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The 15 best gyms and studios to work out in London

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“Volonté’s energy studio in South Kensington offers a class unlike anything I’d been to before – Body Strong. During each monthly phase of classes, you focus on mastering a new gymnastic skill – the one I trialled was handstands. Thankfully, my worries quickly diminished when I discovered I didn’t have to attempt (and fail) to do handstands for the entire session; instead, it’s all about building up the skills to master it. Think lots of exercises for strengthening your upper body, core work and improving shoulder mobility, like dead hangs, planks, crunches, and eventually, handstands against the wall with assistance.

The class pace is slow, and the studio is small, which makes class sizes very intimate – it’s so lovely to have that one-to-one feedback, like a small group PT session. It wasn’t long before we were all chatting, working together and offering words of encouragement to each other, so it felt like a friendly community to be a part of (shout out to our trainer, Alex!). It’s best to arrive in your workout gear as there are no lockers, and the unisex changing room isn’t the biggest. There is a lovely bathroom you can change in, however, with products from Neom and toiletries like deodorant and dry shampoo, which is a nice touch when you’re a forgetful person… like me.

Upstairs you’ll find Volonté’s cafe too, which serves a nutritious selection of post-workout protein shakes, smoothies, barista-style coffees, baked goods and balance bowls – sustainable, seasonal, and ethically sourced, of course. A handy tip: if you attend an evening class (finishing after 6pm), you can pre-order a takeaway meal at the cafe, and it will be ready for you to collect at the end of your class!”

Sophie, Head of Social Media

A one-off Body Strong class is £25, or you can book through ClassPass for around 7-9 credits. For more info and to book, visit Cafe Volonté’s website.

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