You could convince yourself that the high price tag means you’ll have to use it, or you could use common sense and just pay less.

We’ve found five of the city’s best cheap (some free!) workouts.

Best for… the chronically stiff

Though they can be a bit of a self-righteous batch, one thing you’ve got to give yogis is they’re very bendy.

But learning to execute the perfect handstand split can be a pricey business (monthly memberships can exceed £100).

Enter The Special Yoga Centre – they offer the cheapest rates in the city, and use the proceeds to support their charity.

This group is committed to providing yoga therapy to children and youths with special needs. 

Price: £6-12 per class or £90 for 10 classes.

2a Wrentham Avenue
NW10 3HA.

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Best for… future Mo Farahs

Running is free. But motivating? That’s a different story.

Fortunately, some of the city’s best running clubs are completely gratis. Co-eds can congregate at one of several Sweatshop stores dotted throughout London, including Clapham and Fulham, and join in on 5km runs taking place every evening. Novices and experts are equally welcome.

The clubs are manned by two coaches – one for up front, another for the back – and the more you attend, the more free swag you pull.

Sweaty Betty offers a similar, womens-only service, adding Zumba, yoga and Pilates classes to the roster of free offerings.

Price: free

Where: Various locations.

Best for… pumping iron

As gyms go, FitSpace is as unglamorous as it gets.

Pools and classes are out (those perks cost money!) and the interior is best described as utilitarian-chic (just kidding, it’s not chic).

In fact, they pride themselves on having none of the frills of the big names.

But they have all the essentials: dumbbells, treadmills, rowing machines. Best of all, annual membership is dirt cheap.

Price: £13.99 per month or £149 a year.

Where: Islington, 5-7 Hornsey Street, N7 8GA
Woolwich, Unit 1, Macbean Street, SE18 6LW.

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Best for… doing laps

When a gym has a pool, costs skyrocket.

As most of us don’t use the swimming facilities much, it’s hardly worth paying a premium for the privilege.

Your money’s better spent dropping in on your local leisure centre or lido and paying per splash.

Aquaterra has a handful of venues throughout Islington and a dip in their sizable pools is exceedingly reasonable.

For a list of pools closer to you (including price per session), it’s worth checking out

Price: £4.50 per swim.

Where: MacDonald Road, N19 5DD; 
Caledonian Road, N1 0NH; 
Highbury Crescent, N5 1RR; 
28 Carleton Road, N7 0EQ.

Best for… a bit of fresh air

Some of the best gyms in London are free. The catch?

They’re outdoors. In the summer, the breeze is an added perk. Not so much during these cold winter months.

Still, push yourself hard enough, and your body heat should counter the winter chill sufficiently.

The largest outdoor gym in England resides in Peckham Rye, though parks throughout the city boast a range of equipment, from stationary bikes to shoulder presses. 

Price: free

Where: Various locations.


Photos: The Special Yoga Centre; Thinkstock; The Great Outdoor Gym Company