Active Living

Summer's must-try 'HIIT on Water'

I’m a big fan of for trying new fitness activities and trends. And then I came across this, the popular new HIIT training, but this time on water.

This is one I couldn’t resist, least because its run by the uber-cool Firmdale Collection of Hotels, so you know it will be done in style. The Haymarket Hotel in London’s West End has launched a limited series of 30 minute cross training classes held in their swimming pool.

When you search ‘aquaphysical’, you see pictures of women in yoga pants balancing with complete ease on these floating matts, and sure it looks like a breeze. Do not be fooled. Its only 30 minutes but there is a strong chance you will want nothing more than to jump off your matt and straight into the pool to cool down. Well, that’s if you don’t fall off in a single attempt of a jump squat!

Walk down the stairs from the lobby to the 55ft pool, beautify illuminated with curated music mixes. The pool is lined with 8 floating yoga-shaped matts and you simply jump in the pool and find your matt which is slightly textured so you will find it easier to grip onto. In terms of workout attire, gym leggings or shorts/yoga pants are advisable, as squatting in an otherwise pool-appropriate bikini may not be comfortable.

The charming, surfer-like, fitness expert Berti, started us off slowly advising us to lie face down on the matt, moving into simple yoga poses, and eased us into standing positions, to get used to the back and forth movement of the matt on the water. I felt rather smug at this point. “I can do this, with my eyes closed, I have totally got this down”, as the girl on my left fell unceremoniously into the water. As I said, Bertie started us smoothly! It was only a matter of time before the sequence of splashes was heard like very unsynchronized divers.

Exercises included a series of squats, alternate leg jump squats (I think I lifted my heels more than jumping for fear of falling), burpies, mountain climbers on what was now rocky waters, planks of differing difficulty, and a range of stomach crunching exercises. You feel your arms shaking, the back of your legs and calves starting to burn, and by now your core is most definitely engaged. For what is only a 30-minute class, it gets your heart rate going and it’s a great way to start your Saturday morning. My top tip is to eradicate all fear of falling in the water. Confidence is your key in this Saturday morning workout. After all, if you fall, its only into the warm waters of one of London’s favourite Hotels.

This year they have launched FloatFit Yoga, pushing yogis to the limit, with vinyasa classes for strength, balance and mindfulness. Nothing makes you more aware of your weak spots than floating on water, forcing your mind to focus and the body to strengthen.

When you’re done, dry off and change into some dry clothes. Note there are no showers but they do provide you with towels and bags to put your wet clothes in and changing facilities. Head upstairs to the restaurant, Brumus, where you can enjoy a specially created ‘Recovery Brunch Menu’ including a Full English Breakfast, Waffles and Pancakes, crispy bacon sandwiches to more healthy options like egg white omelette and crushed avocado on rye, some definite breakfast favourites. Or since you are just in time for the Hotel’s breakfast hours, indulge in the selection from their breakfast bar with a range of croissants, fruit, yoghurts, cereals, granola and pastries. Also notable are the selection of seeded goodies and the options of almond and soya milk. Its good to know they have all tastes in mind! A cup of coffee, a good breakfast, and you are all set for the weekend ahead.

Photo Credit: Mira Manek

When: FloatFit YOGA and HIIT sessions to alternate every Saturday from 8th April until 29th July 2017. Book quickly, I know I’ll be back!  Timings: Session one: 8.45am for a 9.00am start. 30 minutes Session two: 9.45am for a 10.00am start. 30 minutes Price: £30 including training session, floats and towel, mineral water and brunch


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