. A quick correspondence will seeing you deciding on which style of yoga as well as gauging which level you’re at and thus which teacher will best suit your needs. Ommmmm!
Flying Trapeze School
Whilst this might sound like something from Harry Potter, I can confirm that, yep, the flying trapeze school is a thing. Gorilla Circus’ Trapeze School essentially teaches you to fly, with strings attached… (get it?) One and all can come along to try out a two hour class, which involves warming up and then moving on to practicing a trick on the low bar. Towards the end, once you’ve warmed up muscles you didn’t even know you had, you can attempt the trick on the Flying Trapeze and get caught by an instructor as you swing towards them. So, if you want to become a frequent flyer then go up, up and away at Gorilla Circus – plus, the oldest person to do this was 78 so stop being lazy!
A description of one of the classes from a student can be found here.
Want To Be A Luchador?
It has to be said that looking at this Mexican wrestling malarkey has shocked us more than some of Donald Trump’s tweets, however it does look rather fun. The London School of Lucha Libre is the biggest in Europe at training freestyle Mexican wrestling, giving trier-outers the chance to improve their wrestling skills. The classes also work on fitness training, gymnastics, flexibility, performance projection, acting, audience engagement and more. Quite the cocktail!
Whilst some gym classes just look like a drag, and make you sit at your desk all day dreading the evening’s workout sesh, this one certainly doesn’t follow suit. Kangoo Jumps is the workout that turns you, quite literally, into a gym bunny, a 45-minute cardiovascular workout, combing all sorts like dance, running and jumping about. Essentially, it’s the perfect exercise for those who just want to let loose, and shake off that e-mail inbox overload stress. All the while, you’ll be listening to some pretty funky latino tunes, and if that’s not good enough, you wear Kangoos. What’s a Kangoo you ask? Kangoos are footwear, very weird in nature but taking the appearance of ski boots connected to egg-shaped springs providing ‘rebound exercise. This gym class will quite literally put a spring in your step…
Do A Good Deed
Running in winter can be a mean feat, you wrap up warm because of the icy weather, only to find you’re super sweaty mid-way through, so you take off a layer and feel cold again. An endless battle all in the name of working towards 2019’s summer bod! However, if you want to have a bit of fun running then Good Gym is where it’s at. The community of runners combine getting fit with doing good, and finding fun reasons to run.
So how does it work? Well, the runners will stop off and do good deeds for community organisation, from supporting the elderly to social visits and one-off tasks. So, if your charitable side is feeling a little guilt, grab the trainers and get sweaty with Good Gym.
I Can't Think Of Any Kayak Puns, Canoe?
Kayaking is such a fun sport that is actually quite often overlooked. So how about putting kayaking back on the grid, with Kayaking London. The experience is the perfect experience for those who haven’t seen London, as you kayak along The Thames, discovering the liquid history of our wonderful capital. It’s a a wonderful activity to clock in some sightseeing or to improve your fitness!
They See Me Rolling...
The London Rockin Rollers welcome anyone of all abilities, so you can learn to skate like they do on Miami Boardwalk (well jel!). Yep, this alternative exercise class is a skater run organisation, and one of the oldest in Europe at that, consisting of full members of WFTDA and UKRDA (terms I guess you’ll become more familiar with after a blade sesh). Three Rockin’ Rollers and one Referee played and officiated at the first ever Roller Derby World Cup in 2011, so it sounds like these guys know what they’re doing – you’ll be in safe skates, if you will. There is a Fresh Meat beginners course for those who aren’t skating to success anytime soon, as well as other skillset-based programmes.
Every Wednesday at 7pm you could go home and slouch out with a takeaway, or you could go for a gong bath – we’re plugging for the latter! Shamanic Gong Baths at The Mandrake see Simone Salvatici, a multi-instrumentalist composer and performer influential within the Folktronic, Minimalist and Ambient genre, relax you like never before. Gong baths aim to relax deeply and sumptuously, by expanding consciousness to higher levels and to facilitate release, energetic shifts and inhibition of certain chemicals in the body such as stress hormone and Cortisol. So let the luxury of the hotel be your home and Simone your guide, as you release yourselves from the ebbs and flows of the day.
Where: 20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1PG
Hula Fit is a class that will let you loop-di-loop in true style, created in 2013 by Anna and Rowan Bryne, hoopers extraordinaire! You’ll look like a real champ in front of your friends plus it keeps you super fit so all in all, it’s a win win! Creating gains for your abs, the fun fitness class will keep you moving and definitely isn’t a waist of time (waist…like, your waist get it?!)
Where: Downs Road, E5 8QJ