Getting up at 6AM every morning and going to the gym is great in theory.
But when that alarm sounds, often the best that we can muster is the short ten-step walk to our yoga mat. Free from social acceptability, this approach requires little preparation. Just a bit of space, an internet connection and a comfy workout set.
The home workout rose to fame in the 80s and 90s with the arrival of aerobics programs and fitness DVDs. We also saw icons like Jennifer Beals (Flashdance), Olivia Newton-John (Physical) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Perfect) sweating it out on the screen (still thinking about this scene). But we’ve moved on from Jane Fonda workouts and Ab Master Pros thanks to a more sophisticated generation of online fitness professionals.
The sector has been on an upward trajectory since the pandemic showed us that it was possible, and in some cases preferable, to get a solid workout in without leaving the house. This growth is set to continue as fitness tech evolves to meet demand for flexible exercise options. The volume and diversity of workouts available online – from wall Pilates to tai chi – makes it easy to find programs that match your skill level and goals. Whether that’s getting ripped, building strength or simply stretching it out at the end of a long day.
Because they can be done any time and virtually anywhere, online workouts are a great way to reset on your lunch break or wind down at night. If you need some motivation to get back on the mat after a long and particularly indulgent silly season (guilty as charged), one of these workouts should do the trick. There are options for getting your cardio fix, full body fitness, improving flexibility and soothing lower back pain – just choose your level and press play.
Katelin Rice, Editorial Assistant
I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of at home workouts. I really lack motivation and don’t respond well to computer screens speaking to me (ironic when I work from home and all meetings are virtual). So, if I’m travelling or can’t get into the Pilates studio, I gravitate to skipping.
Skipping is time efficient – jumping rope for 10 minutes per day can have a similar effect to running for 30 minutes. The full-body workout also boosts cardiovascular fitness, improves coordination and motor skills, increases bone mineral density and improves running speed. But most importantly, it’s enjoyable. I can pop on my favourite tunes, zone out and enjoy the cardio. With so many different ways to jump rope, it’s always a varied and interesting workout.
To find new rope workouts or mix up my routine, I head to Crossrope, a website and app that steps out different workout moves. If you’re after a little extra inspiration, I can highly recommend @lauren.jumps, a skipper with some pretty awesome moves.
Adriene Mishler’s chill yoga workouts got me through the pandemic. Her videos are calming, challenging and just generally a good vibe. Plus, there’s plenty of cute cameos from her blue heeler Benji to keep you motivated.
A few of Adriene’s workouts have made it into my regular rotation, but ‘Yoga for Hips and Lower Back Release’ is by far my most watched. The yin practice is great for opening stiff hips and easing lower back tension after a long day on the laptop. I love spending some extra time in those juicy twists to really stretch out my hips.
At just 20 minutes long, this one’s perfect to throw on in between meetings on days when I’m feeling a bit blah. It counteracts all the sitting that I do and leaves me feeling calm and refreshed.
Les Mills GRIT
Hana Okada, Head of Content
This online workout series from Les Mills is challenging, motivating and rewarding. The subscription gives you thousands of workouts across strength, yoga, martial arts, cardio and more, but I’ve solely used my membership for these 30-minute high-intensity workouts. My first introduction to the workout was this YouTube video featuring Nina Dobrev, and honestly, I found it so challenging that I couldn’t finish it.
Now I’m hooked and incorporate the full-body GRIT workouts at the gym two to three times a week. The series is split into three categories, from weight-based strength routines to heartrate-spiking, no equipment cardio. Divided into tracks, the instructors offer beginner and advanced options for each exercise. I know the 30-minute classes pack a real punch because I’m dripping in sweat at the end of every session.
It’s a great way to test out group fitness classes at home, and it delivers results – I’ve noticed a meaningful improvement in my overall cardiovascular health.
If I want to achieve any semblance of productivity and a good mood, I need to exercise in the morning before work. Because I work from home, I try and get out of the house to do this (easiest way to make sure I actually do leave the house every day). But when I’m stretched for time, I do a HIIT workout from Grow with Anna or Juice & Toya.
Both channels are free and were found by typing “30 min HIIT workout” into YouTube. I like these workouts because they can be as hard or easy as you like. I can go all out for 40 minutes and be puffed and red-faced or I can just do a quick 20 minutes and still feel like I’ve achieved something. There’s also a lot of variety in these workouts (great for my short attention span) and you can choose videos that give modified/less advanced options for each exercise too. Plus, with high-intensity training, nothing lasts forever; if an exercise is too hard or strenuous, you know it’s going to be over in less than a minute.
I definitely feel fitter and stronger from consistently doing these workouts. And I’ve also found they are more enjoyable when I wear my AirPods and work out to my own music.