The Associated Press' guide to the best free online workouts
By KELLI KENNEDY
Aug. 16, 2017
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — It's easy to get discouraged by the boutique fitness craze with $25 per class fees and the weekly chore of sitting by your computer to reserve a spot in that popular spin class that always sells out. It's often tempting to just skip it, so we rounded up our favorite free online workouts that you can do in your living room, at the office, in a park or on vacation. That means no more excuses for not getting your fitness on. And bonus, most of the sites also include meal plans, recipes and other nutrition inspiration.
One of the best online workouts around. Period. It rivals even the priciest apps and workout programs with tons of options that include everything from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to Pilates, yoga and strength training. If you're short on time there are 10-minute ab workouts and if you're super advanced, and if you want to be pushed, their 60 minute "insane cardio workout challenge" is killer and promises to burn roughly 1,000 calories. There are over 500 free workouts on the site and the no-frills videos feature cute husband and wife team Kelli and Daniel Segars. The website is easily customized so you can pick workouts based on difficulty level, what body parts you want to target and whether you want to use weights or if you prefer a no-equipment option.
Jessica Smith's motto is exercise should be fun otherwise you won't stick with it. She's the queen of walk and talks — online workouts where she marches in places for a mile or two while you chit chat. Her six-week Walk Strong program was so popular that she just released the 2.0 version. Smith's workouts are especially great for beginners, those who need extra motivation or want to feel like they're working out with a friend, not an unrelatable, six-pack ab guru. Her YouTube channel has more than 250 free workouts that includes Pilates, yoga, strength training and cardio plus workouts specifically targeted for beginners. And since many of her workouts are filmed in her living room, there's usually a few fun shots that include her dog Peanut who likes to get in the way because, hey, that's life.
The UK brand has some of the most coveted workout clothes around but they're also really committed to giving their tribe access to free, fun workouts even if they don't have a gym membership. Workouts in the #GetFit4Free campaign feature everything from HIIT to Pilates. We really like the 30-minute ultimate bum workout, beach body workout and ballet bootcamp encore. There are even videos taught by celeb teachers like yoga star Cat Meffan.
Don't be fooled by this pint-sized blonde. Her workouts pack a serious punch. We love her convenient weekly workout schedules that show you the equipment you'll need and gives you three videos to choose from: advanced, no equipment and beginner/low-impact. This is your best bet when you are short on time since her 15 minute workouts will definitely get your heart pumping. You can pick a six to 12 week program or, if you're advanced, you can follow Light's daily workout schedule which she posts weekly.
These versatile workouts are especially helpful if you want to use them while traveling or even at the gym. They work well at home too, since the workouts are photo slideshows that breakdown the moves with very specific written instructions and not videos, which means you don't have to worry about audio or the circle of death while your internet is recalibrating. There's something for all levels here including convenient quickies like their 30-day ab challenge with some videos under 5 minutes. Advanced folks can try the Navy Seal workout, train with Mr. Universe or try the 41 hardest ab exercises routine. And if you're not looking for an entirely new workout program but maybe just a few new moves to add to your routine there's plenty of inspiration, including 10 free weight moves you can try if you're looking to swap out machines or 15 burpee variations.
There's hundreds of videos to choose from on BeFit's YouTube channel. Pick from basics like strength training, ab routines, HIIT, Pilates, beach body or barre workouts. Or try something new like belly dance cardio, surfer girl workout, Krav Maga defense, Ballet Beautiful or channel your inner aerialist at Cirque School. There's tons of different options if you've only got 10 or 15 minutes or want a full-hour sweat session. BeFit also gives you access to big name trainers like Denise Austin, Jillian Michaels and yoga guru Kino MacGregor.