5 to try: Alternative fitness

Kung fu, salsa bachata, morning yoga and more ways to get fit


Bored with your gym routine? Mix things up with the latest offerings in yoga, dance, Pilates and more.

Sometimes even the most disciplined fitness fans get restless when it comes to routine. Attending a new class with a new instructor in a totally different environment can be the push you need to get back into working out like a boss. From Pilates reformer in Dubai Media City to kung fu in the Madinat, there are a host of brand new fitness classes around the city for you to dabble in. Here, we round up some
of the newest.

Pilates reformer at Mojo Reformer Pilates

What is it?
This new studio in the heart of Dubai Media City has ties to UK-based celebrity trainer Matt Field. Reformer classes are a fusion of traditional Pilates and strength training on the reformer machine for a full body workout.

What does it work?
This is a full-body cardio workout, but the online booking system also enables customers to vote for which muscle groups they’d like to focus on so that instructors can tailor each class.

What can you expect?
To break a serious sweat. Reformer refers to the machine that is used during the workout – a system of pulleys, arm and leg straps that you can sit, lie and stand on and is an integral part of the resistance training. The 50-minute sessions are fast-paced and set to music, which distracts you from the burning sensation in your muscles.
Dhs110 per class, Dhs500 for a package of five, Dhs900 for a package of ten, Dhs1,700 for a package of 20 sessions. Classes run every hour from 7am to 8pm, visit www.ilovemymojo.com for a schedule. Suite 703, Concorde Tower, Dubai Media City (800 696 656).

Early morning yoga at The Magazine Shop

What is it?
A one-hour smart flow yoga class to wake the body and mind. Smart flow yoga combines classical yoga (with its rigor and discipline) with the modernity of what is now known about anatomy and fluid transitions. Each movement is tied to a breath, which helps you switch off and find a sense of inner calm in the early hours of the day.

What does it work?
All of your muscles, but particularly the core, the triceps and the quads.

What you can expect?
A well-balanced session of equal parts strengthening and stretching, opening areas of tightness and starting your day on a buzz.
Dhs50 per session, or Dhs450 for a package of ten. Booking required. Wed 7am. The Magazine Shop, Dubai Media City, yoga@urbanyoga.ae (04 369 7882).

Kung fu at Talise Spa

What is it?
Taught by Chinese kung fu and Thai chi practitioner Master Can, this class focuses on conditioning, flexibility and self-defence.

What does it work?
Thighs, core, glutes and legs.

What you can expect?
A fun and relaxing workout, plus some pretty awesome self-defence skills. If Jackie Chan can do it, so can you.
Dhs110 per session, Dhs400 for a private session. Fri and Sat 4pm. Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah (04 366 6818).

SUP Pilates at Seayou

What is it?
A standard Pilates class on a stand-up paddleboard in the sea.

What does it work?
This class focuses on the core, including the abdominal, lower back, upper leg, pelvic, glutes and rotator cuff muscles (the ones that connect your shoulders to your arms).

What you can expect?
You’ll gain strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and good posture. All levels of Pilates are welcome and you don’t have to have had any paddleboarding experience.
Dhs125 per session, Dhs575 for five sessions, Dhs1,000 for ten sessions. Sun, Tue, Fri-Sat 10.30am. Sofitel The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.seayou.ae (04 420 6100).

Salsa bachata at Capella Club

What is it?
This group class combines two styles of Latin American dance, one after the other, and is led by world-champion Colombian instructors Gabriel and Zynthia.

What does it work?
Get a fun full-body cardio workout, improve your coordination and get skills to impress with on your next night out.

What you can expect?
Partner dancing to Latin tunes in a high energy environment and a sudden desire to travel to South America to explore the roots of Latin dance.
Dhs80 per person. Sun 8pm (bachata) 9pm (salsa). Capella Club, Silverene Tower, Dubai Marina (04 452 6000).

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