Alright, my friends. It is already December 23 and things are about to get cozy. The weather in Calgary has actually improved (slightly), but I don’t really think that matters. Ultimately, the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful. So instead of going to the gym or pilates studio, we are all dying for ways we can stay active at home. And, as your non-fitness girl who wants to talk to you about fitness things, I took a hit for the team. I did at home workouts for a week so that I could tell you what was worth it and what you should be doing in your living room.
A few little comments – all the workouts I did were free, youtube videos. There are tons of subscription services out there, especially after COVID where all studios had to pivot to online offerings, but I decided to focus this post on free stuff. I am sure so many of you have passes to your regular studios… but you’re looking for something different to fill your time right now. Maybe you’re out of town. Maybe it’s just too much to drive somewhere away from home. Don’t worry. I got you!
Generally speaking, I tried to do a 45-min to 1-hr long workout. This meant I usually ended up doing more than one video per channel. If I did more than one, I usually tried to do something more cardio-heavy and then something more strength-heavy so that I had a range of workouts.
And, without further ado, here are my thoughts on the five channels I interacted with during my week of at home workouts.
Grow With Jo
Grow with Jo does largely at-home “walking” or other sorts of cardio workouts. Her energy is like nothing else and recent videos show a very real interest in diversifying what she can offer.
Very fun and do-able workout, minimal jumping. Each video displays a countdown, indicating when the move will change. Previews upcoming moves in an insert window. Good range of video lengths. Playlists “Beginner”, “Intermediate” and “Advanced”.
Many of her earlier videos contain weight loss centric language in video titles. This has not been as present in recent videos, but you may come across it, so just be aware. Additionally, every video I have done has been completely silent during the actual work out – no cuing or modifications offered. I’m not a huge fan of this, as I feel like lots of people need those cues.
Blogilates is the original Pop Pilates guru. Many people credit her with taking pilates out of the classic studio and making it cool and accessible. Personally, I wouldn’t say that Cassey’s workouts compare with any of my in-studio classes, but I also wouldn’t minimize them because I think they are a very different experience.
Very wide range of video lengths. Monthly workout calendar – with daily playlists! Some videos offer modifications. Countdown timer for tabata workouts with “bing” noises towards the end of the set. Combinations of cardio and strength.
May not be enough for people who workout a ton. Basic strength/cardio workouts, not pilates (which may not bother you, especially as a beginner). Some “targeting” or “spot reduction” language is apparent in video titles, though not in the particular workouts I did.
Yoga With Adriene
Yoga With Adriene is one of the most popular online yogis. Her goal is to bring yoga to the people and meet you where you are at. She does a 30 day challenge every January and you better bet I will be a part of it.
Very chill, form-focused, approachable entry to yoga. Short videos that you can combine for a longer workout or do on their own. Soft and relaxed voice. Lots of specific cues, treats each video like it’s your first.
Challenging yoga, but will not get your heart rate up. Lots of time to be alone with your thoughts. Mindfulness practice more than traditional “workout”.
Before this challenge, I was completely unaware of Kyra Pro, but I would highly recommend it. Her videos make me feel like I’m 12 again – except I wish 12 year old Erin was working out like this. She legitimately has Broadway and Marvel themed workouts! What?!
Such fun playlists and theming. Short workouts that fly by so you can stack them for a longer workout. Embrace your inner theatre kid who loved dancing along to your Cats VHS tape. I was sweating from the dance cardio after my shower! Countdown timer for each movement pattern. No equipment. Each new song had a bit of a warmup period, so good opportunity to catch your breath.
No verbal cuing or form corrections. No visual cuing of upcoming moves (even in the strength workouts)… though I will say, it looks like some of the more recent videos do have visual cues (like Grow with Jo), so this issue will become readily less apparent as Kyra films more.
My last day of the week, I decided to tackle the uber popular PopSugar Fitness. I know they are very well known, so I didn’t want to love them, and yet…
Strength and Stretch – perfect capstone to the week. Not Pilates, not yoga, not tabata – just basic bodyweight functional fitness movements that snuck up on you. Lots of verbal cuing, form suggestions and verbal encouragement… along with modifications! (And demonstrations of modifications.) Countdown timer for entire workout with the names of each exercise on the screen.
I took a short dance cardio workout that was structured similarly (though it was definitely an ad for a fitness tracker). I loved that they had someone to demonstrate lower impact options and modifications, along with written modifications on the screen. Both workouts included a warmup and cooldown period. I preferred the Strength and Stretch workout, though.
The two workouts I did were definitely beginner level. Will have to check out other options to see if some are more challenging. This will not be everyone’s style.
I am always looking for new options, though, and I would love to know what you have been doing lately! Hit me up with your favorite at home workouts!