Photo credit: Derrick McKinney on Unsplash.

As gyms remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have turned to online workouts to get some physical activity while at home. And as one of those people, I have searched high and low for effective ways to exercise in quarantine. The following home workouts require little to no equipment and although some of them had their faults, they all got the job done.

1. MadFit

MadFit, led by Maddie Lymburner, is my personal favourite for one reason: she doesn’t talk during the workouts. A pet peeve I have with online workouts is the incessant reminders of “You’re doing great!” These are unbearable for two reasons. Firstly, they are usually a lie (I can confidently say I am rarely “doing great” during most workouts). Secondly, I want to focus on my pace and doing the exercise properly without someone chirping at me.

MadFit also does manageable workouts with good variety, each video is around 20 minutes so viewers can mix and match what muscles they want to exercise. Her creativity also earns her bonus points. Lymburner takes hit pop songs, like Doja Cat’s “Like That” and choreographs workouts for them. This adds a bit of fun to the work out and is a nice change-up from typical at-home excercises.

2. Chloe Ting

Chloe Ting has been a go-to workout for many in quarantine due to her virality on TikTok and Instagram. Ting has over 150 million views on her popular ab workout videos and needless to say, she is at the top of the online workout game. She has tons of videos, the most popular of which fit into her notorious “2 Week Shred Challenge.” Ting is calm, cool and collected during the workouts which is a positive, especially in comparison to other online videos that are overwhelmingly loud and intense. She also has a timer in the top corner of all her videos as well as your progress percentage which makes the workouts more bearable and user friendly. The actual workouts are decent, they offer good variety and are low impact. Ting also offers resistant band options for those looking for a harder workout. Overall, I was impressed with Ting and I think the videos live up to the hype they have gotten on social media.

3. POPSUGAR

POPSUGAR workouts are a force to be reckoned with. They are very high energy and burn plenty of calories. One of my favourite parts of this workout is that they offer accommodations and lower impact adaptations throughout the entire video. Those looking to try this workout out should know that they require a lot of coordination. POPSUGAR is fast-paced and feels like a “pat your head while rubbing your stomach” challenge. Although the coordination part is difficult at times it makes the workout a little more exciting.

4. Insanity by Shaun T.

Insanity by Shaun T. is a household name for many fitness fanatics. Let me make one thing clear for those who aren’t familiar with Shaun T… these workouts are hard. They are aggressive, non-stop and extremely high impact. This paid program has a strict regiment for users. This worked well for me for a bit, until the repetition of videos left me feeling bored and convinced every minute of Shaun T. was an hour in the real world. A huge upside to alternative YouTube workouts is that (a) they are free and (b) you can mix-and-match videos to suit your needs, unlike Shaun T.’s video.

5. Bully Juice

Bully Juice workouts are intimidating and intense if nothing else. They don’t offer a lot of instruction and begin very quickly. Personally, I like a solid warm-up before jumping into the harder, more straining exercises, but Bully Juice hits the ground running from the minute you press play. Similar to Chloe Ting’s workout, Bully Juice has a timer in the corner so you can keep up with the instructor and count down the seconds until your workout is over. Bully Juice is perfect for those who like a high-intensity, hard-core workout.

6. Yoga with Adriene

As someone who regularly avoids stretching simply because I get bored while doing it and am incredibly inflexible, yoga is not my forte. Yet, during this uncertain time, I knew I needed to work on relaxing my body and mind. This Youtube channel offers a diverse set of yoga tutorials to do exactly that. From “Yoga for Courage,” to “Yoga for Lower Back,” Yoga with Adriene covers it all. The length of the videos range from 15 minutes to about half an hour, so viewers can really pick and choose what one works best for them. The videos are easy to follow and laid back, with no crazy bends or balancing acts. Even as someone who adamantly hates stretching, I was hooked on these videos.

The most important thing to do when it comes to exercising during this uncertain time, is to do what works for you. Whether it is a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout with Shaun T., or a short stretch with Yoga with Adriene, or even just a walk around the block, take the time to care for your body and mind through whatever physical activity you’re comfortable with and capable of.