The 15 best at-home workouts
04 January 2021
If you're not sure where to start with exercising from home, don't fret. Mumsnet users have found the best at-home workouts for you, from free workout videos to paid-for subscriptions.
To find the best workouts for beginners and gym bunnies alike, we dove into the Mumsnet forums to find the most raved-about workout videos and online subscription services.
In this article you'll find the following information:
- Best at-home bum workout
- Best at-home core workouts
- Best at-home ab workouts
- Best at-home leg workouts
- Best at-home cardio workouts
- Best at-home yoga workout
Is it effective to work out from home?
Yes – in fact, it can easily be as effective as the gym, so long as you're able to get up and at it everyday. As with any kind of exercise, it's only ineffective if its inconsistent.
What equipment do I need to work out from home?
While many home workouts don't require any equipment at all, you can enhance your exercise with the following Mumsnet-approved products:
“This is a really good, non-slippery yoga mat. They have loads at the studio I go to.”
“My yoga mat is from Amazon and it's brilliant. No slipping and very budget-friendly."
“This is one of the most valuable pieces of kit either in the gym or the home. It's versatile, cheap, effective and – to top it off – easy to store.”
“I'd recommend one of the sets of weights from Amazon.”
Whether you have a mini gym or no home-workout equipment at all, there really is something for everyone. Here are the best at-home workouts to try this year.
Best at-home bum workout
Don't let Cassey Ho's sweet, bubbly personality mislead you: this woman will push you to your limits. You will absolutely feel the burn with this squat workout, and have a lovely, lifted bum as a result.
Oh and top tip: no one wants to listen to Call Me Maybe every day for the next three to six months, so mute the video and play your own music over the top (after playing it once or twice with sound to get the gist).
“Blogilates on YouTube is a good one. Cassey is sadistic, but effective.”
“I've enjoyed Blogilates videos. Cassey the instructor is an acquired taste, but I quite like her now that I'm used to her!”
“I discovered the Blogilates website when I hurt my knee and she has loads of short pilates-based workout videos, targeting different body areas. I think her abs videos and challenges are the best ones I've come across for my abs. She also has lots of weightless arm exercise routines, which are great.”
Best at-home core workouts
2. Jillian Michaels
You'll certainly break into a sweat doing a Jillian Michaels workout, but each exercise is broken into a manageable 30(ish) seconds. You'll also have her instructing and motivating you along the way.
“You can't beat Jillian Michaels for great results. Each workout is made up of strength training, cardio and abs.”
“I also love Jillian Michaels workouts.”
“I really rate Jillian Michaels.”
“Jillian Michaels is great. You don't need much room for most of her workouts – just enough space to lie down.”
If you're looking for a 30-minute, comprehensive core workout, this one's for you. Challenging, invigorating and you'll definitely feel the burn.
“I really like the PopSugar workouts, preferably the ones with the experts.”
Best at-home ab workouts
4. Alexis Ren
Nice and speedy, this 10-minute workout is tough but effective. Featuring crunches, Russian Twists and some good old planking, it's also great if you prefer no talking.
“Hard but manageable, even for beginners. And I'm starting to notice the difference after only a few days!” – Kitty, MNHQ
Openfit doesn't have many free videos on YouTube, but if you're willing to pay they have all sorts of classes on the Openfit app – from body-sculpting barre to martial arts-inspired workouts. You also get a real-life personal trainer who will get to know you and your goals, and – if you're not sure if you want to commit – there's a 30-day free trial. Take a look here.
“Openfit offers great programme that you can try out with their 30-day free trial. I've seen on other forums that people are really pleased with their Xtend Barre programme. It's a mixture of ballet, yoga, and pilates and I definitely want to try it next.”
Another subscription service (with a 14-day free trial), Beachbody comes highly recommended by Mumsnet users. Designed for every age and fitness level, you can create a unique workout plan to give you the best results. Get started here.
“You should check out Beachbody's workouts! They're generally my go-to when it comes to working out at home. They offer free trials for most of their more popular programmes, but if you're a beginner their YOUv2 programme is probably a great place to start.”
Music buff wanting to get buff? In her 'Song Workouts' series, Maddie delivers tough workout routines to all your favourite pop songs – focused on particular areas (like the one above) and full-body workouts like this one. This ab workout is tough but well-paced, accompanied by the dulcet tones of Harry Styles.
“If you love music, this series is a winner. It makes working out so much more fun.” – Sorcha, MNHQ
Best at-home leg workouts
BodyRock has limited free material on YouTube, but their paid-for HIIT workout courses and bootcamps come highly recommended by Mumsnet users. They're pretty reasonably priced too. Take a look here.
“The BodyRock HIIT website is brilliant. Lots of variety and they have real-time challenges, which are great.”
9. Tiffany Rothe
If you're looking for something a little more intimate and casual, the peppy Tiffany Rothe does her workouts from the comfort of her living room. This at-home leg workout is great for beginners and requires no equipment whatsoever.
“Look up Tiffany Rothe on YouTube! Her workouts are targeted to women and are really fun.”
10. Joe Wicks
Ah, good old Joe Wicks. Love him or loathe him, we've all heard of him – particularly in recent times due to his at-home PE lessons.
This 'savage' 10-minute leg workout is gloriously tough. He's not wrong when he says in the intro: “You'll be walking like a cowboy at the end of it.”
“I've had a go at a couple of his workouts on YouTube and they're exhausting – but they do say no pain, no gain!”
“I've been doing his YouTube workouts since the start of the year. I love them. I do find them easier now, but still do easy versions of lots of the exercises (press-ups on my knees, not jumping into lunges and the easy step-out burpies).”
Related: The best home gym equipment
Best at-home cardio workouts
11. Fitness Blender
This is a total body workout with no need for equipment, though you can add dumbbells to make it harder. All finished in an invigorating 16 minutes, it's not terrifyingly intense, but you'll certainly feel the burn.
“Try Fitness Blender workouts on YouTube – they're great and you don't need equipment for most of them, just a mat.”
“I second Fitness Blender!”
“If you use the website, you can schedule workouts in on a calendar. I find this helpful as, once the workout is on there, I just count it as part of my plan for the day and tend to stick to it so that I can tick it off my to-do list.”
12. CafeMom Studios
Designed by mums for mums, CafeMom Studios deliver some of the toughest, most effective workouts. This 30-minute cardio workout will leave you feeling like a puddle on the ground. A fit puddle, though.
“The CafeMom Studio workouts are great.”
13. Lucy Wyndham-Read
Mumsnet users rave about Lucy Wyndham-Read's workouts, and for good reason. This seven-minute cardio workout is designed for all abilities – showing a beginner's version of each exercise alongside the harder one.
“I really enjoy (and get results from) Lucy Wyndham-Read's YouTube videos. She has a whole series of seven-minute workouts. In reality the videos are about 12 minutes long, but that's to cover a warm-up and stretches as well as the short workout. They don't look like much at first glance, but if you actually focus on the moves and do them with control, it's a really good, quick session. I know a lot of people string two or three videos together for a longer one.”
Related: The best maternity gymwear, according to Mumsnet users
14. Alexia Clark
Alexia Clark's YouTube content is limited – so head to her website. It's another paid-for programme (with a free trial service), but fun at-home workouts are added every week, and you can cancel any time. Take a look.
“I started doing Alexia Clark at the start of the year after a few months of aimlessly wandering around YouTube fitness videos. I love it and I’m stronger and slimmer from it. You get five new workouts a week, and there's a big Instagram community where you can see others doing the workouts before you sign up.”
“I came here to say Alexia Clark, too. I'm five weeks into her programme and I absolutely love it. I don't have weight to lose but have already seen a 2% decrease in body fat and nearly 2lb lean muscle mass gain, and can see the changes in my body already. Highly recommend.”
Best online yoga class
15. Yoga with Adriene
Adriene (along with her dog, Benji) has become a sort of cult figure within the yoga world. Perfect for beginners, her routines range from gentle to challenging – allowing you to feel wonderfully serene even while you burn.
“She's amazing – totally worth it. You don’t need a mat, you can do the exercises on a hard floor. When I follow it properly (three times a week or so), I can see a change in muscle definition and my back doesn’t hurt.”
“I love Adriene. Her 30 Days of Yoga is brilliant and you will definitely notice a difference by the end.”
“I love her flow sessions and runner's yoga. I do go to a yoga class fairly regularly as well, but actually prefer her.”
Related: The best yoga mats
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