I like to work out, but with my jam-packed schedule, I hardly have time to lace up a pair of cross-trainers, let alone get to the gym to exercise.
But until I can hire a personal trainer to come to my home, I’ll have to call on my powers of discipline (not to mention efficiency) to get myself out to the gym to work up a sweat.
Or will I?
I just discovered a way to try out dozens of different workouts, right from the comfort of my home. I don’t even have to take the time to put on a pair of shorts to work out. And best of all, I don’t have to invest a dime.
Free Workouts From Your Computer
You might have heard of YouTube® Channels, but did you know they contain more than just funny videos about cats?
Turns out they’re full of excellent videos that work your heart, lungs, glutes, thighs and legs… And everything in between.
Most require little equipment or none at all.
While many of the channels run advertisements before (and sometimes during) each video, you can often skip them after only a few seconds.
Some of the workouts are shorter than a standard workout (some are as brief as three minutes), but you can string a few together for a whole-body sweatfest.
Ready to get started? Here are five of my favorite videos:
How To Train Like A Victoria’s Secret Model
Okay, maybe I don’t want to look like a Victoria’s Secret model, but my hunch is that some of you do. Andrea Orbeck, who’s trained many of the undergarment models, gives you a short (the whole video is only 10 minutes) but fairly intense workout. The majority of the routine consists of five movements, each of which you do for one minute, to tone your legs and butt.
Because you’re working so quickly your heart rate will stay elevated the whole time, so you’re getting an aerobic workout too. If you’re just starting out she’ll tell you to use just your own body weight, but if you’re already in good shape you can add weights to work even harder. After those five moves Andrea gives you some additional ones with weights.
How to Lose Belly Fat: 5 Minute Abs
If you’ve only got five minutes, this is the video for you. You’ll have to do your own warm-up and cool-down (after all, the video’s only five minutes), but Rebecca-Louise is very clear on the right technique to get the most out of your time. Spiderman planks, hip thrusts and oblique crunches are tough, but her adorable accent almost makes the workout enjoyable.
Basic Yoga – Jenny Ford
For a change of pace, this yoga routine starts with some simple breathing and continues with plenty of stretching to increase flexibility. Jenny’s body is surprisingly non-intimidating and in her friendly demeanor she reminds you to respect your body and do what’s comfortable for you.
You won’t work up much of a sweat during this 15-minute video, but you will feel taller, longer and probably more relaxed when you’re done.
Montana Step Aerobics and Weights/ 5 Intervals – Jenny Ford
Want to work out against the beautiful Montana mountain backdrop? This 40-minute cardio workout – for which you’ll need a Step bench and some light weights – will make you feel like you’re exercising outdoors.
If you’re just starting out, just keep the pace with Jenny. If you’re in better shape, she’ll also give you some variations to step it up (ahem) a little more. The workout consists of five Step combos, with some arm exercises interspersed throughout.
The moves aren’t complicated, though because they’re repetitious they could get a tad boring. And one important note: The only (HUGE, in my opinion!) downside to Jenny Ford’s workouts – sporadically throughout her videos, a commercial will interrupt in the middle of your workout. Very annoying, though you can press “skip ad,” it can be a bit tough to do while you’re huffing and puffing.
Denise Austin: Sports Bootcamp Cardio Workout
When I think bootcamp, I picture a big ugly drill sergeant barking out orders while I struggle to keep up. Not so with Denise Austin’s bootcamp. Though it’s challenging, it’s also very doable. And she’s far from a big ugly drill sargeant.
If you’re short on time it’s nice to get cardio and weight training in at once. And there’s a reason why Denise Austin has lasted this long in the business – she’s fun, upbeat, and always clear about form.
The workout is low impact, with lots of compound moves – like biceps curls while you’re doing lunges, or shoulder presses while you’re doing squats – so you can get double the workout in half the time.
Her four backup dancers are inspirational to look at, though a little too perfect – I wish one of them were more plus size. Some core and waistline exercises are included at the end so you really do work every muscle in the body.
And one you simply cannot miss – Prancercise!
You may not work up a huge sweat, but I promise you’ll laugh and have fun with this one.
Did you try any of the videos? What did you think? Or, do you know of any workout videos I should try? I’d love to hear about them.