Like autumnal flowers, exercise venues are starting to bloom open again. But not all of us are ready to venture back. True, we need exercise routines more than ever. True, we seem to be sitting more than ever, metaphorically chained to The Screen. We hunch, stoop, and gargoyle over it — much like Gollum fussing over his Precious. It’s enough to almost make one long for the yesteryear of posture (and elocution) classes — though we know corsets actually weaken muscles and that remembering to stand up straight only works for so long.
Consider that even Sisyphus, doomed to eternally roll a boulder up the hill (which strikingly resembles a CrossFit tire flipping class), got plenty of cardio. And so should we! Not only will we emerge from our pandemic cocoons looking and feeling better, we’ll stop the dreaded spread and get in super shape for trips to come soon, we hope.
Whittled down for you here are 10 of the best YouTube exercise videos. They’re tested and true, free, and scheduled at your convenience in the privacy of your home – so, no more excuses, right?
1 Athlean-X “How to fix your posture in 4 moves”
Good posture is key to looking good and everything good. Period. That’s why this video is numero uno on the list.
2 Upright Health, “How to fix humpback posture in 3 minutes”
Ditto. Here’s a low-tech 3 minute exercise to correct hunchback. All you need is a wall.
3 Tiffany Roth 10 minute booty shaking towel workout. (But it’s really for your waist)
Granted it feels a bit silly to wave a tea towel around during a workout. But Tiffany Roth makes it fun and the video is sure to put a smile on your face — or whoever might catch you doing it (like my husband). It’s one of the most effective waist and belly toning exercises out there.
4 BohoBeautiful Pilates 21 day challenge
The BohoBeautiful series is filmed at poster-worthy beach locations around the world, and over 40 videos alone are shot on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas.
This is an extensive series of excellent exercises that target all the body parts. The series also offers yoga classes, so you can pretend you’re on the beach in Sri Lanka.
5 Maria Khoreva barre ballet class
Let me count the ways I love Mariinsky Theatre ballerina Maria Khoreva’s classes and workouts. This writer wanted to grow up and be a ballerina. It was not to be, but I still take ballet class. Khoreva’s YouTube exercises range from a ballet barre class with live Mariinsky Theatre pianist accompaniment, to full-body Pilates classes that include killer ab and core routines. This ballet barre video is for intermediate to advanced dancers. It’s a thorough classical barre routine. There is also a separate Khoreva video for centre or floor ballet, always the second part of class.
6 Popsugar fitness: 30 minute old-school hip-hop grooves workout
Here’s an exercise routine that doesn’t feel like exercise. Not only do you burn calories and boost endurance, you’ll learn how to bust some moves in this effective hip-hop class. If you always wondered how those back-up dancers look so hot, you’ll find out what it takes (a lot of moving and sweating) when you try this routine. An excellent hip hop class that feels like a beginner dance class (in a good way).
7 Maria Khoreva outdoor Pilates class for legs and core
Khoreva and her sister exercise in this Russian forest that brings to mind a Chekhov setting. No fancy gym equipment or regalia needed for this challenging series that targets the legs, bottom, and core. It’s the real thing — hardcore (no pun intended) and very “useful” as Khorova likes to say when the going gets tough. And it does.
8 BohoBeautiful 30 minute yoga flow for full body & mind / breathing into blissful being
The title says it all. Thirty minutes of yoga that makes you feel like you’re at Canyon Ranch Spa. This video provides an extra dose of groundedness on those days when you really need it.
9 Shawn T 5 minute workout stronger arms
Shawn T is one of the best fitness trainers out there and offers a wide range of routines from cross-fit to hip hop. This short arm exercise is one of his “easier” workouts and will guarantee toned arms.
10 Le cours d’après or “the next class” is the most beautiful ballet class ever!
The grand prize winner! Ah, Paris in the background along with the superb Paris Opera Ballet master Andrey Klemm. He keeps three dancers moving along in this compact and gorgeous ballet class that takes place on Pont des Arts bridge overlooking the Seine. Excellent live piano accompaniment too. Incidentally, Louis XIV created the Paris Opera Ballet company in 1669, so they’ve had some time to master one of the pinnacles of the high arts.