The Best Workouts to Try While You're Cooped Up at Home
For your health and your sanity.
When you’re headed down a stress spiral, there’s nowhere better to find release than at the gym. But when that stress is caused by an airborne virus that’s reached pandemic status, sharing space and sweat with other people — who may or may not be infected — suddenly loses its appeal.
Considering that the government is recommending that people refrain from gathering in groups of more than 10 and most cities are shutting down non-essential businesses (including fitness centers) to combat the spread of coronavirus, most people are stuck at home stewing in the unease and anxiety stirred up by this never-ending news cycle.
That doesn’t mean exercise can’t serve as an outlet. Some popular studios you’d find on ClassPass (which has paused memberships until June) already offer online options: 305 Fitness has a YouTube channel, PureBarre and Physique 57 offer subscriptions to on-demand workout videos, and CorePower Yoga and Barre3 announced free online classes for the next few weeks.
And even though what’s happening right now is unprecedented, there’s one silver lining: We’re living in the golden age of at-home fitness streaming apps and platforms. With nothing more than your smartphone or tablet and a data plan, you can access tens of thousands of workouts — all for a monthly price that’s lower than the typical price of a drop-in boutique studio class.
When you’re cooped up at home, it’s even more important to move — for your health and your sanity. Whether you have 20 minutes or an hour to dedicate to training, there's an app or platform for you. All you need is a mat and some space, and the internet will bring the gym to you.
1. J&J Official 7 Minute Workout
Believe it or not, seven minutes is enough time to get an effective workout in — science proves it. And this app, designed by the director of exercise physiology at Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, is a great way to max out those seven minutes. It comes with 22 preset workouts, plus a library of 72 exercises (complete with audio cues and video tutorials to help you maintain proper form) that can be combined for over 1,000 workout variations, so there’s no way you’ll get bored. There’s even a “smart workout” option that creates personalized workouts for you based on your fitness level and motivation.
2. Peloton Digital
Even if you can’t afford Peloton’s high-tech hardware, you can still purchase a subscription to Peloton Digital for access to more than 20 live classes a day and 11,000 on-demand workouts ranging from 10 to 60 minutes across categories like hill runs, fun runs, HIIT, interval training, and even walking. It’s especially great for indoor and outdoor running if you like having a coach to motivate you, but there are cycling, bootcamp, floor, and yoga classes to participate in, too. You can stream the full library of workouts to any device with Airplay or Chromecast support, or directly through the Peloton App for Amazon Fire TV.
Not sure what kind of workout you’re in the mood for? The possibilities are endless on Aaptiv, which has over 2,500 classes available across every type of exercise, and more than 30 new classes — from 25-plus expert trainers — are added every week. Whether you want to run, train on the elliptical, strength train, practice yoga, indoor cycle, meditate, and try something else, Aaptiv provides audio-guided workouts with no visuals to distract you while you’re working out. It’s like having a personal trainer right in your ear — and there are even multi-week plans for weight loss, race training, improved flexibility, and more.
4. NeoU Fitness
NEOU is a 20,000-foot space in New York City where you can take classes in three separate studios, but it’s also a hub for big-name instructors like Steve Aoki (seriously) and Instagram fitness star Nicole Meija to film and stream live and on-demand workouts for people all over the country. Try boot camp, boxing, Pilates, or HIIT workouts ranging from five to 60 minutes long (new classes and concepts are added weekly); the app lets you filter by whatever equipment you own (think dumbbells or kettlebells or just plain bodyweight) so you can max out your time.
5. Daily Yoga
Get your om on with Daily Yoga, a database of 500-plus asanas (or poses); 70-plus yoga programs; 500-plus guided yoga, pilates, and meditation classes; and workshops from top instructors. Can’t tell a savasana from an adho mukha svanasana? There’s no need to learn Sanskrit; each workout comes with step-by-step instructions to guide beginners through the whole practice. But advanced yogis can still challenge themselves with workouts focused on nailing tough arm balances and inversions. No matter what level you are, you can easily ask experts questions directly through the app and get feedback on different routines.
6. Nike Training Club
Nike’s master trainers work with celebs like Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid, the Victoria’s Secret Angels — and you, if you download the NTC app. There are over 185 free workouts (some of which are inspired by Nike athletes like soccer star Alex Morgan, gymnast Gabby Douglas, and the GOAT Serena Williams) across categories like endurance, mobility, strength, and yoga. Nike trainers demo the moves in video clips so you know what you’re doing, and audio prompts keep your form in check. The trainers even curate specific collections — like a six-week Get Lean plan or a four-week strength training plan—to help you reach specific goals.
You know that high intensity interval training is one of the best ways to get an effective workout in fast, and Keelo aims to help you do just that. All of their pre-programmed workouts are under 20 minutes and pull from their library of 180-plus exercises, most of which are bodyweight, while some call for dumbbells, barbells, or other basic equipment. If you don’t have access to certain equipment, don’t hesitate to email the coaching team — they’re happy to recommend alternative moves or share any other kinds of advice. For personalized workouts using the app’s tracking software, you’ll want to upgrade to the $13/month subscription.
Obé — which stands for “Our Body Electric” and is pronounced “obey” — made its name on dance-cardio and acrobatics-inspired workouts, but now offers HIIT, Pilates, barre, boxing, strength, power, stretch, yoga, and pre- and postnatal options. The platform streams 14 live classes per day, and has a library of over 2,500 on-demand classes (with new ones added every day). Their signature sessions are 28 minutes long, but you can also opt for the 10-minute workouts in a time crunch.
9. Alo Moves
Alo doesn’t just design great fitness gear, the brand built an app that hosts thousands of yoga videos (with new ones added every day) and hundreds of training plans and one-off classes taught by the influencers you see wearing their clothes: Ashley Galvin, Caley Alyssa, Patrick Beach, and Dylan Werner, just to name a few. There are also specific yoga workshops if you want to master a certain skill (like handstands or planching), and additional programs from a 10K training guide to rope climbing and butterfly pull-up tutorials available for purchase.
You don’t have to be a CrossFitter to enjoy the benefits of ROMWOD. This platform has more than 1,500 equipment-free videos that last anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes (a new guided workout is uploaded every day). But instead of making you swole, these classes are geared towards increasing flexibility, mobility, and agility (“ROM” in the name stands for range of motion) — a super important element of fitness that ensures you can max out your gains no matter what your regular workout of choice is.
This yoga app lets you personalize your streaming experience. After you answer a few quick qs, Glo will suggest yoga, Pilates, and meditation classes for you from their library of 4,000-plus workouts, save your go-to practices, and compile curated class collections inspired by your interests. World-class instructors also offer guided class series on inversion, core-strengthening mat workouts, and mindfulness basics. You can even download classes to access them when you’re offline.
12. Daily Burn
One of the OG at-home workout platforms, Daily Burn has thousands of on-demand audio and video workouts covering everything from yoga, pilates, and meditation to cardio, HIIT, dance, dumbbell strength training, and more (you can tailor the options to your fitness level and goals by answering a quick questionnaire). If you’re looking for studio vibes, join Daily Burn 365, which features a different 30-minute group workout class at 9 a.m. EST every weekday — you can even chat with the expert trainers and other class members during the workout and afterward.
13. CorePower Yoga On Demand
This popular brick-and-mortar chain also offers unlimited online classes featuring instructors from over 200 studios. Not only can you join the signature C1, C2, C3, and Sculpt class formats (with new classes added every month), there are also shorter workouts and videos for guided meditation sessions, pose breakdowns, lessons, talks, and more. Watch them on your phone or tablet, or stream straight to your Apple or Android TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire.
14. Beachbody On Demand
With hundreds of instantly available workouts in the areas of cardio, strength-training, yoga, dance, and even P90X, this is one of the easiest-to-follow fitness apps out there. Thanks to a handy playback feature, you can backtrack in each workout until you're confident you've mastered the moves. The Apple Watch version of the app combines these premium workout plans with real-time heart-rate monitoring and calorie tracking so that you can get the most out of your workout session.
Insta-famous personal trainer Kayla Itsines has the largest online following of female fitness enthusiasts in the world, and her app provides targeted BBG workout and meal plans for users. It’s also home to Kelsey Wells’ PWR & PWR at Home weight-training programs, Stephanie Sanzo's BUILD powerbuilding program, Chontel Duncan's FIERCE strength and high-intensity workouts, and Sjana Earp’s yoga program. You can view the step-by-step workouts right on your Apple Watch so you don't have to rely on having your phone nearby while you're in the zone.