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 hosting outdoor exercise classes, PBB in the Park. Held on Bishop’s Park in Fulham, behind her studio, 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 outdoor classes. Each week the FLEX Chelsea team host their FLEXit (HiiT) classes at 6pm on Monday, Power Flow yoga classes at 10am on Saturdays. To ensure nobody is left behind in the effort to get back into the rhythm of working out, classes are completely free. Just make sure to book your slot ahead of time, and cross your fingers that it doesn’t rain.
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.
The fitness studio has launched an outdoor bootcamp, bringing a bootcamp-boosted version of their popular Strength class to Battersea and Regent’s Park. The 45 minute full body workout is hosted on Wednesdays at 7.30am and Saturdays at 10.30am and 11.30am. Incorporating functional training, HIIT, circuit-based cardio and resistance training, this intense and effective class promises to whip all attendees into shape.
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 until May 17, the acclaimed boxing team run multiple sessions per day of three types of 45 minute-long classes. Choose from Boxing Skills, SweatBOX and Strength and 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.
While lockdown life saw a boom in people buying their own spin bikes for at-home use, many are still craving the group class experience. This spring and summer, Static is hosting 45-minute spin classes in their outdoor studio at Embassy Gardens in south London. The classes blend spin classes with a silent disco experience, with riders given a pair of headphones to tune out the neighborhood noise and tune into the high octane spinning playlist to keep you peddling.
The specialist outdoor bootcamp company promises to deliver high energy workouts that can have attendees burn up to 600 calories in a single session. Hosted in six different green spaces throughout the city, including Highbury Fields and Clapham Common, the workouts vary from session to session, to keep your body guessing and your motivation high. Bootcamp classes offer a mix of toning, circuit training and group activities — with social distancing in mind — and have all of your body engaged.
Test your strength, your balance and work on your core in the process with a paddle boarding class. Operating from four sites around the capital, including Kew Bridge, Paddington, Richmond and Brentford, Active 360’s classes take attendees out on a stretch of the Thames after some training on land. There are a variety of classes for different experience levels, and the team also hosts Paddle and Pick classes where you combine the workout of a paddle boarding class with a contribution to cleaning up the city by collection plastic waste as you glide along.
The stylish, top-class gym and fitness studio has launched two partially covered outdoor group exercise spaces in Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge. The two spaces replicate as much as possible the club experience, with hard-wearing rubber gym flooring, surround sound music system and an immersive headphone sound system in the Cycle and Yoga tent. Both sites offer Third Space’s Workout of the Day, an effective high intensity training and strength-focused class, while the Canary Wharf location also offers cycling and yoga sessions. The tents will also be kitted out with Concept 2 rowers, ski-ergs, Watt bikes, assault bikes, dumbbells and IC7 studio bikes.
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.