Hats off to you if you’re still hitting the icy pavements for your morning run, but most of
us are aiming to stay indoors as much as physically possible this winter. Good news then
that Moscow is bursting with exercise classes where you can stay in shape, try something
new and avoid braving the elements. Here are our top picks.
Hip Hop Dance
Shake it out
Tired of yoga mats and zen and feel like you just need to dance away your frustrations to upbeat music? Raisky dance studio offers hip hop classes from English speaking teachers where you get your heart pumping and enjoy a party atmosphere as you strengthen your arms, legs, thighs and core muscles. Besides hip hop you can also try your feet at jazz funk, contemporary, dance hall, booty dance, and more. Move over Beyonce.
If you’re tired of traditional yoga classes but still want to work on your balance and flexibility, why not try aerial yoga? As the name suggests, it’s a way of improving your range of motion while hanging in a cozy ribbon hammock. Don’t be intimidated, these classes are suitable for beginners because they help stretch stiff muscles through relaxation techniques without over-extending. Top Stretching has four locations in the city and multiple classes per day so there are no excuses not to give it a go, wherever you are and whatever your level.
Strength and agility
Anyone who has ever tried pole dancing will agree it’s a serious full-body workout. But it’s also a great opportunity to let down your hair and twirl away the stress of a week at work. And don’t worry, you don’t need to have abs of steel to get the most of a class at 5life because the instructors are accustomed to complete newbies. In addition to pole dancing classes, you can also try your hand at stripplastika dance classes — recommended for those who are not keen on heights — and break dance. First timers can try any class for a special price of between 200 and 350 rubles.
Find your inner balance
Tai chi is well known for its calming effect and health benefits. Like yoga, tai chi relieves stress and anxiety while toning the body through graceful stretches. Steady flowing movements glide your body from pose to pose, allowing you to keep your own pace while letting your mind wander. Based on coordination rather than muscular tension, tai chi has shown to be a particularly good form of activity for the elderly. You can try tai chi at 5life studio or, if you want to get serious, you can try the Moscow Wanglin school of tai chi located near Komsomolskaya metro station. Note that it’s necessary to sign up for a class in advance and that instructors only speak Russian.
Tone and stretch
Body ballet focuses on the benefits of classical training such as posture, alignment, and flexibility, but combined with a grueling workout. Body ballet is often recommended for those looking to strengthen muscles and shed a few pounds through a combination of aerobic activity and traditional ballet practice. Body ballet hasn’t properly taken off in Western countries yet, so you’ll be ahead of the curve if you try it here in Moscow. Several fitness centers offer body ballet classes, including Vozdukh studio, which offers a trial class for just 300 rubles.