If you find yourself getting stir-crazy from staying inside because of winter weather, the pandemic, or both, getting your body moving may be just the thing. There are a surprising number of free online exercise classes that can help you get in shape. Below are the best free online workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home, at least until things get a little more normal.
The Body Coach TV
The Body Coach, aka Joe Wicks, offers over 250 workouts on YouTube. There are a tremendous number of workouts here for kids, and Joe has been seen to dress up as a frog, Superman and Scooby Doo while exercising. Sporting shoulder-length hair and a full beard, Joe has a British accent and happy, upbeat style. The Body Coach TV includes a number of different mini-series of workouts including:
- High intensity interval training (HIIT) videos – These range in length from 15 minutes to 25 minutes
- Tabata workouts – These are pretty intense and advanced
- Low impact workouts – Great for beginners as well as seniors and those with knee, ankle and other injuries
- Workouts focusing on specific parts of the body like the core, using specific exercise equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebell or punching bag
- Schools Fitness Week series – To reach his goal of getting 1 million children exercising in schools, Joe filmed a different online workout for every school day
- Yoga and meditation videos
- Kids’ workouts, including a series called “PE with Joe” suitable for elementary-age children
Another helpful tip: the Body Coach TV has some of the best YouTube workouts.
Fitness Blender is a website with over 600 free online fitness classes. The site has a free level of access and a paid “FB Plus” membership. Almost all of the videos are available in the free plan, which also includes a customizable calendar, healthy recipes and health and fitness articles. In addition to those features, the FB Plus plan also gives you trackers, workout history, fitness challenges, advanced video filters and other customization features.
Although Fitness Blender encourages you to set up an account even if you just want access to the free online workouts, you do not need to do this. You can just go to the workout videos and click on any video that does not have the green box that says “FB Plus.” The videos include some with equipment such as jump rope, exercise balls, resistance bands and dumbbells as well as online workouts that just use your body weight or even your office chair.
Each video shows you what part of the body is being exercised and how long the workout lasts. If you mouse over the image for the video, you can get more information including what equipment is needed, if any, number of calories burned and the difficulty level. There are a good number of ab and core exercises including Pilates.
POPSUGAR Fitness is a channel of hundreds of free workout videos on YouTube. Although men can do these workouts, they are more geared toward women, with plenty of dance-based workouts such as hip hop, Latin dance, Bollywood as well as Victoria Secret Model, yoga and Barre workouts. Dance workouts seem to be POPSUGAR’s sweet spot; their 30-minute Cardio Latin Dance and Hip-Hop Tabata to Torch Calories workouts have over 21 million and 27 million views, respectively.
Instead of a single trainer, most of POPSUGAR’s free online exercise classes show a trainer and anywhere from two to four additional people in the background to give you an exercise class feel. POPSUGAR makes fitness feel more attainable with different body types among the background people in their videos. A few of the free online workouts feature well-known trainers such as Jeanette Jenkins. While there are some workout videos that use equipment like hand weights and floor mats, the majority just use your bodyweight.
Yoga with Adriene
Yoga with Adriene has almost 600 free workout videos on YouTube. This YouTube channel is exclusively focused on yoga, and has some of the best YouTube workouts for the practice of yofa. Some of the videos cover a single pose (ie. warrior pose, triangle pose), while others address specific health problems (ie. upper back pain, headaches) or spiritual/emotional issues (ie. Winter blues, stress relief). Other videos are more fitness oriented, with some addressing body parts (butt and thighs) or general strength.
Yoga with Adriene has a 30-Day yoga journey series each year with a different theme. The channel is beginner friendly, but also has more challenging poses and routines.
Nike Training Club
Unlike the other free online exercise classes mentioned above, Nike Training Club is only available as a mobile app. On the Apple App Store, the Nike Training Club is an Editor’s Choice and has 4.9 stars with over 236,000 ratings. Presenting the content via an app gives you some flexibility, allowing you to take it with you on the go, but generally limiting it to a smaller screen, unless you are able to project it to a TV via Airplay or similar technology.
The app has over 185 free workout videos that aim to cover the gamut of exercise, including:
- Body-part focused workouts
- HIIT, boxing, yoga, strength, endurance and mobility workouts
- Workouts from five minutes to an hour in length
- Low-, moderate- and high-intensity
- Bodyweight only, light and full equipment workouts
- Time based as well as rep-based videos
Choose individual online workouts that appeal to you or work according to a methodical fitness program. Each free workout video is led by a Nike Master Trainer, and some are even led by celebrity trainers like Serena Williams.