Each London neighbourhood boasts its own selection of ultra trendy studios blending innovative workouts, slick decor and –increasingly – a welcoming hangout space for post-sweat socialising (and maybe even a boozy tipple or two). These are the best places to meet your exercise goals in the capital, and they’re worth travelling to distant boroughs for.
London’s most Instagramable studio, ChromaYoga, was filling classes almost as soon as it opened its doors in the spring of 2017. Tapping into a the new trend for immersive and experiential yoga, its white interior is bathed in bright monochromatic lights selected to evoke certain benefits for the mind, body and soul.
This is colour therapy essentially, and the asana sequencing is inspired by each hue’s healing qualities, for a class that’s therapeutic through and through.
Fierce Grace has roots in Bikram yoga. In fact, its founder Michele Pernetta was the first to teach the style to Londoners after returning to the city from LA, where she studied under the controversial man himself.
These days – and six established studios later – there’s still an obvious Bikram influence to the studio’s six themed classes. Taught in a heated room facing a mirrored wall, they follow the same sequence of poses every time, so you can track your progress week by week. This is where London’s ambitious type-As come to sweat, stretch and invert.
Whatever your favourite flavour of fitness, you’ll find it at FRAME, which brings a broad spectrum of workouts under one roof – from ubiquitous yoga to niche classes like Gliders, which utilizes gliding plastic discs to up your burn.
FRAME’s first location in Shoreditch was a boutique fitness trailblazer when it opened in 2009; three additional locations and a yoga studio later, it’s still the funnest place to get fit in London.
BLOK‘s location—a refurbished Victorian tram depot in trendy Clapton—and sheer variety of classes (25 types in total) makes it one of the most exciting London fitness openings in recent years.
Studio one hosts your fill of cardio and strength training, from dance choreography to boxing, while studio two is more restoration focused, offering low-impact options like ballet and vinyasa yoga. Whatever you’re in the mood for and however you’re feeling, BLOK has you covered.
Ministry Does Fitness
The Arches that once housed Ministry of Fitness’ booze supply is now home to the nightclub’s latest venture, Ministry Does Fitness. Classes are based around high intensity circuit training with a club-like vibe. Even the scheduled yoga sessions from pop-up studio Fat Buddha Yoga are accompanied by heavy basslines and disco ball sparkles.
Post-class, head to the reception / hangout space and celebrate with a smoothie or boozy cocktail. Ministry Does Fitness has a strict ‘work out hard, party harder’ mentality – after all, wellness is all about balance.
London doesn’t yet have SoulCycle, but it does have Psycle – a spin studio that offers high-energy choreographed rides with namaste sensibilities. Riding in sync with your fellow cyclists to a soundtrack of DJ-devised tunes is the aim, and saddle dancing is encouraged.
While spin is great cardio (expect the floor around your bike to be polka-dotted with sweat) Psycle also incorporates dumbbell reps and seated crunches for a full-body burn. Pre-order a protein smoothie for pick up after the 45 minute class and you’re ready to tackle the city.
Barrecore was London’s first barre-centric studio, introducing the UK to this ballet inspired workout that’s gentle on joints while making your muscles beg for mercy. The studio’s expert instructors take you through an intense head-to-toe workout that cultivates strength without bulk, but it doesn’t come easy. Anticipate “pulsing” until everything shakes – that’s known as muscle exhaustion, and it’s a surefire sign your hard work is paying off.
The newest location in Moorgate shares an elegant, slate grey space with Digme spin studio, so you can get your cardio and toning done in one fell swoop.