Summer is coming, but that’s no excuse to retreat to the couch with a DVD box set until September – there are plenty of great indoor fitness classes in Abu Dhabi. Here at 12 ways to keep your fitness regime going with our pick of the wildest and wackiest fitness classes in the capital…

01. Ballet


Not just for bun and tutu-wearing toddlers, ballet is actually a staggeringly good whole body workout, with a calorie burn of 300 to 400 per hour. It’s brilliant for lengthening muscles and toning flabby bits, and regular practise will improve your posture too.

Bodytree Studio, Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Street, Abu Dhabi, Sun noon, Dhs70. Tel: (02) 4434448. Taxi: 11th Street/Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Street.

02. Spabiking


Yep, you read that right. Essentially a bike in a spa, participants peddle their way to fitness inside a private hydro-massage booth. It might sound odd, but the aquatic environment protects joints from the rigours of riding, and those pedalling full-out can expect to burn upwards of 700 calories a session.

Anahata Wellness, 35 Street, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thur 9am to 9pm, Fri 10am to 7pm, Dhs210, first session free. Tel: (02) 5577722. Taxi: Corner of 35 and 62 Streets.

03. Spinning


Cycling enthusiasts who find themselves unceremoniously pushed indoors in summertime could do worse than hit up one of an increasing number of themed spinning classes, each burning between 400 and 600 calories. With variations on offer in the capital ranging from spin performance to the intriguing sounding spin club night, there’s something for every level of fitness – and enthusiasm.

The Room, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, Dhs65, Dhs1,800 three-month unlimited membership. Tel: (056) 3310310. Taxi: International Tennis Centre.

04. Belly dancing


Belly dancing is a great way to tone yourself up. You can burn as many as 300 calories an hour in this ladies-only class, and hula-hooping aside, there are few better ways to whittle your waistline.

Fitness First, Abu Dhabi Mall, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thur 6am to 11pm, Fri 7am to 9pm. Tel: (02) 6746991. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Mall.

05. Muay Thai

Known as “the art of eight limbs”, think of this as a sort of turbo-charged kickboxing class. The traditional martial art form first originated in Thailand way back in the middle of the 16th century. Expect to use the whole body – unlike in some forms, the use of elbows and knees is positively encouraged. Not only does that add an extra dimension to your workout, both in attack and defence mode, but it leads some to suggest you could burn as many as 1,000 calories in just one hour. Is it wrong that we’re a bit scared?

Muay Thai And Capoiera Sports Club, National Cinema Building, Najda Street, Abu Dhabi, Sat to
Thur 6pm, Dhs50, first session free. Tel: (02) 6769658. Taxi: National Cinema Building.

06. Vertical flex


If the term pole dancing makes you snigger, don’t – it’s a tough way to keep in shape. Combining acrobatic and gymnastic techniques, you’ll need serious strength to make it look as easy as the instructors do. Keep practising and you could soon find yourself shedding 700 calories an hour.

Cobra Pole Fitness, Al Bandar, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed, Dhs80. Tel: (02) 4496524. Taxi: Cobra Gym.

07. Rock climbing


If you fancy trying your hand(s) at rock climbing, Adventure HQ’s Yas Mall branch is the place to start. The store’s ten-metre indoor climbing wall is ideal for beginners, using a belay system to maintain safety levels. You’ll be burning more than 400 calories an hour before you know it.

Yas Mall, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur and Fri 10am to midnight, Dhs60. Tel: (02) 5650996. Taxi: Yas Mall.

08. Surfset


Always fancied surfing but a bit afraid to get out on the water? Get a taste for life on a board with Surfset, a new concept class in which you exercise on an indoor surfboard, mounted on a moving platform to replicate conditions in the surf. The unstable base turbo-boosts your workout, leading to an expected calorie burn of between 400 and 900 calories per class. Gnarly!

Adrenagy Gym, Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi, Dhs119. Tel: (02) 4441121. Taxi: Khalifa Park.

09. Flexi Fit

You might look a bit strange at first, shaking a flexi-bar about, but we’re reliably informed that the unstable motion the bar produces is ideal for toning and tightening muscles. A hit with all manner of fitness enthusiasts, these classes will help you say goodbye to around 350 calories an hour.

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, Fri 5pm, Dhs35, members free. Tel: (02) 6970272. Taxi: Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel.

10. Mall walking


The term mall walking might make you think of old people in tracksuits, but the crowds who flock to Abu Dhabi Mall build up some serious speed, burning up to 300 calories an hour, and the miles of air-conditioned, clean floors make for a perfect exercise environment. Simply register with the mall’s customer service team (you’ll need to take two passport photos), strap on your Fitbit and you’ll have access to one of the best, free, full-body workouts about.

Abu Dhabi Mall, 2nd Street, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to 10am, free. Tel: (02) 6454858. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Mall.

11. Football

Still hooked on fives and loathe to let your league record slide? The Dome@Rawdhat will make sure you can keep up the action throughout the hotter months. Get a team together, plump for an indoor seven-aside pitch, and you’ll be burning upwards of 200 calories an hour.

Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street, Rawdhat, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to 1am, Dhs200 to Dhs1,100. Tel: (02) 4470754. Taxi: The Dome@Rawdhat.

12. Get bouncing


We’ve waited a long time for this, and finally it’s coming! While a rock-solid date is yet to be set, we’re reliably informed that Bounce Abu Dhabi will finally open its doors in Marina Mall “mid-summer” – and it’s set to be bigger and better than Dubai’s popular trampolining facility, with 15,000 springs to our neighbouring emirate’s 10,000. Time to get those stripy socks ready…

Top 5 tips to stay fit with PT Sally Balmforth


01. Working out at home? Turn your air con down five degrees before you start to make it more bearable when you heat up.

02. Don’t worry about a lack of space. Most body weight exercises can be done in a small area – if there’s space to lie down, there’s space to exercise!

03. No equipment? No problem. Lunges, squats and burpees are highly effective exercises that make use of your own
body weight.

04. Stuck on one sport? Find somewhere that offers it indoors. From spin for cyclists to football at The Dome near Zayed Sports City, there’s no reason you can’t maintain momentum despite the temperature.

05. Try something new. There’s a whole raft of classes out there and summer is the ideal time to try out a fresh one – you might even find many are quieter than usual due to the annual exodus.