I decided to cancel my gym membership and exercise at home. Saves time, some money (though my gym was pretty cheap at less than $10/month), and gives me the flexibility to exercise in short spurts. In this series, I want to share the tools I’ve used to exercise at home, and the ones that didn’t work out for me. First up, the free fitness channels and apps:
Fitness Blender is a husband/wife team with probably the most complete, most ass-kicking workout videos I’ve used on Youtube. They have a minimalist approach – no music, no team in the back, a clean white background, and very little (often no) equipment. And it’s hard work!
This video (on Facebook) is a round-up of before & after pictures, from men and women who have used their workout programs. Pretty impressive.
Tiffany Rothe Workouts is so much fun, and chock full of sex appeal if you need to shake the frump away. The workouts I’ve tried have been somewhat low impact – you won’t feel like you’re going to die – but I can feel the effects, especially the next day. The 10-15 minute videos are meant to be repeated or paired with other videos for a full workout.
When I saw the slim Mary Helen Bowers, the ballet flats, and the serene white background, I had no inkling of the pain that would follow. This workout uses only body weight, lots of repetition, and ballet-inspired motions to deliver an intense workout. Many of her videos are available for free on Youtube, but the DVDs come with a few benefits. You can mute her voice instruction and listen only to classical music in the background – very nice touch. You can also customize your workout, by selecting the segments you want to use, like a playlist. Read the glowing reviews on Amazon for a little inspiration.
HIIT Interval Timer
When I don’t want to follow a video, this app is the best. You can program your active and rest times (example: 45 seconds active, 15 seconds rest), plus how many rounds you want to complete. Press start, and it will beep at the beginning and end of each set. What I like about this app: it’s free, it’s lightweight (doesn’t use much space on my phone), and the timer keeps me from quitting early!
More video channels to try
Update: I keep discovering more websites and Youtube channels with amazing fitness content! Here are more of my favorite free videos. Many of them have a low-cost paid option. If you find an instructor that really works for you, consider supporting their work with a purchase.