GYMS IN HACKNEY
THE SPACES WORTHY OF YOUR SWEAT
Strong + Bendy
Forget everything you thought about traditional gym culture. Actually, say a big f**k you to it and enter the world of Strong + Bendy.
Here, cookie-cutter fitness norms and body-image pressures get a well-deserved kick to the kerb. It’s a place where inclusivity reigns; where physical health and emotional well-being aren’t just priorities, they’re the whole damn point. Here, any talks about calorie tracking or so-called ‘transformation plans’ take a long walk off a short pier.
As for the space, it’s in the heart of Hackney Wick and is as Hackney as they come: colourful and contemporary, with murals adorning the interior and exterior walls. Classes take place in a sun-soaked space, both indoor and outdoor, and have a proper community feel that’s so rare to find. Whether it’s visit one or one hundred, you’re not just another face in the crowd – you’re a valued member of a community that celebrates individuality and shuns body shaming. The message is loud and clear: fitness isn’t a look, it’s a feeling.
Classes range from their signature POP HIIT Pilates, TRX training, battle ropes, and strength training, to yoga and desk therapy yoga for those longing for a bit of zen. Whether you’re a newbie, seasoned pro, neurodivergent or a wheelchair user, expect a welcoming environment teeming with personality and bespoke advice.
All in all, this is the perfect Hackney gym for those wanting a change from the norm. Fitness shouldn’t be intimidating; it should be fun, and there’s no better place to light that fire.
The London Butler tip: There are a bunch of membership options, including 10 days of unlimited classes for £29 and 30 days for £79 – these are new member offers. They’re also on ClassPass if you want to try them out before committing. No open gym option.
Environmentally conscious. Zero-carbon footprint. Planting a tree for every workout taken. Welcome to Rumble, the gym leading the sustainable fitness movement.
Set in Dalston, Rumble isn’t your typical gym – you won’t find a sea of resistance machines here, but rather a set of curated spaces designed to get you moving and feeling your best. We know this sounds like trite but trust us – it’s a motivating place to be. Their main area, for instance, shuns bang-average machines for the likes of a dedicated climbing wall, FitBenches, pull-up bars, resistance sleds, skiergs, to name but a few. All of this barely touches the vast space, allowing for plenty of room to take part in classes and, more importantly, be seen.
On the topic of classes, Rumble offers boxercise (in a dedicated boxing room), spinning (in one that feels straight outta Tron), TRX training, treading, pilates, yoga, alongside their famous Re:HIIT, an ongoing class that ‘starts’ every 10 mins. Here, strategically-placed screens display which exercise to do and for how long before you move on to the next station. You’re not on your own either: instructors are there to motivate, educate and bring a bit of fun to the party.
We mentioned they lead on the sustainability front. Aside from using sustainably-sourced products, they’ve given a hard no to single-use plastic and made a commitment to plant a tree for every session booked. Yep, every time you hit the mat, a seed hits the soil.
Last but not least, the instructors. In a word: phenomenal. They’re ridiculously knowledgeable and committed to making your workout experience enjoyable. They’ll push you out of your comfort zone, whilst reminding you that fitness is holistic – you should challenge yourself, sure, but it’s just as important to be kind to yourself. It’s strange to find a place where literally every instructor ticks these boxes, and we’re so here for it.
Memberships start at £18 for a single session and work up to £89/ month for unlimited classes.
FITNESS À LA MODE
We’re staying in Dalston and taking a short stroll to F45 Dalston.
If you’re unfamiliar with F45, it’s pretty straightforward: ‘F’ = functional; ‘45’ = 45 minutes of pure grind. Put the two together and you’ve got a full-body workout that uses HIIT, circuits and functional training to burn a shed load of calories and extract every ounce of sweat from you.
Sounds tough? It is. F45 is known for being challenging – it was designed for those with limited time wanting a rigorous workout. One thing it is not, though, is intimidating. This surprised me. I first went in thinking this was going to be a one-time visit and for me to never be seen again. I was wrong. There is a proper team mentality where newbies are welcomed and encouraged; where egos are left at the door (though some undoubtedly sneak their way in).
The sessions are supposed to burn around 750 calories, though they do have different focuses with some targeting strength, agility, cardio, etc – so take this number with a lil’ pinch of salt
I’ve been to F45 in Dalston and Peckham and can vouch that the trainers at both sites are an absolute dream. They take the time to know you, your mobility and your goals. They make sure you’re using proper form and are happy to advise on nutrition – something I’ve long struggled with.
Again, membership options vary, ranging from £14 for a 7-day trial through to £51.99/week for their 3-month ‘sprint’ package. Check out F45 Dalston’s memberships.
If you’re up for it, this is a bloody good’un.
The Wick CrossFit
CROSSFIT DONE RIGHT
We’re back in Hackney Wick, but this time we’re talking CrossFit. Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it – it’s like that loud friend in the group.
For those new to CrossFit, it can be described as a blend of weightlifting, gymnastics, cardio and functional fitness, all served up in a coached group class environment. It’s a no-BS approach to bettering your health, in a community that’s as supportive as they come. I know a few people who have tried it out and they’ve stuck at it, so it must be doing something right. That, or they can’t escape the cult.
As for The Wick, picture a large, air-conditioned building with an open layout, peppered with those recognisable custom rigs that are as much part of Crossfit as their insane pull-ups.
Decked out with Rogue equipment, this Hackney gym runs up to 50 classes per week. Classes include CrossFit, conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, regular competition classes, not to mention Yoga for those needing a little zen in their life. They also offer open gym slots for the independent among us.
The gym opens at 6am – 9pm (Mon-Thurs), 6am – 7pm (Fri), 8am – 2pm (Sat) and 10am – 3pm (Sun).
As for memberships, you’ve got plenty of choice, with single drop-ins costing £24, a week’s pass for £79, and unlimited memberships starting from £159/month. Check out The Wick’s membership options here.
OPEN ALL HOURS
Class-only isn’t for everyone. Sometimes, you just want a gym that has high-quality equipment and plenty of space, is clean and modern, and doesn’t cost the earth. If these are the boxes you want ticking and you’re in the Hackney area, Anytime Fitness London Fields is probs your best shout.
It hasn’t been open for a huge amount of time but it has become incredibly popular. Going peak time? Expect to wait for things like squat racks or cable machines, but this shouldn’t come as a shock.
If you do want to dive into some classes, Anytime Fitness has everything from Boxfit, circuits, ‘bells, bags and ropes’, Zumba, pilates, and spin, to a hell lot more – they get booked up so don’t hang about.
Oh, and it’s open 24/7.
Memberships start from £41/month (pre-paid annual plan) and go up to £59/month for the 3-month option.
YOGA IN HACKNEY
Sack off the weight on your shoulders and gym floor, then get some zen in your life via these two belting Hackney yoga spots…
Some places just feel right. From the moment you enter, they put you at ease. Ar**holes call it a ‘je ne sais quoi’. Whatever it is, Waking Dreams has it.
The studio’s ethos is to empower and foster individuality, no matter your background or experience. It’s a place of inclusivity; a community that’s as diverse as its 60+ weekly classes.
On the topic of classes: whether you’re a yogi with years of sun salutations under your belt or a complete novice, there’s one with your name on it. Each class has been designed to ‘challenge, inspire and empower’, hosted by teachers that have been encouraged to embrace their own individuality.
Whilst each member of the Waking Dreams team has their own style, they share a common goal: to employ a cross-disciplinary approach, believing it to be the key to building resilience and flexibility in our bodies. In practice, this means pairing callisthenics with yoga; adding a dash of barré and mixed movements to sessions. They also offer strength, conditioning and gymnastic classes. As they put it, “a curated schedule, all bases covered”.
A lot of praise and we mean it – this is an absolute delight of a space.
Prices start at £12 for drop-ins to £110 for a month’s membership. Classes and prices can be found here.
GROUNDED & PERSONAL
On the face of it, Wild Roots is a small, independent woman-owned yoga studio in Hackney – but that’s barely scratching the surface. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find a nook that has a strong sense of community and connection.
Of course, this is first and foremost a yoga studio – and it does this well. The team put on a small schedule of classes that aim to improve flexibility, increase strength, repair aching limbs and heighten your connection with the ground beneath and the people around you. In fact, Wild Roots was set up by Heather to “make space for, and allow the complete acceptance of our ever-evolving, changing selves, whilst staying true to our inner-most self.” In practice, it’s a space that invites you to just be; to breathe, move, and let go.
A word on the space: it’s calm and serene, boasting earthy colours and friendly faces. There’s a class generally every day with the likes of Flow to Restore, Vinyasa Flow, Pilates, and Yin Yoga on offer, hosted by some of the warmest and most caring teachers around.
Why do we love it? Unlike many, Wild Roots doesn’t just talk community; it lives it. Maybe it’s the studio’s size, but here, you’re a face, a name, a story. They’re all about getting to know you, even if you’re still piecing together the puzzle of ‘you’. And that’s what is so special – you might be a bumbling, mumbling, awkward wonder like me, but that’s okay here. In fact, it’s celebrated, because who you are is special. And that’s what yoga is all about.
Ideal for newbies and experienced yogis alike, prices start at £15 for drop-ins, or grab a 20-class pack for £230 (£11.50 per session).
Got anything to say about these Hackney gyms or yoga spots? Hit up the comments. And if you think we’re missing somewhere, do let us know.
After more Hackney tips? Check out our guides to the best massages in Hackney, our favourite cafés in the area, as well as where to get brunch. For those wanting to get their drink on, we’ve just curated a list of our favourite Hackney pubs.