Ive mentioned it before and I’ll say it again: The gym just isn’t for everyone. Whether you are too busy to make it to yet another place during your day or you just truly don’t like it, its okay to not use the gym for your exercise.
I once lived by daily attendance to the gym, but now I truly prefer to do without. Over the past year and half, I’ve realized my favorite modes of movement are home workouts (walks included) and occasional fitness classes.
I love studio fitness, but I opt to not go to fitness classes too regularly due to my varied schedule — and because it certainly is not the cheapest way to move. Thus, a majority of my exercise these days is in the form of home workouts/yoga flows and walks.
Just as in the gym, a challenge with exercising at home can be the “where to start” feeling. If you’re not too keen on the idea of creating your own workouts, or feel that you maybe won’t create an effective workout, don’t worry. There are a lot of available resources that can provide guidance and instruction, both free and paid.
I’ve tried a laundry list of different online workouts and fitness apps; each with their own set of pros and cons. At the bottom, I’ve listed some great free online workout sites, but I’m mainly going to dive into discussing the paid online/mobile fitness I’ve tried. I personally find paying for a subscription to be motivating and makes you more inclined to use it. Think of paying for a fitness subscription as investing in your health. Plus, its important to remember that these fees/prices are still quite less than what it could cost you to attend a gym or a boutique fitness class. So if you’re on a tighter budget, these may be a better option for you!
1. Daily Burn – starting at 14.99/month
Daily Burn was one of the first online fitness apps I tried. I was burnt out from just doing regular cardio machines, and felt like my weight routine had grown dull and stale. Daily Burn was advertised on my Instagram and Facebook and had a great introductory rate, so I figured I’d give it a try. Even at it’s full price, Daily Burn is a bargain, with a basic membership starting at just 14.99 a month. This gives you access to the workouts in their 29 different programs, as well as to their live 9 AM “Daily Burn 365” workout. The premium membership (19.99/mo) offers the entire library of workouts as well as all of the archived live workouts and early access to new programs. You can get a discount on both memberships by paying for the year in full.
There are hundreds of workout videos to choose from, with each of the videos technically belonging to a “program.” This gives you the option to just bounce around the full library to different types of workouts, or allows you to follow the schedule of a program of a specific type of workout (I.e. Barre Harmony, Inferno, Cardio Sculpt).
One of my only issues with Daily Burn was that the quality of the workouts/instructors didn’t seem quite even across the board. Some instructors were great, while others were not so much. That being said, there were still dozens upon dozens of great instructors. Another issue you may experience: due to the limited number of certain types of workouts, it may be easy to work your way through an entire series and become bored of doing the same video over and over again. I for see that they will continually add new videos in the future to avoid this issue.
Bottomline: DailyBurn is a great site/app if you’re looking for great HIIT, strength, and cardio style videos, and at 14.99/mo it’s quite the bargain. This is also a great option for those who crave variety in their workout routines. If you lean more towards daily yoga and barre, this may not be the best app for you as I felt limited by the videos for those workouts.
2. YogaGlo – 18.99/month
Over the holiday season, and as my work schedule got a little nuts, I opted to trade in my my high intensity workouts for daily yoga. This app offers a 15 day free trial, allowing you ample time to decide if you like it. If you’re a home practice enthusiast who also loves the studio experience, YogaGlo may be right up your alley. With over 3000 yoga videos, you can stay grounded and guided and never feel bored. They offer videos of all styles, durations, and skill levels, making it easy to find the right videos for you. YogaGlo is slightly more expensive than DailyBurn. Coming in at 18.99, I’d still consider that a bargain for unlimited yoga, considering that yoga packages at a studio could run you hundreds of dollars per month. This app also has the ability to do yoga “programs.” These programs are a set schedule of classes aimed to help you achieve a certain goal.
Each class has a thorough description that lends you a good idea of what the class entails, making it easy to find the right class for you. You can also favorite the classes you like, making it easier to find the next time you want to practice. The instructors are knowledgable and experienced and do a great job of making it feel like less of a video workout, and more of a studio experience.
Bottomline: This app is great for those who lean more towards a routine of straight yoga, or are are looking to advance their yoga practice. It’s still a bargain being less than $20 per month, but that may be a little pricey if you’re looking to add it as a complement to other memberships you have.
3. Barre3 – 29.99/month
One of the most recent online workout memberships I tried was Barre3. If you’ve ever been to a Barre3 class, odds are you loved just as much as everyone else. Its a great blend of barre, yoga, and pilates with work on the mat and standing. Barre3 workouts contain healthy amounts of both cardio moves and slow and controlled repetitions, guaranteeing a BURN. The online library for Barre3 workouts is extensive, with workouts of all lengths and target areas. At 29.99 it may seem like a splurge, but when you think about what a membership to a Barre3 Studio or PureBarre studio its really quite a steal. There is a free 14 day trial, again giving you time to try it out and see if its something worth your money and time. To my surprise, Barres3 online has actually become my favorite workout subscription.
On your personal dashboard upon login, there is a calendar for tracking the workouts you have completed and you can save your favorite streams. What truly sets Barre3 aside from others, is the included access to a library of healthy recipes; a pretty cool perk IMO.
Bottomline: If you’re into low impact, toning workouts, Barre3 is an awesome choice. Its pricey for an online workout, but a bargain compared to studio barre + the quality of the streams parallels the quality of studio barre work. If you crave high impact, heavy weights or HIIT work, this may not be the right choice for you.
4. Kayla Itsines Sweat App – starting at $19.99/month
The Bikini Body Guide (BBG) is a rave workout for so many people. I think many people love the structure of it; 28 minute workouts of four 7-minute circuits. The BBG offers a detailed workout guide lasting 12 weeks. The BBG started as just an e-book a few years ago, but now you can access the workouts on the Sweat app with a monthly membership of $19.99. Personally, I never could really get in to these workouts or the overall plan. They are all of the higher intensity, and for some people that works. For myself, it did not. I felt burnt out rather quickly by the intense pace. This may also be a hard workout to incorporate if you’re a runner that is currently training for a race, I ran into that problem in 2015.
If you crave structure, this definitely has it. With planned out workouts that are timed for you and an easy weekly schedule to follow. If you like heavier weights, you’re in luck as the BBG 2.0 offers the ability to work heavier. If you’re a beginner and are looking to really kickstart a fitness routine, this may be a good option due to the visual instruction and the short duration with an over all end goal date.
Bottomline: If you love effective HIIT workouts and a scheduled routine, this could be a good choice for you! It may also be good if you’re looking to light a fire under your fitness routine. If you love variety or slower workouts, I would skip this one. Its a medium sized investment at 19.99/month but still cheaper than the gym or a bootcamp style class. If you choose this one, be weary that you don’t burn yourself out!
Awesome Free Workouts:
The internet is a truly amazing resource. Simply google search “free workouts” and you can find endless amounts of content.
Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think of any of these! Are there others you have tried? Whats your favorite way to move?
As always, thanks for reading! –Megan