The best gyms in London
Discover the best fitness centres across the whole of the capital
From state-of-the-art gyms to heavenly swimming pools, brilliant boxing clubs to dynamic dance studios, Time Out round up the best places to get fit in central London plus our recommendations to the best gyms in north, south, east and west London. So, no more excuses: it's time to get in shape.
Central London's best gyms and fitness centres
100 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6JS
This centrally located gym offers some of London's wittiest workouts from its 'Tour de Holborn' spinning class to the jolly 'Lady Gaga' class. Located underneath High Holborn, this compact space combines the atmosphere of a nightclub with state-of-the-art facilities. A full-size boxing ring dominates the main space, along with a large movie screen. There's also an impressive free weights area, spinning studio and two exercise studios. While the boxing theme might suggest a macho environment, more than 50 per cent of members are women. A newer branch in Covent Garden (at 42-49 St Martins Lane, WC2) boasts a vast studio and Olympic-sized boxing ring.
30 Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 8BE
Affordable membership and an unpretentious community atmosphere means this London stalwart attracts a healthy mix of people from well-honed blokes bulking up to more average-shaped folk who just want to keep fit. There's no pool but there is a huge open gym and exercise studios which more than make up for the absence of dipping facilities. A variety of classes are offered, including hatha yoga, ballet and flamenco. The cardio and weights machines have all recently been upgraded, while the café has wi-fi access.
112 Great Russell St, WC1B 3NQ
A perennial favourite with those working in the West End due to low membership rates, a fully equipped Pilates studio, large cardio theatre and up-to-date resistance training equipment. It isn't glamorous but that's not the point here; Central YMCA provides every possible type of workout and activity including climbing, trampolining and volleyball, taught to a very high standard (YMCA Fitness Industry Training is an industry leader and many of its graduates instruct here). A good 25-metre pool is divided for lane swimming; there's also a chapel, therapies and a decent café to boot.
16 Hewett Street, London, EC2A 3NN
Founder Greg Smith and partner Zack Cahill have put together a high-calibre team of specialist trainers and therapists. Their 3,000 sq ft gym near Liverpool Street station offers ample workout space, plus rooms for a range of treatments. There's no joining fee; you simply pay for as many sessions as you want. Aegis also provides one-one-one, semi-private and bootcamp training.
13 Sherwood Street, London, W1F 7BR
Spread across four levels and connected by open steel staircases, the club's facilities include a skylit climbing wall, boxing ring and even a table tennis table set on a glass floor above the pool. The gym is kitted out with the latest cardio and free weights equipment, and those about to compete at high altitude can prepare by working out in a hypoxic chamber with reduced levels of oxygen to simulate conditions at 8,500 feet. There is also a Pilates and Gyrotonic studio and 130 free classes every week as well as a Fresh & Wild juice bar, gym kit laundry service, wi-fi access, integrated medical centre offering complementary therapies and a live DJ four times a week. The Third Space has a second gym in Marylebone, which opened in 2011 and offers reciprocal access for members.
17 Duke's Rd, WC1H 9PY
A beautiful glass-fronted building, The Place lifts an otherwise barren spot just off Euston Road. Inside you'll find a clean modern space catering for both dance students (as young as five) and visitors to the excellent Robin Howard Dance Theatre. The large studio has 300 seats raked to a stage 15m by 12m and affording a truly electrifying visual experience. It's the perfect host to the annual 'Resolution!' season that acts as a platform for fresh contemporary choreography. Founded in 1990, 'Resolution!' is a must for those looking for genuinely emerging dance talent, though any night at The Place is a safe bet, as the venue prides itself on being a leader in modern and inventive physical performance. There are also classes and courses for adults and children of all standards in ballet and contemporary techniques.
16 Balderton St, W1K 6TN
Since 1982, Danceworks has offered Europe's largest selection of classes in six well-appointed studios. You can choose from more than 160 dance, fitness, martial arts and yoga workouts each week. New trends include belly dance, poledancing and singing classes.
7 Langley St, WC2H 9JA
Debbie Moore named her studio after the pineapple warehouse in which her studio was founded in 1979. It still retains its 'Fame'-era charm and there are more than 30 dance classes each day.