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Yoga Bikram Paris │ Courtesy of Yoga Bikram Paris
Yoga Bikram Paris │ Courtesy of Yoga Bikram Paris
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Fitness Trends That are Keeping Parisians Healthy in 2017

Picture of Paul McQueen
Updated: 31 July 2017
Like pretty much everyone else around the world, Parisians are tired of the same old gym workouts and are looking for fun new ways to stay in shape and de-stress. From Cancan dancing to bare-knuckle boxing, our list contains 10 fresh ideas for fitness fanatics.

Afrovibe

Afrovibe was created by two French dancers and sports specialists Doris Martel and Maryam Kaba. Built mainly around dances from Central Africa, Afrovibe also encompasses moves from Brazil, the Middle-East and the Caribbean. Classes usually last for up to an hour and a half and involve dancing and squats which will have you leaving with a smile and, according to the founders, a ‘concrete’ derrière. To find out where you can take part in Paris, click here.

Spinning

If you are wondering how to get as fit as a Tour de France cyclist, Let’s Ride could be just what you are looking for. Let’s Ride is a gym dedicated uniquely to indoor cycling and spin classes, offering individual coaching as well as classes. Each 45-minute session ensures an all-body workout and there are three different types of classes: Sweat for maximum intensity, Connect for a lighter ride, and Enjoy for spinning in darkness as if you were in a club. Let’s Ride has two gyms in Paris – in the 9th and 11th arrondissements.

Let’s Ride │ Courtesy of Let’s Ride
Let’s Ride │ Courtesy of Let’s Ride

Ping pong

Fit Ping Tonic is a mix between table tennis and more traditional exercises with squats, lunges, and stretching. It emerged as a ‘feminine’ alternative to ping pong incorporating other exercises for an all-around workout. As well as being fun, it is an ideal way to lose weight (one session can burn 350-500 calories) as well as muscle-toning, hand-eye coordination, improving reflexes and flexibility. A list of table tennis clubs offering this workout can be found on the French Table Tennis Federation’s website.

Wrestling

‘Le Wrestling Circuit’ is a combat-based type of cardio workout which is great for losing weight, strengthening, endurance, cardio and improving coordination and movement. The workout is based on a 30-minute session, involving kettlebells and medicine balls, and is done in small groups with music. Classes alternate between intense workouts and interval training to maximize results. To find out which wrestling clubs in Paris offer this type of workout, click here.

Boxing

More and more Parisians are gloving up and boxing to stay fit. In addition to being a stress-buster (perfect for living in a big city), boxing is also great for hand-eye coordination, agility, speed, strength, and endurance. While many sports clubs and gyms offer boxing classes, none are perhaps as chic and Parisian as the Temple Noble Art boxing gym. This gym offers different types of boxing-related workouts which you can then bring into the ring for a real experience. It offers training in kickboxing, Thai, English and French boxing.

Temple Noble Art │
Temple Noble Art │ | © Stéphane Bouquet, Courtesy of Temple Noble Art

Hoop dancing

If your hips don’t lie, ‘La Hoop Dance’ is the one for you. This new trend involves a mixture of hula-hooping to music with circus dance and aerobics and is an ideal workout for toning. In addition to regular workout classes, as a ‘hooper’, you can also take part in specific sessions like tribal-themed choreography, and perhaps for the more advanced and daring, a fire hoop class. If you’re interested in hooping, you can take part at the Hoopera workout studio in the 10th arrondissement.

Block climbing

If you’ve just been to see the new Spiderman, this workout is probably for you. L’escalade de bloc (block climbing) is Paris’ urban alternative to rock climbing. Unlike rock or other indoor climbing centers, block climbers (or ‘blocbusters’) do not use ropes or harnesses (there is a 40cm thick mat in case you fall) and you can choose the shape or height you wish to climb on or up to. This is a great muscle workout and is available at CNIT MOVE at La Défense.

Bikram yoga

Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, involves a series of 26 postures (‘asanas’) and two breathing exercises (‘pranayamas’) carried out in a 40°C (104°F) for 90 minutes. It is an intense and highly effective workout that Parisians are flocking to. Bikram yoga is purported to have several health benefits: flexibility, muscle strengthening as well as detoxification. Yoga Bikram Paris has two sites in Paris – one in the Marais (an English-language session takes place daily at 11am) and the other at the Grands Boulevards studio (English-language session at 4pm daily).

In posture at Yoga Bikram Paris │ Courtesy of Yoga Bikram Paris
In posture at Yoga Bikram Paris │ Courtesy of Yoga Bikram Paris

The French Cancan

There is perhaps no fitness trend more Parisian than the French Cancan workout. The Paradis Latin theater in the 5th arrondissement offers one and a half hour classes for €95. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about this dance and try it for yourself, or if you have an audition coming up at the Moulin Rouge, what better place to do it than in the atmosphere of a real (and during the workout empty) theater? The session includes a warm-up crash course in the choreography involved and then a full-on Cancan dance routine.

L’Xtend barre

Xtend barre offers a new take on floor-barre exercises, and it is becoming increasingly popular as a fitness trend in Paris. Focused more on muscle-toning and less on the tutu, this exercise builds on the ballet workout by adding in techniques from Pilates as well as regular cardio workout routines. The sessions last 55 minutes and incorporate a wide variety of exercises not to the sound of ballet, but to the sound of intense gym music. Rituel Studio and My Studio Paris offer regular classes.