While the government has announced that gyms across England can reopen from 25 July, there are many who would still rather take their workouts outside, where it’s easier to stick to social distancing guidelines. Luckily, a number of London’s finest gyms and fitness studios have launched new outdoor exercise classes over the summer, with limited numbers per class and extra hygiene measures in place. From boxing in the park to outdoor HIIT sessions and meditative yoga, we’ve rounded up the best al fresco workouts in London to book now.
Australian powerhouse Paola Di Lanzo has been delivering her tried and tested fusion of dynamic Pilates, ballet barre conditioning, functional training and HIIT sessions across South West London since 2015 – now she’s launched her first outdoor exercise classes, PBB in the Park. Held on Wandsworth Common and Bishop’s Park in Fulham, all you’ll need is a mat and a thigh band to take part in her unique brand of muscle-quivering workouts. And for something a bit more personal, she also offers private PT or small group sessions in your local park.
FLEX is swapping its smart studio on the Fulham Road for the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park for its new outdoor classes, which range from dynamic Vinyasa postures in their Power Flow sessions to high intensity interval training in Flexit. Our favourite is the cheekily named Peach on the Beach, which is designed to boost glute activation and strength for a perfectly pert derriere. The classes are kept to just five people, so you can expect maximum attention and motivation from the trainers.
Boutique fitness brand Core Collective is bringing their popular workouts to the great outdoors this summer, with two brand new classes. Held in locations near their Kensington and St. John’s Wood studios, as well as on Clapham Common, their Bodyweight/HIIT classes combine the best of their three signature Circuit class formats for an energetic, cardio-focused workout, while their Run/HIIT sessions switch between running intervals and explosive bodyweight movements, guaranteed to deliver a full-on endorphin hit.
Popular King’s Cross spot The Fore has adapted two of its fitness classes for the open air. Fore Strength is a full body HIIT workout that combines plyometric and cardio-based bodyweight exercises with a lively playlist to get your heart rate going, while Fore Restore is a 45-minute replenishing session, offering low-impact flows, postural realignment and deepened core strength – the perfect antidote to those aches and pains you may have picked up from being hunched over a laptop for the last few months.
Fun-focused fitness brand Frame has teamed up with Coals Drop Yard in King’s Cross to create a new series of outdoor exercise classes, following on from the hugely popular al fresco Breakfast Barre sessions they held on the banks of the Regent’s Canal last summer. Expect dance cardio workouts set to feel-good playlists, 80s aerobics, Ass and Abs sessions and sculpting barre workouts, with more options to be added soon. There are only five slots available for each class, so get booking quick.
World-class boxing gym BXR, where double heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua trains, is taking over Paddington Park for a new series of outdoor exercise classes. Running three sessions per day, seven days a week, there are three different options to choose from: SweatBOX, where you’ll try your hand at shadow boxing and bodyweight exercises, Cardio Condition & Core, for a high intensity workout, and Strength & Conditioning, which uses kettle bells and dumbbells. Expect to feel the burn the next day.
With studios spread right across the city, from Soho to Stoke Newington, Camden to Clapham, MoreYoga has become the go-to brand for yogis looking for everything from express 30-minute sessions to introductory meditation classes and teacher training. Now they’re taking their classes outside with their newly launched Inside Out sessions. Held in the courtyard at Ram Quarter in Wandsworth, their morning Vinyasa Flow classes link breath with movement to build endurance, flexibility and strength.
With over 140 venues around the country, Be Military Fit is the UK’s biggest outdoor fitness brand. Fronted by British adventurer Bear Grylls, they’ve been serving up gruelling military-inspired workouts for years (you might know them better as British Military Fitness, their original name before they rebranded in 2018). Their signature outdoor exercise class, Military Fit, is a 60-minute session that combines five key components: physical preparation, strength, anaerobic capacity, aerobic capacity and recovery. And while it may not be easy, it does deliver results.