Booty Barre at Sunderland Pilates Studio
Combining moves from ballet, yoga and pilates, it’s three for the price of one when you take part in a Booty Barre class. Movements focus on training the lower body – mostly your thighs and seat muscles – before moving on to core-strengthening exercises. Added cardio elements help to burn fat fast. A word of warning – this is one exercise you’ll feel the following day. Even though the workout itself is low-impact, the benefits are huge. You’ll enjoy improved posture, better muscle definition and lengthening, increased flexibility, and you’ll reduce your stress levels too. And you can always pretend you’re dancing your way across the stage in Swan Lake at the same time (tutu optional).
126 Church Street North, Sunderland SR6 0DT
Bouldering at Durham Climbing Centre
Cardio and strength training all in one, and you don’t even need to venture outside. Indoor rock climbing is an ideal way to test your physical strength and endurance, without having to brave the great British weather this winter. Climbing requires stamina and power, so it’s a great way to tone up and improve overall levels of fitness. Flexibility is also greatly improved, as you’re using a range of motions to conquer the wall and reach the right holds during your climb. It’s an exercise that’ll keep you thinking, as you constantly plot the right routes up (as well as how to get back down) so your problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination are being tested throughout.
St John’s Road, Meadowfield Industrial Estate, Durham DH7 8TZ
0191 378 9555
Hot Yoga at Atom Health & Fitness
Turn up the heat and try your hand at hot yoga – where the heat allows your body to warm up quickly, and increases the flexibility of muscles, both of which allows you to go deeper into the stretches. The postures are designed to open up all the body’s major joints whilst improving muscle flexibility, and it’s also a very effective way to detox as the temperature aims to eliminate toxins in the body through sweat. Whilst the workout itself is physically challenging, it’s also excellent for your mental wellbeing.
Unit 3, Wynyard Park Business Village, Billingham TS22 5FG
Hoop Energy at Cherry Dance Fitness
Not quite the same as the hula-hooping you may have done in your youth, Hoop Energy classes are fast, furious and lots of fun. Using a weighted hula hoop, you’ll learn impressive combinations and hoop dance moves, all whilst burning an incredible 400 calories per hour. Even better, you’ll be laughing so much it won’t even feel like exercise. Hoop Energy classes work on the whole body, with a particular emphasis on legs, bums and tums, so you can tone up and feel good at the same time. If you’re after a really good laugh, gather a group of your friends and let the giggles commence.
7–9 Bigg Market, Newcastle NE1 1UN
Hyrdopole at Wentworth Leisure Centre
It’s the exercise you never knew you needed – combining the resistance of water and the strength of a traditional dance pole, Hyrdopole classes might seem like a good laugh, but they’re seriously good at delivering results. The workouts are dynamic, creating a real waistline workout that’s bad news for any stubborn pounds that have refused to shift in the past. The buoyancy of the water allows participants to mimic gymnast-style flexibility, whilst improving core strength and posture. The exercise has also been shown to help with cellulite reduction, as well as improving skin condition.
Wentworth Place, Hexham NE46 3PD
Floatfit at Stokesley Leisure Centre
A new form of exercising that’s really making a splash (sorry), Floatfit involves you, a swimming pool, and a floating exercise platform that you’ll use to perform high-intensity interval training, (whilst trying not to fall in.) There are also yoga-style movements included in the workout to improve balance and flexibility, as well as muscle strength. As it’s a low-impact form of exercise due to the water-based nature of the workout, it’s perfect for those with joint and muscle pain. Having to balance on the water whilst you complete a traditional workout forces the core to work harder – drastically improving core stability and intensifying muscle toning.
Great Broughton Road, Middlesbrough TS9 5JJ
Burlesque at Tempest Dance Studio
Come with lots of energy and be prepared to have a giggleas you try your hand at burlesque dancing. It’s great fun, looks seriously impressive, and is a fantastic workout and confidence booster for all ages. The dance focuses on slow and controlled movements, which builds muscle strength and coordination, but you’ll also need plenty of stamina to see the route through to the end. Burlesque is a great way of building core strength, as it works your glutes, abs and quads, and it’s also ideal for boosting body-confidence.
Unit 4–5, Maynards Row, Durham DH1 1QF
LIVING NORTH TOP PICKS
Kundalini yoga, also known as yoga for the soul, is a very spiritual form of yoga that involvs the use of the mind. Whereas traditional forms of yoga use Asanas (postures) held in a static position for a specific length of time, Kundalini yoga uses Krias (actions) instead. The actions are usually very simple (e.g. lying outstretched on your back whilst you raise alternate legs up on an inhalation, and lower on the exhalation) – but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy. Different actions can be held from one minute up to 11 minutes, causing the body to work hard as it repeats the actions. But as you learn to engage in positive self-talk, your body will become stronger and it becomes easier to carry on. You might even get to experience the so-called ‘Kundalini high’ if you’re lucky.
2–5 St Bedes, Station Road, East Boldon NE36 0LE
0191 519 3351
Like traditional pilates, but with a twist. Reformer pilates uses a machine, rather than just traditional mats, to give a more dynamic and intense workout – ideal for optimising your exercise routine. You’ll improve your flexibility, muscle tone and body awareness as you take part in a range of exercises, with a particular focus on leg and arm strength, in addition to your core. Sign up for a beginner’s class to become accustomed to the equipment and techniques (brace yourself for one sore core). Once you’re more advanced, workouts become faster and more intense, and there’s little chance of getting bored – there are literally hundreds of exercise variations to choose from.
Heaton Complex, Trewhitt Road, Newcastle NE6 5DY
0191 276 2611
See exercise from a whole new perspective – suspended in mid-air and practising a range of different movements and stretches, to be more precise. Not only does the aerial aspect add a new challenge, it’s also fun. Aerial yoga allows the whole body to move and stretch, resulting in a total body workout. What’s more, because you’ve largely removed the force of gravity, you become more free to move, with less effort required. If you needed any more reasons to give it a go, aerial yoga has also been shown to help back problems, and aid digestion.
Studios across Newcastle
0191 447 9876
An amazing way to have fun whilst exercising, Egyptian belly dance classes are ideal for those who want to tone and strengthen their core. As you learn the art of this ancient form of dancing, you’ll also be learning how to control various muscles to execute professional and polished movements. Posture is improved throughout the classes, due to the weight-bearing nature of dancing as a form of exercise – overall it’s a great way of getting fit without realising it. There’s also extensive research to show that dancing acts as a stress reliever, producing endorphins that make our bodies feel calmer and happier.
Temple Street, Newcastle NE1 4BR
The Fire Station Arts Centre, Sunderland SR1 3EX
0191 261 0505
This brilliantly versatile piece of gym equipment is perfect for every gym-goer, whether you’re a total beginner or an experienced athlete. The Swiss ball can be used to improve every element of fitness – including strength, endurance, core stability, mobility and flexibility, to name a few. Fun, fast and very often furious, there are a range of Swiss ball exercises to choose from which can isolate individual muscles to work on a particular area of the body, or combine a range of movements to provide a total body workout. The extra demand the ball places on muscles means that you can increase your metabolism, ultimately burning more fat as you exercise. Although the exercises are challenging, the results are very rewarding.
Jesmond House, Clayton Road, Newcastle NE2 1UJ
0191 239 9000
With a friendly, down-to-earth approach, Nina Sackree puts her clients at ease straightaway. By planning your workouts and staying alongside you to show you the best techniques and practices, you can get more for your workout. Nina will even send you reminder texts afterwards to help you stay healthy until your next session. What’s more, there’s no danger of you cancelling a session because you just can’t be bothered leaving the house – Nina can bring her equipment to you, so you can carry out a session in the comfort of your own home. Sessions can incorporate a mixture of weights and functional equipment like kettlebells, battle ropes, slam balls, power bags and boxing gloves, to make exercising both fun and challenging.