Fitness: New functional fitness class among array of Singapore Sports Hub programmes

Instructor Derrick Chew and participants of his functional fitness class at the OCBC Arena, on Feb 14, 2019.
Instructor Derrick Chew and participants of his functional fitness class at the OCBC Arena, on Feb 14, 2019.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Cynthia Gan used to attend fitness classes thrice a week. After becoming a full-time housewife 10 years ago, she tried exercising at home but found herself getting distracted by household chores.

"At home, it's purely your determination and you're affected by many other commitments," the 35-year-old told The Sunday Times.

Last week, after a 10-year break, she attended three classes in two days: pilates, bbarreless (a combination of yoga, pilates and dance) and functional fitness, a new class offered by Singapore Sports Hub this quarter.

She said: "In a class, there's the combined energy from everyone. There's no distraction because this one hour is dedicated to exercising.

"I thought that it was time to get the drive for exercising back. That's why I came back to classes."

Functional fitness strengthens muscles to enhance the performance of daily tasks such as carrying groceries. Participants use equipment such as dumbbells and resistance bands while doing exercises such as squats, push-ups and planks.

The benefits include better posture and strength for daily activities, said instructor Derrick Chew.

"Most people who come for this class work in the office and have stiff necks and upper backs, so the exercises here will help them alleviate this stiffness," added the 25-year-old.

Social studies teacher Lee Hui Ling found herself becoming stronger and having more stamina after attending the class four times.

"My arms used to ache after carrying a heavy stack of books but now I can carry more without feeling pain. I can also climb stairs faster without panting as much," said the 28-year-old.

"This keeps my mind away from work stress and helps me stay energised for a longer period of time. Even though I wake up at 5.45am every day, I feel less lethargic."

While Lee admitted that it can be more intensive, she enjoys the overall pace of the class.

"I like the variety of exercises and the pace of the instructor. He knows when's a good time to rest and he shows easier options for beginners. He's very wise in terms of adjusting the class to the needs of the people."

Chew added that the programme complements other fitness regimens as participants become stronger.

"There's no harm in doing more as long as you recover properly which is why I let them do it at their own pace," he said.

While Gan found the hour-long class tiring, she plans to continue attending the weekly class until her 30-day class pass with the Sports Hub expires.

"I liked the class because the instructor tells you which muscle you're training and walks around to correct your position.

"Even if I don't renew my pass, hopefully I will get back the momentum of exercising and do it at home."

The Sports Hub offers a range of classes at the fitness studio in the OCBC Arena such as pilates, dance and cardio kickboxing. A 30-day class pass ranges from $99 to $119, with concession rates from $79 to $99. Walk-ins are $20 per class.

More information on the classes can be found at