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Wellness Hate The Gym? Here Are 8 Alternatives That You Can Try

Hate The Gym? Here Are 8 Alternatives That You Can Try

Hate The Gym? Here Are 8 Alternatives That You Can Try
Photo: Pearl Yan/Hong Kong Tatler
By Pearl Yan
March 04, 2020
If lifting weights and pedalling on the elliptical isn’t your favourite thing to do, you’d be glad to know that there other options to get your sweat on. From Hong Kong’s scenic hikes to newer fitness trends like movement and calisthenics, these eight gym alternatives are just what you need to refresh your workout routine


Some would call movement a fitness trend, but others would argue that it is more of a lifestyle than a training style. A fun, interactive way to exercise and tackle physical inactivity, movement is a practice developed by Ido Portal, the founder of Movement Culture, which utilise bodyweight and movements to build strength, agility and flexibility.

Hong Kong-based movement coach Andres Vesga, a student of Ido Portal, hosts regular outdoor movement classes around the city using a varied, engaging approach to stimulate coordination, thoracic mobility and social interaction. You can expect anything from juggling tennis balls, playing fetch to crawling on all fours in each session, which ends with meditation as a cool down. 


Intimidated by the weights at the gym? Why not try a new form of exercise that will allow you to sculpt your body anytime, anywhere using purely your bodyweight?

Enter calisthenics, a Greek Spartan-style training that has been practiced for centuries. In Hong Kong, you will be in good hands with Timothy Skinner, a calisthenics expert who has just opened his first indoor calisthenics studio, TSF Studio. Stay tuned to this Instagram page for updates on group classes and PT enquiries on primal movement, calisthenics park and body optimisation. 


Taking the “work” out of workout, Zumba at Defin8 Fitness is a calorie-burning dance fitness party that will make you forget that you’re exercising. 

A mix of low- and high-intensity moves are choreographed to go with the Lantin rhythms to take you through a fun, full body workout that will help you shake off unwanted calories.

See also: 10 Best Female Personal Trainers In Hong Kong To Get You In Shape


Fresh air, a solid workout and incredible views—it’s no wonder that hiking is one of Hongkongers’ favourite weekend activities. 

Dragon’s Back is an obvious choice for an easy, scenic hiking trail for those looking for an active recovery, while Violet Hill and The Twins can be tackled at once as one of the most challenging hikes in the city. The good news is, most hikes end at a beach so you can treat yourself to a much deserved dip in the sea.

See also: Hong Kong Hikes—Plus Where To Eat And Drink After


If you want to work up a sweat and get your heart pumping, running is a simple, effective cardiovascular exercise that will help improve your aerobic capacity. 

Not sure where to start? There are many running trails in Hong Kong that are suitable for novices and seasonal runners alike. The most popular one is Bowen Road Fitness Trail, which boasts spectacular vistas of Central, Wan Chai and Happy Valley. If you don’t mind running on a circular track, the Happy Valley Racecourse is open for public use except on race days.

See also: 5 Hong Kong Running Trails Under 5km


Did you know that practicing inversions can help promote circulation in the body, improve balance and build core strength? Doing a handstand is no easy feat, the key is to build a solid foundation from the ground up. 

Make your way to Trybe, where Coach Teddy will guide you through a series of progressions and drills with a focus on body alignment, stability, shoulder and core strengthening. Once you’ve mastered a straight handstand, you will be exposed to other handstand variations such as presses and push-ups.

Tai Chi

If you think Tai Chi is exercise for the elderly, think again. Known as a spiritual mediation in motion, Daogong Tai Chi is the most ancient form of Tai Chi with postures resembling mannerism of the dragon, tiger, eagle and crane. 

Offered at Fivelements Habitat, this healing and revitalising practice is led by Master Joe Lok, who will guide practitioners through a sequence of movements that channels energy flow and breathing with connection to the universe and beyond. 


Mobility is one of the keys to longevity in life and training, but it’s often overlooked as part of a workout routine. Simply put, mobility is a combination of strength and flexibility, which we tend to lose in our sedentary lifestyle. 

At Ikigai, Clare Lim and Aaron Martin will take you through fundamental movement patterns to help you rebuild strength and improve the range of motion of your muscles through simple yet detailed movements, from a bodyweight squat, hip hinging to crawling and rolling on the ground.

See also: 20 Hong Kong Fitness Influencers To Follow On Instagram


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