Keen to jump on the fitness bandwagon, but don’t know where to start? Here are the best gyms and workout classes to try, so you can get your best body now!
A good way to get aerobic exercise and cardiovascular conditioning, dancing being a weight-bearing activity also improves bone density (reducing the risk of osteoporosis). It’s one of the most fun ways to activate and train many of your body’s smaller support muscles and tendons. Think all the stopping, starting and changing directions of dance may not be torching calories? You’ll be happy to know that faster styles of dance, like salsa, burn around 250 calories in 30 minutes, similar to a gentle jog. Bonus: Dancing also improves the “white matter” integrity of the brain. This connective tissue breaks down as we age, leading to various cognitive problems. Dancing, unlike walking or stretching, has been shown to preserve white matter.
Latin Dance at Enmotion Dance School
This award-winning street Latin dance school specialises in Latin dance classes such as the romantic, sensual bachata from the Dominican Republic, fast-paced, flirty salsa and Brazilian zouk (nothing to do with the club) with its languid, flowing movements. Classes are led by gifted instructors who know how to break down complicated techniques for beginners, and there’s a friendly atmosphere that makes newcomers feel immediately at ease. www.dance-en-motion.com
BounceFit at Kulture
This cardio and strength training workout done on a mini trampoline is super low-impact while being high intensity, burning up to 800 calories in 50 minutes. The trampoline absorbs up to 80 per cent more impact compared to other HIIT workouts, so it’s easy on the joints. It strengthens over 400 muscles, eliminates toxins from the lymph nodes and promotes effective oxygen uptake and blood circulation. www.kulture.com.sg/bouncefit
Aerial Fitness at Milan Pole Dance Studio
You’ll be using props like steel hoops to sit on and hang from, an aerial hammock you can spin and go upside down in and long pieces of cloth as you develop agility, flexibility and the grace of a trapeze artist. Lifting your own body weight means long, lean muscles, not bulk, as this total body workout targets the abs, glutes, back, arms and thighs. Do the full eight weeks to learn a complete aerial routine set to music. www.milanpoledance.com/singapore
K-Pop Cover Open class at EV Dance
Dance to the latest, hottest Korean music and have fun learning simplified choreography to these hits. Take the cardio up a few notches if you’re in good shape or ease into things if you’re just beginning. Classes don’t require any dance background and are suitable for all ages, including teens, so it might be one to try with the family. www.evdance.com.sg
YOGA & PILATES
Both yoga and Pilates offer strength, control, endurance, flexibility, better posture and stress-relief. Yoga, a branch of classical philosophy in India, harnesses meditation, exercise, and breathing techniques to improve overall health, so an immediate benefit is an increased awareness of your body. It usually involves broad muscle groups and brings flexibility with more emphasis on mental well-being. Classes in Yoga can range from very gentle and restorative, to a challenging workout. Pilates tends to focus on building core strength as the main engine of physical fitness, through exercises that develop muscle tone, flexibility and body control. Pilates also strengthens your pelvic floor muscles, upping your pleasure in the bedroom and making giving birth easier.
Absolute Fit Yoga and Pilates Reformer GX from Absolute You
At this yoga and Pilates centre, the Pilates Reformer GX class is designed to provide a faster, functional, and athletic routine that stays true to the core principles of Joseph Pilates. Springs and body weights are used as resistance while performing movements targeting specific muscle groups. Yoga classes include Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Yoga Pilates, Absolute Fit and all-style Yoga. We recommend the total body toning Absolute Fit yoga class. www.absoluteyousingapore.com
This studio specialises in yoga, Pilates and barre. Angamardana Yoga, making its debut here, is one to try. Adopted by the Indian paramilitary as a compulsory fitness regime, it comprises standing, sitting, squatting and lying and is good for the legs, thighs, hips, back and aids detoxification. Also good for circulation, rejuvenation and stress relief is Aerial Yoga. www.jalyoga.com.sg
Extend Barre at Upside Motion
This fast-paced cardio workout fuses principles of traditional ballet with Pilates. The full-body workout focuses on precise, controlled movements to the beat of an energetic playlist, for fun calorie blasting to sculpt your body and condition your core. Think, the graceful form of a dancer. Props such as weights, straps and resistance bands are used to target the upper arms, upper and lower back, glutes, abs, thighs and calves. Other exercises are inspired by traditional ballet techniques, such as first position, tendu and passé. No dance experience is required. www.upsidemotion.com
Core & Body Aches class at Pilates Fitness
Reduce your knee pain, body aches, frozen shoulder, scoliosis, slipped disc and other aches by teaching the body to move more efficiently and effectively. Moves are designed to dissolve aches permanently by improving the body’s alignment and posture. Functional Pilates exercises strengthen the muscles supporting the joints and reduce muscle imbalances. Pilates helps to reset your muscle memory to achieve that. And a pleasant bonus is getting a fit, sculpted body in the process. www.pilatesfitness.com.sg
BOOT CAMP & HIIT
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been the buzz lately. This training technique involves quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short, often active, recovery periods. It keeps your heart rate up, builds muscle fast, burns more fat in less time. Most are 30 minutes or less and only use your body weight, so they can be done anywhere. Boot camp training combines body weight exercises like pushups, lunges and squats, with highintensity aerobic moves and interval training. Modelled on military methods for getting recruits into shape, boot camp workouts are unique because they focus on total-body functional training.
The HIIT workouts here are designed to be super time-efficient so you’re in and out the door in 30 minutes, including shower time. They provide shorts and tees and you don’t even have to bring shoes because the padded flooring allows barefoot training. Each session targets the full body and the intensity is adjusted according to your fitness level. There are no machines, only equipment like kettle bells, dumbbells and TRX trainers, which are straps hanging from the ceiling. www.ritualgym.com/en-gb
Boot camp at Triple Fit
This outdoor conditioning programme is designed to get you in great shape fast by training all fitness components – cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, strength, balance, stability, core strength, speed, and agility – in one heady session. No two sessions are the same and you get variety from circuits, intervals, games, races, and bodyweight and partner exercises. www.triple.fit
Grid Active at Virgin Active
Improve your flexibility and range of motion with this high-intensity obstacle training class. The 30-minute circuit is based on six moves – push, pull, squat, bend, twist and lunge. Suited for all levels of fitness, expect to burn up to 300 calories in one session. Available at the Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar, Holland Village and Marina One gyms. www.virginactive.com.sg
Signature Boot camp at Momentum Bootcamps
Strength and interval training outdoors in locations like the Botanic Gardens are perks to start with. Workouts with kettle bells, dumbbells, battle ropes, skipping ropes, medicine balls, agility ladders and more, plus bodyweight exercises, mean you’re never bored. Another great class to try is the 45-minute Abs, Butt and Cardio, of lifting, firming moves combined with short bursts of high intensity cardio to blast those jiggly areas. www.momentumbootcamps.com
BOXING & MARTIAL ARTS
Cardio and weight loss are two significant benefits of martial arts. One hour of moderate intensity martial arts burns 500 calories. The repetitive moves of martial arts like karate or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will also build lean muscle. The higher your muscle mass, the higher your metabolism. Martial arts training improves your reflexes during the sport, and also gives you a faster reaction time during all other daily activities, such as driving. You’ll also hone your mobility and agility, which are vital in many martial arts disciplines. Boxing delivers all these benefits plus a superbly toned, cut upper body.
Add functional training to the jabs, hooks and upper cuts for a boxing-inspired weighttraining workout that develops strength and agility in all major muscle groups. The signature BoOm-Box class is great for beginners, designed by co-founder Victoria Martin-Tay, herself a relative latecomer to fitness, so it’s unintimidating to those starting out getting in shape. The funky beats and party lights help inject fun. www.boomsingapore.com
The boxing-inspired classes are for anyone as there are 10 rounds of exercises, three minutes each which everyone does at their own pace during the round. At the start of the class, the instructor goes through the boxing basics – the boxing stance and six punches, so it’s suitable for people with no boxing experience. The 45-minute classes are split up between various strength training floor exercises and punching bag routines. This HIIT workout builds muscle, torches calories and develops strength and endurance. www.boxoffice-fitness.com
This centre, which stands for Fitness and Martial Arts, offers Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to cater to complete beginners to competitive fighters. The signature FaMA Fit Fundamentals class, suitable for kids and adults, uses techniques from Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to improve stamina, functional strength, balance and flexibility. The Muay Thai class allows students from various fitness levels to develop speed, quick reflexes, balance and stamina. Both classes are great ways for beginners to get in shape. www.famafit.com
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Singapore
This first academy in Singapore for this martial art runs a women-only class, designed to train those with a smaller stature up against bigger opponents. Techniques maximise the anatomy of a woman’s body, as our bodies have looser joints making us inherently more flexible, and better at moving around quickly, as compared to a man’s. The one-hour class also has a self-defence focus. Participants wear a kimono or rash guard, a fitted suit, to protect their skin from friction with the ground. The martial art builds core as well as practical functional strength, speed and can teach you how to dominate and immobilise an opponent. www.bjjsin.com
Stand Up Paddling
Working out in water does amazing things. For one, the body weighs just a sixth of its mass in water, so all movements become easier (read: Gentler on the joints), but as it creates a higher resistance than air, your muscles work harder while doing the same moves. Exercising in water massages and drains the skin’s surface, stimulates blood flow, reduces water retention and keeps cellulite at bay. Aqua fitness classes use a greater variety of muscles with calorie burning comparable to brisk walking or low-impact aerobics. For an extra cardio burst at the end of the class, try water running a few widths in the shallow end.
Taught by former national water polo vice-captain Lim Yao Xiang and the team of instructors from his fitness company, The Fitness Project, this class challenges you to push past your comfort zone with push-ups, sit-ups and squats done on a floating BOGA FitMat. You’ll develop balance and stability in multiple muscles in the process. Suitable for beginners. www.sportshub.com.sg programme?category=20
Blast calories pedaling a stationary bicycle submerged in water, which adds extra resistance. This high intensity, low impact class is a full body workout that burns 800 calories in 45 minutes. You’ll tone the lower body with sprints and upper body with core, triceps and chest moves. It’s also safe for pregnant women, as the baby’s weight is absorbed by the water and the body temperature is controlled. www.aquaspin.sg
This unique 50-minute class – suitable for beginners – blends resistance and cardio training in one. A pole is attached to a base on the pool floor, and over 150 movements have been designed around it to target different muscle groups, such as pulling up against the pole to work the arms, shoulder and back. You’ll also work your core doing suspended moves while clinging to the pole with your hands, feet or both. www.facebook.com/acquapolesingapore
Stand Up Paddling
Originated from Hawaii in the ’50s, stand up paddling is a trendy sport using a board and paddle that’s safe and easy to learn, though you need to be a strong swimmer. It’s excellent for core training and balance, top-to-toe conditioning, rehabilitation from injury and is gentle on the joints. Learning the fundamentals of stand up paddling supports performance in other water sports like windsurfing, surfing, wakeboarding and dragon boating. www.supschool.com.sg
TEXT: MELISSA DE SILVA/ PHOTOS: 123RF.COM