When you can’t get to your favorite gym or fitness studio, what do you do? Here are the best free and low-cost at home workouts that are delivered straight to your phone.
Most Americans are being told to stay home and #socialdistance so we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and #flattenthecurve. Even for those of us (myself, included) who are accustomed to working from home, there are a lot of changes.
With the crisis comes a lot of unknowns and new stressors, from health concerns and layoffs to less serious, but still stressful things like taking care of kids while trying to work or teaching your 5th-grader math. Self-care has never been so important.
There are a lot of different things you can do to take care of yourself during this time from eating nourishing food to getting fresh air on a walk around the neighborhood. Moving your body is one of the best ways to boost your mood, decrease stress, and increase focus. But if you’re anything like me, your normal exercise routine has come to a screeching halt with these new social distancing rules.
With gyms and studios closed and guidelines that stop us from meeting up with friends for walks or runs, finding your fitness routine can feel hard. That’s why, today I’ve put together a list of my favorite home workouts. The following list includes a variety of formats from running and cycling to dance, strength, and yoga. Most require little-to-no equipment and many are free or very low cost.
FREE HOME WORKOUTS
Many fitness studios, athletic apparel brands, and other fitness brands offering free streaming workouts on instagram live, IGTV (instagram TV, if you’re not familiar) and YouTube. Right now the number of options seem endless, but these are some of my favorite places to find live and recorded workouts. All schedules are posted on the instagram accounts (linked), so follow them to stay updated.
- Cyclebar and each local franchise. The local studio I teach at (Cyclebar Wellesley) is doing live rides on instagram stories. Many other locations are doing the same, so follow your local studio or others around the country. A few you can start with include Wellesley, Providence, Milford, and Burr Ridge.
- Carbon 38: an active fashion brand that is featuring multiple daily workouts live on instagram stories. They feature a number of their instructor ambassadors around the country. Workouts include barre, strength, boxing, cycling, HIIT, Dance, Pilates, and more. It’s a great way to support instructors currently out of work since their studios are closed.
- Katrina Scott: the co-founder of Tone It Up, a fitness app and community for fitness enthusiasts. Both Katrina and the Tone it Up team have a full schedule of exercise including yoga, strength, kickboxing, meditation, and others.
- Barre3 and each local franchise: My favorite barre studio has a 15-day free-trial of their at home streaming program (after that I believe it’s $29/month for unlimited classes). Their at home workouts are shorter than in-studio, making it perfect for those trying to fit in workouts in between work meetings and taking care of the kiddos. My local Barre3 studio (Barre3 Needham) has also been featuring free daily live stretching and breath work, which can do wonders for your mood and body.
- Built by Biron: at home strength workouts posted daily by two sisters and trainers. They are posting free workouts on their feed with directions and videos on how to do each exercise. I’ve done a couple of their workouts and they are short, effective, and easy to follow.
LOW-COST HOME WORKOUTS: STUDIO VERSION
While there are plenty of free home workouts out there, if you can afford it, I encourage you to support your favorite studio or gym by purchasing any of the paid options they are offering. This helps ensure that they can open their doors again when it’s safe to do so and supports instructors that are likely out of work during this time and may not qualify for unemployment. Many fitness studios are offering full-length live classes via Zoom while others are offering daily email with at home workouts you can do yourself. Here are some of my favorites:
- Barre3 Needham: Daily 45 and 60-minute classes via Zoom with their amazing instructors. Sign ups are on their website and cost 1 class credit. You can purchase one class or a package if you don’t already have one. Classes are popular and limited to 100 people, so sign up early! Look for your local studio’s options as well.
- MyStryde: Boston’s first running studio has created a daily workout program (M-F) called DailyStryde. For $20/week, you will receive an email with the daily running and strength workout along with some other tips. The workouts are balanced, easy to follow and include a mix of speed, hills, and strength (weights not required) exercises. This is a great option if you can’t be tied to a specific class schedule and want something that’s sent directly to you (meaning you don’t have to decide what workout you’ll do each day).
- Universal Power Yoga: A local-to-me yoga studio that I love and support is offering virtual classes daily. They have a great deal for new members: $1/day for 30 days, so even if you’re not local – I highly recommend joining now for their virtual classes! Also, look to your local home yoga studio for other classes.
FREE AND LOW-COST FITNESS APPS FOR AT HOME WORKOUTS
Another option during this time is to invest in a fitness app. This is a good option if you don’t want to do the work of hopping from one studio page to another or scouring instagram for ideas. In fact, these apps are great have in your toolbox even outside of a public health crisis. They are perfect for those that travel a lot for work, have young kids at home, or can’t afford/choose not to join a gym or fitness studio.
- Nike Training Club (NTC): short, effective workouts with videos straight to your phone. They are organized by muscle group, workout type, and equipment type (none, basic, or full) and workouts range from 5 to 30 minutes. Most of their workouts are free! The premium version has instructor led classes and some other bonus features. During the current COVID-19 crisis, they are offering all premium memberships for free!
- Aaptiv: This app offers audio workouts (a trainer in your ear!) including running, strength, yoga, and more. They have a 7-day free trial and then it’s $99/year for a membership.
- Peloton: This is one company that is benefiting from the current crisis! But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention them. We have a peloton bike at home and it’s been a huge game changer for me since having a baby because I can get in a great workout without leaving my house. But you don’t need the bike or treadmill to do most of their workouts. They have strength, yoga, meditation, and bootcamp (for the treadmill, but can also be done with running outside) classes on the app. The app is $39/month and has high quality instructor led workouts both live streaming and recorded. They are currently offering a 90-day free trial of their bikes and treadmills currently if you’ve considered getting one.
Let’s chat: tell me your favorite at home workouts and how you’re staying sane during this time at home.