YouTube fitness channels have some of the best workouts to kickstart your home fitness journey – HIIT, yoga, pilates, calisthenics – and they’re all free!
Not gonna lie, when I first started out my fitness journey, it was through YouTube. Here I was, a broke and slightly overweight student with a lot of time and bored out of my mind. This COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly stopped the world and you might find yourself in a situation like I did – so why not make use of your time and start your fitness journey for free? These are 10 of my favourite fitness routines to get you started.
🏃♀️ If You’re Looking For High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)…
1. Fitnessblender: For All Fitness Levels
What’s so good about Fitnessblender: This channel’s a little personal to me – I started out my fitness journey in 2015 with Kelli and Daniel, the married, certified personal trainers who believe that accessible to everyone. Their channel, Fitnessblender, has over 600 free, full-length (and body) workouts to help their 6.14 million subscribers, and it’s clear that people are watching, because they also have just over 1 billion views!
What’s so good about this 15-Minute Bodyweight Cardio Workout: Now, HIIT is relatively intense and if you’re a beginner, you wouldn’t want to burn yourself out on a full-length one hour video. Fitness is all about progression and milestones, so try out this 15-minute, full-body workout before progressing to the 30-minute, then 1-hour ones. Even if this is just 15 minutes, you’ll be panting hardcore, making it an efficient use of time and it’s way more interesting than running anyway.
2. POPSUGAR Fitness: For Celebrity Workouts
What’s so good about POPSUGAR Fitness: When you look at celebrities, it’s almost as if they’re untouchable. It’s like, how can you ever ascend to their level without the money or status they have. While you might not be able to reach their level of fame, you can reach their level of fitness with the help of the celebrity trainers at POPSUGAR Fitness. Hosted by Anna Renderer and other Hollywood celebrity trainers, they will get you sweating and moving to start you on your fitness journey.
What’s so good about this Low-Impact Cardio Workout: HIIT usually involves a lot of jumping so that could be bad news for those starting out with weak joints. This low-impact version might not be as time-efficient but if it gets you moving, it’s better than not doing anything to begin with, right? Either way, when you find this too easy, you can progress to one of the many regular HIIT workouts on their channel!
3. Pamela Reif: For #Fitspo #Goals
What’s so good about Pamela Reif: Pamela Reif started out as an influencer on Instagram, just simply posting whatever she likes, mainly #fitspo and #goals stuff. Good thing for her is that whatever she likes, her followers like, and she’s able to turn that into a business opportunity. Her content is mostly fitness and wellness related, and her workouts are all less than 30 minutes, which is perfect if you want to squeeze in a quick workout before going about your day!
What’s so good about this 15-Minute Booty Workout: This workout is useful if you want to focus on your legs and butt, and you can tone them without the usual squats or jumps. Most HIIT workouts incorporate those exercises because they’re effective, but sometimes you can’t help but to feel bored. Try this one though, you’ll feel the burn!
4. Emi Wong: For Success Story Inspiration
What’s so good about Emi Wong: Emi Wong‘s story is a bit of a comeback story. Before becoming a certified personal trainer and an influencer, she was a party girl, getting wasted about 3 to 4 times a week. Too much partying led to her having her appendix removed, but that was the least of her problems – post surgery complications such as stomach cramps afflicted her. To make things worse, she developed bulimia because of this. Her life changed when her boyfriend-now-husband told her the ill effects of her habits and she decided she needed change, and change she did! Look at her now – glow-up and all.
What’s so good about this Small Waist Workout: If you’re following Emi Wong, you’re not following her workouts, you’re following her story. Still, that should not detract you from her workouts because she is a certified fitness trainer after all! This workout is easy, can be done anywhere, and most importantly, feel the burn!
🧘♀️ If You’re Looking For Yoga or Pilates…
5. Blogilates: For Pilates Beginners
What’s so good about Blogilates: If you don’t know about Blogilates, you must be living under a rock. The ever-so-positive Cassey Ho, who’s gotten so much media coverage and events for her do-anywhere-and-anytime instructional pilates videos. The numbers check out too – she’s got over 5 million subscribers and 750 million views, with each of her videos averaging 100,000 views!
What’s so good about POP Pilates for Beginners: Along with Fitnessblender, I started out Blogilates as well. I’d alternate between all-out HIIT days with active rest pilates! It’s a great way to recover without physically burning yourself out whilst still burning your calories. All you need is a mat and Cassey will show you how to do the workouts and she’ll even make conversation with you, to keep your mind off the oh-so-good burn.
6. The Live Fit Girl: For Challenging Pilates
What’s so good about The Live Fit Girl: If you’re looking to level up your fitness game, especially when it comes to ab-centric exercises, The Live Fit Girl, or better known as Deanna Dorman, is here to help. Her workouts feature lots of resistance bands to make fat-burning pilates workouts just a little more, so that you can increase your core strength as well. Talk about a double perk!
What’s so good about this Resistance Band Arms & Abs Workoutt: Deanna is really fit because you might be thinking “it’s just a bunch of light resistance bands, how hard can it be?”, and the answer is VERY HARD, because there are so many comments from both men and women concurring to that sentiment. When the boys say it’s hard, trust them!
7. Yoga with Adriene: For Mindful Yoga
What’s so good about Yoga with Adriene: Unlike pilates, yoga is a little more spiritual. Yoga with Adriene‘s videos will help you tap into that side of you while your body reinvigorates and energises with the easy-to-difficult yoga poses. Her personality also helps with it as well, because one moment she can be energetic and cheerful, while the other she can be calm and collected – always matching her personality’s energy with the poses. It really gets you into it!
What’s so good about this Yoga for Vulnerability: This circuit breaker is a time to pause and it’s a good time to look inward. This workout in particular, stresses the need for mindfulness – it’s not just about doing the poses, it’s about feeling it with every muscle you have, making you forget about worldly problems and getting you to focus on the exercise. When you’re done, you’ll feel lighter, and maybe enlightened too.
8. Yoga Dose: For a New Spin on Yoga
What’s so good about Yoga Dose: Besides the clever wordplay of ‘overdose’ and ‘yoga’, Yoga Dose is all about advancing your skill in yoga by incorporating more difficult poses, or even mixing different training routines (e.g. yoga and HIIT)! In any case Tim, the face of Yoga Dose, will guide you and challenge you through his gruelling workouts so that you can be the best version of yourself!
What’s so good about this Yoga For Hips: Okay, a lot of yoga is hip-mobility-centric so it’s really important that you are able to have a full range of motion with them. This will make future yoga exercises easier, and less painful when you recover, and you’ll be glad that Tim was the one to help you open up those hips!
💪 If You’re Looking For Calisthenics or Bodyweight Training…
9. Calisthenicmovement: For Understanding the Science Behind Workouts
What’s so good about Calisthenicmovement: If you’re like me and have been going to the gym pre-circuit-breaker, you’re probably just as bummed as I am that it’s closed. But just because the gym is closed doesn’t mean you have to be a bum at home! Calisthenicmovement is run by Sven, a licensed fitness trainer and physiotherapist, and Alex, a sport scientist. Both of them have been training with calisthenics (meaning working out with bodyweight instead of equipment) since 2012, and they prove that you don’t need a gym to look ripped. Their channel is not only about bodyweight exercises, they go in depth about biomechanics (how your body moves during a certain workout) and show you what exactly you’re activating. It’s very science- and evidence-based; it’s especially good if you’re data-driven like me.
What’s so good about this collection of calisthenics exercises: This is not really a workout, this is more of a collection of what you already know with in-depth explanations on what bodyweight exercises work which muscles, and what is the correct form. Push-ups work the chest muscles along with the triceps, while pull-ups work the back muscles and forearm or biceps depending on your grip. They will also show you how to make it even tougher with your bodyweight if you want to progress!
10. OFFICIALTHENX: For Motivation Seekers
What’s so good about OFFICIALTHENX: You might have seen Chris Heria, or OFFICIALTHENX floating around on Instagram if you browse through the #fitness hashtag. Most of that content you find on Instagram are actually snippets of his full-length videos on YouTube, and his appeal is very easy to explain – his personality and approachability contrasts starkly to his appearance (yes, the tattoos). Who wouldn’t want to get strong and look threatening but is also actually a very nice and approachable person? You don’t go to his videos to work out, you go to his videos to become like him.
What’s so good about this 10-Minute Full Body Home Workout: Now, this is just your run-of-the-mill calisthenics compound movement workout, but Chris does a good job at motivating you to push yourself harder and inspire you. The point of the video is not the workout itself, it’s to push you and remind you that you are one step closer to becoming the halo you were always meant to be.
Before You Start Working Out…
I’m pretty sure that there are tons of others Youtube channels for fitness but if you’re just starting out, you’re probably at a loss as to where to start. This list of 10 free training routines is by no means exhaustive, but at least, it’s a start, and the start is what matters when you begin your fitness journey! Everything else will fall into place after that.
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