10 Online Fitness Classes You Should Try Right Now
Stay at home in quarantine and meet your goals with these online fitness classes and tips from our experts.
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Online fitness classes for coronavirus quarantine
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a whole new set of what's normal. Social distancing, or staying at least six feet apart from others, and constant hand washing have become routine, along with staying at home as much as possible. In most states in the U.S., non-essential businesses have temporarily closed their stores and offices, including all gyms, fitness studios, and recreation centers. Translation: No gym.
But just because gyms are closed, it doesn't mean you can't still exercise. It's actually the perfect time to turn to online fitness. "At-home workouts are great for a variety of reasons," explains Aaron Drogoszewski, fitness professional and educator for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), founder of Recover in New York City. "They open the doors for many people who may have found an excuse to avoid engagement otherwise. Having the ability to do something healthy for the mind and body at home increases the likelihood for many that they take that first step."
There are numerous online workout options that you can do at your convenience. And according to your schedule, many outlets are now changing their pricing, with lots offering extended free trials, during Covid-19. Need more of an incentive? There are well-known, expensive trainers and studios—that you might not have otherwise been able to work out with or afford—offering free content.
We spoke with fitness experts for advice on what to look for in online workouts, things to consider when it comes to programming, and how to decide if an online workout is right for you. Using their advice, we tested several online programs to create a roundup of quality online fitness workouts for you to try.
For some people, variety is key when it comes to fitness. Why? Many individuals have different interests when it comes to facets of fitness, and changing things up is what keeps them coming back for more. "Variety as it pertains to doing a bodyweight workout Monday, a boxing workout Wednesday, a HIIT workout Thursday, etc., is solely dependent on why the person is exercising," explains Drogoszewski. "If variety is used for a means of stress management, then diversity in this context is fine if the person doing it enjoys it."
NeoU gives users access to over 2,000 different on-demand workout videos and an entire lineup of live-streamed videos as well. The disciplines include everything from kickboxing to Pilates and even strength training to post-natal and more. Choose a different video daily, or start and see through a full program and switch to another once you're finished.
Cost: $15 a month or $100 a year; neou.com
Created by one of the top group fitness coaches, Akin Akman, AARMY has studios in both New York City and Los Angeles, but because of Covid-19, they have closed their doors and moved their content online, bringing their loyal community with them. "Community is vastly important when it comes to working out for some people," says Nick Clayton, chief operating officer of Pain-Free Performance Specialist Certification and former program manager for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
If you want community, you'll find it when you join AARMY's live Instagram videos, where the schedule for the day's lineup is posted on their Instagram page. Classes cover two main disciplines—boot camp and cycling—but they have a daily abs challenge and end the day with an inspiration class, too. When you join, you'll see how many of those attending are regulars who show up daily.
Cost: Free via Instagram live; aarmy.com
Looking to improve your body's overall movement, flexibility, mobility, balance, coordination, and strength while you're working from home? Consider Animal Flow on-demand videos created by Mike Fitch, a NASM and NSCA-certified personal trainer, fitness educator and movement coach with over 18 years of experience. The concept includes movements and combinations grouped into six different categories, each of which elicits a specific result, and together they help you to more effectively and efficiently move your body.
The best part? They are all bodyweight workouts. "Bodyweight exercises are great," says Prentiss Rhodes, NSCA-certified strength and condition specialist, Strongfirst Certified Kettlebell, bodyweight and barbell instructor, Black Belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, master instructor and project manager for the NASM. "Wherever you go, you body is always with you. That means you can't forget any equipment. Also, simply changing the position of your limbs can either regress or progress the exercise."
Cost: $20 a month or $200 a year; animalflow.com
It's important to find online workouts from a reputable source. A good place to start is ensuring that the person leading the workouts has a fitness certification. "Then look at the entire picture—their education, experience, certification, client referrals," suggests Clayton. "Do a quick search for articles they've written, videos they've posted, etc. Does the outlet pass the smell test?"
This New York-based studio does. Founded by Kelvin Gary, NASM-certified personal trainer, performance enhancement specialist, Kettlebell Athletics (Level I and II), functional movement specialist, pre- and post-natal certified, BodySpace Fitness focuses on functional fitness using safe and effective training methods for every fitness level. Due to the current circumstances, they're taking their classes live to your computer, iPad or phone via the Zoom app, so now anyone in the country can take a class with Gary and his staff of certified fitness professionals. Body Camp: Live are bodyweight friendly classes (with modifications available) with the option to progress to weighted exercises (if you have weights available). Have individual concerns or needs? The staff is available to you to help answer any questions you may have.
Cost: $18 for a single class, $75 for a 5-pack, and $150 for a 10-pack; bodypacefitness.com
If you consider yourself a beginner with exercise, it's important to find workouts that take this into account. "A great question to ask yourself when looking at any 'generic' workout is, 'are modifications available so that both a 20-year-old and a 50-year-old can safely perform it?'," says Clayton.
DailyBurn workouts are aimed at beginners, and each one offers modifications for every single exercise. Normally with membership, you'd get access to a 30-minute, full-body live workout each day of the week. Now, they have been forced to pause the live filming. Instead, all members are being upgraded to premium memberships, so you'll be able to access every past DailyBurn 365 live video, plus a library of over 1,000 workouts (including cardio, Pilates, dance, yoga, and more). Plus, with your membership, you'll have 24/7 support from the DailyBurn community.
Cost: Free 60-day trial during Covid-19, then $20 a month; dailyburn.com
Something to consider when choosing online fitness classes—are you looking for a workout or a program? "Anyone can post a random workout," explains Clayton. "I recommend steering clear of these. A program, on the other hand, takes into account a person's goals, current health status, and provides safe and logical progressions."
Beachbody On Demand provides you with over 66 programs that have been proven to help users get in shape over the past 20 years. Whether you're looking to try some well-known programs like Insanity with Shaun T, P90X, or the 21-Day Fix, you'll have access to all of the options. And not only does Beachbody give you fitness workouts, but it also gives you a nutrition plan based on the program you choose, so you'll be completely set up for success.
They offer kids programs, too (for free during Covid-19).
Cost: 14-day free trial, then $39 every three months or $99 for a year; beachbody.com
Barry's IGTV At-Home Workouts
Chances are you've probably heard of Barry's or maybe you're even a regular. This country-wide studio, known for its bootcamp style classes that traditionally pair treadmill intervals with strength circuit floor work (though they do have some variations that include cycling and stretching, too) quickly adapted to the new "stay home" reality and is bringing their familiar trainer's faces into your living rooms, free of charge. That's right; a class that would normally cost you $28-$38 is now free. On their website and Instagram, daily schedules are posted of the classes being offered each day. All are bodyweight workouts, and some offer the option to include simple equipment like resistance bands.
"For many, 'at home' workouts are synonymous with 'bodyweight training,' and I'm a big fan of bodyweight training for many reasons," says Drogoszewski. "The ability to progress, or regress almost every exercise makes bodyweight training a safe, reasonable, and effective approach for most, independent of their fitness levels; bodyweight workouts are functional; and they limit excuses."
Cost: Free via Instagram TV, barrys.com
Because the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, is forcing everyone to stay home, Nike has taken it upon itself to continue to promote sport, but taking it inside, with their new slogan "Play inside, play for the world." They are also offering their Nike Training App premium access to all completely free (normally $15 a month or $120 a year). You'll have access to over 185 free workouts, including a mix of full videos led by top Nike trainers, or individual exercises for each move of a workout that you can watch then or download to have later. The workouts range in difficulty from beginner to advanced; range in time from 15 to 60 minutes; and range in content from yoga, to HIIT, to strength training, to cardio, and more. The membership also lets you choose a program to start and complete, with workouts that build on each other.
"I think it's important to find a program that provides flexibility in intensity," explains Drogoszewski. "This is not to say a video that's easy, and the next is advanced, but a program, which provides the user an ability to self-manipulate through progressions or regressions. A program without flexibility can either pigeon-hole the user's ability to evolve as their bodies adapt, or injure them if they weren't prepared."
Cost: Free during Covid-19; nike.com
Staying at home means you can no longer get to your usual studios or workout with your usual instructors. So, why not make this your chance to try some new workout classes and concepts with trainers you might not have access to otherwise? OpenFit's platform gives you live on demand classes with some of the top trainers in the field. You can browse through the six programs and then commit to one—most have 10 to 50 workouts in the program. Some of the programs include Xtend Barre, Tough Mudder T-Minus 30, and Yoga52.
"Doing a few random workouts if you're fit and know what you're doing is fine, but being on a long-term program is best especially considering that we don't know how long gyms will be closed.," suggests Clayton.
14-day free trial, then $10 a month or $96 a year; openfit.com
Cost: For $20 off, use code: XTEND20
This started as a boxing-inspired training class that paired boxing and strength training. Then, it expanded to also include treadmill and strength training classes. But because of Covid-19, Rumble is now offering at-home bodyweight workouts for all, free of charge. Each week Rumble is posting the daily live workout schedule on their Instagram so you can tune in and shadowbox or train with them. And most require only your bodyweight.
One can get in amazing physical condition with just bodyweight workouts," says Rhodes. "If you look to history many of the figures we idolize in physical culture like the Spartans, gladiators, and Shaolin Monks developed incredible fitness leveraging primarily bodyweight exercise. These exercises are simple to execute, and you don't need a lot of space to improve."
What would normally cost you $36 for one class—plus you'd have to have a Rumble studio in your city—you now have the ability to work out with some of the most sought after instructors (who have crazy high energy) in the comfort of your own living room.
Cost: Free via Instagram; doyourumble.com
- Aaron Drogoszewski, LMT, CPT, CES, PES, MMACS, educator for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), founder of Recover in New York City
- Prentiss Rhodes, NSCA-CSCS, Strongfirst Certified Kettlebell, Bodyweight and Barbell Instructor, Black Belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, master instructor and project manager for the National Academy of Sports Medicine
- Nick Clayton, MS, CSCS, Chief Operating Officer of Pain-Free Performance Specialist Certification, former program manager for the National Strength and Conditioning Association