You need not drop $100 per month on a gym membership or $2,500 (plus a $40 monthly fee) on one of those fancy indoor bikes. These affordable — and mostly free! — smartphone apps and YouTube channels will help you build muscle and sweat out the stress right in the comfort of your own home.
Best of all, to ensure they’re easy to integrate into your schedule, each of these options have workouts that clock in at 15 minutes or less. (Many also have longer-format workouts when you’re ready to up the ante!)
6 Apps or YouTube Channels for Fast, Effective Workouts
Download these apps or subscribe to the YouTube channels for instant access to some of the best at-home workouts.
1. Sydney Cummings YouTube
Cost: Free; YouTube
For four years and counting, this former college athlete and current certified personal trainer has been releasing a totally-new and totally challenging (but scalable!) workout for free daily at 5 a.m. ET on her YouTube page.
Dig into the archives to discover routines that start at just five minutes, or follow along with each day’s new workout as part of the “Sydney Squad” for accountability from fellow exercisers who foster friendships through the comments and on social media. (Newer workouts range from 30 to 60 minutes.)
2. Down Dog App
Cost: $7.99 per month or $49.99 per year; Down Dog App
Tune in and zen out with this wildly customizable yoga app. Select your preferred music style, workout length from nine to 90 minutes, intensity level, body focus area, and even the accent of your trainer, and the app will play a unique, personalized flow each time. Yoga not your jam? Down Dog also offers high-intensity interval training (HIIT), meditation, and barre programs.
3. Blogilates YouTube and Body by Blogilates App
Cost: Free or $3.99 per month for access to app challenges and the workout calendar; YouTube; Apple
Blogging for more than 12 years, Blogilates founder and certified Pilates and fitness trainer Cassey Ho has built an epic wellness empire. Whether you opt to exercise with her via YouTube or her new-in-2020 app, you can follow along with her monthly workout calendar that mashes up her greatest hits and recently-uploaded workouts into a well-balanced, Pilates-focused routine. Many of the segments are 15 minutes or less, so if you don’t feel like — or have time to — complete the day’s full line-up, you can pick and choose your favorites.
4. 12-Minute Athlete App
Cost: $9.99 per month; 12-Minute Athlete
Certified personal trainer Krista Stryker literally wrote the book on how to make quick workouts as effective as possible (The 12-Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster, and Stronger Using HIIT and Your Bodyweight, $16.99; Amazon). And with this app, she delivers short yet athlete-minded workouts that mix high intensity interval training (HIIT) with calisthenics, cross-training, and functional fitness.
For all the CrossFit fans, she even offers AMRAP (as many reps or rounds as possible) routines to help you get your fix outside of the box (CrossFit speak for “gym”).
5. POPSUGAR Fitness YouTube
Cost: Free; YouTube
Part of the massive POPSUGAR website that covers trends in beauty, celebs, fashion, fitness, food and beyond, the archives of this YouTube channel include workouts by celebrity trainers, on-staff fitness pros, and instructors for former DVD faves like P90X and Bar Method. “Class FitSugar” includes real-time workouts, or dig into the legacy content for workouts that fit your mood and preferred focus area and time limit.
6. Grow With Jo YouTube and Grow With Jo App
Cost: Free; YouTube; Grow With Jo
Beyonce vs. Rihanna Dance Party. Desk Abs. Bodyweight Back. All of this and more can be found on Grow with Jo’s YouTube channel — and can be done in 15 minutes or less. While walking and dance workouts using little to no equipment are the focus of many of her videos, her archives include a massive amount of variety. Subscribe to the app to access even more workouts, to use the meal plan tool, and more.
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