Feeling bored with your regular-old routine? Skip the treadmill and try one of these creative exercise classes in Hong Kong. From hula hooping to aqua exercises, these awesome workouts should turbo-charge your motivation this summer.
Bring out your inner kid and take up a Fit Hoop class at ODINSON, a new fitness studio in Sheung Wan that offers yoga, weight training, nutritional counseling and cardio exercises. The workout involves a hula hoop (natch) in a high-energy, circuit-style class that promises to tone your legs, core and shoulders. Not only that, but working with a hula hoop is also said to increase your focus.
Classes every Thursday. ODINSON, 11/F, Pemberton Building, 22 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, 3955-2206.
You know what they say — laughter is the best medicine. And whether or not a hearty chuckle actually has healing qualities, we could all use a little more humor in this high-stress city. If you’re looking for a free workout that will leave you feeling relaxed and quite a bit happier, Laughter Yoga gathers several times a week at various locations. It’s a bit more technical than the name would have it sound, but it’s easy enough for beginners to join. Expect to leave feeling more relaxed and buoyant, as Laughter Yoga aims to help you exercise both mentally and physically.
Okay, so you’ve done Pilates, sure, but have you ever done it on a moving platform with added tension? Didn’t think so. Dubbed “Pilates on crack,” you can find this unique Lagree Fitness program at H-Kore in Hong Kong. The workouts are excruciating for first-timers due to an emphasis on small, isolated movements and constant tension aboard the “Megaformer” machines. The upbeat workouts simultaneously work your flexibility, endurance and posture and eventually will help to tone up muscles that you never knew you had.
Meeting every Wednesday evening at 7:45pm, Harbour Runners is free to join. The evening runs explore various parts of Hong Kong’s landscape, often running along Victoria Harbour or through the territory’s myriad parks. Each run is roughly 5 miles long, but there’s no pressure to race. More important than speed, the program is all about bringing together people who love to run — and who are keen to explore more of the city.
Wednesdays at 7:45pm. Check their Facebook page to see where they’re running next.
In the past, pole dancing might have caused a stir, but the high-intensity workout has moved into the mainstream exercise scene. Head to Aerial Arts Academy if you want to try you hand at it. Not only will you see massive improvements in your strength and fitness level, but you might even bring home some saucy moves at the same time. In addition to pole dancing, the fitness center is home to several creative programs, including Aerial Silks, Aerial Hoop, and Fly Yoga.
9-11 Shelter Street, Causeway Bay, 2375-8088.
Aspiring ballerinas, listen up: Barre 2 Barre sets out to tone you up with graceful ballet moves and relaxing music. The real-life ballet studio is equipped with mirrors and wooden barres, but it’s a lot harder than it looks. The BarreAmped classes will have you holding challenging positions, work muscles with isolated movements, and throw in plenty of high-intensity cardio for good measure.
4/F Cheung Hing Commercial Building, 37 Cochrane Street, Central, 9688-3503.
When BounceLimit opened up in Hong Kong, adult-kids everywhere got a bit excited about the prospect of trampoline workouts. The 3,000-square-foot studio still draws a following, but don’t expect an easy-breezy workout. Hopping around on the “rebounders” at BounceLimit works your entire body, especially your core and legs. It’s surprisingly low-impact too, so those with joint concerns can rest assured that the mini trampolines absorb 85 percent of the shock. There are several classes to choose from, including MilitaryBounce, BouncePilates, TRXBounce, CombatBounce, and even LED Night.
13/F, Pemberton Building, 22 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, 2441-0021.
Located in Kennedy Town, Hydro 1.0 aqua fitness center is a popular one for Hong Kong summer. This hydro-training facility is home to a stable of underwater treadmills, bicycles, and indoor paddling. This is not your grandma’s class: Hydro 1.0 puts together some demanding workouts, such as its Aqua Crossfit class, where you’ll lift weights, sprint and endure a high-intensity aqua aerobic training — think running, rowing, climbing, pushing and pulling.
Grab a partner and take your yoga practice to the next level with Acroyoga. The “flying yoga” practice works on many levels, improving your balance and awareness, developing trust skills and, of course, challenging your strength and overall fitness level. You shouldn’t expect to come away with acrobatics skills on the first try, but the playful practice tends to be a fun way to break a sweat, plus some of the positions will give you a fantastic stretch. You can try it at Yoga BamBam, which has a quiet spot in the leafy terrace of Pound Lane.
Two locations, including 28 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan, 5500-3117; and 10 Shin Hing Street, Central, 5500-3117.
Surfers don’t have sexy bodies for no reason. The sport requires incredible core strength, balance, and endurance. SURFSET sets out to simulate the experience as closely as possible in an indoor studio, where you train on custom-made unstable surfboards. The result is a high-fat-burning workout that builds lean muscle and, in some cases, dramatically improves your balance.
13/F, Unit A, Kaiser Estate, Phase 1, 41 Man Yue Street, Hung Hom, 2362-3665.
If gyms just aren’t doing it for you, then head into the great outdoors with ApeFit. This fitness group meets all over the city, with locations in Kennedy Town, Sai Ying Pun, Mid-Levels and Stanley. The coaches put together varied programs that are rooted in functional movements. It’s an intense 60-minute workout, but the group setting adds some extra motivation to your workout routine.
Various locations. Check the website for more information.