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I Tried It: YouTube Exercise Videos

The Five Best YouTube Exercise Videos

There are two things I know for sure: Armie Hammer looks beautiful in a tracksuit and I don’t want to leave my apartment this winter. Because of the latter, I realized online exercise routines could be my saving grace. So, this month, I put five YouTube workout videos (old and new) to the test — with apricot LaCroix cans as my weights…

7-Minute Workout, 2013, 9:04 minutes (x3)

What it is: A scientifically-based, animated routine that features 12 high-intensity exercises (wall sits, squats, jumps) using only your body weight.

Required materials: A wall, a chair and no downstairs neighbors.

My take: First, the good: The title is “7-Minute Workout,” and there are breaks every 30 seconds. A stoic, faceless man in a royal blue muscle tee (the secret to success?) shows you the moves. As for the questionable: Research behind the routine suggests the workout should be repeated three times for optimal impact, actually making it a 21-minute workout. Then come the push ups. And minutes later, more push ups with rotations — a move that requires you to rotate your body from push-up position into a 90-degree angle away from the ground, extending both (trembling) arms. Despite a week’s worth of attempts, I could never keep up in these final minutes. All in all, this video does remain true to one promise: it’s a workout. The only catch? It felt a little boring.

Beautiful Ballet: Total Body Sculpt Workout, 2013, 15:15 minutes

What it is: A ballet-inspired routine with concentrated toning moves led by former ballerina Mary Helen Bowers.

Required materials: A yoga mat and coping strategies.

My take: If one were to watch this video without physically following along, they might describe it as peaceful. Mary’s posture is majestic, her voice is soft, and her gentle movements could rock a baby to sleep. But don’t be fooled, this workout — intended to length muscles by repeating tiny movements — is tough. YouTube comments from past participants included: “If I had a dollar for every break I took during this workout,” and “This is madness.” They were right. Within minutes, the miniature movements felt piercing. Sets went by where I forgot to breathe until she told me to. But once the video was over and the pain subsided, I was proud of myself. Later that night, feeling strong, I even flexed for my boyfriend. So, I bookmarked it to do again.

Tiffany Rothe: Mountain Climber, 2011, 11:12 minutes (x3)

What it is: A routine featuring core workouts and cardio exercises taught by fitness guru Tiffany Rothe.

Required materials: Three- to five-pound weights (or pantry cans) and zero witnesses.

My take: I found a lot to love in this routine, which mimics climbing a mountain. Some highlights included running with an imaginary backpack (pushing your weights above your head), clearing leaves from a pathway (picking your weights off the floor) and crossing unexpected bodies of water — “Uh oh, here comes the stream,” she says — by rowing a boat (moving your arms in circles). It was weird and funny enough to distract me into doing lunges. There’s also Tiffany herself. She teaches at a speed that feels manageable, wears a flower in her braids and offers kind encouragement like, “That’s it, mountain climbers, almost there.” This was the sweatiest of the workouts I tried, but I’ve already happily returned to it.

Yoga with Adriene: Core (and Booty!), 2017, 28:42 minutes

What it is: A yoga practice guided by Adriene Mishler to tone the core and buttocks, with an emphasis on mindfulness.

Required materials: A yoga mat and a tissue.

My take: This class is a thirty-minute motivational speech for the motivational-speech weary. “We have so much that we didn’t know was possible, so much energy, so much potential,” she mentions casually in a Namaste pose. It was then that I realized I had just taken my first deep breath of the year. Her instructions are easy and relaxed, and filled with modifications for beginners. “Take your time getting there,” she whispers. I can’t touch my toes and I’m clumsier than I expected, but Adriene doesn’t care. She laughs at herself, too. And for that, I will tune in again.

Jane Fonda: Lean Routine, 1992, 60 minutes

What it is: An aerobic dance routine led by THE Jane Fonda.

Required materials: A large room and an appreciation of tube socks.

My take: It’s difficult to know when my infatuation for this video began. Maybe it was Jane’s lacy bodysuit. Maybe it was when she winked and said, “We’re going to go out to roof and have some fun,” as the video panned to studio set with a fake (but impressive) New York City skyline in the background — complete with flashing lights and smoke. Or maybe was it because, when starting the cool-down routine, every dancer nonchalantly put on sunglasses. However it started, here I am. The workout moves swiftly with jumpy hustles and twisting cha cha moves you combine into longer sets. It was difficult to keep up with, but I, like the rest of America decades ago, was hypnotized. Although I can’t picture myself making aerobic dance videos a habit, I’m 100% queuing this up the next time I host a party.

Thoughts? Do you have any workout videos you like? What do you do for exercise?

P.S. Five great exercise classes, and random activities considered a workout.

(Top photo of Jane Fonda.)

  1. Chrissy Shea says...

    I am loving the recommendations here. This comment section really is pure gold! I found the only cardio/classes I have truly loved were indoor cycling/spin, so I bought a used bike for a reasonable price on Facebook marketplace, downloaded the Peloton app, and mirror my phone to my Apple TV to do challenging (but not too wild!) 30-45 min classes that feel like any other spin class I’ve done. Just setting up our den so the bike is always ready to go is perfect since I’m in an online MBA program and can hop on the bike during my breaks. My husband even uses the bike! Definitely considering adding yoga into my routine, so it looks like I’ll be making a visit to Adriene’s Youtube channel!

  2. Erin says...

    YouTube workouts are THE BEST!

    Lately I’m loving Dr. Bri of FemFusionFitness. She’s a doc of physical therapy and a certified yoga instructor who designs workouts to strengthen, benefit, and protect pelvic health, addressing everything from painful/improved sex to diastasis recti. Plus she’s so sweet and joyful and really knows her stuff!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8P8jYUnqtkxbTdJ2_xwWuQ

  3. Meghan says...

    Fitness Blender! Kelli and Daniel are my go-to workout friends when I am stuck at home. Completely free!

  4. Meg says...

    Tamilee Webb’s abs/buns of steel were gold in the 90s! I would do those workouts using VHS tapes. They were actually pretty good! i even went back to them a few years ago while nursing a running injury.

  5. KS says...

    I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene for a few years now, and I have to say, she has come to feel like a close friend. She’s goofy, relaxing, and her attention to posture is essential for a home yoga practice (in my opinion). I think she’s great, and with videos at all levels and lengths — even if you’ve never done yoga before, I would highly recommend her channel.

  6. Maranda says...

    “Required materials: A wall, a chair and no downstairs neighbors.”

    Hahaha as someone who lives in an apartment with very creaky floorboards I appreciated this note.

    I have to say that I am not a big fan of YouTube fitness videos. I prefer to do in-person classes or workouts when I can so if I can make sure I’m doing the proper thing with my body and not setting myself up for an injury. I also tend to be really competitive and working out in front of others motivates me. If I’m alone in my house I will totally half ass the same workout I would have gone 100% on in the gym, solely because I know there are people around me.

    • Maranda says...

      Totally replying to my own comment but I forgot to add that the Jane Fonda video reminded me a) of how much I love Grace & Frankie and b) of a Paula Abdul dance fitness video I used to workout to when I was younger. I haven’t watched it in many many years but I can still remember part of the routine! So much fun :)

    • Laura says...

      i’m the same way! i’d been doing home workouts all before this month because i was intimidated by the gym and the pressure from other people. i took a chance and signed up a couple weeks ago and am loooooving it. turns out the pressure was a good factor for my workouts because i can’t slack off. and i’m actually finding weight training a lot more rewarding than my usual cardio fueled workouts. i’ll still try to do one cardio session per week, but am loving this change. the only thing i hate are all the misplaced weights at the gym lol.

      p.s. – many gyms offer a free first time personal training session, so anyone scared by the gym can use this session to learn more. i still watch tons of youtube/instagram videos before working out to learn more on proper form and how to do certain movements.

    • Yes! I searched the comments to see if anyone had already suggested this. Bad Yogi is my absolute favorite! Highly, highly recommend.

  7. polyana says...

    Yoga with Adriene is my all time favorite! She doesn’t make yoga poses feel intimidating, which I always feel when I attend classes with people who are absurdly flexible. I did her 30 day “challenge” in January, and finished every video feeling incredible! I also finished the month just feeling good in my own body.

  8. Laura says...

    Your writing is fantastic, Stella! Your voice is so clear and fun.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Thank you so much, Laura. Really. xoxoxo

  9. Haha this is brilliant! I may give the mountain climbing video a go just for comedy value if nothing else! (And potentially try the ballet one too….)

  10. Growing up my mom had a copy of a Jazzercise VHS hosted by the founder, Judi Sheppard Missett. I don’t know how it happened, but that VHS became the slumber party entertainment of choice for me and my friends well into high school. The leotards! The 80s hair! The snappy arm movements! A true classic. I should see if my mom still has it (and see if anyone has a VCR to play it on!).

  11. Kay says...

    I really love Keaira LaShae dance workouts, they don’t even feel like working out but oh man they leave you sweaty and get those endorphins going. Also, Blogilates never disappoints! Esther Eckhart yoga is a gem. And for those who are okay with paying for super effective videos, you can get a video membership to The Dailey Method on their website (amazing amazing amazing barre workouts).

  12. Lisa says...

    I really love FitnessBlender: https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender
    The hosts Kelli and Daniel just appear so normal – something that is really hard to find in the fitness industry. They have all kinds of workouts for different fitness levels from Pilates to Kickboxing.

    • Yeess I’m a Blender too :)

  13. Stephanie says...

    Yessss Armie in le trackie! Unstoppable.

    This is a really neat idea for a post – and fun! Will it be part of a larger series?

  14. My favorite 90s workout is on youtube… Windsor Pilates! Now I don’t have to fumble with the DVDs anymore…

  15. Love the barre workouts! Great post! People need to know they don’t need fancy gyms or equipment to stay fit!

  16. Alice says...

    HOWLING at the “Required Materials”. This is the absolute BEST. Great job, Stella!
    Have you ever tried the 30 Day Shred? I have never made it to 30 days, but it is brilliant and Jillian is a complete MACHINE. I completely agree about Yoga with Adriene though- she is completely magical, and her yoga workouts are the best I’ve ever done.
    I don’t tend to do too many at home workouts any more because I am OBSESSED with spin classes at my gym. And I NEVER thought I would be that person!!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      I can’t wait to check this out, Alice!!! Thank you so much. x

    • Alice says...

      Oh you’re so welcome Stella! :) x

  17. Deborah says...

    Beautiful video and exercises by the amazing nonagenarian Maia Hellas, who used to be a ballet dancer. Perfect for those seeking low intensity workouts – https://youtu.be/cZG1XqFUBDQ

  18. Laura C. says...

    Thank you Stella, I’ve been in a very bad mood lately and I needed some boost. You know when you have to study but you feel guilty for not doing a little of movement and when you go outside for a jog you feel guilty for not being at home studying?
    I love these videos, Tiffany is awesome, I see her as an Amazon like Wonder Woman!

  19. Maria says...

    I’ve been working out with this YouTube trainer Raneir Pollard. I think he’s also a stand-up comedian wannabe and his workout vidoes are soooo cheerful and fun! :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIeCMhNWFQQ

  20. Ivana says...

    I have started the 30 yoga challenge with Adriene a few days ago and as a total yoga newbie I am pretty surprised how easily I fell in love with the exercise. Adriene has very calming effect on me and her positive attitude helps me to bear with my clumsiness, not very open hip bones and self doubt. If I were to recommend one fitness guru, it would be her.
    Also, I definitely want to try the Ballet Beautiful (I used to dance as a teenager) and Tiffany Rothe!

    Thank you very much for this article, Jo!

    PS: I’ve been following your blog for nearly a decade but this is the first time I ever wrote a comment O:-)

  21. Fitness Blender!
    Hundreds of free varied workout videos for any taste, any level + the infectious down-to-earth, positive attitude of Kelli & Daniel + the forums where everybody helps each other!
    The only exercise I can stick to because it’s not boring and you challenge YOURSELF all the time :)

  22. I was watching my niece do a YouTube workout and all I thought was, Yikes. A lot of the moves (planks, twisting planks) require a core that is on absolute lockdown. As a Pilates nut and former aerobics instructor, I asked her whether she engages her core first. She had no idea. She’s setting herself up for a back injury.
    A lot of exercises can be done without coaching, but some really need to be done correctly or they cause more harm than good. If a move is difficult, skip it until you get stronger.

  23. Beth says...

    I love my fellow Aussie Michelle Bridges. She does great work out videos and is always sure to give a few different options so that you can choose something that suits your own ability!

  24. So glad you mentioned Yoga with Adriene! I fell into her videos more than 3 years ago and it’s the most consistent thing I’ve done for myself ever since. Also, she begins each year with a 30-day challenge. That’s 30 videos — FREE — to start your year off right. This year I have an infant and just moved to Italy so I’ve been slacking and still have a few videos left in the 2018 “True” challenge, but that’s the beauty of Adriene — she doesn’t make me feel bad about it. She’d tell me to get on my mat, be kind of myself, and find what feels good.

  25. Elise says...

    Great article, very helpful! However, if you want to set a regular home practice, I’d recommend going to a gym/yoga class in order to learn the positions/alignments right to prevent injuries, especially if you’re new to a sport.
    I do Yoga With Adriene every day and I love her goofy character. I feel better in my own skin since I started doing her yoga videos.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Great point, Elise!

  26. Nubian says...

    Yoga with Adriene really helped me with my stress and insomnia. Special shoutout to Jane Fonda though. That moment when they all whip out their sunglasses for the cool down <3

    My favourite youtube workout right now is the Fitness Marshall's Cardio Concert. His videos are all 3 minute dance routines, so you can curate your own workout based on the songs you like. It's intense but really, really fun and almost impossible to get bored of.

  27. Kiki says...

    Tone it UP a million times over!

    • That’s amazing! ???

    • Madame says...

      Wow!!! That IS the coolest thing about Jane Fonda videos!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Awesome, Nina! Thank you for sharing.

  28. Stella, you just made my day! I can’t stop laughing and consider this read to be my 10 minute ab workout. Seriously, I’ve never considered doing home work out videos and now I am counting the minutes until tomorrow morning to start. THANK YOU for pulling me in with your stylish wit. xo

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Awww, Stacy!!! Means so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  29. Not really a fitness video, but I’m in PT for some chronic pelvic pain and muscle tension, and my physical therapist has a podcast called PT Below the Waist that I found really helpful! I also do Adriene’s hip pain sequence, and I foam roll like a mofo.

    Any other ladies dealing with something similar?

    • Meg says...

      YES. Thank you for the podcast recommendation!! Also, thank you for bringing this up. I hadn’t heard much about it when I started going through pelvic floor issues, and felt like I was the only one for awhile. But there are a lot of us.

      I’ve found that hip opening yoga really, really helps mine, along with anything that frees up the lower back: giving my lower back freedom of movement vs. always trying to brace and stabilize (what I was originally taught to do during exercise) has been huge. I’m super aware of my movements, so I’m finding I can exercise safely without always “protecting” the lower back by tucking the pelvis. Also, the weird part: my pelvic issues will flare the worst when my hormones are off-kilter, and my hormonal issues were being triggered by turmeric, of all things. I was taking turmeric for chronic joint pain (worked amazingly well for joint inflammation, doctor was totally in favor of it), and love golden lattes, but when I quit both, my hormonal issues cleared up, and the pelvic pain went down by 95%. It’s fine in normal recipe amounts (can eat Indian food), but when I treat it like a supplement, all heck breaks loose in my lady parts.

    • Sophie says...

      Mommastrong is really really great for pelvic floor stuff too!

  30. Jen says...

    The mere thought of having to brave a gym puts me into a vulnerable state. For that reason, workout tapes (back in the day), DVDs (still), and now YouTube videos have always been my preferred method for working out. With them, I’m safely at home at a time that works for my schedule, and I don’t have to be concerned with others’ perceptions of my moves, my jiggles, my outfit….it’s so freeing. Even though I know better than to think that any of the Super Fit People at the gym might care to notice what is going on with me, I have always preferred my solo coaching from Jane Fonda (80s!), Billy Blanks (90s!), and Jillian Michaels (00s and 10s). And wow, this post and the comments have so many great new recommendations for me to check out. It’s terrifically helpful to know about all of these vetted options for my at-home workout routine. Thanks Stella and COJ readers!

  31. Melissa says...

    Yoga with Adriene is the best thing on YouTube. I talked my friends into doing it with me and we all keep each other accountable. She is such a healer.

    • I agree 100%! Her videos have helped me look at yoga as a daily way of life.

    • She is so tiny in real life! I ran into her here in Austin and blurted out, “You look bigger on TV.” She was really nice about it! One of my favorite youtubers.

    • Carol says...

      I agree. I follow her 30 day challenge every so often. I haven’t got to day 30 yet but every time I start it I get further along. Just started again this week. ?

    • Gully says...

      I just moved into a ground-floor London flat and I’m living by myself for the first time. Being able to do YouTube workouts at home is sheer joy. No worrying about embarrassing myself in front of my flatmates! No anxiety that I will wake the neighbours with my thudding steps! Working out wearing a sports bra and nothing else!

  32. YouTube is the BEST during a never-ending winter – or, as I’ve realized, during a toddler’s afternoon nap when you need to squeeze in ANY kind of movement for yourself. I followed BodyFit by Amy’s pregnancy cardio workouts and then her postpartum cardio workouts and loved them all! On my second pregnancy now and I’ve gone back for more.

  33. Mel says...

    I LOVE the insanity videos with shaun-T. There’s a more recent pack where the workouts are 30 min long and SUPER HARD! They say the best exercise is the one you like (because you keep coming back to it) and this does it for me! And I love that I can do them at home with zero witnesses and I can really give my all. By the end I’m dead and happy ;)

  34. lulu says...

    I remember watching Jane Fonda workouts as a kiddo. It’s still so hypnotizing! The sunglasses bit got me. I just rewatched the last 10 minutes of the damn thing just to see it and it was amazing.

  35. My favourite Zumba class here in Calgary, used to take place in a nightclub on Friday nights around 5pm, as servers were setting up and bartenders polishing glasses. They’d clear the dance floor for us, turn up the music, turn on the lights and let us go!
    My basement doesn’t have the same atmosphere, but your online recommendations for any dance based exercise classes are welcomed.

  36. Bec says...

    JANE FONDA. Oh my that was the BEST thing I have seen on the internet. Another vote for Adriene’s yoga channel here. I did 30 day of Yoga this year and it was very therapeutic for my mind & body and I didn’t need to organise a babysitter. Winning!

  37. Noelle says...

    My biggest takeaways from this article:

    -Is Jane Fonda in Grace and Frankie?
    -She is! (Yes I am clueless)
    -HOLY CRAP, SHE’S 80??

    I may try her workout video in the near future, solely in the hopes of aging as well as she has.

    • I love that she’s playing the character of a woman younger than she is because no one would believe she’s 80!

  38. Mary W says...

    I started swimming last October and have been using muscles I haven’t used in years! I’ve been supplementing the new exercise with Feldenkrais lessons. Feldenkrais is a body-awareness practice developed by Moshe Feldenkrais (an Israeli judo champion and physicist). The two activities complement each other perfectly. There are some free Feldenkrais lessons here: https://www.ryannagy.com/moptions/.

  39. Claire says...

    Many stars for including Jane Fonda’s fitness routine in this ;)
    My mom STILL quotes her “Don’t forget to breathe!” line. What a work of art this video is.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahahaha, love that, Claire!

  40. Amy G. says...

    I’ve been a loyal 8 minute arm-er for years now — does anyone remember those videos from Gym class!? I’ve memorized it and now I just do 12 reps of each move at the gym after I run. I started out using the 5 pound weights and now I’m up to 12 pounds!!

    Also, I’ve been thinking of adapting my guest room to a yoga friendly space, maybe this Adriene is just the boost I need!

    • I would be very interested in a link to this! I don’t know the routine but would love something simple and quick to do daily for my arms.

  41. Ellen says...

    Don’t know if anyone else has mentioned Mommastrong yet (http://www.mommastrong.com/), but I love it… 15 minute HIIT interval workouts that you can do on a mat & that incorporate pelvic floor stuff. $2 a month for daily workouts and also for a slew of helpful “fix me” videos (for back pain, etc).

    • I love Mommastrong (though, honestly, except for the prenatal vids and the post-natal di-recti vids they could be for everyone). The teacher is really real and downt o life too, which I apperciate. I just watched one about “winning ugly” where she talked about how sometimes you gotta do things even if they aren’t perfect (her kids came into the video, intrupting several times as a real life exampel of that!)

    • Sophie says...

      Yes!!!

  42. Natalie Gould says...

    Great post! Since becoming a mom, I’ve found getting to the gym to be an impossible task. So I did what I never said I would do – working out at home. I discovered Tracy Anderson almost a year ago and it has changed my life. I started out with her DVDs by streaming them on Amazon. There are a lot of options, but this is is what I tried first – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JJH2RGK/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Now I stream her studio workouts at home, and I love it. My body is leaner and stronger than before kids (she really focuses on the small, accessory muscles as opposed to the larger muscle groups which really pulls everything in for a long and lean look), it requires little to no equipment (just a mat, 3 lb hand weights and some ankle weights), is super challenging physically and mentally, and way cheaper than your typical gym membership in NYC. Highly, highly recommend!

  43. Nicole Marek-Klapat says...

    I have been doing at home YouTube workouts for about a year now and have lost 28 pounds! It is a great money saver and you can wear whatever you want. Thank you for this post. I am always looking for new things to try. Love cupofjo! Browsing and reading it is my absolute favorite few minutes to myself every day.

  44. Kate says...

    I’m a big fan of Fitness Blender – lots of free workouts of various lengths and difficulties, really easy to see what to do and their presence is great. I have also just started Fitness Marshall, dance cardio to current hits – I can’t dance but its great fun.

    • Meghan says...

      LOVE FB!

    • KR says...

      Agree with both of these! I LOVE
      fitness blender, especially their free 5 day workout challenges (both for “busy people” as 30 min videos) and a full hour long set. I find this sets a mini goal for me and I try to get through all 5 workouts in a week. I just set up a yoga mat and wear gym shoes in my living room, and with my adjustable set of weights it’s all I need to get in a great workout without leaving home :)

    • Georgia says...

      LOVE fitness blender. Daniel and Kelly aren’t annoying. They really really know their stuff. They’re reasonable. The website is SUPER user friendly. Zero complaints.

  45. witloof says...

    I contra dance a couple of times a week and it actually keeps me in great shape.

    When I was in my 20’s {in the early 80’s} I used to go to Jazzercise classes and an aerobic dance class near my office in Berkeley a few times a week. I adored it and loved my headbands and leotards and footless tights until I injured myself one too many times and couldn’t continue. I see that there is still Jazzercise in NYC, and am occasionally tempted to go and see what it’s like now.

  46. Shannon says...

    Best post ever! I do youtube workout videos at home during naptime and even tune in while at the gym for extra discipline. All the ballet beautiful videos are amazing, I even found some prenatal ones to do while pregnant.

    My favorites are:
    Arms, Karen Lord Pilates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWyfW4hACQw

    Legs, Karen Lord Pilates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj2UdNxxAGw

    All of Lauren Hefez’s videos will quick your butt, but a few favorites are:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eVnH2bw1lM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZR1q_9-IdA&t=787s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0t90ATjeLg

  47. I LOVE this post!!

    I’m a huge fan of YouTube workouts when I can’t be bothered to leave the house for a run or a class. I find that some of my favorites are dance classes! My boyfriend and I love to do them together because we die laughing at ourselves– extra core work!

  48. Chelsi says...

    When I was five years old I dropped out of kindergarten so I could focus on my workout instructor career. Every morning I’d pull on my leg warmers and suspender clad teddy bear leotard, making sure to wedge the rear up my tiny tush as high as possible – butt checks out. Jane Fonda was my idol and that video was played in my VCR every single day.

    • Ker says...

      This comment made my day!

  49. Natacha says...

    My best friend and I in middle school (ok, high school too) we’re obsessed with Jane Fonda lean routine! We had it memorized. I haven’t watched it in years (we were in middle school when it was a new release). I’ve just decided to invite her over for a weekend and conquer the cha-cha-cha once again!

    • Natacha says...

      Oops wrote wrong email in that last post

  50. Mary says...

    Lucy Wyndham Read is the best online trainer. She posts new workout videos almost daily on her youtube channel.

  51. Marlena says...

    Yoga with Adrienne is the best. She is the only yoga “class” I can bother with because she is so down to earth. She has this amazing habit of stating what to do and then adding, “Or whatever. You do you.” I love that! Also, this photo of Jane Fonda instantly reminded me of old memories of myself sitting in the bleachers of the dance room at UNLV watching my mother take dance classes. Every woman had that hair and wore a version of that outfit, the leotard and tights and leggings, and I wanted to be them! Can we revive this look? I feel like along with more compassion in the world today we need 80’s hair and leggings more than ever. Ha!

    • Nicole Marek-Klapat says...

      Adrienne is the best!

  52. trish says...

    best first sentence of an article ever, and i agree with every word!

    love it!

    There are two things I know for sure: Armie Hammer looks beautiful in a tracksuit and I don’t want to leave my apartment this winter.

  53. That Jane Fonda video is mesmerizing.

  54. michaela says...

    I have been doing Adriene’s yoga videos whenever I can at home lately! I like her recent TRUE 30-day series. Each video is under 30 minutes so it’s been a great re-introduction to yoga, which I haven’t practiced in a few years. I haven’t been able to do it every day so I’m still about halfway through, but I’ve really enjoyed that each video has built upon the previous videos while still introducing some variety. It’s especially appreciated that some days are intentionally higher-intensity with some easier-going days sprinkled throughout. If I want a longer workout, sometimes I’ll do two of the videos.

    I’m really curious to check out the mountain climber video you recommended. Hiking is my preferred form of exercise but I don’t make it outside every weekend. I’m hoping to start training for my first backpacking trip soon, so maybe this will help when I can’t make it to the mountains!

  55. Daniela says...

    This post came at a great time. I have an unlimited yoga pass to my favorite studio so I try to go there as much as possible, but lately I haven’t had the chance and am trying not to be too hard on myself when I don’t go. I tend to feel guilty about it but I just moved and still have seemingly 100 boxes to unpack, am working two jobs while looking for a new one, and have a social life and need time to relax too. It’s OK if I do a 20 min workout at home rather than head to the studio! I’ll be trying the ballet and yoga ones here :)

    I’m also planning to take an actual ballet class and start tae kwon do, and I hike whenever I can and like to climb with my boyfriend.

  56. B says...

    I love Mary Helen Bowers so much. Her Ballet Beautiful Total Body Workout is so unassumingly difficult it makes me groan and yell crazy obscenities, which feels like such a contradiction to her soothing voice and the beautiful classical music.

    • Erin says...

      I love Mary Helen! I do her youtube videos and, even though they make your muscles burn, being down on the floor makes me feel like even if my energy is low, I can still manage them. And her bridge series is the most effective thing I’ve ever tried for my butt!

  57. This is so, SO great. I am *finally* getting back to exercising and trying to feel great about my body after two babies, and though I go to the gym almost every day (hello, kinda free childcare), I am really only comfortable doing cardio there. The classes and the weight machines terrify my introvert heart/mind! I know that strength does not come from cardio alone, however. So excited to try some of these out after putting the kids to bed, if my own bed and a glass of wine don’t get to me first…

    • Laura says...

      hi jane! many gyms offer a free first time personal training session, if you’d want to ask about that to learn more on strength training. when i’m doing a new movement with weights, i learn about it on a youtube or instagram video, then take myself to an isolated little corner with the weights. i started doing the basic moves (squats, deadlifts, bicep curls), and have slowly incorporated weights or more complex moves. many just require body weight when starting out (squats, push ups) so weights aren’t even necessary! i’ve even asked people how they’re using a machine (which sounds small but is a big feat for my introverted self). i’m new to all this haha but just thought i’d share because i’ve been loving weight training.

  58. I’ve been going to a barre studio regularly (3-4 times a week) for the past three months, and I have been LOVING it! The music, the movements, and the variation in choreography are great. I’ve also tried Adriene’s yoga videos, and I really love them, too. I appreciate her style of instruction and personality.

  59. Andrea says...

    I love, love, LOVE Yoga with Adriene!

  60. Thank you for compiling these! The task of wading through YouTube workout videos on a busy morning inspired my partner and I to start a fun side project: TheWorkout.Today – a daily email with a workout that takes 30 minutes or less that you can do at home, no equipment needed, for free. It’s been so fun! We’ve received lots of positive feedback (and can’t ever back out of doing a workout since we have to test them all!)

  61. Haylee says...

    Literally (side note–every time I use this word now, I think of COJ! It’s just so hard NOT to say this word) I relate so much to everything Stella writes. Like, apricot La Croix cans, that is my jam. And Trader Joe’s budget buys, and crock pot recipes, it all feels so relevant. I love all you ladies and your distinct voices! This blog is my favorite space of the internet to visit. And I’m 100% going to try a Jane Fonda exercise video now. How did I not think of this before…I mean, the sunglasses!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Oh my goodness, Haylee, this is seriously the kindest comment ever! You really made my week, thank you!!!

      xoxoxox

  62. Cait says...

    Is there anything more hilarious than a belt with a Lycra leotard? :) Gotta make sure that thing is going to stay in place!

  63. Mia says...

    Thank you for this! So funny and spot on. I’m 10 weeks pregnant and am NOT feeling my usual 5 km running routine, so this is gold. I’ve been an Adriene convert for years! Can’t wait to check out the other videos!

  64. Megan says...

    Why did no one warn me that if I clicked on the Armie Hammer photo that I would simultaneously drool and fall out of my chair?!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahahahaha. Those eyes, though!!!!

  65. mb says...

    Fun fact about Jane Fonda’s workout videos–they funded politics she favored: “And I read an article that Lyndon LaRouche—that really bad, but very wealthy guy had a computer business that would fund people that would hold those signs at the airports and go into gay bars, and his people would beat gay people with chains and stuff like that. And I read an article that said that he supported all that with this computer business. And so, I thought, “OK, what business can I go into that could make money?” And it was the workout.”
    So savvy!!! See here: https://www.democracynow.org/2018/1/26/a_lifetime_of_activism_jane_fonda

  66. Lily says...

    Armie! Yes!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahaha #cantstop

    • Laura says...

      #wontstop

  67. jessica says...

    This is such a great topic! Enjoyed this post! I would like to throw my suggestion in there, I have loved Tara Stiles Yoga for quite some time, she has so many different workouts and challenges and whatnot on her channel. AND she is Jane Fonda endorsed lol ;)

  68. Nadine Hughey says...

    You Tube really does have something for everyone, even if you only want it for ONE minute – which I don’t understand! I’ve liked all the hour-long beginners’ yoga for weight loss I’ve done so far & like everyone really enjoyed Adrienne from Austin.

  69. I subsist on a steady diet of youtube workouts: Blogilates, Fitness Marshall, Refitrev, Group Hiit, Dance Fitness with Jessica, any zumba video to despacito…

    I have two little kids, a full time job, zero downtime. Every weekend morning I sit the kids on the sofa and they watch/critique my workout. “Mom, you aren’t pointing your toe like the lady!” “Mom, how come you stopped, the lady didn’t say to stop!” They are four years old and so so judgmental.

    Can’t wait to try these new ones, especially Jane Fonda!

    • Robin says...

      So great :). My younger one is 16 months – looking forward to the day he’ll stay put long enough for this. My four year old would LOVE it. He’s been trying to get me to take karate classes with him ?

  70. Sabrina says...

    My mom and I used to do the Jane Fonda: Lean Routine in the 90’s!! I can still remember some of the steps!!

  71. Katie says...

    howwwling at your “required materials”…

  72. Sarah Beth says...

    LOL this is so funny– Jane wears the same lace unitard in the intro and the workout, but her hair goes from straight to curly! Also the lady exercising in denim cutoffs and vest! I can’t wait to put on some suspenders and workout with Jane!

  73. Josephine says...

    I’m another Adriene fangirl – I’ve done a couple of her 30-day challenges, as well as a selection of her other vids, and I love her easy banter and encouragement!
    I’ll also add my vote for Fitness Blender. I just discovered the website at the beginning of this year when I wanted to start doing regular HIIT and cardio workouts, but I don’t have many opportunities to leave the house to go for a run or to the gym (I have two boys too young too be left by themselves, and a husband that works long hours). The trainers, Kelli and Daniel, are approachable and encouraging without being show-offs or patronising. The sessions are challenging and effective, and you don’t need any equipment for a lot of them! I really work-up a good sweat, and feel so much better for having started! The workouts are approx. 40 minutes each, including a good warm-up and cool-down.

    • Erin says...

      Yes!! A vote for Fitness Blender too! I just did a HIIT workout this morning and I can tell I’m going to be so sore tomorrow! Lots of videos to choose from and I love that there isn’t background music. :)

    • Katherine says...

      A second vote for Fitness Blender! I discovered Kelli and Daniel three or four years ago upon realizing that I prefer to work out at home rather than schlep my way to the gym. I love that they advocate for a healthy balanced lifestyle, none of their videos are sponsored, and there’s such a variety in the length and intensity of their videos. Since working out with them, I’ve learned to love HIIT, tabata, and circuit training, and since you can do them at home – no excuses!

    • Sarah says...

      I love fitness blender, too!

    • Cassie says...

      I give another vote for Fitness Blender. I’ve been working out with Kelli and Daniel for about 2 1/2 years now. They have so many videos available of all different lengths, types, and intensities. If you go to their website you you can filter and pick your workout based on those criteria plus workout focus. You can add them to a calendar and make your own program. If you don’t want to make your own program, you can buy one of their 8 or 4 week programs for a very reasonable price…I think most of them are about $10 and then you have that program forever to use. Essentially, they take their free workouts and put them in calendar program for you and then you don’t have to decide which workout to do that day. I have bought 8 of their programs. I am very happy to support their company. I highly recommend Fitness Blender…it is so versatile regarding time and workout focus and Kelli and Daniel are great.

    • Ker says...

      Another vote for Fitness Blender! A great feature (in addition to everything already mentioned) is that you can play your own music in the background and it works really well. I get my Fitness Blender workout going in one tab and a Beyonce playlist on YouTube in another. Love it!

  74. “apricot lacroix cans” had me crying. Love this!

    xo Jess

  75. Melanie says...

    Stella, this is a great post. You are very funny- I was laughing at your descriptions- no downstairs neighbors…
    I’ll try the yoga with me kids.
    Thanks for the reviews!

  76. Ismah says...

    I like Lucy Wyndham Read for short HIIT workouts and Yoga with Adriene. I would LOVE to see a beauty routine with Adriene!!

    • Amy says...

      I second Lucy Wyndham! She is so sweet and down to earth. Plus her workouts work!

    • Chris says...

      Yes yes yes to an Adriene beauty routine – she absolutely glows!

  77. Jen says...

    Has anyone posted about POPSUGAR Fitness? That is my go to fitness channel! 3-4x a morning I do an exercise video from this channel. Anywhere from 10-60 mins workouts. They literally have every type of workouts and I love their guest fitness instructors. And all their workouts have beginner to advance modes and because they have so many workouts, I never get bored, even though I often repeat some of my favorites.

    • Bridgette Stone says...

      Word! also my go to. Love the variety and my wife gets a good laugh listening to the disembodied voices from the other room. She says it sounds like uncomfortable adult videos, me murmuring curse words rounding out the listening experience.

    • Andrea says...

      I love Popsugar! I get so bored doing the same routine, and never saw much of a change with years of swimming and plates classes. Now I have much improved muscle definition and can do 12 “real” pushup in a row! Also drinking an apricot la croix right now actually…

  78. Liz C says...

    Yoga with Adrienne! I. Love. Her. I love all of her videos. I followed her “30 Days of Yoga” last year (yes, I pulled up YouTube everyday for 30 days!). By the end, I was able to get my heels to touch the floor in downward dog pose. Impressive for this busy mom. This post just motivated me to give it a shot once again!

  79. Anna says...

    Such a fan of Yoga with Adrienne! She’s like going to church (or free therapy?) for me. :)

  80. EllaCo says...

    Yoga with Adriene is my absolute favorite. Try her bed-time yoga sequence (linked to below.) It is so relaxing and yummy. My standard pre-sleep activity is lying awake worrying about everything, but those thoughts happily quiet down after a little bed-time yoga. Can’t endorse this lady enough.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOTGz-1vizY

  81. Lindsay says...

    OMG I used to do the Jane Fonda one via videotape with my mom!! I can’t believe it popped up here! I can still remember the “jog in circle while pumping one arm move” – ha!

  82. Ellie says...

    I can’t tell people enough that I really love Spotebi! (spotebi.com). The workout plans require a fee, but I just pick a workout and they’re free! I love that they’re all about 25-30 min and you can pick a focus area or whole body.

    Each page gives you a breakdown of the moves (I usually give it a once over so I know what I’m doing). Then I just hit play on the Spotify playlist (weirdly I have to separately open Spotify on my Macbook too, but whatever) and then play on the built in timer. The timer is nice and big and has both an animated girl showing you the move and audible cues when it’s time to switch it up so you don’t have to think about the timer at all!

  83. Stella, you had me cracking up all throughout this. Which is, frankly, the only way I want to read an article about exercise (insert shoulder shrug emoji). My interest is piqued, so thank you!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Thank you so much :)

  84. Kara says...

    I gave up my pricey gym membership and now subscribe to Les Mills on Demand for BodyPump, Grit etc. All of the group exercise classes I enjoyed at my gym now done in my home. I can workout when I want without having to get in my car and drive to gym. I’ll definitely check out the Youtube videos!

  85. Hilary says...

    I highly recommend Blogilates. I started using Cassey’s videos 4 years ago and they not only changed my life, but my body too!

    • Jamie says...

      I started a year ago, and I love the changes that have taken place! I follow the calendar the best I can, and it feels so good to be able to finish a 50 min day!

  86. Lauren says...

    Thanks for this post! Besides running, all I do are in home workouts because it’s much easier with my two young kids.

    I love Fe Fit – its a DVD series that features a bunch of different type of 30 minute workouts geared towards women and moms. They have barre, upper body, lower body, total body toning, cardio, and stretch/yoga. It’s nice because it allows me change up my workouts and still get it done in a reasonable amount of time. Bonus – it was started by two of the kindest people I know who are dear friends of mine.

    I also adore YouTube videos, particularly Fitness Blender and PopSugar Fitness.

  87. Haylie says...

    No one has mentioned my favorite, The Fitness Marshall, yet! His dance videos are really technically challenging and I’m sure I Look like a goof most of the time, but who cares? Plus, his backup dancers have a bunch of different body types, and they’re all totally fierce. I wouldn’t say it’s the most intense workout, but right now, when I’m glued to the computer trying to finish my dissertation, it helps a lot to just get up and dance for five minutes.

  88. Hilary says...

    I gotta give a shot out to Blogilates! I started using her videos 4 years ago and Cassey Ho not only changed my life, but my postpartum body.

  89. Whitney says...

    Thank you for doing this post! I’ve been trying to decide where to start all week with workout videos online. It’s very intimidating! I so badly need to get back in shape but I stay home with my two boys and just can’t bring myself to do a 5:30 am workout.

  90. Ashley says...

    If you like dancing and don’t mind figuring it out as opposed to instruction the videos from saskiadansschool are super fun. My sister and I sometimes do 4 or 5 songs and we’re always sweating and laughing.

  91. Laura says...

    Up until a month or so ago I was going through a major fitness rut. My elderly dog passed away a couple years ago (love you Angus), and I used to walk him regularly. After that I gained some weight and had trouble getting into a routine. I don’t have internet at my house so I haven’t been able to get into Youtube workouts. However, a couple months ago thanks to a Cup of Jo commenter I have been doing barre workouts. (I clicked through to the commenter’s blog, which happened to have a post about a 10 minute online Barre workout). It occurred to me that I used to take ballet and certainly could come up with a 10 minute barre routine on my own based on my own knowledge.
    I work at a desk job and Lauren Conrad posted something like “5 stretches to do after work” and that seemed really appealing and doable since I sit all day. So I started doing those after work (which is great in that it gives me a solid idea of when to work these into my day) and if I have time, I will also do the simple barre routine I created for myself, based on what I can remember from ballet class. The stretches are a great way to get motivated to do the ballet because once I’ve done the stretches I feel motivated to do some more moves. I also throw in a couple pushups and ab exercises. If I don’t have much time, I at least do the stretches every night, no matter what.

  92. Lo says...

    I recently sprained my ankle, meaning I can’t make it to my usual yoga classes, so I’ve been on YouTube to stay active. I love Caroline Jordan’s series of workouts for people with a foot injury!

  93. The “required materials” had me laughing out loud on the subway! I pay 18/month for yogaglo, which I love, but now am thinking I have to give Adrienne a shot! I love the writing in this post and also that these are videos all us readers can try, for free. Such a good idea!

  94. Jamie says...

    Yes!!! I’m so glad you wrote about this. I have been working out almost exclusively using YouTube videos for the past two months and I am loving it. You can’t beat the price (free :) )! My favorites are mostly the Popsugar fitness videos. They have 4 videos led by Simone de la Rue of Body by Simone fame. I have a tough time picking up choreography. I love that her videos break down all the steps so that you’re just repeating the moves over and over until you get the hang of it.

  95. Amanda G says...

    Thanks to roommates who are home all the time, and absolutely zero space where I can work out in our apartment without giving them a show, I had to branch out from at-home workouts. I discovered Fit36, a gym relatively close by that promised quick and effective HIIT workouts and decided to give it a go. Turns out, these guys are a godsend! In the past, I have never been motivated enough to give myself a good workout by going to a regular gym alone, and other class-oriented gyms haven’t really been a good fit for me, for various reasons. But with this gym, I’ve found I absolutely love the workouts, the trainers, and the community. The workouts follow a similar format of different exercise stations that you’re at anywhere from 45 seconds to 1.5 minutes, generally completing 2 or 3 circuits with minimal rest in between exercises. Plus, there are three different concurrent circuits that change every two weeks, which is great if you are easily bored!

  96. Heather says...

    My sister and I used to the Jane Fonda workouts with my mom when we were kids! Oh the memories! (And the leotards/headbands/slouch socks)

  97. Allison Leedie says...

    I LOVE yoga with Adrienne! She’s the best. I still think Cup of Joe should do a feature on Momma Strong (http://www.mommastrong.com/). Thanks for these :)

    • Sharon says...

      Second Momma Strong! I love her stuff, and who doesn’t have 15 minutes?! I am not even a mom but love all of her moves to help with back and pelvis alignment.

      I also love and subscribe to bulldogyoga. It is the only online yoga class that I actually finish and feel better than in a live studio class. Also love the 45 min format. Not too long, but a solid workout. I am a home workout convert. So much more convenient and I find myself getting outside for more walks (even when it’s cold!) without any guilt for wasting a gym membership.

    • Ana says...

      Yes, please!

    • emily d says...

      YESSSSS to momma strong. she is a hoot and her workouts are awesome. $2/month!!! i give subscriptions as gifts at baby showers now. i went to her workshop last summer, big and pregnant.

    • Kerri says...

      I found momma strong in the comments section here on COJ last fall and it is the thing that has finally gotten me out of my exercise hiatus since having kids. My back pain is almost totally gone, I feel stronger, and my posture is sooo much better!

  98. I have been really into pilates from The Balanced Life with Robin Long (on YouTube). I love that they are 10 minutes, so I can mix and match and do 10, 20, or 30 minutes depending on how much time I have. I’ve even gotten away with doing 10 minutes while my 2-year-old is around!

    I’ve also had a subscription to MyYogaworks for years (got in when they started so I only pay $5/month). I LOVE it. The quality is amazing, the instructors are top notch, and there are yoga classes at every level and for EVERYTHING (sciatica, long day at the office, working on handstand, post partum, pregnancy, restorative/healing, etc.) Highly recommend!!

  99. I’m a big outdoor runner so I wasn’t too upset when we moved and I didn’t have a gym anymore. The temperatures started to drop a bit and I started finding some videos on youtube too! I’ve been drawn to HASfit for HIIT workouts and some with weights (I purchased some weights at Target and I’m so glad I did!) and POPSUGAR (for their kickboxing especially, but variety in general). I’ve been sampling yoga channels, I’ll definitely give Yoga with Adriene a try!

  100. Fitness Blender!

    They are amazing for all levels! If you are overwhelmed with the sheer number of videos they have available, their pre-built routines for purchase are super affordable at about $10 a pop. I have purchased a few and found I stuck with them.

    • Lauren E. says...

      I second Fitness Blender! I like that they have videos of all lengths, too. So if I need a 25 minute workout, they have one. And I keep going back to them. Highly recommend.

    • I love Fitness Blender too!! It’s so good and you can choose exactly what you want in the moment. I haven’t paid for any of their workouts or programs but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them!

      Another fav is yoga by Candance. So many good vids on youtube!

    • Andrea says...

      For apartment dwellers, they have a “quiet” cardio video; no shoes, soft movements, but definitely sweaty. Love those two!

  101. Megan Lec says...

    I was so excited to see Yoga with Adriene included! I’ve suggested her videos to friends and clients for years! As a mental health counselor I’ve done her videos with kids, adults in recovery, and even at home 41 weeks pregnant! Love her approach and how accessible she makes yoga.

    • Katie says...

      Seconding this! I love so many of her videos (there’s a bedtime one that really helps me when I’m trying to wind down for bed and am feeling anxious) and honestly I feel like she’s my slightly-cooler, wise friend who happens to be great at yoga.

  102. rebecca says...

    Check out the Alo Yoga channel!! There are some really great classes. Also agree with the above comment about Popsugar Fitness.

  103. Tina C says...

    I had just posted on a message board (makeupalley) asking for any recommendations regarding youtube fitness videos! Wow, this came at just the right time for me, especially as no one had responded! Cannot wait to check them out, I’m 8 months post partum (okay, 10) and I am still wearing my maternity jeans; not feeling too great about mingling with other people at a gym just yet. Thank you so much! *hi 5*

  104. Emma says...

    YES! I love Yoga with Adriene! I’ve done two of the 30 day challenges since November and I’ve never felt better. Her videos are gentle enough to do every day, but I’ve made big gains in strength, flexibility, and stress-management. Got my mom and best friend hooked too. Can’t recommend the “TRUE” 30 day challenge more highly! I second the desire for a beauty post/week of outfits with Adriene.

    Shout out to Fitness Blender too, which is great, but intense enough that I’m sore for days afterwards.

    • Liz C says...

      YES PLEASE! I second a beauty post/week of outfits with Adriene. I bet she’s a follower of Cup of Jo and we don’t even know it! :-)

  105. Lisa says...

    For those of you with kids, my kids have gotten so into Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube. They will do two or three shows of yoga moves and are so proud to show off their tree, airplane and crab poses!

    When I was first trying to get whipped into shape, I found following printed out workouts easier (like Bikini Body Guide) than trying to watch a video with kids underfoot.

  106. I didn’t realize until I pressed play on the Jane Fonda workout that I’ve done it before … as a child … behind my mother… in probably 1987. What a trip down memory lane!

    • Ann says...

      Me too! I can’t believe it. I’ll never forget Jane saying, during a set of step-ball-changes, “Don’t trip on the carpet, pick your feet up!” and feeling like she could SEE ME.

  107. Jenny says...

    I recently discovered Yoga with Adriene and I love it! Adriene is such a gifted instructor. She’s changed my life!

  108. I hate going to the gym (and don’t), so I supplement salsa dancing and walking with youtube videos. One of my favorites is JessicaSmithTV: everything from barre to pilates to weights. I’ve also done a bunch of different resistance band videos and standing abs. The sheer amount of variety is soooo helpful!

  109. This is super timely, I just started doing HIIT workouts with Joe Wicks body coach on YouTube a couple of weeks ago and am really enjoying how easy it is to fit in some exercise even with 4 small kids!

    I ended up using his work outs bc he doesn’t talk about losing weight while he’s doing the workout and there aren’t lots of super thin women on the screen – my 3 yr old daughter is normally playing in the room with me so a lot of YouTube videos feel a little off! But Joe Wicks is a bit like watching a Jamie Oliver cooking show! Will have to check out your recommendations too (my Mum used to do the Jane Fonda one!) x

    • D says...

      Joe Wicks is the best! He’s adorable and when he does the weights plus HIITs from his 90 day plan he struggles a bit himself, which makes me feel soooo much better because I’m usually half dead. But if I can do it, literally everyone else can because I am exercise intolerant!

      His instagram is hilarious too… BOSH!

  110. Elise says...

    My dad and I used to do Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies when I was growing up in our basement (I grew up in Portland where it rained pretty much every day in the winter through spring) and we had a great time! Now, twenty years later, whenever I hear pretty much any “oldies” song it brings me back and I think of him. I tried doing them again, but felt so bad for my downstairs neighbor I had to stop, but maybe I’ll try again once we live in a house!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      This is such a fun memory, Elise!

  111. LOVE THIS. One of my earliest memories is a squash court in Singapore, where my mother regularly lead a group of neighbors in a Jane Fonda workout, using the cassette tape and the book. I remember a lot of perms. And leotards.

    But in all seriousness, Stella, try the SWEAT app. It’s pretty much the best.

    • Amy says...

      Second the SWEAT app!! It seems expensive at first ($60 for three months), but is SO SO worth it for the structure and for having so many different kind of workouts (I get bored easily). I originally rolled my eyes at Kayla Itsines for being called “Bikini Body Workouts,” but I follow her on Instagram and now believe she’s a genuinely decent human being who focuses much more on building strength for YOUR body than on having a perfect body. It’s also a pretty kind, loving community of women of all sizes trying to encourage each other.

  112. Joanna says...

    I have been a big fan of Adriene for over 2 years. I am in my 60’s and find she is accessible to all ages and fitness levels. Her different 30 Days of Yoga (I’ve done 3) really help one to get started and establish a routine and true discipline to get to the mat everyday. Loved all your suggestions and will give them a try.

  113. Sam says...

    Seconding Fitness Blender! They have so many videos and most are truly HARD. Lots of burpees and squat jumps. They are tough but never boring!

  114. Oneida says...

    I NEVER worked out until I realized that if I wanted my body to be healthy and strong in the latter part of my life, I needed to get on it! So much of working out by my peers had been about losing weight and since I was sometimes even underweight, I never did. But the more I matured, the more I desired health, not a certain body type. My friend suggested Daily Burn videos…you can pay to get them everyday but they post free ones that sometimes rotate out. I love it because I have zero physical ability but they cater to all levels. I couldn’t even finish the first workout the first time I did it but I gradually moved up and now actually look forward to doing it (the 36 week pregnant woman in back of the video may have motivated me to realize I could do it ha!) They have different trainers so it’s fun to get different styles. They always do cardio and strength with fun music and someone doing a modification if you need it. They also have different shapes and sizes of people doing it in the background which is encouraging when you don’t feel like an athletic person. You can tell, too, that they are a fun community and that they are motivated to help people be healthy! And lots of times they have guests, like ice skaters or nutritionists or even online fans. I highly recommend it for someone who has no background in working out!

  115. carolyn says...

    Stella, yes!! I just started YouTube workouts last month and am surprised to find myself strangely looking forward to exercising. I’ve stuck to the POPSUGAR Fitness channel. My fave so far was an ab workout with an Australian instructor: You lie on your stomach with chest and legs elevated, basically doing the breast stroke. It looks so weird, but I’m alone in my living room, so who cares? So it actually becomes fun.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      “It looks so weird, but I’m alone in my living room, so who cares? ” LOL yes 100%. Can’t wait to check it out, Carolyn! Thank you!!!

  116. So I totally shocked myself this fall and fell into a Beachbody program with a coach I met on Instagram and it’s genuinely been one of the best things I’ve ever done. The workouts kick my ass and I’m always able to check in with other ladies who are doing it too in our facebook accountability group so I actually stick with it. I’m not even a fitness person (I like to think of myself as a dark, artsy filmmaker person), but I ended up becoming a coach myself I liked it so much. The life-changing things you can stumble upon on Instagram can be pretty dang surprising!

    • Jessie says...

      Yes to B.B.! It’s more expensive than YouTube or other programs, but the nutrition, portion control & support are spot-on. I love the accountability & made some great friends in my group. I lost 25 lbs in 9 months & I feel like it was done in a healthy & sustainable way.
      I have to ask- are you doing 80 Day Obsession? My group is & I am loving it!

    • Meg says...

      Me too! I never thought I’d be into it, but I have never been in better shape in my life! The accountability part is key for me.

    • Hey Jessie! Yes, I’m on 80 DO too – and oh boy! Haha those butt workouts! I’m noticing such significant changes, it’s pretty incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever been this strong!

      And yeah, Meg – accountability has been KEY – I’ve never stuck with anything this long until now!

  117. Cristina says...

    I usually have to leave the house to workout with the exception of Yoga with Adriene! Her videos work, and she’s so easy going. My husband and I try to them a couple times a week after dinner.

  118. shannon says...

    Since I don’t belong to a gym, I use a lot of YouTube workout videos at home.

    My faves are fitness blender (over 500 free videos led by husband and wife personal trainers, and you can make a calendar, check off workouts you’ve done, and use their search function to filter easily through all the options) and Sarah Beth yoga (the power vinyasa sequences are pretty challenging, and she even has some prenatal options).

  119. Anne says...

    YES–Youtube is my gym! Yoga with Adriene’s long videos bring all the satisfaction of your favorite yoga instructor without having to deal with annoyance of sharing her with a mat-to-mat packed class. For more high octane, Coach Kozak at HasFit (imagine if a slightly corny Eagle Scout were your personal trainer) or Christine Salus both have great H.I.T. workouts. When I was pregnant, I loved GlowPT’s short but sweet prenatal workouts – she’s a former marine who tapes the videos with a toddler hanging off her (who becomes additional resistence training :).

  120. Brigette says...

    You missed my favorite, Tone It Up! These women have a laid back beach vibe and have built up an inspiring community of women. I started with their YouTube five years ago and continue to workout with them every day.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Looking forward to checking out Tone It Up, Brigette! Thank you!!

    • Lindsay says...

      YES! I was thinking the same thing and came to the comments to see if they were already mentioned. LOVE these ladies and their many, many YouTube workout videos! Only feel like a short arm work out? They’ve got you covered. Looking to sweat like you’ve never sweat before? Also covered! Then add following them and their many followers on instagram and suddenly you also have motivation to work out!

    • Leigh says...

      Yes yes! Tone it Up! I learned what “tabata” is (30 seconds of torture, 10 of recovery, basically) and I actually loved doing it. In addition to the videos, they post “5 daily moves” on their website that you can do, too, usually bodyweight or with a dumbbell or can (or wine bottle?). Check them out.

    • Sarah says...

      Yes times a million to Tone it up!

  121. Sarah says...

    I’m a new mom. YouTube videos are the only way I get to workout these days. I can burn calories without worrying about the spit-up in my hair. My baby loves to watch too. She smiles the whole time. Mock away baby!! Mama’s getting back in shape ?

  122. Tonia says...

    I love Yoga with Adriene! She is so down to earth. My favorite internet workouts are the one Tone It Up puts out. They’re short, as challenging as you want them to be (you can do them with just your own bodyweight, or use free-weights). They’re really upbeat and not intimidating. I used to follow Bodyrock as well and theyre HIIT workouts were second to none for burning calories and creating lean muscle in a very short amount of time every day (10 mins, and you’re DEAD!) but they got really weird and sexualized at one point and I stopped following them.

  123. Sarah F. says...

    I did Winsor Pilates as a teenager (albeit sporadically) and have gone back to Winsor’s “20 Minute Workout” as an adult. I *always* end up feeling “taller, stronger and more sculpted”!

    • Mari Winsor is great! I love her teaching. I was fortunate enough to take a Pilates class from her a couple of years ago before her ALS worsened. She has a Go Fund Me account set up to help her with medical expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/mariwinsorneedsyoursupport

  124. lori says...

    Amazon Prime video also has workouts! For example my wonderful yoga teacher here in Austin is on there. I think its Essential Yoga with Julia Marie.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Blowing my mind, Lori! Awesome news!

  125. Amanda says...

    I recently discovered bodyfit by amy on youtube and have been loving her! She has tons of videos for cardio, targeted areas, beginner, advance, a lot of no equipment necessary, you name it she’s got it.

    • Whitney says...

      I did her prenatal workouts during my pregnancy last summer. The workouts were good and she is super chatty. Like working out with a friend!

    • Carolyn says...

      Another vote for BodyFit by Amy! I also discovered them about a month ago and have enjoyed the fact that I can choose any length (from 10-45 minutes) and a variety of equipment – dumbells, kettlebells, no equipment, etc. Great for days where my schedule doesn’t allow for a trip to the gym, but I can carve out just enough time for this.

    • Taylor says...

      I’ve started doing home workouts via YouTube because 3 kids under 4, and my husband and I both work swing shifts. My go to is Bodyfit by Amy. She has a variety of workouts- Pilates, HIIT, etc; varying time and most of it is using your own body weight, giving multiple options. My husband even does some of her workouts ?
      https://m.youtube.com/user/BodyFitByAmy

  126. I came of age with Jane and the uber-aerobic movement. I was never “fit” enough to wear a thong leotard, but that longing is still with me. I use Youtube for my yoga and meditation practices, and it is a godsend. My current favorite is Thematproject https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6eKyjA8ER4 She’s human, she pushes gently, and oh how I wish there were more than only three videos.

  127. Margaret says...

    I cracked up at “a yoga mat and coping strategies.” So true!

  128. Melissa says...

    For all the moms of little ones – my kids are OBSESSED with Go Noodle dance videos – and they are amazing workouts. We do them all the time and I’m always breathless at the end. Plus so fun. Even if no kids are there. :)

  129. Brittany says...

    If you do an beauty post/week of outfits with Adriene, I predict your website will explode. Please?!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Was just thinking she would be wonderful!!! Thanks, Brittany! x

    • Tabitha says...

      THAT WOULD BE AMAZING. I adore Adrienne and her videos have changed my life!

    • C says...

      YESYESYES let’s start a Yoga with Adriene / CoJ fangroup!

    • Yes! That would be amazing!

    • Anna says...

      Um.. yes!!!! She has amazing style and energy both on and off the mat!

    • YESSSSSS I think I actually pitched this to Joanna once via email because I’m that obsessed! Adriene has such a cool outlook on life and has changed the way I think about my body for the better. I would love to hear more about her beauty or outfit routine. :-)

    • michaela says...

      Yes!! I need to know where she gets all her adorable and comfy-looking workout clothes! :)

    • Lin says...

      Yes! Yes!! Lurve Adriene. She makes you feel good and like a gf right in your living room/bedroom. Just listening to her talk soothes my heart. Please do a feature with her. And send our love to her ?

  130. Katy says...

    About a month and a half ago, I tried LEKFit. The workout Busy Phillips does and shares doing so in her instagram stories. You can stream the videos online for $15 a month. You can try it out for free, for one week. Once a week new workouts our posted from the live class in studio. There’s a library of in the studio workouts. There are a few different types of exercises Lauren teaches, most common ones are Bounce and Sculpt. Both amazing, full body workouts with amazing tunes. The exercises are tough, but so much fun. Her music choices, the moves, the rebounder (trampoline), her instructions and cues – all of it is awesome. And has kept me coming back. I’ve been doing it six days a week. I haven’t been hooked on a work out ever, until this one. I highly recommend it.

    • Grace says...

      do you need any specific equipment for this?

    • Izzy says...

      What kind of trampoline do you use at home? Want to make sure I don’t kill myself accidentally trying this workout!

    • Katy says...

      Grace, you don’t need any specific equipment to do the exercises except 3 or 5lb hand weights. In the Bounce classes, most people are using a rebounder/trampoline, but it’s not necessary. If you don’t have a rebounder, there is always someone in the class doing the rebounder portion of the workout on the ground/floor. I first started doing the videos that way, but it is way more fun, and easy on your joints, if you do it with the rebounder. Sometimes she incorporates different tools/equipment into the workouts, but it’s not necessary to have them to do the workouts. I just recently got ankle weights (off amazon), but her leg series are enough of a workout without them. Also, sometimes she incorporates a disk slider, but a kids hard cover book works just fine, I’ve found. :)

      Izzy, I bought the Stamina Oval Fitness Trampoline ($51 off Amazon) and it’s great. The ones they use in class are $250 I think. For now, this one is working just fine for me. I don’t think I’ll need to upgrade any time soon.

    • Zoe says...

      I can also vouch for these! I was lucky enough to find the specific rebounder for the cheap on craigslist. equipment needed is pretty minimal and i bought everything at TJ Maxx for like $30. Although she has different arms and legs segments–some use diff equipment, so if you didn’t have something you can always pick a different segment.

  131. Linsey says...

    My husband and I enjoy the Fitness Blender videos on YouTube. It’s a husband/wife team that offer many options/varieties at all levels.

  132. Leanne says...

    I am obsessed with Yoga with Adrienne! Currently on day three of her newest Truth series. She is wonderful, and her work makes me feel wonderful:)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Agreed, Leanne!!!

    • Francesca says...

      Agreed, Leanne! I too just found Yoga with Adrienne and as a recent transplant to up-state NY from CA, her videos have been mind-savers this winter. Even when I don’t think I’m moving much, I always end up with a rush of endorphins that leave me happier and more alert. I appreciate how Adrienne takes time to allow me space to be kind to myself and appreciate the strength of my body. And I love Benji her dog! Adrienne just exudes kindness and appreciation for all those around her. Could she be featured on COJ soon (*wink, wink*)? :)

    • Hannah says...

      Same! She makes Yoga so accessible to beginners and her quirky, slightly nerdiness makes me a huge fan.

  133. Tammy Sutherland says...

    Yoga with Adriene is my JAM! She’s so real and makes me feel like I’ve just done some yoga with a good friend. Love her Yoga for Bedtime playlist, too, to wind down my mind.
    Going to try the Mountain Climber and Ballet Beautiful! Thanks for this!

  134. Kylie says...

    HASfit has amazing free workouts on YouTube for all workout levels! The creator and his wife each do many of the videos so you can see “true” and “modified” versions of different movements. His coaching is really great, too, I find myself repeating their phrases in my everyday life! My husband loves using these, too. Highly recommend!

  135. Erin says...

    This is the best post ever. Thank you Stella! I have tried Yoga with Adrienne and Ballet Beautiful. You inspired me to try them again, and the others. Thank you thank you!

  136. Katie says...

    Haha this is awesome. I remember my mom doing The Firm videos back in the 90’s, wearing leotards and ankle weights. I sometimes do the Tone It Up videos at home. They have so many different workouts on their website and are usually only 15-20 minutes long, max.

    • Ashley says...

      Yes — my mom was all about The Firm! When I hit puberty late and gained tons of weight (thanks to a hidden case of hypothyroidism), she convinced me to start doing those videos, too. My heart melts when I think about being 15 and doing a middle-aged woman workout program in my parents’ bedroom after school. Fortunately, all that internal embarrassment also created a love for working out that I didn’t have to learn to build at a later age!

  137. Amber says...

    Yay for Yoga With Adriene!!! I’m glad she made it on the list. Whenever I need emotional and physical RELEASE, she’s my girl!

    • Megan says...

      Agree! I’ve been doing her videos for 3 years now and it’s helped me through some major life changes (reconnecting to my body after having a baby, career and other moves etc). Her videos make me feel good about myself and connected and to and forgiving of my body. She’s like an old friend at this point. Love the 30 day challenges she does at the start of a new year too- a good way to get into a daily yoga habit.

  138. AB says...

    I liked this post a lot Stella! You approached it with such humor and it totally came across in your writing.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Haha, aw, AB, thank you!!! Guess I really love exercise videos. :)

  139. Anna says...

    I love looking for workouts on Pinterest! My favorite ones i think called the waterfall circuit (not sure about the name). But basically you start with 50 reps of some exercise, then do 45 of another, then do 40, 35, 30, etc until you reach final 5 reps. And in between sets you do jumping jacks. I like that it’s so much variety and you can do this with almost any exercise and make it harder with weights if you like!

  140. Anne says...

    I love Yoga with Adriene! She’s so cheerful and kind, and I think she does a good job of explaining what the poses should feel like. Many of her videos are gentle but I think the fat-burning series tends to have more strengthening.

  141. Sarah Beth says...

    I’ve done Ballet Beautiful on and off for years, including her pregnancy series, and the workouts are WONDERFUL. I’ve bought three of them, and don’t regret a penny of it. They are SO HARD, and it looks like you’re just flapping your leg around. I particularly like it bc they are very good for doing while you watch tv. You don’t get sweaty if you want to do them before work, which is also nice. But you really will see results!
    And speaking of watching TV– has anyone seen Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? I’m dying to try her workout!

  142. My fave is fitsugar! They have so many videos and you can choose every genre of exercise that you can think of =)

  143. Becca says...

    Thumbs up for Yoga with Adriene! I’m lucky enough to share her hometown and have taken some in-person classes. She is truly amazing!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Love hearing that, Becca! Awesome.

  144. Sarah Novlan says...

    This is so perfect as I was just about to get on Pinterest to look for work out ideas because my usual run is NOT happening with this weather! Going to try these out tonight.