Now that gyms are closed across most of America for the foreseeable future (and around the world), more and more people have been looking for different ways to get fit.
One of the most popular is via a YouTube workout, and for a reason: not only don't you need to leave your own home; it is also free.
But how effective are YouTube workouts? Can they help you get fit?
As part of NatureHub’s Fitness and Wellness February focus, we take a look.
🧘🏽 Pros of a YouTube workout
They're convenient (and ideal for lockdown!)
One of the most obvious advantages of a YouTube workout is that you can perform it from the comfort of your own home. All you need is internet connection and a phone, computer, or tablet.
You may also need some equipment too, of course.
Another awesome benefit is that YouTube channels don’t cost a dime.
That said, some online channels will also offer you upsells, and you might only be able to get access to their best content via the likes of Patreon. But it’s still possible to find some awesome free content on YouTube (and we’ll be offering up some suggestions later in this article).
You can fit them into your schedule easily
Instead of making your schedule work according to a local gym or yoga class, you can exercise to a YouTube workout whenever you want. This gives you lots of flexibility.
🤷🏻♀️ Cons of a YouTube workout
It’s on you to stay motivated
One of the biggest drawbacks of a YouTube workout is that, if you’re the sort of person who’s always struggled to self-motivate, staying motivated when working out in your own home (as opposed to going to the gym) could be tricky.
The trainer can’t engage you
A huge advantage that in-person gym sessions have over online workouts is that the instructor is able to see you and thus offer you advice: perhaps they’ll correct your posture or improve your technique.
With a YouTube workout, the instructor obviously can’t see you, which may mean you unwittingly perform a workout wrong. This not only reduces the effectiveness of a workout, it can also increase your risk of injury.
So, can I get fit via a YouTube workout?
Absolutely! Working out via YouTube is, for some people, almost as good as the real thing.
However, for some people the drawbacks may mean that online fitness won’t work for them. If you do enjoy the social aspect of working out in the gym, staying motivated with a YouTube video will be tough. There are ways you can work on this, such as working out with your partner, kids, or even live on Zoom with your friends.
You could also take part in 30-day challenges and things like that.
It’s also important to note that there are some awesome personal instructors on YouTube who can totally help you get fit. However, it’s essential that you know what type of training program you’re looking for before you get started. This will boost your motivation and increase your chances of staying fit.
For example, some trainers are aimed at full-body fitness, others are more specific, such as those that focus on legs and glutes, and those that are high intensity-focused, and those that are lower intensity-focused.
Not sure where to look?
Here are some of the best YouTube channels and workouts right now, according to NatureHub team:
Sia, Growth Coordinator
My favorite is blogilates.
I've been using it for 5+ years, on and off. It's easy to practice, and I feel fit even after doing it just once.
When I feel lazy or tired, I do a couple of "in bed" routines, like this one this one. I wear my ankle weights to make it more effective.
Before the pandemic, I was a gym-addict. It was my comfort place; I would go there to relieve stress among other reasons. I also like hiking, skiing, trekking, and other outdoor activities, but it is often a challenge when living in big cities. During the pandemic, I go for daily walks, at-home workouts, or runs.
Ankur, Chief Developer
While I don't follow any particular workout channels on YouTube, but I do like an occasional stretch practice, like this one.
Before the pandemic, I used to go to gym, but now, I've walking and running are my main workout. Other than that, I like hiking, trekking, and just spending time outdoors.
Kat, Marketing Strategist
I work out at home almost daily, and most of the time it's either a HIIT or a yoga practice (or both).
For HIIT, Caroline Girvan is my favorite: the exercises are varied, music's not overwhelming, and most importantly, there is no extra talk that could be distracting. As for yoga, I would definitely recommend my all-time favorite yoginimelbourne. I find her practices so incredibly soothing and effective.
I use Down Dog app sometimes for quick yoga practices; otherwise, I'd stay fit mostly by just riding my bike as far as I can whenever I can.
Will, Content Writer a.k.a. the author of this article
I use HasFit app, but they haven't posted anything new for a while. However, I still like to use their old content and watch their YouTube.
I started watching HasFit about 2 years ago, and all I can say is that I like their personalities and how a lot of their videos are aimed at beginners.
The only other way I keep fit at the moment besides watching these videos and doing weights is walking a lot. I live about 20 minutes from the nearest grocery store, so I've made it a point to walk there each time I need something. There isn't much opportunity for exercise otherwise: because I work as a writer, I have a sedentary lifestyle during lockdown.
In February, we're exploring everything about staying fit and healthy together. Join us at NatureHub for fitness and wellness tips, ideas, stories, community discussions, and more!