Shanghai is often thought of as a city where drinking is more of a sport than, well, actual sports. Some even think that incidences of “champagne elbow” may outnumber actual “tennis elbow.” With that in mind, here’s a roundup of unique exercises and group classes around town. There is a surprising and growing range of activities befitting of a city that attracts passionate people from all corners of the world.
If you’re stuck in a rut of exercising on the same old weight machines and boring treadmill, a group class may be all you need to kick your workouts into high gear and gain the motivation to maintain your summer swimsuit body through autumn and beyond. Membership prices vary, but most studios offer an introductory class for around 100 RMB, which is waived if you sign up for a membership that day.
1) Muay Thai at Oz Body Fit GymView In Map
For the completely uninitiated, a beginner’s class here will get you quickly up to speed. The class starts out with intense cardio conditioning that will leave you panting no matter how in shape you think you are. The 2nd half of the class focuses on a simple series of kicks and punches with a partner. This is a seriously fun way to relieve some stress. Beginner classes are quite evenly mixed between men and women. Cool off afterwards at the strip of bars in the same complex, housing Kaiba, The Shed, Kaluska and Crocus.
Add: Room 103, First Floor, 528 Kangding Lu (near Xikang Lu), Shanghai
Tel: 021 6288 5278
2) Kettlebell Class at Eternity FitnessView In Map
This is ground zero for workouts you’ve probably never tried. The Russian-inspired kettlebell class is growing in popularity worldwide, and is attracting Shanghai expats of all shapes and sizes. An intense full-body workout in a brand new, totally non-threatening environment with a kettlebell weight of your choosing means infinite possibilities to improve your fitness. If you’re more into working out in the great outdoors, early AM “boot camp” classes take place in parks all around town. Bonus: The studio also offers Filipino stick fighting, suspension and circuit training, and much more.
Add: RM101, B10, 861 Jiangning Lu (near Haifang Rd), Shanghai
Tel: 021 3135 1791
Web: www.chinakettlebellclub.com, http://www.eternity-fitness.com/
3) Freestyle Yoga Dance at Yoga SpaceView In Map
For a truly unique yoga experience, former professional dancer and studio owner Weila Wu has just the answer. Combining yogic postures with dance moves in a non-choreographed manner, the class throws yoga tradition to the wind while retaining elements that regular yoga-goers are accustomed to, such as yogic breathing and some standing postures. Call and double check the schedule before dropping in, but for now classes are Saturday afternoons at 15:00 when Weila is in town.
Add: 3F, 35 Gaoan Lu, (Exit 1 of Hengshan Road subway station), Shanghai
Tel: 021 6431 3164
4) White Collar BoxingView In Map
Billing itself as the “fastest growing corporate contact sport in the world,” (was there any competition?) white collar boxing takes place twice a year as a charity event featuring amateur boxers. Training takes place before and after work, but interested athletes must try out and make the cut to receive training and compete in the event. The four months of training is heavily subsidized, but then boxers compete in front of a drinking and dining black-tie audience at Hyatt on the Bund. Last year’s event raised almost 300,000 RMB for various charities, so it’s a workout with an even greater goal.
Add: Rm 210, Bldg. 3, 210 Taikang Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6445 9899
5) Ping Pong Coach at Cao Yanhua TT ClubView In Map
For the truly group fitness class-phobic, a private ping-pong class may be just the motivation needed to get up off the couch. The Chinese take the game seriously, so it’s little wonder that coaching is available here in Shanghai, even from ex-professional coaches. That will run you 300 RMB per hour, but regular coaching is available for 130 RMB per hour, and you can bring a small group of friends for the same price. Expect basic levels of English, but we’re confident that you will improve your game with a little body language and persistence. They are busy, so it may not be possible to set up a private lesson at the same time every day, but call in advance and check for openings.
Add: 2F, 151 Kangding Lu, Jing An Sports Center, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6267 0125 or 139 1602 8089 for Elendin, who speaks some English
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Keywords: unique workouts Shanghai yoga in Shanghai white collar boxing Shanghai Muay Thai workout Shanghai
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