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Beauty Resolutions in association with Darphin
Hands up if you’ve vowed to move more in 2018. We definitely put ours up. You could be a novice runner aiming to complete a 10k this year, that keen bean who gets to a class early to be front row or the person who's never sat on a spinning bike before, we reckon there's an exercise class out there for all camps. And because it's the beginning of the year and anyone who's anyone will be at the gym, we've compiled a list of the best exercise classes with a difference. Exercise need not be dull friends.
If you like to like to sweat so much you fear for your life:
If you got picked last in gym, maybe give this class a miss. If however, your idea of fun is spending an hour with glisteningly sweaty men wearing their 2015 Iron Man t-shirt and mega babes in crop tops and Lululemon leggings, then sign up now. Just don’t expect an easy ride. With lights turned low and music up, instructor Will mercilessly puts you through your paces. There are four stations of three exercises and one gasping (yet in no way long enough) rest period. Each exercise lasts 30 seconds, which just about brings you to the gates of hell, but is short enough for even the weakest among us to crawl to the welcomed end. The variation of equipment makes this class; from sand bags, sledges and SkiErgs to ropes, running and renegade rolls. Be warned - the men are annoyingly hot and you ain’t going to look your best by the end.
POW_ER TIP: You will be the colour of a beetroot after this class, so after you jump out of the shower, pop Darphin’s Intral Redness Relief Soothing Serum, £55, on your face. Intended for sensitive skin, it uses its own Calming Complex™ of Chamomile, Polysaccharides, Hawthorn, Peony and Panthenol to help reduce the appearance of redness.
If your normal spin class isn’t challenging enough anymore:
Imagine your usual spinning class, but submerged in water. Cycl’H2O combines cardio with the added resistance (hello, thigh burn) as you furiously pedal. But your legs aren’t the only area you work out; the instructor mixes it up with circuit training, so your arms and core will be whipped into shape too – you can expect to burn up to 800 kcals per hour. What’s more, the water reduces your bodyweight by 80%, lessening the impact on your body, making this class an excellent choice for those with injuries or weak joints. Classes typically have around three to 13 people per session and you can expect plenty of high-tempo music, making it more pool party in Ibiza than cycling in a swimming pool in the middle of the city. You do not have to be a member at Third Space to take part, just book through their website.
If you’re bored of traditional yoga:
Turn yoga upside down – quite literally. Using silks suspended from the ceiling, this class gets you swinging, climbing, hanging and twisting your body into an array of positions that will stretch you out and test your strength. Being suspended allows you to hold poses for much longer, allowing you to really uncoil those tense muscles.
It’s much harder than your typical yoga class, but you don’t have to be a bendy Wendy to join in – swinging from the hammock is so much fun you’ll forget about the muscle burn. It requires a fair amount of co-ordination, but the classes are quite intimate, so the instructor will help you out as you strike your poses or get a bit tangled up mid-air. The best part? At the end of the class for cool-down you’re encouraged to get inside the hammock (cocooned caterpillar-style) and take a nap. Bliss.
POW_ER TIP: Don’t be fooled into thinking this is Yoga-lite; this is a full body workout with muscles that will ache days after. Revive them with Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel, £36.
If you’d rather watch paint dry than lift weights:
If you find the concept of going to the gym completely unwelcoming and a HIIT class tortuous, then there are plenty of options available with that oh-so-important fun element that makes working out that little bit more bearable. Take for example, Frame’s Music Video class. It’s the perfect form of trickery - easy-to-pick-up dance moves to a Top 40 hit, interspersed with barely noticeable deep stretches and moves to improve your core. Whilst you won’t come out feeling like one of Beyonce’s backup dancers, you will come out having had a lol and burnt some calories. It’s not necessary, but it bloody helps if you have natural coordination and rhythm. Unfortunately for this reviewer, she seriously lacked both, but still had a good time. In typical Frame form, the class was oversubscribed so space was limited, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that you’re moving your body, without it feeling like a work out.
POW_ER TIP: Whilst you throw your body around in this class, it isn’t one that will leave you drenched in sweat, so if you’re in a rush you won’t need to wash your hair. Give it a refresh with Elizabeth & James’s Nirvana White Dry Shampoo, £25 – not only will this absorbs any oil on the scalp, but will scent your hair with their divine fragrance.
If you like the sound of PT, but can’t afford it:
In the heart of Covent Garden, you’ll find Six3Nine, a studio dedicated to weights and personal training. But it’s not PT as you know it. Rather than you plus a beefcake yelling commands at you, in their Circuit Club class there are ten people (the maximum they’ll allow) to three super friendly PTs. You get guaranteed dedicated guidance and coaching on how to use intimidating weight equipment properly, but witout the extortionate £50+ an hour price tag. You’ll make your way around a series of stations - expect to squat, sprint & shoulder-press your way through the session - leaving the studio with jelly legs and wobbly arms. The facilities aren’t exactly fancy and the changing rooms are a bit of a squeeze, but let’s face it, a snazzy shampoo won’t boost your squat-rack skills.
POW_ER TIP: Clinique have rather cleverly brought out a new line of cosmetics aimed at gym bunnies. Their CliniqueFIT Workout 24-Hour Mascara, £20, is excellent if you want to work out while still able to flutter those lashes.
Looking for other ways to make it through winter? Why not read our helpful tips?