When I was younger, I used to lay on the sofa watching CBBC in my pyjamas. I’d lazily munch on biscuits getting crumbs carelessly over the sofa, intently watching Sam and Mark and Caroline, or Dick and Dom, or Basil Brush run around the bright studios with chaotic noises and an abundance of energy for a Saturday morning.
As the clock struck 11 and ‘da bungalow’ stopped filming for the day, my mum would claim ownership of the living room. She’d move aside the coffee table and insert Davina McCall’s workout DVD into the player before laying down on the rug and starting to follow the presenter’s instructors. After muffled giggles shared with my sister, we’d lay down beside her and kick our legs pretending to ride bicycles and that we knew what “cellulite” was, yet alone any reasons why we’d remotely care if we were to gain it. Every week, we would all end a pile of limbs laughing.
Home workouts then evolved into the Wii Fit and to Zumba videos. Fast forward ten years and the pandemic hit, leading to Joe Wicks being made an MBE for his service to the humble fitness video.
It is now I realise why my mother followed any celebrity’s home workouts. She was working full time, with no extra means or needs for a gym membership and assigned to the house with two young children who found hilarity in the idea of sumo squatting round the living room.
When you have a responsibility to be inside a house, it can be hard to know where, when and how to get some exercise into your day-to-day. Short days turn quickly into dark, cold evenings deeming the outdoors unsafe to enter.
YouTube is an absolute treasure trove of free workouts that can be done at home. In the last twelve months, people have taken to the platform to create videos to suit a multitude of different lifestyles; including classes for every level of experience, for those with limited room or neighbours living below them, low impact for specific injuries and best of all the most imaginative, innovative content that makes working out at home, fun!
Personally, I love to workout with videos set to music and choose more dance-based sessions. I find these the best way to shake away my sillies (anxieties!) and move my entire body, after sitting in a home office all day long.
Let me assure you, I have two left feet and zero musicality. These videos are designed to get your heart pumping and body moving. They're also super comforting for the soul. Turn them up and release your inner child as you dance around the living room without a care in the world for twenty minutes. We owe ourselves that.
Here are my top channels!
That Disney Girl and EmKFit
This duo joined forces to bring a series of HIIT classes disguised cleverly as dance moves to Disney classics; including ‘Get Your Head In The Game’, ‘Friend Like Me’ and ‘Hey Now!’
Their motto is quite literally, fake it til’ you make it. The girls offer a low impact and a high impact move in most cases and encourage you to quite simply keep moving to the music and have a good time.
Though, don’t be fooled. The workouts really get you sweating, but also leave you grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the day. Before you know it, you'll be planning for the next girls' trip to Disneyworld now you're BFFs...
Fit With Rick
Tired of taking yourself for a sad little stroll around the block during your lunchbreak? Former professional dancer, Rick Bhullar, is on a mission to get everybody walking inside. From his apartment in Dubai (~cry~) he has curated a series of videos that can increase your step-count by the thousands within about half an hour. How? By putting together a series of step-based moves set to delicious soundtracks. We’re talking disco, we’re talking 90s throwbacks, we’re talking FUNK.
These workouts really are what you make them. You can bust some hip action, throw your arms around and move your booty as much as you like, as Rick only encourages you to keep moving. The energy levels really are sky-high in these videos. Walking has never been so fun.
Pamela’s workouts are quiet. She doesn’t talk to you in way of explanation or encouragement, she is cool, composed and absolutely glows throughout her sessions. She is ELEGANT. Having recently put a mirror up in front of my workout space, I can confirm that I am not.
Despite this, her sessions are not cold. They are really simple to follow, set to popular and familiar music, and they really get you working.
Her videos rack up millions of views as they’re so accessible. Whatever part of the body you’re looking to work, she’ll have a video for it and for the length of time that you need. I recommend her ‘Happy Dance Workout’ for a fifteen-minute burst.
Maddie Lymburner is a top Canadian vlogger who doesn’t only offer workout videos, but specialist dance workout videos. Her ‘Dance Party’ sessions are fifteen minutes of action-packed cardio routines set to music by different artists; including Ariana Grande, One Direction, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.
Her ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ album sessions are so beautifully choreographed, combining yoga and contemporary dance that really tests your balance, stamina and breathing whilst stretching your entire body.
Kyra’s energy is unrivalled! Late last year, her Mamma Mia! workout went viral, and deservedly so. Just short of twenty minutes, it is an absolute burst of joy that has you fighting through breathlessness to sing along. In addition, Kyra has uploaded workouts set to The Greatest Showman, Disney songs and Shrek.
Over on her channel, you’ll also find stretch videos (including one set to ‘Watermelon Sugar’ by Harry Styles) and proper warm-ups to get your body ready for action!