Alternative sporting and fitness choices to make right here in Dubai
Don’t get stuck in a fitness rut, swap your sport and try something new.
Love squash? Try beach tennis Squash is a fast-paced sport that puts your reflexes to the test. Many hotels and residential complexes in Dubai have courts, so finding a place to play is never a problem – although finding a partner might be. But as the summer heat starts to lose its grip, squash players can consider the relatively new sport of beach tennis. Using the same level of hand to eye coordination as squash, beach tennis is fast-paced, dynamic and it gets you outside so you can top up your vitamin D levels too. You won’t have the walls to rebound balls from, but running and lunging barefoot on the sand engages your calf and lower leg muscles more than on the hard floor of the gym, and it’s easier on the knees. Beach Tennis Middle East, Dhs80 per court, per hour, Dhs60 for the second and subsequent hours, Mon-Sat 7.30am-noon, 3pm-7pm. Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim 2, www.btmesports.com (055 268 6090).
Love Zumba? Try capoeira Zumba has become a fitness institution – there’s hardly a gym worth its sweat that doesn’t have a class. Part of Zumba’s appeal is that it combines cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility – and it’s great fun. But it is not the only Latin workout available. The practice of capoeira is great for all levels of fitness and will not only give you a very solid workout, but you learn the skills of this expressive Brazilian martial art. Capoeira requires balance, strength and energy, and you also get to tap into Brazilian music and culture. Dhs700 per month. Mon, Wed, Sat, 8pm. Miraman Health Club, Al Joud Building Al Quoz, www.miraman.ae (04 338 9148).
Love Legs Bums and Tums? Try rebound workouts If you like to get your heart rate up, improve your cardio and have super-toned legs and glutes then a good aerobics or LBT class will certainly help you along the way. Why not elevate your fitness class to a new level by trying a ‘rebound’ trampoline workout? Using trampolines to propel you as you do sets of exercises, rebound classes are an efficient workout that doesn’t add any excess stress on the heart and you also get a massive rush of endorphins as you bounce and burn calories. Dhs120 per person, per session. Sun, Tue and Thu 7am-8am, 9am-10am, Bounce, 4B Street, Al Quoz (04 321 1400).
Love spinning? Try Flywheel Racing on a stationary bike like you’re in the Tour de France is a sure-fire way to increase your stamina and endurance. Spinning classes work out your body but the dark rooms and thumping music make your energy levels soar. Like an evolution of spinning, Flywheel ups the ante by introducing climbs and descents, and working arms with weighted bars. The high-tech bikes require you to wear special bike shoes, and are equipped with a tech-packs that display and record your resistance, speed and your power output so you can see just how hard you’re actually working, as well as help you set goals and measure your performance. From Dhs110 per session. Sun-Thu 6am-noon, 5pm-9pm. Fri-Sat 9.30am-11.30am, 5.30pm-6.30pm Burj Views, Downtown Dubai, www.dubai.flywheelsports.com (04 423 2544).
Love circuits? Try Speedflex Variety is the key to an effective workout, and circuit training combines weights with cardio, shuttle runs, and whatever other fat busting exercises your instructor can throw in the mix. Some find circuits too intense, or require a higher level of fitness to complete the course. Speedflex training, which has been recently introduced to Dubai, uses a combination of specialised resistance machines and traditional exercises, and allows an elite athlete to train next to a pensioner in the same session, as the machines respond to your force as opposed to the addition of weights. Every session has a personal trainer, who will show you how to use the equipment. From Dhs805 per month. Sat-Thu 6am-10pm, Fri 6am-noon. JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR, email to book a session firstname.lastname@example.org, www.jaresortshotels.com (04 814 5599).
Love gymnastics? Try parkour Gymnasts are blessed with cat-like balance, combined with great muscular and core strength. If you’ve been somersaulting over vaults, and leaping on balance bars then try your skills out on the streets of the city with parkour or free-running. You won’t have the protection of soft mats if you don’t nail your landing, but you’ll learn how to use momentum to keep you moving from one urban obstacle to the next. Against Graviti parkour classes, from Dhs70 per class. Sun 5pm-6pm. Emirates International School, The Meadows, www.againstgraviti.com (056 127 7818).