Hybrid exercise classes are fast becoming the nation’s trendiest way to stay trim.
There’s just something so satisfying about two seemingly incompatible fitness styles being transformed into one. Every time a new combo crops up, we half expect it not to mesh, but we’re almost always pleasantly surprised and our astounded delight keeps us in regular attendance! It’s not all about the fun and games, however – science is firmly on the side of fusion fitness, too! We all know that a toned silhouette is best obtained through a combination of resistance and cardio, so it makes complete sense to cater to both in a single session. Team this with the fact that most of these new wave workouts combine some sort of lengthening element and you’ve got yourself a comprehensive fitness programme without the need for multiple classes. Here’s our pick of the best…
Ready to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee? Channel your inner Ali with a fast-paced fusion of highintensity boxing exercises and core-crippling ballet moves. Founded by Paola’s BodyBarre, the brand new Boxerina class is a one-of-akind workout that promises to tone and lengthen while also torching fat. The result? A lean dancer’s physique in virtually no time at all!
No surprise then that it’s become an insta-worthy favourite of supermodels and fitness bloggers alike. A typical session consists of heart-pumping boxing circuits teamed with kickboxing and pad work as well as some killer leg and glute conditioning, while the ballet portion targets strengthbuilding and flexibility. The two activities supplement each other to a tee explains founder Paola Di Lanzo: “Barre work improves agility, coordination, core strength, endurance and power – all of which are required in boxing.” Rated intermediateadvanced, it’s not one for the faint-hearted, but if you’re up for a gruelling 60-minute sweat sesh with fast results, this might just be the workout for you.
£28 per class, paolasbodybarre.com
If you want to amp up the intensity of your yoga routine, this is undoubtedly the way to do it. Equal parts yoga and Pilates, this unique hybrid delivers full-body toning with a dose of yogi-approved zen. Think downward dog into side-plank twists (and yes, you were right to wince as you imagined yourself performing that move!). Slow-paced, perhaps, but easy it is not. You may not be bouncing off the walls, but the sheer control needed to stabilise each move is more than enough to make up for it (read: serious muscles shakes). Expect improved posture, balance and coordination as well as a trim, supple physique. “Yogalates classes include exercises and poses to cultivate strength, stamina, stability and flexibility with particular attention paid to building tone in the deeper postural core muscles,” says instructor Veronique Blot. “These protect the spine against injury, support the internal organs and foster pelvic and spinal awareness to promote good posture. Core strength can be hard to develop with basic weight training, but by topping up your regular routine with Yogalates, you will find yourself stronger than ever.”
£20 per class or £130 for 10, urbankingsgym.com
Move over Zumba, there’s a brand new dance workout in town! Piloxing is a fitness phenomenon brought to us from the shores of Sweden. It combines the bodysculpting aspects of boxing and Pilates with the upbeat fun of a high energy dance routine. Depending on which studio you visit, you might be met with neon lights and brightly coloured, disco-esque attire, but all classes feature blaring tunes and an electric energy that’s bordering on contagious! Just one 50 minute session can burn up to 1,200 calories (count us 100 percent in), thanks to an award-winning formula of interval style training, weighted boxing gloves and a steady pace of 145 beats per minute (that’s on par with Zumba for those who want to compare). Founder Viveca Jensen says it’s the perfect combination: “Imagine the long, lean muscles of a Pilates enthusiast, the super-toned arms and core of a boxer and the athleticism of a dancer. That’s what Piloxing does for the body.” Tutus and trainers at the ready then!
Prices dependent on location, piloxing.com
Fulham-based PHIIT is a brand new boutique studio specialising in HIIT-inspired Pilates to help you achieve a leaner, more toned frame. There are plenty of classes to choose from, but its signature ‘Hybrid’ workout is a constant sell-out and co-founder Lindsay Holden says it’s not hard to see why! “Our signature combo class of cardio, resistance training and Pilates is the most complete workout you can get,” says Lindsay. “By attending classes at PHIIT regularly you will usually see results within two to three weeks.” Don’t think it’s all body resistance though. The class makes use of several piece of equipment to keep things interesting. “We like to switch it up with different combinations of MOTR reformers, TRX bands, kettle bells and medicine balls – you never know what workout awaits so it’s always mentally engaging and your body can’t get acclimatised to the moves.” Bye bye plateaus!
£28 per session or £45 for your first three, phiit.co.uk