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  1. XYZ, Central
  2. H-Kore, Central
  3. House of Fitness, Sheung Wan
  4. Kru Muay Thai, Central
  5. Anahata Yoga, Central

Hong Kong’s professionals bring the city’s fast-paced work culture to their fitness regimes, serviced by a wealth of boutique set-ups offering classes aimed at time-poor overachievers. With studios clustered around Central, Hong Kong’s business district, there really is no excuse not to fit in some cardio at lunch.

There’s a range of classes available, from spin to HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to yoga, and most are priced around HK$350 (£35). Many studios offer a free trial — ideal for those looking to squeeze in a workout during a business trip. The following are some of the best places to do so.

(Be warned: the city’s cramped conditions mean you’re unlikely to have much personal space, so try to keep your elbows to yourself.)

1. XYZ Indoor Cycling Studio

2/F New World Tower 2, 18 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong

  • Good for: buddy rides. If a colleague or friend has a membership, you can tag along for free
  • Not so good for: the changing rooms appear spacious at first but jam with bodies as one class ends and the next is yet to begin
  • FYI: a trial costs HK$270 and subsequent classes are HK$350*
XYZ’s next-gen spin classes offer ‘the ultimate cardio challenge’…
XYZ’s next-gen spin classes offer ‘the ultimate cardio challenge’…
…and are popular with millennials and Instagrammers
…and are popular with millennials and Instagrammers

This spin studio in Central is a frequent feature on the Instagram feeds of Hong Kong’s millennials, with its logo splashed on a concrete wall designed for post-class sweaty selfies. There is substance behind XYZ’s next-gen appeal, though: it offers three different classes — a beginner’s session, a strength and stamina class and “Born to Move”, which is billed as the “ultimate cardio challenge” — all delivered by a raft of motivating instructors. A word of advice: start small. The “Born to Move” classes involve a level of co-ordination that not everyone is blessed with.

2. H-Kore

3F Emperor Commercial Centre, 39 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong

  • Good for: feeling the burn. The class focuses on high-intensity, low-impact movement that targets certain muscles
  • Not so good for: a quick turnround. The small changing rooms mean H-Kore might not be the best option for squeezing in a workout at lunch or between meetings
  • FYI: offers two trial classes for HK$350, subsequent classes for HK$350 each*
H-Kore promises a high-intensity, low-impact workout that will make you ‘strong, stretchy and sweaty’
H-Kore promises a high-intensity, low-impact workout that will make you ‘strong, stretchy and sweaty’
Centred on the ‘Megaformer’ machine, the H-Kore workout mixes resistance training with cardio
Centred on the ‘Megaformer’ machine, the H-Kore workout mixes resistance training with cardio

H-Kore offers classes based on the Lagree Fitness method, which combines resistance training and cardio using a Megaformer (similar to a Pilates machine). Classes are made up of high-intensity but low-impact movements that will leave you feeling the burn. The small class size — there are 12 machines — ensures the instructor will notice if you try to cheat and do the exercises too quickly. Take a “Megakore Basics” class for a relatively gentle introduction to the machines and exercises — but one you’ll still be feeling days later in the muscles you often neglect. H-Kore’s other studio in Quarry Bay has a wider range of classes, including yoga and circuits.

3. House of Fitness

18 Possession Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

  • Good for: trainers who know how to motivate clients
  • Not so good for: anyone needing to be active afterwards. Expect your muscles to remind you of the workout for days
  • FYI: offers free trial class
House of Fitness: a serious workout in an atmosphere of disco darkness, flashing lights and loud music
House of Fitness: a serious workout in an atmosphere of disco darkness, flashing lights and loud music
Classes include HIIT, boxing and weights to build strength and stamina
Classes include HIIT, boxing and weights to build strength and stamina

Darkness, flashing lights and loud music don’t immediately spring to mind as perfect conditions for a good exercise class, but somehow it works at House of Fitness. This compact two-floor space offers HIIT, boxing, an abdominal session and “Rep Fit”, a weights class to build strength and stamina. A colleague with the best arms in the office recommended this spot and it’s clear where she gets those toned muscles.

4. Kru Muay Thai

14/F, Siu Ying Commercial Building, 153 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong

  • Good for: views of the Peak. Classes often spill out on to the terrace
  • Not so good for: jump-rope haters. Skipping is enforced
  • FYI: offers a free trial. A single class costs HK$250, one-on-one classes go for HK$850*
Perfect your roundhouse kick at friendly gym Kru Muay Thai
Perfect your roundhouse kick at friendly gym Kru Muay Thai
A small but stylish space offering authentic Muay Thai training
A small but stylish space offering authentic Muay Thai training

This friendly spot offers Muay Thai boxing group classes capped at eight participants, which means you have a decent amount of one-on-one attention. The small but stylish location also offers personal training sessions, if you’re looking to hone your roundhouse kick. Trainer Adisorn Tam, a former professional fighter and three-time Lumpinee champion, and Yukiya Nakamura, also a former professional fighter, tailor their approach to different ability levels.

5. Anahata Yoga

18/F, One Lyndhurst Tower, No 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong

  • Good for: reliably good instructors
  • Not so good for: in typical Hong Kong fashion, there’s not much space for your mat
  • FYI: drop-in classes cost HK$350*
Anahata Yoga offers a no-frills space…
Anahata Yoga offers a no-frills space…
…to stretch those muscles and soothe your mind
…to stretch those muscles and soothe your mind

After all that spinning and weights, your body will be calling out for a good stretch. Head to Anahata Yoga for a broad selection of styles and techniques bound to please your inner yogi. The studio is low on frills but, unlike smaller spots around town, it’s in a great location. You have a better chance of finding the right class at the right time.

*Class prices listed at the time of publication

Have we missed a spot? Tell us where you cram in a class between meetings at ftglobetrotter@ft.com or in the comments below

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