Whacky workouts

If the thought of a treadmill brings you to tears, the cross trainer makes you crumble or you want to kiss kettle bells goodbye, we've got some great alternatives to the gym and traditional aerobics classes.

We've scoured the UK to find some whacky workouts that will put a smile on your face while you sweat it out. So put the dumbbells down and read on...



Monkeying around may sound better than a gruelling exercise class but animal motions have formed part of the latest fitness trend to hit the UK.

ZUU is an Australian-born exercise class based entirely on "primal" movements, so you can expect to swing like a gorilla (lift your bodyweight up on your fists) and leap like a frog (squat jumps).

With over 100 moves combining a mix of strength and energy system training, the full-body workout can burn up to 600 calories in just 30 minutes. And we bet your stomach muscles will be worked extra hard with all the laughing you'll be doing throughout.

Where: Exclusively available in Virgin Active Health Clubs throughout late summer



If you like Zumba you'll love Bokwa - it's a high-energy, dance/aerobic workout that takes some practise but once you've got it, it's great.

With Bokwa, the instructor gives hand gestures to signal a letter or number and you essentially trace the number or letter on the floor with your feet, and there's a load of fun dance moves thrown in to keep your arms occupied.

You'll need to keep an eye on the instructor though as, unlike Zumba, he or she stays completely silent (except for the odd encouraging whoop!) The music is a compilation of fast-paced, African beats that match the high-intensity workout.

Where: UK-wide, check with your local gym or fitness instructors

Aqua spinning

Aqua spinning

It seems inevitable that any exercise you do will eventually have the word aqua stuck in front of it and you've probably already found yourself in aqua aerobics or aqua Zumba. But who'd have thought they'd throw an exercise bike in the local pool and come up with aqua spinning.

Despite sounding pretty weird, aqua spinning has been popular in Europe for a while and now us Brits are loving it too. It's perfect for all ages as it's low-impact on joints, and the underwater resistance makes for an effective workout -burning up to 800 calories a session.

Or, if you dread the idea of an entire class seeing you spin in your swimwear, head to the Fulham Road in London where you'll find Hydrofit. Same concept, but you get your own plush pod to spin in; a 30-minute session will set you back £30 though.

Where: Various London

Ultimate bounce/Kangoo jumps

Ultimate bounce

If you long to run to a bouncy castle every time you see one but fear you're too old, then release your inner child with a session of ultimate bounce.

Exercising is definitely more fun when you have a pair of kangoo boots on; you can run, bounce, and jump to your heart's content.

Originally designed for athletes recovering from injury - they absorb up to 80% joint impact. But don't think it's an easy option, Kangoo boots weigh one kilo each so they make your muscles work four times harder.

It's a great option for fitness-seekers of any age - either buy a pair and just pop them on whenever you fancy a session, or find a local class where you can hire them and jump along to an aerobics style workout.

Where: Ultimate Bounce Cardiff, Hexercize Health Club Manchester and various London

Anti-gravity class


If yoga's more your thing, have you ever thought about practising your crane and cobra poses suspended in a specially-designed hammock?

Take your next yoga session in the air with an anti-gravity yoga class, combining elements of aerial arts, yoga and dance to target your core strength and enhance your flexibility.

You could also try anti-gravity Pilates or aerial hoop. The circus skill, also known as lyra, will give you an excellent workout - just picture the physiques of the Cirque du Soleil troupe!

Where: Bodybarre in Manchester (yoga), The Fitness Hangout in Surrey (yoga, Pilates and hoop), various London

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