If the novelty of exercising at home has well and truly worn off, it’s time to shake things up.
You may have spent the past 10 months doing the same YouTube workout over and over again – or you may have yet to delve into the world of online fitness.
But there are thousands of videos, live streams and on demand services out there. Eventually, you’re likely to find something you (learn to) love.
Trying new workouts is never a bad idea, says Jemma Thomas, personal trainer and founder of Jemmas Health Hub, as it’ll help boost motivation.
“If you do the same exercise over and over again you’ll get bored and begin to see it as a chore and that’s the last thing you want; exercise should be an outlet for your stresses and an escape from the real world,” she says.
“It’s a time for you to let off steam, release some essential endorphins and make you feel good.”
Giving your muscles and joints time to rest and recover in between workouts is important, adds Thomas, so consider trying lots of different types of exercise, instead of just one.
“Perhaps on a Monday focus on the legs, on Wednesday do an arm workout using weights or tin cans, Friday do a yoga class and at the weekend you could do a low intensity work out, such as a gentle 5k run outside,” she says.
Looking for some new options? We’ve got you covered:
“HIIT is high intensity interval training and is suitable for people who might be very time poor, people who might work very long hours or have a busy family to look after so struggle to fit in time for much exercise. Essentially, it’s going hard or going home!” says Thomas. “A HIIT work out is a hugely effective way of getting your heart rate up in a short amount of time and feeling good about yourself.” Here are some options to try:
The Body Coach
Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, was creating HIIT workouts for adults long before he gained a reputation as the nation’s PE teacher.
Don’t let the kids have all the fun, check out his workouts for free on YouTube, where you’ll find options for a range of fitness levels.
Maddie Lymburner’s YouTube channel MadFit has a great range of HIIT workouts, as well as dance-inspired cardio.
The HIIT options include “no repeat workouts” for those who lose motivation doing the same moves over and over again, plus “apartment friendly workouts”, for those who don’t want to disturb their neighbours with lots of jumping.
“Dance is a brilliant form of exercise as not only does it keep your body fit, but it also tests your memory too as you have to remember dance moves and really concentrate,” says Thomas. “Often, because you’re concentrating so hard on the moves, you don’t realise you’ve been exercising for as long as you have meaning it’s great for your endurance.
“It’s great for muscle tone, strength and balance and can be gentle on your body as you can go at different paces with different dance moves suitable for different fitness levels.” Here are some to try:
Seen On Screen
Seen on Screen – the dance classes famed for bringing Beyoncé masterclasses to the masses – launched ‘SOS On Demand’ last year, with classes taught over Zoom. Expect empowering, sexy routines and a whole lotta sister love.
For £11.99 a month, you’ll get minimum of five new classes added every week. Content is recorded and uploaded to an archive, which subscribers can access at a time to suit you if you couldn’t make it to class.
If you’re looking for a one-off dance class rather than a subscription service, try Pineapple. The London studio has created ‘Pineapple Live’ – an online timetable offering hundreds of live-stream classes that are mostly £6-£8 per session.
You’ll find street dance, commercial, ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, ballroom and latin, musical theatre and more.
Strength training 🏋️♀️
“Strength training helps to improve muscle tone and by lifting weights you’re switching on lots of different, often unused, muscles in the body and this helps to strengthen the bones and improve balance,” says Thomas. “It also helps to improve your posture.”
HASfit has a whole playlist on YouTube dedicated to strength training and it’s not as intimidating as other options out there – you won’t find any shirtless, ripped dudes here.
Instead, expect accessible sessions for men or women, featuring dumbbells, resistance bands, or sometimes, no equipment at all.
Personal trainer Heather Robertson offers a variety of workouts on her YouTube channel, but we love the ones for strength training.
You’ll find options with dumbbells and kettle bells. There’s also a whole playlist of apartment-friendly workouts if you need to be mindful of neighbours.
“Yoga has a whole host of benefits – both for men and women,” says Cheryl MacDonald founder of YogaBellies, which specialises in yoga for women at “every stage of your life”, from pregnancy to menopause. “It is a fantastic way to relax and release stress, whilst toning the body.”
The franchise is offering online sessionsduring the pandemic. Here are some other options to try, too.
Yoga with Adriene
Adriene Mishler is the queen of YouTube yoga and there’s a reason why: her Yoga With Adriene channel is accessible for begginers and not irritating (all too common among yoga channels, it seems). Her dog Benji is also a delight.
Mishler has launched a 30-day yoga journey for 2021, called Breath, which may be worth joining if you’re looking for a sense of community with your practice. If not, there are hundreds of uploaded videos on her channel to try.
Shona Vertue’s YouTube channel is full of all sorts of workouts, but she’s most famed for yoga, having once been David Beckham’s instructor.
She offers yoga sequences for flexibility, mobility, waking up and more. We also adore the fun, short sketches in the intros.
For A Bit Of Everything 🎉
If you want a one-stop fitness shop for all your activities, signing up to an online gym or fitness studio could work for you.
“Doing a variety of exercises will make you feel excited about your work out, and also not put too much pressure on the same parts of your body,” says Thomas. Here are a couple of options.
Frame has launched an on demand serviceallowing you to watch videos at a time to suit you. There’s a huge variety of options, including dance cardio, Pilates, yoga, barre, 80s aerobics, “abs and ass” (their take on tums and bums), dynamic stretch, rebounding (for those with a trampette) and more.
The monthly plan is £10.99 per month, or if you’re willing to commit, that reduces to an upfront cost of £9 per month for a quarterly plan or £6 per month for a yearly plan.
If you feel you need the accountability of ‘showing up’ to a class at a set time, the studio is also running a series of live streamed classes. The ‘Fix in Six’ package will give you access to six live streams a month.
Fitness studio Blok London has now launched Blok TV offering live and on demand classes. The best part? There’s a 30-day free trial, so you can try before you buy. After that, it’s £20 per month, or £10 per month if you sign up for a year.
The studio offers classes boxing, dance, yoga, strength and conditioning, barre and more. Expect instructors with bags of enthusiasm to get you through the tough bits.
Nike Training Club
Nike Training Club has more than 190 workouts across strength, endurance, yoga and mobility – and they’re all completely free. Sessions range from 15–45 minutes.