Try one of our fave 2-in-1 classes for some seriously good-value fitness
Do you often feel there just aren’t enough hours in the day, especially when it comes to fitting exercise in?
If so, then you’ll want to know about the latest workouts on the block: combo classes. As the name suggests, these classes combine the best of two different workout styles in one session. Not only do you get a double whammy of a workout, but fusing two different styles of exercise together is also a great way to banish boredom. Plus, by mixing two workouts together you’ll be working on your all-round fitness rather than just one area, which makes them good value for money, too! From dancing to kettlebells, we’ve got it all. Fancy giving one a try? Check out our pick of the best of the combos out there.
What is it? A super-intense class with Pilates on the reformer and kettlebell training in the middle – perfect for gym-goers who have Pilates experience, as well as a fairly good level of fitness. ‘Combining the reformer and kettlebell workout in one class offers a total-body workout with cardio, strengthening and toning elements,’ says Heartcore founder Jess Schuring.
Why do it? If you have more fat than time to burn, this class allows you to blitz that excess without dedicating hours to the gym. You can expect strength increases from the kettlebells, flexibility and lengthening benefits from the Pilates and a great cardio workout – this is a high-intensity class so you’ll really get your heart rate up.
What is it? Yoga and Pilates combos have been done before. But Nova adds an upbeat tempo with choreography to music, creating a fun, high-energy class. ‘This fusion class can be less intimidating than the more traditional concepts of yoga and Pilates,’ says Gillian Reeves, national group exercise manager at Virgin Active UK.
Why do it? Not only will you have to work hard to adapt to the moves, but you’ll benefit from improved flexibility, focus and balance from the yoga, and improved coordination and muscle tone from the Pilates. ‘It also maximises mobility by getting your body to move in multiple directions, encouraging agility,’ adds Gillian.
What is it? It’s hard to imagine an effective fat-burning workout teamed with the relaxing and unwinding elements of yoga, but Yogabomb from Hiitgirl has it nailed it. ‘We get sweaty for 13 minutes with burpees, tuck jumps and side leaps, going full throttle with 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest,’ explains Genny Wilkinson-Priest, the yoga ambassador at Hiitgirl and co-creator of Yogabomb. ‘There is a two-minute yoga resting pose on the mat where we shift focus, then practise yoga for the next 15 minutes, working on balancing postures as well as strength-based and muscle-extending ones.’
Why do it? ‘The yoga portion of the class is designed to lengthen the muscles that are strengthened in the HIIT portion,’ Genny says. ‘But beyond the physical level, Yogabomb challenges the mind through your willpower and determination.’ If you want an all-round approach to fitness, book yourself in.
What is it? Exercises from the gym floor and dance floor fused into one amazing total-body cardio workout. ‘By mixing ballet and fitness in one class, you get the best of both worlds,’ says Pip Black, co-founder of Frame. ‘We’ve formatted the class so that it includes the perfect amount of floor work, barre work, arms, abs and glutes.’ Don’t worry if you don’t know your plié from your arabesque, though, this class is just as suitable for beginners as it is for former prima ballerinas.
Why do it? If you’re envious of those gorgeously slim and slender ballerina bodies or guilty of neglecting your flexibility, then you need to try this class for yourself. ‘The fitness element means that you’ll get your heart rate up for a fair portion of the class, as well as burn calories,’ Pip adds.
What is it? A classic combo of strength and cardio using resistance training and the treadmill. ‘Lifting, and running isn’t rocket science, but Barry’s combines the two in a fun and supportive environment,’ says Anya Lahiri, celebrity trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp, London. ‘The red lights and night club setting are an added bonus!’
Why do it? It’s a tough workout, that’s for sure, but getting both strength and fitness done and dusted in one hour is pretty appealing. ‘Fusing together strength and cardio effectively turns your body into a calorie and fat-burning furnace and also increases bone density,’ Anya explains. And the best part is, you push yourself as far as you can take yourself, so the class can challenge a beginner through to an athlete.
What is it? Pineapple Dance Studios is famous for its huge array of classes, so it’s the place to visit if you want to sculpt a dancer’s body. BollyActive is one of Pineapple’s fitness-based classes, so you can benefit whether you’re a pro or have two left feet. ‘BollyActive follows the basic principles of targeting fitness, core strength and the heart in a fun and healthy way through using interval and aerobic training with the fast and slow tempo of Bollywood dance steps,’ says BollyActive teacher Urvashi Patel. ‘It incorporates fun party rhythms and killer moves.’
Why do it? The choreography works wonders for coordination, but the fitness burns cals, too. ‘The class was born from feedback from clients,’ says Urvashi. ‘They wanted to dance, enjoy music and stay fit and active while having fun, without having to attend a serious dance class.’