The Best Vids To Help You Stay Active

by Toria Sheffield
LumiNola/E+/Getty Images

YouTube is a beautiful thing. Sure, it's the place to find a million time wasting cat videos, but it also provides a ton of useful information and services, free of charge — like cooking classes, DIY tips, and free workout videos led by professional personal trainers and fitness experts.

That last one can be especially useful when (like me), you're living on a budget and can't exactly swing the price of a monthly gym membership. According to an article on, the average person can expect to pay between 40 to 50 dollars a month on gym memberships (not including the initiation fee). And I've personally found that if you live in an expensive city like New York, the cost of membership to your average gym —neither super low end nor super high end — is way closer to 70 dollars a month.

This means that for a lot of us, home workouts are kind of a necessity. And it's why YouTube is a major help for those of us looking for varied and engaging exercise routines. If you're trying to cut down on costs, or are looking for some new workouts totally free of charge, here are a few of the most helpful vids out there.

1. Fitness Blender's HITT Cardio Workout

This video led by Kelly from Fitness Blender is great because it doesn't require any equipment and also includes a warmup and cool down. A lot of videos on YouTube leave you to fend for yourself when it comes to warm ups, which can be tough if you're not sure the best way to go about it. Plus, the whole thing only takes about 20 minutes!

2. 40 Minute Cardio

This 40 minute workout, also from Fitness Blender, is not for the faint of heart and is definitely for when you want to really get a strong workout in. But just like with the previous video, Kelly provides you with a helpful warmup and cool down, which makes it feel way more like you're taking a "real" class.

3. Quick Cardio Dance

This eight minute cardio dance is perfect for when you want to energize yourself before work or for when you just don't have the time for a 40 minute to-do. But don't be fooled — it's still challenging!

4. 1 Hour Flexibility Workout

I know an hour may seem like a lot, but this flexibility and stretching video from yoga instructor Joy Scola is an awesome way to energize and center you for your day, as well as work out any morning stiffness. I also like to incorporate moves from this video into my daily stretches since I've been working on flexibility lately.

5. Glute Workout

This video from the Women's Workout Channel is another one that doesn't require any equipment — just your own body (and a rug or mat for comfort). This also incorporates some twists on the usual squats and lunges that you're probably super tired of hearing about.

6. The Ultimate Ab Workout

Cassey from the Blogilates channel is an awesome YouTube instructor because she's not only super supportive, but she gives you tips on form throughout, which is especially helpful when you're working out on your own. I like to combine this with glute day, or often just do it all on it's own after a warmup.

7. Cardio Abs

This one from BeFit is great if you don't have a ton of time and want to combine your abs and cardio routine. I also find it's just way more fun than a traditional ab workout where you spend most of your time on a mat. I use this on days when I know my attention span won't be great and I want to get the most out of my time.

8. Zumba Workout

I loathe group dance workouts. I just never feel comfortable going crazy around two dozen strangers — not to mention I find it hard to fit organized classes around my unpredictable work schedule. If you can relate, you might like this "group" beginners Zumba class from the Fitness channel. The music admittedly isn't the awesomest, but it's definitely great if you're new to Zumba (just be sure to warm up first!).

9. Bollywood Hip-Hop Dance

I always find that the more variation I have in my workout videos, the more excited I actually am to do them. If you're looking to mix things up, try this 10-minute Bollywood jam video from Bombay Jam Master trainer Janani Chalaka. And bonus, Chalaka walks you through how to do each move at the beginning of the video so you're more able to do them correctly when the time comes.

If you're looking for workouts to do at home, or just have trouble staying motivated when working out alone, try some of the above videos. They're fun, challenging, and (most importantly) cost you zero dollars.

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