Your guide to keeping fit this summer, with everything from CrossFit to yoga
We discover the latest indoor fitness classes, gyms and new trends to keep you active through the summer.
The summer is a great time to try a new sport or fitness class, or add something new to your regime. Despite the rising temperatures, new gyms and classes have sprouted up across the city, offering a mixed bag of fitness treats and deals. We take a look at the newest indoor activities and facilities to sign up to.
Acro yoga Try out this dynamic form of yoga with Phoenix Rising. Not only do you need mental and physical concentration, but must you trust a partner, too. Performed in pairs, this class teaches students poses, how to relax through breathing, to securely move from one pose into another, and how to balance and support someone else. Group classes are off until September, but private classes can be booked at any time. Best for: Improving balance. Dhs80 (group sessions). Tue 7.30pm-9pm. Group classes resume in September. Phoenix Rising, Building 20, Shoreline Apartments, Palm Jumeirah. Dhs450 per hour or Dhs500 for 90 minutes for up to three people for private classes at a location of your choice. www.phoenix-rising.me (050 152 5961).
Aerial hoop Spinning from a hoop suspended from the ceiling may sound nauseous to some, but this acrobatic class at Pole Fit Dubai comprises exercises to build the core strength required to help you spin, roll, flip and pose. The one-hour, ladies-only session starts with a warm-up followed by exercises that should see you working the hoop like a pro after your first few classes. Best for: Those with a head for heights. Dhs100. Sun-Thu 10am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-4pm. Classes resume after July 18. Pole Fit Dubai, Marina Sail Tower, Dubai Marina, www.polefitdubai.com (04 551 6911).
Aqua circuit training Try a watery workout that combines biking, boxing and trampolining, all under water. This programme at L’Atelier Aquafitnes is kind to the joints and gives you a refreshing full-body workout. In this ladies-only session, participants move between the submerged stations for a 45-minute dynamic cardio class. Classes are kept to a maximum of ten people. Best for: A low-impact workout. Dhs125 (first class), Dhs155 per class. Dhs595 (five classes in ten days during Ramadan). Sun, Tue, Thu and Sat. Times vary, call for details. L’Atelier Aquafitnes, Villa 677 A, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 3, www.latelieraquafitness.com (04 338 8323).
Back care yoga Rawr Yoga Studio has two rooms dedicated to bikram (hot) yoga as well as a hangout café offering fresh cold press juices. The back care class focuses on the spine and correct alignment, and improves core strength and flexibility. It involves gentle stretching and relaxation techniques. Best for: Office workers hunched over their desks all day. Dhs75 per session. Classes resume from July 18. Rawr Yoga Studio, 713, Concord Tower, Dubai Media City, www.rawryoga.com (04 4232808).
The free-spirited Flow Ground runs weekly jams where adults can channel their inner child by swinging hoops around their hips with careless abandon. The classes promise to leave you feeling invigorated and with a firmer, more toned stomach. Lessons for beginners will resume after Ramadan, but there’s a hoop jam on Monday evenings that is open to all. Best for: Creative types who want to tone up but don’t like gyms. Free. Mon, 9pm-10.15pm during Ramadan, 8.30pm-9.45pm normal timing. Flow Ground, The Fridge, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, www.flowground.com (056 697 0099).
BudoFlow yoga This unique form of yoga mixes the calm rhythmic breathing of vinyasa with the movement of martial arts. At Zoga Yoga Café, the positions are practised using slow, controlled movements to help develop flexibility, stability and body organisation. BudoFlow combines combative moves and yoga positions, to strengthen the entire body and mix power with balance. Best for: Martial arts practitioners who want to improve flexibility. First class free, Dhs85 per session. Sun 8.15am, Mon 8.15pm. Zoga Yoga Café, Southridge 6, Downtown Dubai, www.zoga.ae (04 276 7657).
CrossFit Gold Box This brand-new gym at Gold & Diamond Park has everything for the CrossFit-obsessed athlete. Having opened its doors in June this year, the 1,115 square metre warehouse facility houses pull-up bars, ropes, free weights, kettlebells and jump ropes. There’s also a café and a physiotherapy room. Newbies can register online for an introductory class at 10am on Saturdays where experienced trainers teach the basic mechanisms of the workout. Best for: CrossFit fanatics. From Dhs65 per class. Gold & Diamond Park, Al Quoz, www.crossfitgoldbox.com (04 338 7612).
FlyBarre A new offering from New York fitness company Flywheel that combines the lengthening, strengthening and sculpting principles of its barre regime, with upper body strength training. The high-energy class is fast-paced and works each muscle group especially troublesome spots including arms, abs and thighs through a sequence of pulse movements, arm weights and resistance bands. Best for: Toning up. Dhs120 per class. Flywheel, Burj Views, Downtown Dubai. Other location: Gold & Diamond Park, Al Quoz, www.dubai.flywheelsports.com (04 423 2544).
Fitness Time Gym
This high-tech, men’s facility opened in May and offers basketball, volleyball, squash and a running track, as well as a cardio studio, swimming and CrossFit. Guys can unwind and socialise after a workout in the Jacuzzi, or chill in the lounge which is complete with billiards tables and a library. There is free wi-fi in the lobby and every member can get personal training assistance with qualified fitness professionals. Best for: Men of all fitness levels. From Dhs1,750 (three months). Al Shabab Complex, Al Mamzar, www.fitnesstime.ae (04 269 0627).
Gravity Calisthenics Gym Picking up on one of the big trends in fitness in Dubai, this urban gym in Al Quoz specialises in parkour and calisthenics training – a system of exercise that uses your own body weight, so there are no treadmills or weights machines involved. Expect a parkour playground of rigs, ladders, boxes and climbing frames to run and jump off. The gym opened in May, and welcomes newbies, improvers and offers women only classes, too. Best for: Improving muscular strength and flexibility. From Dhs399 per month excluding classes, Dhs50 day pass, plus Dhs80 per class. 318 Road, Al Quoz 4, www.facebook.com/gravitycalisthenicsgym (04 321 6006).
Iconic Fitness This is another brand-new facility serving fitness fans in Dubai Marina. Iconic Fitness opened in May, and its team of experienced trainers aim to help members get a safe and fun introduction to CrossFit. It holds classes, as well as specific endurance, strength and core training sessions. Members can also use the open gym area, a 2,500 square feet space offering free weights, medicine balls, gymnastic rings and pull-up bar stations, between 11am and 2pm on weekdays. Best for: An introduction to CrossFit. First class free. Dhs120 per class, Dhs950 per month for six months with unlimited classes. Damac Waves Tower B, Dubai Marina, www.iconicfitness.ae (052 644 9379).
Love your belly workshop Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the bits of your body that cause the most aggravation (countless reps per week of crunches and planks and that overhang still won’t shift), but these monthly workshops held at Zen Yoga target troublesome tums. The Pilates-based muscle recovery programme promises to help mums and mums-to-be learn the most effective abdominal strengthening exercises and how to work your abs without going to the gym. Call to register Best for: New mums. Dhs400. Tue August 21, 1.30pm-4.30pm. Zen Yoga, BBC Building, Dubai Media City, www.yoganutrition.com (050 584 2934).
Rowing fitness House of Cards fans can train like Frank Underwood in this class. The rowers use water for resistance instead of air, as is seen in conventional rowing machines, and the harder you pull, the more the resistance you feel. The group exercise class at Body Worx is an energetic cardio session but it also tones, as the machines are used creatively to exercise the stomach and arms. Best for: Improving stamina. Dhs79 (non-members), free (members). Classes resume after Ramadan. Body Worx, Rimal Plaza, JBR, www.bodyworxme.com (04 374 6871).
Souplesse Cycle Taking spinning up a notch, Souplesse Cycle adds movement, bends and steering to indoor cycling classes, giving you a more realistic experience. The only class of its kind in the UAE, these high-intensity sessions consist of 45 minutes of serious pedalling and recovery work. There are backing tracks with funky neon lights to see you through the burn. Best for: Spinning fans who want something a little different. Dhs115 per session. Daily 8.30am-8pm. Apex Atrium, Motor City, www.souplessecycle.com (04 554 7346).
The Ultimate Fitness Firster (TUFF) Fitness First is teaming up with Dubai Sports World for the first time to offer a schedule of group classes at the indoor complex at Dubai World Trade Centre. TUFF, is designed to challenge all fitness abilities, and involves a regime of lifting weights and barbells to help decrease body fat and increase lean muscle tissue. The 45-minute interval training class claims to burn up to 800 calories. Best for: Quick and intensive workouts. Dhs30 per class, Dhs300 (12 classes). Thu 9.30pm during Ramadan. Tue 8pm, Wed 7pm. Until August 29. Dubai Sports World, Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 306 4000).
This new yoga studio offers a variety of forms to practise, from Kundalini, which involves energy release, postures and chanting, to gong meditation and bikram yoga. The team consists of passionate, experience tutors. They also offer one-to-one tuition and single gender sessions. Best for: Practising yoga From Dhs140 for ten days unlimited bikram yoga. Executive Floor, i-Rise Tower, TECOM, www.voyoga.net (04 553 8630).