27 YouTube Workouts That Don't Require Gym Equipment
When your regular routine is interrupted, trying to stick to a workout schedule can be super tough. With many people practicing COVID-19-related social distancing, experts are pretty unanimously advising people work out from home, both to keep a routine and stay active. But if you never had a workout routine in the first place, you might not be sure where to start. That's where these equipment-free, at-home YouTube workouts come in.
Heightened anxiety and depression are common in social-distancing scenarios, and those feelings can make it extra hard break the couch-time inertia. Clinical psychologist L. Kevin Chapman, Ph.D., tells Bustle that it's important to take an at-home workout routine step-by-step and thought-by-thought. "Countering negative thoughts, such as 'It will take forever' or 'I don’t feel like it,' with 'Small action leads to motivation to do more' or 'One step at a time,” is way less punitive and much more encouraging," Dr. Chapmen tells Bustle. Focusing on taking it one pushup, crunch, or burpee at a time can help you get into a workout rhythm that'll help offset the feeling of being stuck in your house.
You don't have to be relentlessly positive, he says, but let yourself be open to the possibilities of what you can get done in your living room. These 27 YouTube workouts only require you to turn on The Tube and follow along. You don't even have to put on pants.
1. All-Levels Cardio Dance Workout
If you're like me and have seventeen left feet, this might just be the dance workout for you. This 30-minute routine is great for folks at any level of fitness and dance skills. Focused on jumping around and getting your blood pumping, the routine combines traditional exercises like jumping jacks with dance moves worthy of any Berlin nightclub.
2. Full-Body Pilates
Who couldn't use a reset button right about now? That's what this Pilates with Hannah video is all about. Pilates instructor Hannah will take you through different Pilates poses for 35 minutes that will occupy your entire body and mind, helping you reset yourself physically and emotionally. Be prepared to engage your core while watching Hannah's puppy roaming around in the background.
3. HIIT Cardio Workout
Looking for something to give you a big burst of energy and joy? In this 30-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, your instructor and her partner will cheer you on and toast each other with their water bottles. You'll get through two circuits featuring moves like star jumps (like jumping jacks, but more playful), fast feet (like you're in the high school bleachers and super stoked about your team), and squats (they'll be fun though).
4. Jessamyn Stanley's Yoga For Self-Love
We could all use a little extra self-love right now, and that's exactly what yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley gives you in this eight-minute yoga video. Jessamyn explains why you're doing each pose, and doesn't just give you advice for how you move. She also tells you what she likes to do in her practice, helping you learn to choose your own ways of moving your body and showing yourself a little love.
5. Keaira LaShae Dances To Usher's No Limit
It's short, sweet, and super fun, like all of Keaira LaShae's dance workouts. Less of a "do this, now do that" video, this is one that you'll just follow along to and let yourself groove. You'll break a sweat, have some fun, be a little silly, and get to listen to Usher — what could be better?
6. No-Equipment HIIT Workout
Sometimes you just need to jump around, and that's exactly what you'll get in this 30-minute HIIT workout. With welcoming instructors and plenty of energy, you'll need a shower and a nice cold glass of water after this one. Not sure you're ready for super high intensity? That's OK. With three instructors on screen showing you different styles of exercise, you'll be able to follow along with beginner-friendly moves whenever you want to.
7. Yoga To Heal Stress
OK, so technically this one requires equipment, but that equipment is pillows, so it doesn't really count. Surrounding yourself with softness and this calming 20-minute yoga to heal stress video from Yoga with Adriene is a great midday or pre-sleep option. For each pose, Adriene reminds you to move in ways that are comfortable for you, rather than telling you to follow the exact positions she's showing you.
8. 10-Minute HIIT Cardio
If you love the idea of exercising but don't have a whole lot of time, this 10-minute HIIT workout can change the course of your day for the better. This video also has a major advantage over most other HIIT routines because it's super quiet — no thumping bass in earshot.
9. Home Work-Ins By Planet Fitness
Gym chain Planet Fitness is welcoming all folks, not just members, to work out with their instructors during gym shutdowns for COVID-19. You don't need a Planet Fitness membership or any gym equipment for this series of at-home bodyweight workouts (or rather, work-ins). Unlike a lot of videos where the warm-up already seems as intense as the workout, this warm-up actually feels gentle and welcoming.
10. Animal Flow For Beginners
What is animal flow, you might ask? It's ground-based exercises that you might not think about as you walk and sit all day (think crawling and other playful moves). This introduction to animal flow is super fun and upbeat, with detailed explanations and instruction that will definitely leave you wanting to learn (and flow) more.
11. No Equipment, No Problem Cardio Boxing
Even though the instructors wear them, you don't need boxing gloves or any other equipment for this 25-minute cardio boxing routine. If you don't know your punches, that's OK. You'll learn some great combos from your instructors here. You won't actually hit anything, but with this fun routine, you can metaphorically punch all your stressors in the face.
12. Gentle Hatha Flow Yoga For Beginners
Never tried yoga? Now might be the perfect time! This 45-minute beginners' yoga video can help you move your body and relieve stress, all while learning something new. Super quiet and reflective, this video will really let you sink into your own headspace for an extra meditative workout.
13. Full-Body CrossFit Workout
Your CrossFit box might be closed, but that doesn't mean you can't get your WOD (that's CrossFit speak for "Workout of the Day") in. Don't have a box (AKA gym)? This full-body at home CrossFit workout is super detail-oriented, so you can learn the secret knowledge of no-equipment WODs. Before each move, you'll get an explanation of the hows and whys, and you'll always know how many reps you're going for.
14. Body-Positive HIIT Workout
Just because it's high-intensity doesn't mean it has to be all serious and dudebro-y. This body-affirming HIIT workout features a mix of boxing and burpees and is just the right amount of intense and joyful.
15. Seated Cardio Workout
With both sitting and standing options to embrace all bodies and abilities, this seated cardio workout is one you can do from your couch or chair. You'll get variations in exercises (yes, you can kickbox while sitting down!) and even learn different ways to rest (completely take a break or do some gentle movements to shake out your limbs).
16. Spine Mobility Flow Workout
If social distancing has you sitting even more than you usually do, you'll definitely want to try this spine mobility workout. Calming but challenging, you'll learn how to stretch your spine while standing, on all fours, and down on the ground. Spare yourself some back pain and release tension at the same time by focusing on mobility and flexibility to break up your time on the couch or at your home desk.
17. CrossFit EMOM Workout
An "EMOM" workout is an Every Minute On the Minute workout, and your instructor Kat Musni will joyfully explain it all to you. You'll do a different movement — squats, lunges, or pushup shoulder taps — at the top of every minute. Even though your instructor invites you to try and go faster than her, she also reminds you to take your time and go at your own pace. So if you're up for a CrossFit challenge that's still supportive, dive into this video.
18. Full-Body, No-Equipment Strength Training
You don't need weights to get strong, and this full-body strength training video is proof of that. Going from your lower body to upper body to core and back again, you won't get bored with the sheer amount of creative variation in these exercises (think sumo squats and supermans combined with pushups).
19. Yoga For People Who Sit All Day
If you've been working from the couch and haven't even really left the house, your hips, low back, and ankles are bound to get tight. This hip-stretching yoga video can help prevent pain and promote awesome posture and general energy flow. This video isn't just helpful in the moment — you'll also get great tips on how to loosen your body throughout your day, even when YouTube is off.
20. 10-Minute Energy Boosting Yoga
Only have 10 minutes but want to get in a yoga flow? This quick yoga video will have you laughing before the stretching even starts because of the playful cuts ("wait, let me check myself in the mirror," followed by a classic record scratch). I can't think of a better way to raise your energy than combining yoga with giggles.
21. Feel-Good Dance Cardio
If you need more than a little bit of affirmation in your workout routine, this feel-good cardio dance routine is just the thing for you. You'll learn how to bring separate moves together into an heart-thumping routine, and you'll even be encouraged to freestyle a bit. Your instructors guide you through these dance moves with a lot of energy.
22. '90s Hip-Hop Grooves Workout
If 2020 has you yearning for the 1990s, this hip-hop workout is here for you. Packed with joy and nostalgia, this video will bring you back in time and help you get a great workout all at once. With six instructors all moving in their own style, you'll be able to choose your fighter, follow along, and feel like you're making your own home music video.
23. At-Home Partner Workout
Need something to do with your roommate that doesn't involve Netflix? This at-home partner workout will help you hold each other accountable with high-five planks and partner crunches to make sure you get moving and laughing at least once today.
24. Strength And Conditioning Bodyweight Workout
You'll know what to expect of your workout with this one, including the camaraderie between your instructors. With great explanations of the exercises (like plank skaters, good mornings, and burpees) and a lot of cute banter, doing this 30-minute bodyweight strength and conditioning workout will be time well spent.
25. Bodyweight Cardio Workout
Bodyweight workouts aren't just about pushups. You can get an awesome cardio workout with just your bodyweight. In this 30-minute routine, you'll learn how to do burpees without hurting your back, and the combination of jumping lunges and forearm planks will have you feeling super strong.
26. High Intensity Workout In A Small Space
Perfect for the apartment you share with four roommates and two cats, this HIIT workout is designed for small spaces. So even if your living room feels more like a closet, you can get your exercise in. This workout features creative movements like single leg reaches into hops and mountain climbers with donkey kicks to get your small-space sweat on.
27. Ashtanga Yoga Fundamentals For Beginners
If you want to work out but need something more meditative than jumping jacks, this ashtanga yoga video for beginners can help soothe your body and mind. Quiet and relaxed, you'll always know when and how to breathe as you focus on opening your chest muscles and releasing anxiety. That's a combination that we could all probably use right about now.
Dr. L. Kevin Chapman, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, founder and director, The Kentucky Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (KY-CARDS)