Cast your mind back to being a teenager. When you’ve finished reminiscing about drinking Blue WKD outside Tufnell Park station while wearing a studded dog collar, remember what type of exercise you did during those formative years. There’s a good chance that netball, cross country, swimming and gymnastics feature pretty highly on that list. That’s because in the olden days there wasn’t a lot out there specifically aimed at teens.
These days, it’s a different story. In this shiny new age where young people don’t have to spend five minutes listening to an AOL dial-up tone, here are four incredible exercise classes all over London competing for teen attendance.
Recreational Boxing at Islington Boxing Club
Some of my happiest (and hurt-iest) times as a teen were spent at Islington Boxing Club. An inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, fantastic coaches and even a boxing cat make this club an amazing place to train. They offer recreational boxing classes for under-17s for £5 a session, which include bag work, skipping, pads, technique and circuits. Supervised sparring is also on offer but not compulsory in any way. All you need are some hand wraps and you’re good to go!
Teen Ride at Centric 3 Tribes, Crouch End
Centric 3 Tribes opened in north London in July and has gone from strength to strength with its Warrior, Rider and Zen split classes. Fans and members include many of the 'Game of Thrones' cast as well as semi-professional triathletes and road racers. They are now introducing a weekly Teen Ride. Aimed at over-12s (accompanied with a parent), the fast-paced class uses dumbbells and upper-body choreography, soundtracked by the freshest new music mixed by the Mac Twins.
Teens Yoga at The Shala, West Norwood
Being a teenager is difficult and finding time to forget about friends, GCSEs and family is almost impossible with social media as such an omnipresent distraction (I’m so happy that Snake was the height of technological sophistication during my schooldays). At The Shala in south London they aim to support teenage development and self-awareness with their practice. They believe that yoga helps teenagers deal with changing emotions as well as nurturing the body’s flexibility in a non-competitive environment (and there’s no Snapchat allowed).
Youth Parkour with Parkour Generations, various locations
Let’s be honest: who doesn’t want to be able to run across the rooftops of London’s skyscrapers jumping from pillar to post? Quite frankly, it’s cool – really cool. And now teens can learn how to do this safely so they don’t have to hang around the South Bank hoping someone will walk past and give them a leg up. The Youth Academy at Parkour Generations teaches the fundamental principles of free-running to under-15s in a safe environment. Their classes run all over London and there’s no need to sign up in advance.