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Forget The Gym, These YouTube Channels Will Help You Get Fit For Free

Penelope Singh

If exercise gives us endorphins, why is it so hard to get motivated to go to the gym? If you’re struggling to maintain that new years’ resolution and work out more, you’re not alone. With busy schedules and the hustle and bustle of day to day life, it’s hard to make and maintain healthy habits. But thanks to the internet, it’s also never been easier—or cheaper. One online platform contains thousands of free fitness videos to keep you healthy. Welcome to the world of YouTube workouts.


YouTube Workouts Review

Why Work Out At Home?

Not everyone is a gym bunny, and for good reason. With registration charges and monthly fees, gyms can take a hefty chunk out of our pay checks. Plus, between driving there, getting changed in the locker room, working out, showering, then driving home, a single workout can easily take two hours or more. And of course, gyms are public places. Not everyone likes to get physical in front of strangers—but if you’re working a 9-5, it’s almost impossible to get some exercise outside peak hours.

Luckily, the internet can solve all of these problems in just a few seconds. YouTube hosts a virtually unlimited supply of workout videos. They’re fun, they’re free, and they’re beyond convenient. There’s no commute to the gym and no stressing about getting to class on time. Whenever you’re ready for some exercise, power up your laptop, put on your workout clothes, and check out these channels.

Feel the Flow

Adriene Mishler is YouTube’s ultimate yogi for a reason. Her popular channel Yoga With Adriene features a huge variety of classes that can coach you from the very beginning of your yoga practice all the way to headstands and bridge poses. As Adriene blends meditative calm with feel-the-burn exercise, she keeps her viewers tuning in with charmingly awkward jokes and her sweet blue heeler Benji. Downward dog with an actual dog? That is the kind of exercise class I will take any day.

Our Pick: The 30 Days of Yoga challenge is an OG in the world of YouTube fitness. In just a month, Adriene’s viewers go from stiff and sore to flexible and strong.

Kick It Old School

Jane Fonda literally invented exercise tapes, with her aerobics videos popping up everywhere from the Video Hall of Fame (her “Workout” is the best-selling VHS of all time) to the immortal words of Sir Mixalot (“So your girlfriend grows a Honda, playing workout tapes by Fonda”). AV geeks and rappers couldn’t resist the actress’ intense exercise classes, and neither could YouTube. The streaming platform houses tons of Fonda workouts that span from the 1980s to the 2010s.

If Jane Fonda’s not your fitness instructor of choice, you can always switch things up and try out a video from another show biz icon. In 1992, Cher made her way into the workout tape business with typical diva extravagance. Her videos combine couture workout gear (seriously) and a Zumba-esque blend of aerobics and dance. Plus, the soundtrack of remixed chart-toppers from the 1980s and early 1990s is a lot of fun.

Both Cher’s and Fonda’s videos combine a fun fitness challenge with nostalgic bops (and in Cher’s case, a phenomenal dominatrix-inspired outfit and an entertainingly over-the-top fitness model in the back right). Plus, if you want some extra motivation, get this: Both Cher and Fonda filmed their workout videos when they were in their mid-40s. Guys, their bodies are insane.

Our Pick: Get a sweat going with Fonda’s surprisingly hardcore 1982 workout or Cher’s beloved “Hot Dance. For people looking for a less intense option, her “Level 2: Walking Cardio Workout” hits the sweet spot between feeling the burn while also not feeling like you’re about to collapse.

Get Mad Fit

Maddie Lymburner, also known as Mad Fit, is the fitness guru for the millennial age. Her sweat-inducing YouTube videos cater to viewers in small spaces without home gyms through “Apartment Friendly” workouts and “No Equipment” exercise sessions. But the main way that MadFit rises above her competition is through music. Lord knows how this girl gets around YouTube’s finicky copyright laws but she has tons of fun “Song Workouts” set to chart-toppers by Harry Styles, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and many more.

Our Pick: The 90s Dance Party video makes 15 minutes of intense cardio fly by. As Maddie guides her viewers through simple but effective moves, music by TLC and the Backstreet Boys make it feel like a hardcore school dance instead of an exercise class. Just one word of warning, though: prepare to feel old when you see 22-year-old Maddie call the Spice Girls a “throwback” in the video description. Oh, to be that young.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11


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