Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    The best free virtual workouts

    The best free virtual workouts

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    • Keeping fit at home doesn’t mean you have to shell out an expensive subscription fee to stream on-demand workouts and fitness classes. 
    • Thankfully, there are plenty of free at-home virtual workouts anyone can access whenever they’re feeling motivated to be active. 
    • Apps and services from brands like Nike, YMCA, and FightCamp all offer users a library of classes ranging from running, HIIT, boxing, and yoga. 

    At-home fitness is more important now than ever. With more people working from home and practicing social distancing, keeping fit and staying active requires a unique approach — and one that’s not as easy as just frequenting a local gym or fitness studio (of which are now closed).

    But while it’s important to stay healthy right now, we understand that paying for a fitness service may seem non-essential to your monthly budget. Doling out monthly dues for a multi-level gym with free weights, treadmills, and access to personal trainers is one thing but ponying up the money for access to a streaming video in your living room may not seem as viable an option.

    Thankfully, there exist plenty of free at-home virtual workouts that require nothing more than a little can-do attitude to use — and we’ve put in the time to test the best currently available. From fully featured workout apps via recognizable names like Nike to more beginner-friendly programs from the YMCA, we tried it all. Below, you’ll find our favorite free at-home virtual workouts that let you break a sweat at no charge. 

    Here are the best free at-home virtual workouts:

    The best free virtual workouts overall

    Nike training club



    Nike


    Normally $15 per month, the Nike Training app is now free, offering streaming strength, cardio, core, upper body, lower body, and full body workouts.

    If you’re looking for an app with a wide variety of workout types, Nike Training is the one. From strength training and core workout  to cardio sessions and upper and lower body-focused routines, the Nike Training app has over 185 workouts available, ranging from 15 to 60 minutes.

    I’m used to varying up my workouts daily — I usually do cardio each morning, either via running, a group fitness class, or yoga, followed by a strength training class or body part -specific workout in the afternoon. I’m used to being able to do different workouts on different days and with this app, I was able to keep up the variety in my routine without it ever feeling repetitive. 

    Nike Training allows you to take individual classes daily or pick from a multi-week program, all of which are taught and programmed by elite Nike trainers. The app also offers nutrition, sleep, mindset, and recovery tips from trainers and other experts, as well.

    Pros: Offers tons of workout variety, all taught by expert Nike trainers

    Cons: Some workouts are full videos versus others which are just videos of specific individual exercises with a set and rep scheme 


    $15.00 from Nike

    The best free yoga workouts

    gaiam yoga mat



    Gaiam


    If you’re looking to keep with your yoga practice and find some zen while working out at home, the free workouts from CorePower Yoga are for you. 

    CorePower offers a range of free signature classes, including: 

    • C1: a foundation-building, beginner friendly course
    • C2: a more challenging workout of postures and flow where experience is a plus
    • YS: a yoga and strength training routine
    • HBF: a blend of balance, core strengthening and flexibility that’s beginner friendly

    While the number of workouts is limited, CorePower does change them up on a weekly basis, adding for some variety and a fresh feel to the classes. 

    Though I’m more of a beginner or intermediate yogi, I’ve recently begun making yoga a part of my regular workout regimen. I’m not advanced enough to be able to flow on my own just yet, but I also don’t want to lose my practice all together. Using CorePower’s workouts allowed me to continue keeping yoga in my weekly routine, while continuing to learn at my pace. 

    The free workouts also offer a variety of meditations ranging from gratitude-focused courses to sessions based on love or trust. 

    Pros: Yoga workouts are changed on a daily basis, meditations offered

    Cons: Limited number of workouts


    $0.00 from CorePower Yoga

    The best free workouts for beginners or the elderly

    YMCA 360



    YMCA


    Stay moving and get familiar with a new set of routines using the YMCA 360 health and fitness on-demand videos.

    If you’re older and looking to keep healthy, YMCA 360 offers a section of videos specific for the active older user. This includes classes like Bootcamp, barre, yoga, weightlifting, Tai Chi, and Y Box.

    For the younger crowd, there’s even a youth soccer section with drills and a youth sports performance section with exercises to help develop skills — and to keep kids entertained while spending more time inside. 

    I liked that there’s a wide variety of workouts to choose from — especially exercise skills for youth sports — though I mostly stuck with the Bootcamp-specific workouts. These workouts moved at a steady pace and offered exercise modifications to make specific moves easier to manage. I personally like a bit more speed and energy in my workouts, but these get the job done.

    For anyone who likes familiarity with their workouts, and want to know exactly what they’re getting into, YMCA’s videos are perfect. Because there’s a limited number, you’ll be able to try them all and easily identify your favorites to repeat. 

    Pros: Short and long workout options across several exercise types, keeps time and rep counts for you

    Cons: Limited number of total workouts, doesn’t offer much variety in fitness level 


    $0.00 from YMCA

    The best free workouts for boxing

    fight camp



    Fight Camp


    Keep your punches in check while getting in a full-body cardiovascular workout when you download FightCamp.

    While FightCamp does offer the option to purchase a bag, gloves, and sensors to track your punches and progress, the brand also offers its actual workout videos via its app for free. This means that anyone who has a bag and gloves of their own, or who wants to shadowbox, can follow the free workouts. You can also let the app know your boxing experience and fitness level so workouts are suggested accordingly.

    My New York City apartment is too small for a boxing bag, so I chose to shadowbox during the workouts and found them to be great for cardio. Non-boxers may find it odd to wail away at the air but the intensity of the workout keeps you moving from start to finish, and can break a good sweat in just 20 to 30 minutes. 

    If you love boxing, or boxing-inspired workouts, consider downloading this app. There are more than 350 boxing and bodyweight workouts, so you’ll never be lacking in variety.

    Pros: Boxing workouts for people of all fitness levels, delivers a full-body workout, 350-plus workouts

    Cons: Mostly boxing specific, the full FightCamp setup is required for the interactive experience


    $499.00 from Fight Camp

    What else we considered

    Peloton



    Peloton


    While testing the included free apps, we came across several other services offering free workouts either through Instagram or Facebook Live streams or extended free trials. Here are a few of our favorites that stood out:

    Box Flow: Led by fitness expert, Olivia Young, Box Flow takes the popular boxing class formula and adds the mindfulness of yoga for a well-rounded, yet intense, workout. The brand, based in NYC, currently hosts daily streams of its workouts via Instagram Live, with Young herself leading a few of the workouts. 

    Camp Gladiator: Participate in live streaming workouts through Camp Gladiators Facebook Live channel, or try its at-home printable routines. These are free always but the site doesn’t offer a library of on-demand workouts.

    Peloton: Peloton now offers a free trial of its Peloton Digital Membership for 90 days. The app features thousands of on-demand workouts including running, strength, yoga, and cycling — and you don’t even need a bike to access them. 

    Tone It Up: Strengthen, tone, or get in some cardio with founders Karena and Katrina, as well as the app’s community of trainers. Choose individual workouts or do a program to follow. Free through April 22, 2020. 

    The Class by Taryn Toomey: Exercise your body and engage your mind with this untraditional form of training. These workouts help you to release stress and anything weighing you down through repetitive movements accompanied by loud exhales. It’s a transformative experience that everyone should try. The app currently offers a free two-week trial.

    FitBody: Shred, tone, or sculpt with this app created by trainer and social media personality Anna Victoria. Workouts are 30-45 minutes. The app includes food tracking, too.

    Snap Fitness: Snap Fitness currently offers free 90-day access to FitnessOnDemand.com, where you can stream workouts from Sweat Factor by Mike Donvanik, Nora Tobin, SH1FT, and DailyBurn.

    obé Fitness: Join a live workout from a daily schedule of 14 classes, or choose from its library of over 4,000 on-demand workouts including strength, Pilates, dance, HIIT, cardio boxing, and more. Currently free for one month to new users. 

    Jazzercise: Jazz up your usual routine with a little dance party. These workouts combine jazz dance, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing and HIIT. New users can sign up for a free two-week trial. 

    Hydrow: Join this brand’s free at-home 14-day challenge, which has a mix of 20- to 30-minute rowing and workout mat routines that include yoga, Pilates, and more. 

    Down Dog Yoga: This yoga app offers free access to any user through April 1, free access for students and teachers (K-12 and college) through July 1, and free access to healthcare professionals through July 1. 

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    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at reviews@businessinsider.com.

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