Getting fit and spending less are two of the most common New Year’s resolutions out there, so it only seems fitting to do a roundup of free workouts available around Hong Kong. Easy on the wallet but hard enough you’ll break a sweat, these free fitness classes are a budget-friendly way to get in shape, explore the city, and find a fellow tribe of fitness fanatics!
Global running club Midnight Runners launched its first Asia outpost in Hong Kong last year, and it’s quickly caught on as one of the most popular free workouts in the city. They host a 10km Music Boot Camp every Tuesday evening on Central Harbourfront, as well as occasional social outings. With sponsors like Reebok footing the bill, every fitness session is free – just book in advance on the app mycrew to ensure you have a spot as places are limited. To enjoy the workouts, participants should be comfortable running 10km in around 60 minutes or less.
Tuesdays, 7:30pm, Pier 3, Central Harbourfront, midnightrunners.com.
Harbour Runners is a creative running community that appreciates the beauty of the city by changing it up on their runs. The urban routes take runners to starting points all over Hong Kong, and are designed to help you explore the city with like-minded fitness enthusiasts. Fancy joining after work but worried about your bags? There’s a free bag drop service available so all you need to do is show up and run.
Wednesdays, 7:45pm, locations citywide, facebook.com/HarbourRunners.hk
Open Skate Session with Hong Kong Roller Derby
If you like the idea of roller skating but find the contact sport of roller derby terrifying, then check out the Madame Quad Monday Open Skate Session at Victoria Park. The workout is for all levels, with organisers providing music and teaching you how to skate, balance and boogie! If you don’t have your own skates and protective gear, you can rent it at the rink – which means it’s technically not free anymore, but at $150 per session it’s still a bargain by HK standards!
Mondays, 8-10pm, Victoria Park Skating Rink, Tin Hau, facebook.com/madamequad.
This social fitness network has caught on like wildfire in recent years, allowing fitness enthusiasts to share routes and times all over the world. Designed for cyclists and runners, this app uses GPS to track the most popular routes in your city, allowing you to share your workout details (time, location, etc.) with anyone on your network. Making it easier than ever to find that elusive trailhead, this app is an awesome resource for budding trail runners keen to explore.
HK Trail Runners
Different trails at each meetup are designed to offer a varied free workout and keep things fresh with this longstanding Hong Kong fitness community. One week, you might find yourself on a drawn-out endurance run, while another event might bring you up a steep slope. Though this group is not for the faint-hearted, it has the benefit of connecting you to Hong Kong’s great outdoors – no pain, no gain, right?
Times and locations vary, meetup.com/HKTrailRunners.
Open Water Swimmers of Hong Kong
If you prefer aquatic workouts but can’t stand the slow, crowded pace of public pools, you might appreciate the freedom of Hong Kong’s open water. OWSHK meets every Saturday for a weekly training session that’s attended by seasoned swimmers and open water newbies alike. Leaders teach you to familiarise yourself in the ocean, navigate and other open water strategies. Fair warning though, that this is not a free swimming class; attendees are expected to be able to swim 500 metres non-stop in a pool.
Saturdays, Repulse Bay (location may change), 1pm, owshk.weebly.com.
Yoga by Ben
Making yoga more accessible to the masses, Ben offers pay-as-you-wish yoga classes on HK Island throughout the week to aspiring yogis on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. During the week, class normally starts at 8pm while Saturday class starts at noon, but the times and locations can change so see his Facebook page for more information on where and when to catch him.
The November Project was originally started in the US to motivate people to get off their couches in the winter months by offering free communal fitness classes. Now in 31 cities around the world, you can join this free workout in Hong Kong every Wednesday morning at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, or Friday morning somewhere in Sai Ying Pun for a workout challenge on staircases (exact location announced the night before).
Wednesdays & Fridays, Sai Ying Pun, 7am, facebook.com/ NovemberProjectHongKong.
Another one that isn’t technically free, but the cost is so low we might as well tell you about it while we’re here! If you don’t know what hashing is, it’s basically like running your way through a scavenger hunt. A “hare” lays out the course to follow using special symbols, which could take you through streets, hills or forests, and you complete it as quick as you can. Once you’re at your destination, all hashers drink and get merry! There are several hash clubs in Hong Kong, including Hebe Hash House Harriers which costs $30-50 for women and men to run, respectively.
Gold Coast Outdoor Boot Camp
Fitness fanatics willing to make the trek to Hong Kong’s Gold Coast out on Lantau Island will be rewarded with this free outdoor workout group that meets every Sunday morning. Started by personal trainer Redd Baluyos five years ago, this all-levels class meets rain or shine, focusing on body conditioning, strength training, circuits and cardio. The fitness class is totally free of charge, and if you’re not too knackered, you can head out to some of Lantau’s hiking trails or beaches for a full Sunday well-spent.
Sundays, Gold Coast, Lantau, 9:30am, facebook.com/groups/HKGoldCoastBootcamp/