I feel very qualified being the one to dish out this advice because I have been working out from home for the past 8 years. Since I had children. No bull.
I've had some stints at barre, yoga, pilates and HIIT classes, but this is what I do most days of the week. I'm so busy that when I have time to train, it's then and there or nothing, so I'll often just bang out a quick 30 - 45 mins on these apps. Or I go outside for a run. Easy and free.
Here's what I have found to be the best and also what equipment you can buy to make them worthwhile. Because there's nothing more annoying than working out and it being a waste of time, that sucks. I've chosen these because they give me a PROPER workout. Like going to the gym would.
Kayla Itsines - SWEAT app
The original BBG workout lives up to the hype. It's a half hour workout, three times a week and you need minimal equipment. And it HURTS. You might think, oh, half an hour? Too easy! But it's honestly the hardest 30 minutes of your life and you sometimes need to pause it so much that it ends up as 35. Plus there's an excellent 8 minute stretch afterwards where your body thanks you for being so fantastic.
It also really works, and it's the only home workout that slapped this mum-bum into quasi-decent shape. Even though it's just half an hour. I don't even bother doing the other stuff she recommends on the other days, I just do what I like - go for a walk, do a yoga or a barre class from the below list. The idea of being able to zap a workout in 30 minutes is just so refreshing you don't mind doing it at all.
There are also other workouts on here like BBG strength and there's a yoga one and a Power one, but I like the original BBG. Do what works for you.
ALSO - Sweat has been updated this week with BBG classes you can do with no equipment! Which is fantastic for people right now who just want to continue their workouts at home but not have to buy anything extra. If you do want to buy stuff, scroll to the bottom to see what you'll need.
Nike NTC app
This is free to download and has a bunch of workouts on it that go from 5 minutes to 47 minutes. They are all pretty good and you can choose which you want to do based on how much time you have, what body part you want to work or what you want to focus on - strength or endurance, for example. They're also ranked on whether you're at beginner, intermediate or advanced stage.
You might need some equipment for this, but there are a bunch of equipment free workouts on there too which are generally the ones I do.
I like the 45 minute classes because they include the warm up and warm down in that time (which Kayla doesn't, on the BBG program they are separate).
Barre Body Online
It's basically barre - at home. You can choose the duration of the workout - I generally do the 40 - 60 minute ones to get a full workout in (Barre is generally easier than a HIIT class) though it does get your muscles burning because you tend to work on one body part for an extraordinarily long period of time!
There is minimal equipment needed - a pair of light weights and a chair to lean on (no barre necessary) is really all you need for most workouts, though I do want to get a ball so that I can do those workouts too. This is something you can do every day and it particularly helps me if I've got a sore back or other body part that needs strengthening because it's low impact and it builds muscle in all the right places.
My Yoga Works - online
I know there are probably loads of yoga streaming sites out there, this is just the one I subscribed to about 7 years ago and still do today. So that's saying something.
Yoga is tricky because there are so many different styles and home classes tend to be easier than going into a studio. Also, if you're new to yoga it can be hard to get the positions right. I use this app because I went to classes for about 12 years, so feel like I can do this at home and know that I am doing yoga correctly.
There are different stages of learning on here - beginner, intermediate and advanced - so choose the stage that is best for you and only move up when you feel like you're ready. They also do really short classes that are learning the techniques of certain poses, so if you want intense instruction on how to do something, it's there.
With loads of teachers on here (it's an American app and they have studios in LA), my favourites are Jesse Schein and Vytas Baskauskas because they do really hard classes and that is the style I like. You'll probably go through a bunch of teachers to find the ones you like. Best thing? No equipment necessary.
UPDATE: A beautiful friend of mine Carla is live streaming her yoga classes. This is the real deal folks! Head to her insta page @love_carla and check out the instructions to join via Zoom.
Equipment to buy
I have slowly added more equipment to my home training sessions so that I get the most out of them. Here's what I have:
- a mat
- a skipping rope. 8 bucks at Rebel.
- 1kg and 2kg handweights. Don't laugh, this is all I can manage! The 1kg ones are for barre and the 2kg ones are for Kayla. I am thinking it's probably about time I move up to 3kg weights soon :)
- 5kg medicine ball
- 10kg barbell. I got this second hand from a gym selling them.
Stuff I make do with:
- If they call for an 8kg kettle bell, I use my medicine ball and add a hand weight to it, if I can. Otherwise I just use two hand weights together.
- If I need a bench (Kayla has a lot of bench work) I use my stairs to step up or I have an outdoor bench that I use for other work.
- I used my daughter's skipping rope until about a month ago.
- Instead of a single step to jump on, I use a kid's padded seat that is about the same height off the ground. Not ideal and I did buy steps at one stage, but they are so bulky and hard to live with I gave them away.