Best online workouts: ultimate lockdown exercise
Keep fit at home with these healthier alternatives to Netflix.
If getting to the gym just isn’t possible for you right now, don’t fret - there’s plenty of alternative ways to fight the flab and that is with the best online workouts.
Thanks to the internet, we’re no longer limited to bricks and mortar fitness studios when it comes to working out and staying in shape.
UPDATE: England is back in lockdown, which means finding the best online workout is essential. It also means PE With Joe is back - you can watch, and take part, on YouTube 9am Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. He also has a new The Body Coach app which features live workouts everyday from the fitness superstar.
With the recent explosion in fitness streaming platforms, we can now take part in high-quality workout classes - live streamed or on-demand - in the comfort of our own homes. Better yet, these are brought to us from highly trained PTs and instructors that are just as engaging as in real life.
Whether it’s yoga, cardio, pilates or body weight training, here are some of the best fitness streaming platforms you can sign up and workout to at home right now.
- Need some basic fitness equipment? Take a look at our round-up of the best home gym essentials
- And if yoga is your thing, upgrade your gear with the best yoga mats, the best yoga blocks and best foam rollers
Best online workouts
1. Beachbody On Demand
It’s very polished and American but if that doesn’t bother you then Beachbody On Demand is a great option for those who want streaming access to hundreds of super-premium workouts and fitness programmes. Some you might already be familiar with, such as Insanity. As part of the service, there’s also a bunch of tools to offer you an all-rounded approach to health to help you to conquer your fitness goals, such as customised meal plans and access to the brand’s healthy cooking show, Fixate. A great all-round approach to on-demand fitness.
2. Les Mills
Missing your gym’s Bodypump class? Don’t fret, the guys behind the popular global group-exercise series, Les Mills, have a bunch of classes on its online platform so you’ll never have to miss a curl or ab crunch again. With over 800 online workouts available - from 15-minutes to full hour sessions - you’ll be able to mix up your sessions for months without doing the same workout twice all without having to leave the house.
Bringing premium boutique class experiences to your living room, FiiT is way more than just an archive of high-intensity video HiiT workout video archives from some of the UK’s top PTs. Referred to as the “Netflix of fitness apps”, you can choose from classes led by some of the UK’s top trainers like movies. Best of all, it works alongside a heart-monitoring chest strap to track your progress while you’re burning those killer kcals. By integrating your stats on screen, offering real-time performance metrics that are dependent on effort levels and then giving you “personal best” goals to beat, FiiT is like an addictive video game, just with much healthier outcomes. f you want even more Fiit, the Premium memberships is £10/month (after a 14-day free trial).
The FitOn app offers instant access to a countless group fitness classes from cardio to strength to dance and more - all completely free. Launched by a former Fitbit vice president, it’s different to many other fitness streaming platforms out there as it uses tech to create a one-of-a-kind social experience. For example, it lets you interact with friends inside and outside of the streamed class while you workout, which can really help with motivation: something you might be in need of if, say, you’re working from home all week.
5. The Body Coach
During lockdown, the challenge of homeschooling children was mighty but tuning into this channel was a blessing. The Body Coach, aka Joe Wicks, made the lives of parents a little bit easier by streaming 30-minute P.E. lessons every morning. It was a great way of getting the whole family moving despite having to stay at home and it may even allow the kids to burn off some of that excess energy. He is still doing these exercises in lockdown 3 but now it is three times a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Most will associate Peloton with the pricey at-home exercise bike that links up to an online spin class. But what many don’t know is that the company’s workout app is much more than that, boasting an expansive, ever-growing library of live and on-demand studio classes taught by some renowned instructors. It also covers multiple fitness disciplines, including strength, yoga, meditation, stretching and even bootcamp. And those who want to follow the workout on a big screen will be able to find Peloton’s service on Amazon Fire TV streaming devices. There's a 30-day trial, too!
Moviing is a worldwide community of instructors that have made a name for themselves blogging or instagramming about being fit and looking amazing - all united in one place to bring you online yoga and fitness videos that you can follow remotely. Classes range from strength, sculpt, yin yoga, flexibility, dance and cardio which are suitable for all backgrounds. Programs can be accessed on your own time, completed at your own pace, and done anywhere you have the space to move.
8. Alo Moves
From what started out as solely a yoga apparel brand, Alo recently launched what we consider one of the best apps for yoga class streaming: Alo Moves. And what sets it apart is that it’s aimed towards dedicated yogis, featuring advanced classes to challenge even the more experienced practitioners. Hosting over 2,000 class videos taught by some of the world’s most respected instructors, there’s something in there for everyone, though. You’re also bound to appreciate the Class Finder filter, which lets you sort classes by style, difficulty, time, and instructor to suit your mood and schedule. Alo Moves does offer a 14-day free trial, though.
9. Remote Coach
If you’re looking for something a little more personal when it comes to home fitness, such as guided workouts and advice from PTs, then you have Remote Coach. Removing the need to have a trainer in your local vicinity, the app allows users to workout alongside their favourite coaches or as a personalised one-on-one online. You can also link your Apple Watch and Healthkit to the app so both client and coach see your vitals such as heart rate and calories burned as well as a summary at the end. Small note: 1:1 coaching is additional.
10. Movement for Modern Life
Founded by UK city-lawyer-turned-yogi, Kat Farrants, the Movement for Modern Life platform offers an intimate online experience where users can benefit from a handpicked selection of the very best yoga teachers from the UK. There’s over 800 yoga, meditation and mindfulness videos on the platform currently, with the app offering users a host of classes from a range of experience levels, length (from 2 minutes to 90 minutes), and yoga type. We like how down to earth the classes on the platform feel; it’s like having a friendly yoga teacher right in the room with you!
With over 4,000 classes on demand, Glo is one of the most comprehensive yoga streaming platforms out there. There’s everything, from lifting into an inversion to core-strengthening mat workouts. It’s also super personalised thanks to an algorithm that finds class suggestions designed for you and based on your preferences. And the more you practice, the more personalised this page will become. You can also download your favourite classes so they’re available even if the internet cuts out.