My Favorite Workout App + The Free (or Affordable) Workouts We Found All Over the Internet

With gyms and parks closed (and if we are lucky most of us are staying home) working out is both harder (you have to motivate yourself) and yet more convenient. You can go from pajamas to athleisure with clear intention of a workout at some point and without commutes and rushing kids to school, schedules are a bit looser. I have a particular workout philosophy these days… I want my workouts to be fast, enjoyable and more for mental endorphins and maintenance than getting into shape – not that I don’t want to do that, but it’s not the goal. And there is no shame if you aren’t feeling it, I just find it drastically effects my happiness so I have to – I NEED the endorphin hit to keep my spirits as high as possible. But most of my workouts are 20-30 minutes. Sometimes i’ll just do a micro sprint (like 5-8 minute run) and call it a day – its not about huge workouts right now, just getting those endorphins. But there are a lot of apps, youtube videos and IG glasses out there, so we did a bunch of research and crowdsourced from the EHD team what are our go-to at-home workouts. Here are all of our picks…

Photo taken by Charlie Henderson


From Emily: Aaptiv – A big #nonsponsored endorsement is coming your way. I’ve been using this app for almost two years and after trying many others for this post, its still HANDS DOWN my favorite. I consider Akeem my personal trainer (although there are others I really like). Here’s why its so great – 1. It feels like a personal trainer in your ear. They speak conversationally (not robots) and keep you motivated the whole time. 2. There are a million different types and lengths of workouts (cardio, stregnth, HIIT) in all different levels. 3. It’s set to good music (Lizzo, Dua Lipa, really good hip hop) and that makes it go so much faster.

There are so many apps that have no music or sure you can use your own, but then it’s not timed to the workout and it can be hard to hear the voice. For a lot of the cardio workouts, they’ll time it so that when you’re about to do a high interval or a sprint, the chorus of the song drops at the same time, so you just feel extra motivated. They also have guided pilates, indoor cycling, elliptical, yoga, stretching, and meditation. I’ve mostly done the strength training, indoor cardio, core, and outdoor running, (I don’t know why I haven’t tried the yoga). Sara has (see below) and Brian started doing it with me and he LOVES it, too. It’s the first time in like 15 years that he and I have worked out together (mostly the cardio strength classes that are Tabata or HIIT) and it’s pretty fun. I love it just being audio because generally the moves are so easy – like jump squats, but if you need help you can look at the app and they have examples of the moves. With videos, I either get confused about what side I’m on (are we supposed to mirror or do the side they are doing?) and then I look at their bodies and get distracted and end up watching them. Anyway, I’m a big fan of just having it be audio so I can pair with our speaker system or just use earbuds. 

My favorite actual cardio classes are these: “Fartlek cross Training” with Akeem, “I’ll Be The Run” with Akeem, Cardio Fat Burn, with Kenta, Intervals of Pace and One Step is All It Takes (both Akeem).

From Sara: I’m a big Aaptiv fan, too (I’m the one who introduced Em to it cough), and I’m a huge fan of a 9-minute workout called Ab Assassin. In just 9 minutes your abs are going to be ASSASSINATED. We’ve been doing this almost every night and think the coach is hilarious, but also endearing. Another favorite quick Aaptiv workout is a 9-minute one called Pop That Booty. My booty does burn after I do this one.

From Sara: Nike Training Club – NTC is giving away premium for FREE right now, so if you’re looking for some good workouts, this is a great one to try, too.

From Mallory: Boxing with Kev – THIS IS MY FAVORITE WORKOUT TO DO RIGHT NOW. You guys. I cannot stress this enough. My friend, Kevin is a boxing instructor and does IG Lives + Zoom classes ON THE DAILY. Before I continue, let’s get something straight, I do not consider myself a “boxer” in the slightest, but this is hands-down my favorite workout on the list. It’s basically a quick 30-minute cardio boxing blast and by the end of it, you feel like you’re on top of the world. The class is donations-based, requires zero equipment, & Kevin is the BEST instructor/motivational speaker (plus, he’s easy on the eyes which never hurts). Take this class if you want to break a quick (but hefty) sweat and feel the best you’ve ever felt in your life. He accepts donations via Venmo 🙂

From Mallory and Emily: The Fitness Marshall – I like the Fitness Marshall but it’s too advanced for me and you feel ridiculous. BUT if you don’t care what you look like, it’s so fun because you are dancing to songs you know and it can be a fun 3-4 minute break in your day. Here’s a 3-minute dance to Yummy by Justin Bieber if you want to give it a try.

From Mallory: Barry’s Bootcamp – I had never tried Barry’s before the ‘rona, but I had always wanted to since it seemed like a fun, trendy LA thing that everyone was doing. Then we all got stuck in our houses and they started doing FREE! IG! LIVES! They’re 20 minutes long (so they’re an easy lunch-break activity), super fun, and will definitely make you break a sweat. If you miss their IG live videos, no worries because they’ve been adding them to their IGTVs which is GREAT because you can put it on a laptop (IG lives can only go on phones). HUGE WIN FOR BARRY’S! This total body workout is my favorite if you want somewhere to start.

From Caitlin: Ms. Bejma P.E – This is a hot take for a workout post, but here goes: I have not exercised ONCE (including walking — I have honestly just been sitting for 7 weeks) and I don’t know if I’m going to start. BUT…I do have a great rec for kids! I’m a competitive synchronized skater (who is clearly enjoying the off-season) and one of my college teammates made a TikTok with fun challenges for kids. She’s a P.E. teacher now — so these are like, professional-approved — and everything she posts looks like a blast (more “game” than “workout”). If your kid has a TikTok account and you need to tire them out so you can actually get work done, it may be worth a shot!

From Mallory: The Jump Rope Dudes – I just got my first jump rope ever about 1 week ago and OH MY GOD IT’S SO FUN. If we’re not doing Kevin’s Crubox class, Chase (my bf) and I are doing this. Chase found this youtube account and we love doing their 1 minute of jump rope, 1 minute of bodyweight exercise alternating workouts. It’s a quick 15-30 minute workout sesh and every time we do it we can’t stop smiling the entire time because jumping rope is that fun. Follow this beginner workout to get started.

sports bra (similar) | leggings | shoes | scrunchie | jump rope

YOGA, Pilates & Meditation

From Mallory: Y7 Yoga – You may have detected a pattern by now, and it’s that I almost exclusively use IG or YouTube to workout at home. In general, I’m not a huge workout app person because, well, it seems like a lot of work to download one, create a login and whatnot, AND they usually cost money (and much like probably everyone, I’d rather not pay if it’s available for free somewhere). I will pay, however, for in-person classes (on occasion), and if I’m doing that, Y7 is at the top of my class list. It’s (normally) a hot yoga class that has the perfect blend between a yoga and a sweat-inducing workout. PLUS, they do it to fun hip-hop music that really hypes you up. I think it’s the perfect weekend workout because it very relaxing + is great for your mind, but you’ll also break just the right amount of sweat. Right now, they’re doing FULL HOUR LONG CLASSES on their Instagram (IG lives are every Wednesday and Sunday + they save all classes on their IGTV) that I HIGHLY recommend. Try this one first!

From Sara: Aaptiv Yoga – Caesar is my favorite yoga instructor on Aaptiv, and his 24 min “Feel The Flow” workout is my favorite morning activity. The music is chill but groovy, the flow is easy to follow (all simple yoga moves I’m familiar with), but gets your blood pumping, and his voice is really nice to listen to.

From Jess: MODO Yoga – I have been going to MODO Yoga for 3 years and I miss it every day. But the good part is that I can get a dose whenever I want (sans hot room). They do Instagram lives twice a day (donation-based via Venmo) or you can sign up for the virtual studio. Drop-in classes are $12 but they are also offering packages. You really feel so amazing after and the teachers/general community are so special.

From You, The Readers: Yoga with Adriene – We asked you guys on IG to give us your favorite workouts, and this was the top-recommended one by SO MANY PEOPLE. I haven’t tried it yet, but Veronica has and she recommends the classes Yoga For Back Pain and Yoga Tone.

From Sara: Down Dog App – The Down Dog app has yoga, HIIT, and barre classes (including maternity) and it’s free until July for all students and health care professionals!

From Julie: DoYogaWithMe – For years I have been saying that I want to do more yoga but could never get into the routine of it until I did an online class with my sister. Since I’ve only taken a handful of yoga classes, the Rhythm & Routine class, taught by Fiji McAlpine, was the right amount of relaxation/physically pushing myself for my first time back on the mat. The hardest part of exercise, in general, is just starting so even just the practice of taking out your mat and meditating will help you to begin. I speak from personal experience cause I decided to keep doing that one class (cause I knew I could handle the intensity which was not high at all) over and over until I was in the routine of doing yoga daily. It was also a low commitment to myself cause it’s only 22 minutes long. I am now on day 3 of a 14-Day Challenge. Also, the first 2 months are FREE!

From You, The Readers: Blogilates – So many of you guys also recommended this…I’m VERY intrigued to see how the at-home pilates workout are (since we haven’t yet tried them) but they look awesome just from skimming through her videos. She also has a YouTube and an Instagram, all with her FREE workouts. If you’ve tried these workouts before, let us know how they are in the comments.

bike shorts (similar) | yoga mat | shirt (no longer available)

Strength Training

From Emily: Again, I use mostly AAptiv at this point, and the classes that Brian and I do together are these: “Cardio Fat Burn” With Kenta, “Carry Me, Carry You” with Akeem,

From Mallory: Whitney Simmons – I started regularly going to the gym in January, and this girl made it WAY less intimidating. Her Instagram and YouTube accounts are filled with AWESOME exercises that are super fun and approachable and she’s been churning out a bunch of fantastic at home alternatives. I’m a big fan of her strength training workouts (like this at home leg + booty one) but if you’re wanting to mix in a little HIIT with your strength training, she has some good options there too. Whitney if you ever read this, please know that you made working out so much more approachable for a beginner like me! THANK YOU.

From Jess: KKsweat – My best friend Casey turned me onto KKsweat and it’s awesome and a WORKOUT. Get ready to sweat but don’t worry because there are a ton of modifications if needed. Kate Hickl and Kara Liotta who are top NYC master trainers, teach two different formats, Sculpt and Sweat. You can either opt for on-demand or live (which is really fun because they cheer you on by name). Not to mention that it’s a pretty incredible community, that is so motivating and not intimidating at all. It’s also a really fun party. Classes start at $15 and are well worth it. 

From Mallory: 8 Minute Abs – This is the daily (ish) ab exercise that my boyfriend, Chase showed me. It’s technically not strength training since it doesn’t use weights, but I love to tack this onto the beginning or end of any workout. There’s something SO FUN about a ’90s workout video, plus each exercise is only 45 seconds long and the whole thing is 8 minutes long. Enjoy!

From Sara (and Mac): Sterling K Brown’s “No Gym” Workout – Mac has been doing Sterling K Brown’s workout, which requires no equipment and literally KILLS. I did it with him one morning and it was hard, but it got my blood going and I felt weak in a good way afterward. It’s free on youtube, super effective, and you can always modify to keep up! 

From Jess: Hannah Bornstein – Hannah is one of my amazing friends and incredible trainer of 10 years. When I used to take her barre class in NY it kicked my butt (in the best way). She is now doing online Zoom classes, three times a week (also available on-demand) and I love them! Each class varies from Pilates, Cardio HIIT training, and finishing the week with a lower impact and stretch class. And because Hannah is also just a wonderful person, Every class purchased, 20% of proceeds are donated to CDP’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Classes are just $10.

From Mallory: Tone It Up – I first heard about this from my friend Ella who used to work for Tone It Up, and then continued to hear about them EVERYWHERE. Between their workout products at Target, their Tone It Up Rose Health Aid Kombucha (best flavor in my opinion), and their 1.4 million Instagram followers, you may have heard of them too. They’re currently doing FREE IG live videos as well as a bunch of awesome workouts on their blog like this coffee table workout. They also keep an updated schedule of their IG workouts in their “weekly inspo” posts (very efficient, I must say). They also have an app that I haven’t tried but seems awesome. It’s all-around a very cool community with lots of approachable, great tips.

Well, I hope those are enough options for you:) So now that we have the exercising covered, let’s take a quick minute to talk about workout clothes. As you can see from my workout photos at the beginning of this post, I have way too many old and embarrassing workout clothes that are simply falling apart. So I asked my fitness instructor sister, Katy to send me some of her favorite workout items and I thought I’d share with you guys.

I’m going to buy these workout shoes and these for trail running. My sister (fitness trainer, mom of 2) SWEARS that these are the most flattering leggings and I haven’t tried them but I’m going to order them STAT and i’ll let you know.

It’s also getting hotter so in the shorts department, my sister says these are her all-time favorites (which I’m ordering asap), they are $18 lululemon knockoffs (with pockets) and these are $24 lululemon knockoffs that look really great too.

Lastly, I’m all about this sports bra that I do own (but probably won’t show in photos on this blog for obvious reasons). It’s CRAZY supportive, like they aren’t going anywhere… but size up in the rib size – it runs small. I love it for running or any HIIT workouts where I do a lot of jumping.

That’s all we have, folks but be sure to leave any and all of your favorite workouts that we missed! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and hope we all can get those much-needed endorphins this coming week.

The post My Favorite Workout App + The Free (or Affordable) Workouts We Found All Over the Internet appeared first on Emily Henderson.

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