Stay on the exercise bandwagon even if you’re on holiday or a business trip. Our fitness expert RUBY tan rounds up 10 options visitors can try while in Singapore.
The conventional idea of a gym – a room filled with mirrors, weights and exercise equipment – has recently evolved into so much more. Gyms nowadays can be one-stop fitness centres, where you can attend the latest, trendiest workout classes, grab a protein smoothie and take a shower in a swanky bathroom.
For the ultimate gym experience, pop into a branch of Pure Fitness or head to Virgin Active Fitness Club. The Pure Fitness in Asia Square has its own swimming pool, a mixed martial arts zone with a competition octagon and a dedicated athletic area with a small indoor running track. If you’re the sort that needs to chill out after a workout, head to Virgin Active. It features unique sleep pods, where you can recharge with a 20-minute nap, and a Himalayan Rock Salt inhalation room, where you can recline on a day bed and enjoy the skin and respiratory healing benefits. Needless to say, both gyms have a good variety of classes and top-notch equipment.
Pure Fitness, various locations,
Virgin Active Fitness Club, Level 6, Tower 2 One Raffles Place, 1 Raffles Place
Tel: 6908 7878, www.virginactive.com.sg
This traditional Thai sport has gained a reputation for packing a serious workout punch – even if you’re not into the fighting aspect. A session can consist of cardiovascular and strengthening exercises, on top of sport-specific programmes like shadow boxing and sparring. If you’re the type that prefers a back-alley muay thai centre, you’ll like Muay Art Fitness. Beginners may find it a little intimidating, so go with a buddy. Make no mistake – this place is as raw as it gets and you’ll be learning from professional fighters from Thailand. Prefer a little more comfort? Head to high-end mixed martial arts gym, Evolve Mixed Martial Arts – a producer of award-winning fighters. It has an air-conditioned studio, modern workout facilities and a juice bar and protein shake counter.
Muay Art Fitness, #04-02, Gold Pine Industrial Building, 126 Joo Seng Road
tel: 8233 8983, www.mafmuaythai.com
Evolve Mixed Martial Arts, various locations, evolve-mma.com
Circuit training is one of the most effective forms of exercise, great for those who are short on time. They’re often high intensity sessions, so you’re getting your heart rate and muscles pumped harder than taking a moderately-paced, hour-long jog. A class involves exercises done in alternating activity and rest time, never repeating the same workouts so you’re constantly challenging different parts of your body. For the time-strapped, head to Ritual. Their aim is to get you in and out of their industrial-chic quarters in half an hour – each session is only 20 minutes – feeling no less knackered than from hour-long programmes. Alternatively, try Sweat, who specialise in super effective circuit sessions – I attended an hour-long class once a week for a month and saw a distinct improvement in my strength. Their Super Deal ($75 for four sessions) makes it one of the most value-for-money classes around.
Ritual, #03-01, 11 North Canal Road,
tel: 6536 7291, www.ritual.sg
Sweat, #01-03, Cantonment Centre,
150 Cantonment Road
tel: 8168 7715, www.sweat.com.sg
From Hatha to Vinyasa to Hot to Acrobatic – you’ll find all types of yoga practices in Singapore. There are many benefits of practising yoga regularly. You’ll improve the strength and flexibility of both your body and mind. For a popular place with a young hip vibe, visit Yoga Movement. It’s affordable, with branches in central locations. One unique option is Stand Up Paddle Yoga (run by SUP Yoga Singapore), where you practise on a paddleboard out at sea. You’ll be near the shore and with an anchor, so don’t worry about safety. It takes more focus to hold poses on a moving board but make it to the end and you’ll be rewarded with the most peaceful corpse pose you can experience.
Yoga Movement, various locations,
SUP Yoga Singapore, Mana Mana East Coast Beach Club, 1212 East Coast Parkway,
Like its name suggests, a Surfset class involves doing yoga, pilates and surfing-inspired moves atop a wobbly surfboard contraption. Even if you’re not a surfer, going regularly will help you improve overall strength – especially your core, for maintaining good balance. Trying to do a squat is easy on flat ground; try it on an unstable surface and you have to work much harder. Those who are into surfing will appreciate being able to practice surfing movements (like popping up from paddling to the standing position) repeatedly, minus the hassle of falling into the water if you were doing the same thing out at sea. The class is super fun, and don’t belittle the novelty – it’s a hard session.
Surfset Singapore, 3rd storey, 454B Joo Chiat Road, tel: 9751-0793, www.surfset.sg
Singapore’s tropical weather means you’re able to enjoy exercising outside most of the time. Get your outdoor fix with a bootcamp class, which involves a variety of exercises – from sprints to stair-climbing, to stationary strengthening workouts either with or without equipment. Like circuit training, you’re often doing different things from session to session. Type A personalities might like to give the gruelling Training for Warriors programme a go. It’s run by fitness centre UFIT and conducted on Sentosa. An hour-long class will see you doing plyometric exercises, weight training, sprinting and even swimming drills. UFIT also runs other bootcamps around Singapore. An alternative centre is the centrally located Level, where sessions include agility drills and sprints, on top of strengthening workouts.
UFIT, 87-88 Amoy Street, tel: 6225-5059, www.ufit.com.sg
Level, #01-03, 137 Telok Ayer Street,
tel: 6222-4766, www.level.com.sg
Want lean sculpted muscles like a ballerina? Try a barre class – each session puts you through cardio, light weight training and dancing exercises, all using ballet-inspired movements and pilates-style core training. This is where you realise ballerinas are a lot stronger than you think. I consider myself quite fit as I exercise regularly, but I was trembling at my first barre session. Challenge yourself further at an Xtend Barre class with Upside Motion. Their approach targets small muscles in the body, with concentrated movements so you get stronger without the bulk. You’ll be working parts you didn’t think existed – so prepare to feel really sore the next day.
Upside Motion, various locations,
The Zumba boom here proves that people love using dance to keep fit – and why not, it is so much fun. A popular place is 1Fiesta, which offers Zumba Toning, where you dance holding light weights to build strength. If you want to try something new, give Bokwa a shot. With roots in Africa, this quick-paced dance is a good cardio workout. Participants move their feet to the music, following imaginary shapes of letters and numbers on the ground, like skipping in an L-shape, while doing simple movements with their arms, like pumping your fists in the air. The chain True Fitness has Bokwa classes available.
For something even more unique, try a Tahitian Dance & Fitness class at Tahiti Dance Fitness. You’ll give your legs, behind and abs a huge workout as you learn how to twist your hips while in a slight squat stance. The class takes you through an actual Tahitian dance choreography, so there’s also a sense of achievement when you complete it.
1Fiesta, various locations,
True Fitness, various branches,
Tahiti Dance Fitness, Kali Majapahit Martial Arts Studio, #02-01 Greatwood Building, 43 Carpenter Street, tel: 8374-8408,
Indoor cycling classes, like the popular Spin class, incorporate arm movements, sometimes with weights, to give your entire body a hard time and not just your legs. Indoor cycling studio 7Cycle offer several types of classes, including the 7Cycle Bootcamp, which involves getting off the bike and doing plyometric and other strengthening exercises on the floor.
If you’re looking to improve your racing performance, head to Athlete Lab. They use the Adjustabike, which replicates the experience of riding a real bicycle more accurately. There’s a variety of classes, like Super Sprint Intervals, designed to improve your cardio-respiratory fitness and recovery, and Time Trial Training, which teaches you how to pace yourself during a race – when to push hard and when to take it down a notch.
7Cycle, 27 Boon Tat Street, tel: 6222-8770, www.7cycle.sg
Athlete Lab, 71 Amoy Street, tel: 6224-4410, singapore.athlete-lab.com
For those who are injured but loath being out of action, try an Aquaspin class. You’ll be cycling on specialised bicycles that sit inside a pool – but that’s not all you’re doing. Using interval training – where you alternate between durations of activity and rest – you’ll also be using the bike as a tool to work other parts of your body like your abs and arms (for example, by putting your hands on the seat and doing push-ups). It’s a great workout option for those with injuries as the water’s buoyancy reduces the weight and impact on your joints, muscles and ligaments. Aquaspin classes are also said to reduce cellulite because of the massaging effect from the currents you produce when moving. Plus, what a treat it is to be in the pool on a sweltering Singapore day!
Aquaspin, classes in various locations,
tel: 9321-6200, www.aquaspin.sg
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