| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Fitness for kids in Dubai

We visit the Quay Skillz gym to find out how tweens are getting fit

A new gym recently opened at the Quay Health Club at Madinat Jumeirah, called the Quay Skillz Youth Facility, where only children are allowed to work out and use the machines. My friends and I were invited to go and try out the new gym last month, and were completely wowed by the standards that it set.

Once we were in and had been given wrist straps, we had a talk with the club manager, telling her what sports we like, how competitive we are and what we think about our fitness levels. There’s no point in telling them you’re fit when you're not, because once you start working out, the equipment says it all…

The machines and equipment at the facility are amazing! Everything is really easy to use because it’s built for kids, and the trainers give you a lot of help on how to use them, how to adjust the settings, and even with some of the non-electric equipment, they’ll tell you when, where and who invented it.

The equipment at Quay Skillz Gym includes:
• A running machine, where you can adjust the speed of your running or the steepness of the incline – if you’re into hill jogging.
• A rowing machine especially for kids, where you sit on a seat and strap your feet into foot holes and pull a rope with two hands. You can also adjust the settings, like making it easier or harder for you to pull.
• An exercise bike (to my surprise, you can change the gears, too – AWESOME!) and an actual bike simulator, which is exactly the same as the exercise bike, but a tad harder and a whole lot more fun!

The trainers at the gym are extremely friendly; if you have a problem, they’ll help you out with it (and don’t be shy to say that you find the exercises a bit hard, because you don’t want to strain your self, do you? Plus, they’ll know if you’re finding it hard because they’ll see you struggling and going red in the face). If you give yourself a target and they know you can reach it, they’ll help you get there. If you want to know how to adjust the setting on a machine, they’ll help you too. Everyone at the gym greets you with a smile and while you’re working out they won’t interrupt unless they think you’ve done enough or if you’re doing it wrong and might hurt yourself.

The gym has an outdoor area where you can rock climb a really high wall (awesome, by the way!), climb across a side-climbing wall (creative and exhausting), or have fun pretending to be in the mountains, climbing over boulders in the middle of the outdoor area (really cool if you’re a fan of Ultimate Survival).

The rock climbing was lots of fun. When I went up, my friends were holding the rope at the bottom, making sure I didn’t fall. One of my friends pulled the rope while another fed it through the harness so it didn’t get knotted, while another pulled the rope out at the other end, making sure the it didn’t get jumbled up before the next person went up. It was a bit scary, knowing that my life was in the hands of my friends, but you have trainers by their sides, making sure they don’t get it wrong!

Overall, I thought that the gym was a wonderful place to workout and have fun at the same time (which you can rarely find). If you live close by, I’d definitely recommend you investigate membership, and even if you’re not in the neighbourhood, you should still check it out because chances are, no other kids’ gyms in the city are as great at this one yet!

Dhs75 (day pass); Dhs500 (10 sessions); Dhs2,499 (six-month pass); Dhs4,399 (yearly pass). Personal training sessions from Dhs90. Open daily, 8am to 9pm. Suitable for kids aged seven to 16. Quay Skillz is located at The Quay Health Club, Madinat Jumeirah, www.skillz.ae (04 480 7670; thequayhealthclub@jumeirah.com)

By Time Out Dubai Kids staff
Time Out Dubai,

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