Stuck inside? Here are 27 ways to get fit at home
The online workouts to get you fit and moving while you’re confined at home.
So, you’re stuck at home and feeling flat. Get your blood pumping and give yourself an endorphins boost by joining a virtual fitness class or signing up to an online exercise community. These are 27 of the best digital health and fitness programs to help you kickstart new goals. (Plus, why you need to stay active during self isolation.)
Hammer out the workouts with Chris Hemsworth using his Centr fitness app.
27 ways to work out from home
Sweat with the stars
Do it with Chris
Actor Chris Hemsworth is dedicated to getting us fit at home. The pumped-up former Melbourne lad is offering his Centr fitness app for free for a six-week trial. World-class trainers give online lessons in HIIT, boxing, yoga, strength training, mixed martial arts and more, and there are also wholesome recipes including vegan options and guided meditation.
Get ready for (next summer’s?) bikini
Australia’s super-influencer Kayla Itsines has modified her Bikini Body Guide workouts to be “home-friendly”. The personal trainer says her routines help increase fitness and strength, whether you’re a beginner or a hard-core fitness nut looking for a challenge. Millions of women around the world use her 28-minute workouts in the SWEAT app, costing about $20 a month or about $120 a year.
Skye’s the limit
With more than 12 million combined social media followers, Gold Coast mum Emily Skye is known for her online fitness programs Emily Skye Fit. She has a seven-day free trial for online programs including a booty challenge, meal plans, tips and tools to motivate you, and an exclusive Facebook page for subscribers.
Work it like a gladiator
Tiffiny Hall, known for her TV Gladiator role and as a trainer on The Biggest Loser Australia, is changing the lives of devotees via her online health and fitness programs TIFFXO. She says her program is holistic: “You can’t have a healthy body if you aren’t mentally and emotionally well too.” Her courses cost $99.45 for three months but there’s a half-price special on a year’s membership at $229.
Sweat like a Miss Universe model
Get moving with model, mum and former Miss Universe Australia winner Rachael Finch. Her Body by Finch program and app brings together HIIT circuits, yoga and Pilates-inspired sessions, and cardio options to give you a total body workout, as well as meal plans, mindfulness coaching and access to an online community to keep you on track. It's $24.95 a month, available via the App Store and Google Play. She is also offering free online workouts via her Instagram channel @body_byfinch.
Hit the high intensity
Strength and cardio focus
Grab those dumbbells and get moving with StreamFITtv’s free short, high-intensity classes. It has hundreds of strength and cardio-focused fitness videos for free. The workouts are ideal for people who love to feel the burn while changing the pace and style throughout the session.
High intensity for beginners
Totally free, with no strings attached, the 30-day Darebee HIIT program is great for beginners to kickstart their exercise and workout goals. The HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are intense cardio and strength programs designed to help you tone up and lose weight fast. The programs are downloadable PDFs with a calendar for what’s expected daily and they include challenges for the advanced. There’s also information on nutrition and recipes.
Seven minutes to fitness
Time-poor folk can use this seven-minute workout app consisting of 12 exercises. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds with 10 seconds between each, and include push-ups, squats, abdominal crunches and tricep dips. It’s gruelling, but claims to be as beneficial as going for a long bike ride or run. All you need is a chair and a wall. Available on Apple and Android devices.
Follow the crowd
BeFit has three million YouTube subscribers so they must be doing something right. Be warned, these are results-driven workouts that take no prisoners. But the trainers promise a slimmer waistline, defined abs and toned body.
The gym experience
A global community
Get an in-gym like experience with the man behind CXWORX. Les Mills has a global Facebook community where you can share your experiences and support each other. His site Les Mills OnDemand has more than 800 workouts from 15 to 60 minutes as well as fitness education and instruction videos to view on various platforms. You can also download workouts to your so you can work out without an internet connection. Plus, there’s a 14-day free trial.
Virtual gym class
The Keep It Cleaner lifestyle program, founded by Melbourne-based best friends Steph Claire Smith (a bikini model) and law-student turned-entrepreneur Laura Henshaw, has set up a virtual gym with sweat sessions that don’t require equipment. The 45-minute classes are on Wednesdays and Fridays on Facebook and Instagram live via @keepitcleaner.
Work out with a Bachelor
Ex-Bachelor star and personal trainer Sam Wood, creator of the 28 by Sam Wood program, posts free at-home workouts every weekday at 9am on Facebook. Parents can take time out and let their kids do the child-centric Tuesday and Thursday sessions. All workouts are saved on his page so if you’re stuck in a teleconference at 9am, you can watch them later.
… or a teacher
Millions of people have already watched The Body Coach Joe Wicks’ new online workout PE with Joe. Although designed for kids, the fun workouts are suitable for adults too, and they don’t need any equipment. His classes are streamed live at 7pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time on YouTube, but you can access them after the classes. The 30-minute classes are a HIIT format, with a warm-up followed by a variety of body-weight and cardio movements and a quick cool-down.
… or a motivator
Aussie fitness motivator Dani Stevens puts fun – and failure – into fitness, and the video of her tripping during her first attempts at jumping rope is a giggle. Her site is part fitness, part motivation, part food blog, with delightful insights into her life with hubby and four kids on Australia’s south-east coast.
Gently does it
Learn from the legend
The woman who started the home fitness craze back in the days of VHS machines and home videos is still at it online. Jane Fonda’s YouTube workouts include a walking cardio workout that promises to boost your metabolism, burn fat, build lean muscle and more through a series of exercises you can do anywhere. You can still buy Jane’s original workout, although now it’s a DVD rather than VHS, from various online outlets.
Melbourne’s Universal Practice has launched online classes for Pilates and sessions for strength, and ante and post-natal, as well as yoga, meditation and fitness for over-65s. The courses can be accessed online, through computer, smart TV and mobile devices and are led by a physiotherapy team. Sessions range from 12 to 30 minutes, with complete visual demonstration and guided cues. It costs $49 per month, $125 for three months and $220 for six months.
Tune into tai chi
You may have seen older folk in the park gently stretching skyward. Tai chi is changing their lives, says the Mayo Clinic’s Dr Robert Wermers. He says this low-impact balance exercise can reduce falls and prevent life-impairing bone fractures in seniors. Face-to-face classes may be off-limits but there are numerous free online tai chi lessons such as the Mayo Clinic’s easy starter.
For those who find it difficult to stand, instructor Cate Morrill has a full-length 36-minute tai chi class you can do sitting or using a chair for support as well as standing.
If you’re just starting out, a simple VibrantHealthHappiness.com video shows how and why movements are done and what they are called. Those short of time can take five minutes out of their day for this “freestyle” tai chi by Leia Cohen, where there’s no pressure on performing the movements perfectly.
Yoga and pilates
Yoga for tricky times
Melbourne yoga instructor Annie Belcher has new audio classes for everyone at home practising physical distancing. Her class “for difficult times” aims to put us at ease when experiencing uncomfortable sensations, emotions and moods. Other classes cover everything from yoga as an art form to being mindful.
Take it step by step
Yogaholics says it is Australia’s first online yoga platform offering yoga videos, step-by-step posture and sequence tutorials, guided meditations, inspirations and motivations. Its classes run from five to 90 minutes and range from Vinyasa to Yin. Newcomers can be guided through each pose and sequence step-by-step from poses like the downward dragon to the pigeon pose, as well as teaching techniques like ujjayi or ‘ocean breath’ that typically accompanies Vinyasa yoga. There’s a free 10-day trial then its $12 a month.
Tailor your Pilates practice
With 3500 videos, Pilates Anytime has a 15-day trial – and if you like you can sign up for $22 a month. It has filters to tailor content to your needs from beginners to advanced and videos can be watched on computer, TV or phone.
Get your LA vibes on
If you're looking for a sweat sesh that will also feel like a sunny escape, roll out your Pilates mat and join Love Athletica trainers for an LA-inspired fitness session. The Melbourne-based Pilates studio is taking its upbeat brand of fusion reformer, strength and yoga-inspired fitness to the floor, with daily live-streamed classes and recorded workouts via @loveathletica.
… or hit the Top 40
Certified fitness instructor Cassey Ho’s YouTube channel Blogilates has almost five million subscribers. She fuses Pilates with ab-chiselling, total body-defining moves that are choreographed to your favourite Top 40 hits on YouTube. Try full-length POP Pilates, PIIT28 and fun bootcamp sculpting workouts.
Based in New York City’s Soho, Mary Helen Bowers, founder of Ballet Beautiful, is a professional ballerina and fitness trainer who uses the grace, beauty and strength of this classical dance form to get you fit at home. More than 300 videos are available covering everything from perfecting a plie to mastering ‘swan arms’ to sculpt long, lean, toned arms and upper body, and everything in between. It’s about $30 for a month’s introduction and about $67 a month thereafter.
Combo fitness workouts
Suiting all fitness levels, Barre Fitness is a fusion of Pilates, ballet and cardio classes and all you need is a mat and a barre-height prop, like the back of a sturdy chair. This free online community promises a variety of workouts to sculpt, lift and tone your body, as well as exercise tips, healthy recipes, nutrition videos and more.
Dance with Sonia
TV personality and professional dancer Sonia Kruger is using her fitness and dance site, Strictly You, to do her bit for “all my ladies out there who might be going crazy being housebound and missing your usual training”. She has put out a free dance workout to download, a 25-minute video that will have you doing the ‘chicken walk’, an easy move that will get you moving and clapping. Set to music it’s an easy workout for beginners.
And for the soul
Take a meditation session or workshop
Melbourne’s Kadampa Meditation Centre has moved online with free online meditation classes on Tuesdays at 12.30pm and fee-paying drop-in online classes on such topics as steps to inner peace or Buddhism for $10, or workshops like the Art of Self Acceptance half-day workshop on 4 April for $40.
Get the gear
Home exercise kits
Callie Fit has a lightweight home-gym kit weighing less than 500 grams that costs $75. The kit has four key pieces of equipment designed to target every major muscle group from your legs up to your arms plus cardio. The resistance strength band replicates weight training, a skipping rope gives a cardio workout, the loop band forces your muscles to work harder while its core slider replaces the need for a Pilates reformer bed. Plus it has three separate 20 to 30-minute HIIT workouts designed by a personal trainer, and a ‘quarantine with Callie’ 20-minute home workout video.