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7 exercise classes we can’t wait to do in January

By Emma Hughes
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Right now, it’s all about mince pies, hot booze and fighting family members for the Quality Street green triangles. But come January, the pressure’s on to turn over a new leaf, go on a health kick – and get moving. Getting fitter needn’t be a chore, though: here are half a dozen brilliant London exercise classes that we’re actually looking forward to setting out alarms for. 

1. The one where you flip tyres

Described as ‘the toughest workout in the city’, The Foundry’s class is based on the tasks participants in competitions like The World’s Strongest Man have to complete: that means dragging weighted sleds, tyre-flipping and heaving huge atlas stones around. It sounds scary, but it’s suitable for people of all ability levels. All together now: HEAVE. 
Vauxhall, Old St and Bank. £20 a class, or 3 for £30 on an introductory offer.

Photograph: The Foundry

2. The heavy lifting one

Get ready to gurn: learn Olympic weightlifting from scratch at LOWA, the London Academy of Weightlifting in Vauxhall. Even if you’ve never picked up a barbell before, over the course of a Sunday morning you’ll get comfortable with the clean and jerk and the snatch. Keen for more? They run a full schedule of drop-in or membership sessions throughout the week.  
Vauxhall. Beginners’ course £75.

3. The retro 1980s one

With 1980s tunes (think Madonna) and the kinds of so-bad-they’re-good moves pioneered by Jane Fonda, vintage good times are guaranteed at Frame’s 1980s-inspired aerobics class, as well as working up a sweat. Take note: leotards and leg warmers are ‘strongly encouraged’. 
Various locations around London. £15 a class, or 2 for £20 on an introductory offer.

Photograph: Frame

4. The one for grown-up kids

It’s official: playground games are a legitimate form of exercise. ‘Sports club with a difference’ Rabble organises outdoor sessions riffing on childhood classics like British bulldog, capture the flag and even dodgeball. Even if you hated school sports lessons, you’ll find yourself having fun. 
Various locations. Prices vary by location, but your first session is free with the code FREEPLAY.

5. The one that helps the community

GoodGym is a community of runners who combine their workouts with volunteering: think visiting an isolated older person for a chat, helping out with a project like tidying up public spaces, or giving someone a hand with a one-off task like gardening. 
Various locations. Recommended monthly donation of £9.95.

Photograph: GoodGym

6. The glittery one

It’s raining zen! At Disco Yoga there are confetti cannons, sparkle stations to deck yourself out at before you get started and a soundtrack of 1970s bangers, plus cocktails. Regular yoga not quite extra enough for you? Look no further. 
Peckham and Shoreditch. £16 a class.

7. The deep stretch 

Feeling tight? Tense? Stressed? We hear ya. This new addition to Barrecore’s line up of intense classes is all about recovery. Expect a mix of lengthening stretches, muscle release and breathing techniques. You’ll float right out of the class. 
Various locations. £28 a class. 

Want to try something different? How about one of London’s coolest alternative fitness classes

Trying to save some cash? Here’s our pick of the best free things to do in London

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