Lockdown 3.0 is fully underway and it seems the end is not yet in sight. The Independent reported that Boris Johnson has confirmed that the end of lockdown may be delayed beyond mid-February, with regulations remaining in force until 31 March.
The current rules across the UK stipulate that people must stay at home, only leaving for essential reasons or for their daily exercise. With this strict order in place, our living spaces have once again become the area in which we work, eat, rest and keep fit.
The closure of gyms has meant that fitness fanatics have been forced to adjust their workout regimes. But while you may be missing your trip to the gym, research indicates that Brits could be saving an average of £100 a month while our homes become our fitness studios.
The issue many people find with working out at home is how difficult it can be to do so without the guidance of an instructor or the motivation of others around them. But, luckily, the industry has adapted in a big way, and the online world provides ample choice when it comes to keeping fit.
Trainers are churning out high-quality YouTube workouts every day, and there’s a huge variety of content. Whether you’re after a 30-minute yoga class or a quick session of high-intensity interval training (HIIT); whether you have all the home gym equipment or just a pair of trainers; or whether you’re a pro or a complete newbie, there’s a YouTuber out there for you.
With so much on offer, YouTube fitness channels can be difficult to navigate – but that’s where we come in. Refill that water bottle and read on to discover our favourite YouTube instructors and the workout gear you need to stay motivated while keeping fit from home. From PE with The Body Coach to savasana with Adriene Mishler, it’s time to get your sweat on!
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, became a household name after he launched his weekly online exercise sessions to keep children fit during the first lockdown of March 2020.
But the fitness entrepreneur was inspiring thousands of people to get moving long before the pandemic. His YouTube channel, The Body Coach TV, is home to a range of short, simple and effective workouts, with most of them being less than 30 minutes and requiring no equipment.
With a focus on high-intensity interval training (or HIIT), there’s options for everyone from beginners right up to advanced users. With low-impact workouts, kettlebell exercises and the abs-focused videos, there really is something for everyone.
Zanna van Dijk
Fitness influencer and personal trainer Zanna van Dijk uses Youtube to share videos on health, fitness and plant-based eating. Her workouts are all less than 30 minutes, making them an ideal option if you’re searching for something to fit in during your lunch break. You can expect everything from intense leg workouts with kettlebells to full body stretches, all of which are easy to follow and clearly explained. She also posts full-body HIIT sessions and ab workouts on her Instagram.
Personal trainer, co-founder of fitness app Sweat and creator of the popular BBG training programmes, Kayla Itsines is a force to be reckoned with. While she doesn’t post full workout videos on her YouTube channel, she does share short 30-second workout explainers so that you can complete them in your own time. Make her your go-to if you’re looking to perfect your form while you’ve not got a trainer watching.
Alex Fit Cleland
Personal trainer and online coach Alex Fit Clealand produces a range of content for his YouTube and Instagram accounts – from no-equipment leg workouts to quick 10-minute mobility routines delivered in a clear and concise way. Certainly one to watch.
Pilates and fitness instructor Cassey Ho produces videos with the aim of helping you find the joy in working out. All classes can easily be completed from the comfort of your own home and most don’t require any equipment. Make her your go-to if you’re looking for a range of different sessions, as she covers everything from strengthening the lower body to trying celebrity workouts, all in an upbeat and motivational way. Whichever you choose, expect to feel the burn in a matter of minutes.
Yoga with Adriene
For all your yogi needs, it’s got to be Yoga with Adriene. The international yoga instructor started her own channel to make sure as many people as possible had access to free yoga classes. Her channel breaks available practices down by level and length, ranging from under 10 minutes to longer, 45- to 60-minute sessions. If you’re just starting out, we’d recommend trying her 30-day challenge.
If you’re looking for an alternative to cardio workouts, why not try a routine from professional dancer Danielle Peazer? With a range of fun dances and upbeat music, these are bound to get your heart rate up and help you shake away the stress. Best of all, because you’re in the comfort of your home, it doesn’t matter if you don’t get the moves quite right. If dancing isn’t your thing, Peazer also has a range of other workouts too – from “no jumping” HIIT to ab challenges.
Hang tight with Marcie
Health coach, personal trainer and fitness influencer, Marcie runs the ideal channel for quick strengthening and high-intensity workouts – there are six-minute core exercises, eight-minute cardio HIIT sessions and longer post-partum videos. They are a great option if you’ve not got a lot of time on your hands but want to start your morning with a burst of fitness. Her Instagram account is also worth a follow, particularly if you’re looking for how to get going with meal prepping.
The best fitness equipment to use
It’s all well and good knowing the right places to access workouts, but having the correct gear will make it that little bit easier to stay motivated.
If you’re giving Yoga with Adriene a go, you’ll want to invest in a pair of Sweaty Betty’s power gym leggings (Sweaty Betty, £75), which were crowned our IndyBest best buy in our guide to the best women’s yoga pants thanks to their ability to make you feel sculpted and supported.
“We’ve been wearing these Sweaty Betty power leggings for years now and can confirm that even after hundreds of gym sessions and just as many machine washes, they’re still as good as new,” praised our writer. They added that the “stretchy fabric is very flattering, with one fellow gym-goer even coming over to compliment us while we were wearing them”.
As for a mat, the Liforme yoga mat (Liforme, £100) took the top spot in our guide to the best, with our writer noting that it’s a brilliant choice “for anyone with a home practice who doesn’t have a teacher on hand for adjustments”. Ideal then for following a YouTube video during lockdown 3.0.
What makes this one particularly unique is “the grid system laid over the top to help you align yourself in poses”, noted our tester.
If it’s one of Joe Wick’s HIIT workouts you’ll be tackling, you’ll want to have a supportive shoe – we’d recommend the New Balance fresh foam 1080v10 (New Balance, £135), which received rave reviews in our guide to the best women’s running shoes.
“This fairly light, neutral shoe is billed as having an ‘energetic rebound’ and that couldn’t be more true – it gives a gazelle-like spring,” praised our tester. We, therefore, think this is an ideal trainer for everything from jumping jacks to hill sprints.
The men’s version of the New Balance fresh foam 1080v10 (New Balance, £140) also took the top spot in our review of the best men’s running shoes, proving that this is a brand to trust.
“The ‘freshfoam’ midsole is one of the best on test and when you combine this with a stretchy knit upper, which is fantastic at keeping the foot in place and anchoring the heel, you have a real all-rounder that excels in comfort and performance,” said our tester. Great for any at-home workouts.
If you’re looking to take up one of Zanna van Dijk’s kettlebell workouts, these PU kettlebells (Physical Company, £32.68) landed a spot in our guide to the best hand weights.
We praised their design, with our writer noting that the “smooth chrome handle is designed for easy swinging and snatching”. They’re available from 4kg up to 32kg.
Working out from home is thirsty work, so make sure you have this Thermos super light direct drink flask (Robert Dyas, £21.99) on hand.
Taking the top spot in our review of the best reusable water bottles, our tester noted that it “holds an impressive 350ml of liquid despite its size and is super lightweight”.
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