The best gym training program planned out by a highly trained gym instructor is probably the best way to get into shape. Pricey, high-end exercise equipment, weights galore, group classes, and personal trainers can work wonders. But it’s not all wine and roses. (Actually, your trainer might not allow you wine anyway!) Gyms and fitness training programs can be expensive and inflexible. Popular gym facilities can be packed during peak hours (or all the time), leaving you wasting your precious time waiting for equipment. And then there are the already lean, shredded gym-goers to make you feel inferior.
For the average person, going to a gym could end up being a frustrating and embarrassing experience that totally derails fitness goals. The good news is that there is no shortage of at-home workout routines and options that prove you don’t need a pricey gym membership to get fit. Here are 10 of the best for you to consider.
1. Fitness Blender
This website and Youtube channel is the brainchild of a fitness-focused husband and wife training team Daniel and Kelli. They aim to “make health and fitness attainable, affordable, and approachable”. Sounds good. And with more than 500 different workout program videos available for free, spanning all fitness levels, everyone can find something to love here. Whether you want to burn fat, build strength, stretch, focus on aerobic exercise or boost your metabolism (or all of the above) you should be able to find some great workout routines here.
What to go for first? They have lots of different workouts but we especially love this 15-minute cardio program.
What to expect: 9 different exercises, 35 seconds on, with 10 seconds active rest (meaning 10 seconds of push-ups). Get ready to sweat!
How vital is great music to motivating you through your workout? The right music can make even the most grueling workout routines feel like a cinch to get through. The wrong music can really hinder your fitness goals and make everything a slog.
Enter Cassey Ho, a certified Pilates and fitness instructor who has worked alongside such luminaries as Michelle Obama and was named by Greatist as one of their Top 25 Health & Fitness Influencers in the World. Her Blogilates site features videos with a slew of high-energy fitness workouts complemented by perfectly synced pop music and Cassey’s infections joie de vivre. These are free online, or you can download the app (which is free but requires in-app purchases to access certain content).
What to go for first? Her Lower Abs & Booty Blast targets the 2 areas Cassey, from her years of teaching, identified women want to work most.
What to expect: You’ll get to lit down for all the exercises—bridge pulses and leg lifts for a lifted booty and lean limbs— but be prepared to feel the burn.
Okay, first up the weird thing about Lumowell. Follow their wide-ranging and thorough videos and you’ll be coached by two computer-generated humanoid fitness instructors who appear almost, but not exactly, like real humans (an effect known as the “uncanny valley”). There’s no doubting they know their stuff but there’s something slightly strange about the way they look and move.
That said, the range of workouts they have is great, and mostly free. They’re available on Youtube and via an Android app.
What to go for first? Try this 15 minute flat stomach belly-fat-reducing workout designed to be done at home without equipment or weights.
What to expect: Low impact standing ab exercises suitable for women and men to be done 4 times a week (with tips to lose weight and burn tummy fat).
4. Spark People TV
This is another good website for anyone suffering a time crunch when it comes to getting in exercise. The workout finder lets you select videos by the type of exercise—cardio, dance, yoga, full body, limited mobility, and more—as well as other attributes such as available equipment, specific trainers, and fitness level.
Videos tend to fall into the 5-20-minute range on average so you can get in some reps on your lunch break or custom build longer workouts. There’s also a Spark People community you can join for free and take advantage of diet and exercise tracking, health-related content, and a support system of other with similar health and fitness goals. They also offer tracking and recipe apps.
What to start with? Try this 8-minute 360-Degree Core yoga workout.
What to expect: Strengthen the front, sides, and back of your torso with gentle whole-body moves–including the plank, cobra, and roll ups.
5. Sweaty Betty
This website primarily sells chic fitness apparel, but they offer workout videos for free to entice customers onto their site. Best of all, there are options for beginners all the way up to advanced fitness levels, with offerings that include yoga, ballet, BarreAsana, HIIT, and more.
What (not) to try first! Although not recommended for beginners (because it contains some quite complex moves) this “ballet bootcamp” workout is really interesting and unusual.
What to expect: Releasing your inner-ballerina of course!