Since the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been working out from home. These are the YouTube workout videos that have kept me motivated and often challenged on a weekly basis. Most importantly, they have helped me to maintain my fitness level and physique without having to go to the gym. 🙌💖
I have selected them based on my ability (mid to high intensity, no jumping/low impact) and preference (no repeat, no talking, minimal equipment and space). I try to do a different workout at least three times a week and aim to burn at least 120 calories while keeping my heart rate between 120 - 170 bpm per workout. FYI, my basal metabolic rate (BMR) is roughly 1234. You may calculate yours here. This is helpful to know if you are trying to achieve a calorie deficit for fat loss.
Please also note that these workouts by no means are the best as I have not tried enough to be able to make such a judgment call. There are simply too many out there! Fortunately though, I have tried enough to find the ones that suit me and I thought you may like to give them a go. If you follow some of the channels featured on this blog, you'll notice that these fitness YouTubers often post weekly, if not daily new workouts. (A huge huge shoutout to them for making these amazing videos so frequently! 💪🙏) I highly recommend you to check their new videos so that you can vary your routine as regularly as possible.
For some categories, I try to provide a best alternative to give you more option particularly if you are short for time. I also put in the approximate calories I burned 🔥🔥 for each workout just to indicate their effectiveness, but note that they may differ from yours.
Tell me what you think of these recommendations and what other workout videos I should try by leaving a comment below!
1. BEST HIGH INTENSITY WORKOUT
Fitness_Kay Kay is an absolute beast. She was a former police officer 👮♀️ (how cool is that?!) and you can tell by her level of fitness and energy. I could rarely complete her workout but aim to be able to do so one day. [Burn at least 380 calories]
Growingannanas is the channel I follow the most. Apart from the aesthetics, her videos are really well-made (almost to perfection) as they always feature the next exercise on a small window a few seconds before they begin and a countdown timeline for the entire workout. She often provide alternative moves for beginners or lower impact options for someone with knee pain like me. [Burn at least 350 calories]
2. BEST MID-INTENSITY WORKOUT
Funk and Angela Roberts are a fit couple in their 50s with a background in boxing . While their workouts can get intense, they are still manageable. They do talk through the workout but I don't mind as much because Funk can be quite funny when he makes fun of his age and not being able to keep up with Angela. So unlike the other YouTubers featured on this blog, they tend to keep it real. [Burn at least 200 calories]
3. BEST QUICK FIX WORKOUT
Tabata Songs features various fitness gurus on their channels using the TABATA format and music. I really enjoyed many of them but this particularly one below by Sarah Mailloux (@coach_fitmomma) is super fun, sweaty and efficient, using only one set of light dumbbells. This one has repeated exercises but I don't mind it for some reason. With only 16 minutes, I feel like I have done a 45 minutes workout. [Burn at least 250 calories]
Another one featuring Moorea Spoljaric by Tabata Songs if you are really really really short on time. You need a bench, box or chair for this one. [Burn at least 100 calories]
4. BEST TRAVEL-FRIENDLY WORKOUT
I cannot not recommend Natacha Oceane who is probably a household name in the online fitness community. Among all the YouTubers featured on this blog, she has the best form and probably fitness level as well. If you are travelling (or quarantining) and staying in a hotel without a gym (or quarantining...doh!), this 20-minute workout will keep you in tip-top shape but I warn you that it feels quite fast-paced. [Burn at least 230 calories]
5. BEST FULL-BODY WORKOUT
Yeap, I told you I follow Growingannanas the most (did I say religiously?) and therefore, it is not surprising that she is featured the most here. While all the workouts above are already sort of targeting your full body, these ones are more intentional as they are divided into upper, core and lower body exercises. [Burn at least 330 calories]
I try to do this one when I have time (usually in the weekend) and what I like best about it is how slow-paced and unrushed (extremely low impact but remember, low impact does not mean low intensity!) it is so that I can focus on doing each exercise with proper form. For some strange reason (perhaps because it is slow-paced), I also find it therapeutic and feel that time passes quite fast despite it being an hour long. [Burn at least 400 calories]
6. BEST CORE WORKOUT
Heather Robertson is another channel I follow regularly as she offers frequent and customised workouts that target different body parts and level of intensity. What I notice is how much I tend to sweat with her workout even though her exercises do not appear to be more intense than the others. She always starts her workout with a warm up and ends with a cool down. 👍 [Burn at least 200 calories]
Again, if you are super stretched on time, this is the one to go for to get your core workout. Morgan Rose Maroney is formerly a gymnast and hence, unsurprisingly has many drills up her sleeves to prepare for her challenging handstand practice, etc. I love how short this is but yet, super effective. It can always be added before or after your main workout of the day since it is only 6 minutes. [Burn at least 70 calories]
7. BEST ARMS WORKOUT
This 25-minute workout by Caroline Girvan is specifically targeting the shoulders. You'll need a chair and a pair of heavier dumbbells (I personally use 6kg each) and a pair of lighter ones (2kg each). In this video, I think Caroline uses a pair of 12kg and 1.5 liter water bottles as alternatives for the lighter weights. If you are a rookie, I would strongly recommend not going too heavy (maybe 5kg). Caroline tends to go big or go home, but I notice it sometimes compromises her form and you don't want to do that. [Burn at least 160 calories]
This is a fast workout that gives a decent burn on your arms as well as a bit of core work. Demi Bagby is a super active and energetic young athlete who was trained as a gymnast. TBH, she is way too bubbly and hyper for me but she doesn't talk through this video. [Burn at least 100 calories]
8. BEST LEGS WORKOUT
Mr and Mrs Muscle's workout videos are aimed to be time-efficient and like Growingannanas, they are well done with modified options but unfortunately often repeated exercises. I like how they always indicate which muscle groups you're working for each exercise. [Burn at least 180 calories]
Coach Kel was a ballet dancer and therefore she specialises in barre workouts. I find this 10-minute inner thigh workout relatively simple but yet it burns. I often fit this in with my main workout if I want to add some leg work. [Burn at least 90 calories]
9. BEST MOBILITY/FLEXIBILITY WORKOUT
You will feel such a good stretch (not to mention utter relaxation) after doing this Mady Morrison routine for flexibility, mobility and relaxation. I like the music used in this video. [No calorie count for this.]
I like this shorter version by Well+Good because it tackles all parts of your body with basic moves you probably have tried before. There is no music on the background and she talks through the routine. This should be added as a cooling down session at the end of your main workout to stretch out your muscles.
10. BEST FUN WORKOUT
I only stumbled upon Growwithjo's channel when I kept seeing her name popped up in the online fitness community. Before knowing Jo's signature walking home workouts, I had already heard of Leslie Sansone but it did not interest me when I watched her videos. However, when I watched Jaime Fok's review of Growwithjo's workouts, it sparked my interest because it was purportedly high intensity despite being low impact. I did not believe it because it looked so ridiculously easy. I was shamefully proven wrong when I did the 45-minute workout below. Not only was I drenched in sweat from head to toe, I burned a whopping 360 calories! Warning: It is not exactly easy on your knees and her forms are not the best, but it is fun!
You can see home girl Joey Tng is a fitness club instructor from the way she interacts with you in the video. She choreographs all her body combat workouts, obviously inspired by Les Mills. I find her super cool and fun but unfortunately, not the best forms when she kicks. Still, I would have loved to attend her Body Combat classes if I were still going to the gym. [Burn at least 330 calories]