Boxing is beloved by supermodels for good reason – it's one of the best ways to sculpt lean, toned muscle without beefing you up in the wrong places.
As fitness writers, we're lucky enough to trial the latest studios as they open in the capital, and London's boxing offering has seriously upped its game in the last few years. Boutique-style box classes are now increasingly available at gym chains too.
Here are a few of our favourites.
12x3, which has the slogan "no guts no glory," opened its second, larger boxing studio in Paddington in May 2018. It has an authentic boxing club vibe, but is set in a boutique environment with fancy showers and a very Instagrammable stripped back ring.
All 12x3 coaches have previously represented club and country, and there are several badass female teachers, like Lisa Moore.
Classes range from 30 to 60 minutes long and there are only ever up to eight people per class.
Members who have completed 12 weeks of training have the opportunity to compete at Fight Camps which take place every quarter.
Price: from £25 for a single class (also available on ClassPass)
Locations: Aldgate East, Paddington 12x3gym.co.uk
BOXCON @ Blok
We challenge you to find a more uplifting environment for a sweat sesh than the sun-filled converted warehouse at Blok Clapton where former super middleweight southern area champion Caleb teaches a 45-minute boxing and conditioning class each Sunday morning.
Caleb will work you really, really hard and ensure your heart is pumping and that your technique is on point from start to finish.
Expect relentless weighted burpees and star jumps, interspersed with power and speed combos on the retro punch bags – the stunning setting will keep you going.
Price: from £15 (also available on ClassPass)
Locations: Clapton, Shoreditch bloklondon.com
Flykick Signature @ Flykick
Technically a kickboxing class, Flykick opened its doors in 2018. The studio offers a sweaty 55-minute class which kicks off with a HIIT attack – think a minute's tuck jumps, followed by a minute's burpees and squat jumps – broken up with a flow series (strategically sandwiched in the middle of the class so that it can't be skipped) followed by stress-busting combos of kicks and punches, and finished off with some (hard!) core work.
This has to be one of the toughest classes in London, and while it's open to all abilities, this class is is ideal if you've nailed the boxing basics and are keen to up your training and coordination ability.
Price: from £13 on weekends and £21 on weekdays (also available on ClassPass)
Location: Great Portland Street flykick.co.uk
Punch @ Virgin Active
This class is perfect for beginners as it uses number combinations to indicate which punch to throw, which is helpfully displayed on screens either side of the room.
The class consists of 12 rounds alternating from the bag, with each round intensifying with more complicated combos, to the floor, where you'll use bodyweight, weights and TRX equipment to perform high-impact, explosive HIIT exercises.
Your arms will feel like they're about to fall off by the final two minutes on the bag, and you'll never have felt so happy for the bird dogs and thoracic rotations that come in the final core session.
Special shout out goes to Norris who teaches the 5.30pm Tuesday class at Kensington who's always carefully correcting form and offers an excellent cooldown at the end of class, involving some highly effective hip mobility stretches.
Price: included in gym membership
Locations: various virginactive.co.uk
KOBOX was the original OG on London's boutique boxing scene, having first opened its doors back in 2015.
There are now three different studios, which are adored by the likes of Jourdan Dunn (whose brother Antoine is one of the trainers, alongside Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's lil' bro Toby). Keep an eye out for master trainer Ian Streetz on the timetable too, who has trained Olympic and pro boxers.
The 50-minute high-intensity class also uses number combinations, with half of the class on the bag and the other on the wall. Each day the focus of the workout changes so it's either "leg day," "core day" or "full-body day. "
With its colourful lights and mirrors, KOBOX's interiors match its tagline: 'where fight club meets nightclub.'
Price: From £20
Location: Chelsea, City, Marylebone koboxboxingclub.com
ROX @ DW Fitness First
Fitness First recently launched its first ROX studio featuring Skillrun treadmills and punch bags for a back-to-back box and run bootcamp-style workout.
The 50-minute full-body workout involves 10 rounds in total, with five rounds of running and five three-minute rounds of boxing.
Price: included in membership and also available on ClassPass
Locations: DW Fitness First Cottons, with rollout expected at further clubs dwfitnessfirst.com/rox
Boxfit at Frame
Perfect for beginners who aren't yet ready to attack a bag. Frame's Boxfit class is cardio-heavy mix of choreographed aerobic moves and boxing techniques. You'll be taught basic punching combinations and have the opportunity to let it all out on the instructor's jab pads, all to a killer soundtrack.
It's a full body workout but it's your arm muscles that'll be hurting for days afterwards.
For more confident boxers, Frame also offers Box-Train. A trifactor of treadmills, body weight exercises and punching bags, this is an intense workout, ideal for releasing tension after a particularly rough day at work.
Price: From £15 (also available on ClassPass)
Locations: various moveyourframe.com