I don’t live particularly close to any gyms or other fitness facilities. I also am the sole caregiver for our four kids for 18+ hours most days. For these reasons, I usually exercise at home. What tends to work best for me is working out in my living room before the kids get up or after they go to bed. Sometimes I go for an early morning walk when my husband returns from work. We don’t have sidewalks, but our neighborhood and adjacent road are usually quiet. I wanted to share some of my favorite free workout channels on YouTube that help me get moving, stay strong, and learn new things. I don’t have room (or a budget) for a lot of exercise equipment, so I have chosen these because they don’t require anything extra. There are some optional things you could acquire to enhance these workouts like a yoga mat, free weights, and resistance bands. However, I like that you can get started with any of these videos without needing special clothes, shoes, or equipment. You can pay for the YouTube Premium subscription for the ad-free experience, or just use the free version and use the ad time for extra reps or a water break.
Walk At Home
Leslie Sansone has created accessible home workout videos based around walking in place. It may sound boring, but she throws in enough extra movements to keep you interested. You can also find videos ranging from 1 to 4 miles, so whether you have 10 minutes or an hour you can find a walking video to meet your needs. While I don’t mind listening to her talk throughout the video, sometimes I choose to mute the TV and listen to music, an audiobook, or podcast instead. Since you’re standing and facing the TV throughout the workout it’s easy to watch and listen to something else simultaneously.
There is an abundance of Pilates workouts available on YouTube, and I’ve tried several. Recently I have been using the ones found on Jessica Valant’s channel. I like the way she talks through the movements and offers modifications. She even has a series of pregnancy and postpartum workouts, including C-section recovery and healing diastasis recti.
Perhaps the most well-known YouTube yogi, Yoga With Adriene has an extensive library of yoga videos for all types of needs. She has a soothing voice, gives clear instructions, and makes you want to keep coming back for more. One thing I like about yoga is that they refer to each workout as practice. No matter if you’ve just started or have been doing it for years, everyone is practicing. That encourages me to keep at it and appreciate the individual experience without competing with others.
I cannot freestyle dance, but I enjoy attempting to learn dance moves from an instructor. The dance workouts on Kyra Pro‘s channel are especially fun because of the music she chooses. I really like the show tunes and Disney ones. The movements are not too complicated to pick up during the workout, and because they’re matched to popular songs, each set is about 3 minutes before switching to a new song and set of moves.
For a good variety of workouts, I like growwithjo. When I first stumbled across her videos and saw her working out in front of a couch, I felt seen! She doesn’t talk through her workouts, but she gives visual cues for changes with a countdown timer and pop-up previews of the next move. I find this helpful and easy to follow. She is fun to watch because she has an engaging smile throughout the workout. Like Adriene, she has a cute dog that makes appearances in her videos that are pleasing and not too distracting (and I am not an animal lover).
What other YouTube fitness channels do you use? I’d love to hear your suggestions!