Do you have an ever-revolving resolutions list that includes ‘exercise’ on it? Have you ditched a workout routine because you don’t have the stamina or the mental strength?
If you have come to accept that you will never have the staying power to work up to a 6-pack, that’s where YouTube comes in.
It seems you’re not the only one who hates the gym or working out in public. There’s tons of exercise channels you can follow which include ‘quiet’, ‘low-impact’ or even ‘knee-friendly’, which is how I found the ones in this list. They are perfect for the uncoordinated, the rusty and the sedentary.
For those who hate exercise, the YouTube channels listed below, ranked from easy to more intense (they might include high-knees!) may be your gateway to a more active lifestyle.
1. Pahla B Fitness
“Welcome to my home” is the name of one of Pahla Bowers’ warmup moves, which sums up the warmth you’ll be getting when you start following this Functional Fitness Specialist and Boston-qualifying marathon runner.
Always cheerful, never judgmental, Pahla gives out tons of advice during her workouts, and some that stand out to me are that consistence is key; gentle exercise is more important to achieving your fitness goals in the long-term; and (unfortunately) good nutrition still matters when it comes to weight loss.
Sounds common sense, but when you’ve been absorbing body-fitness magazines or beating yourself up for never being consistent with exercise, her advice feels like a gentle release. Like her exercises.
This lady is at the top of my list because her target audience is 50 year olds. For that reason, she will highlight during her videos that you won’t have to get down on the floor and that there will be no jumping. Her discussions throughout her workout will educate you a more about the importance of healthy habit-building and be comforting for women who are moving into their menopausal years.
Only Jessica Smith of this fitness channel can entice sedentary, exercise-averse people to try out HIIT. You’ll hear her say “Do what works for you” a lot throughout her videos, because her emphasis is on getting viewers to enjoy exercise.
Another fitness instructor who emphasises on movement and consistency more than back-breaking intensity, she has more than 450 exercise videos across a wide range of exercise disciplines like pilates, yoga, cardio, kickboxing, dance, barre workouts, or (my favourite) knee-friendly exercises on her channel. You will have so many videos to choose from that will suit your mood or overall fitness.
If you’re feeling depressed or under the weather, her 1-Mile Walk and Talk series is just a walking workout video where she discusses certain themes and topics like stress-relieving tips and self-care. It’s like going on a walk with a friend within the comfort of your home.
Oh, and a mention of JessicaSmithTV isn’t complete without mentioning her French bulldog, Peanut. Think of him as your spirit animal as he occasionally takes naps or plays with a toy while he waits for Jessica to finish up her routine.
3. HASfit (Heart and Soul Fitness)
When you join HASfit, you will be working out with Coach Kozak and his wife Claudia in a combination of bodyweight and dumbbell exercises. Coach Kozak performs the more advanced versions of the exercises while Claudia does the modified ones, perfect for noobs, beginners and everybody in between.
If you’re recovering from an injury, limited mobility or are an elderly person, they even have a playlist which incorporates chair exercises.
If you’re expecting a bun in the oven, you can try out Claudia’s Prenatal workouts (make sure you check with your doctor first).
Meanwhile, if you’re somebody who just can’t stand the repetition of exercise routines, they even have a playlist for beginners and people who get bored easily.
Whatever your level, if you’ve been consistent with exercise so far, you can redo these routines and challenge yourself by following Coach Kozak instead.
4. Bodyfit by Amy
Speaking of buns in the oven, I first found Bodyfit by Amy while I was looking for postnatal workouts to help recover from the weakness, aches and pains you never expect if you’ve only learnt about pregnancy and childbirth from TV (hello lower back pains and diastasis recti). She even has videos to help strengthen muscles you’ll need as you cope with carrying around a newborn.
But if you’re getting ready for your wedding, you can follow her Wedding Workout series instead.
Outside of the pre- and postnatal workout videos, her pace in her other videos are still easy to follow and really focus on form. She has beginner and low-impact workouts, and for those who are looking for a step up, you can follow her kettlebell workouts and TRX workouts.
5. Melissa Bender
Melissa Bender’s slogan on her website is ‘Fitness should be Free’ and she is totally generous with her workout programmes, starting with her #BFBODYFIT 6-month home workout programme.
If you want to start smaller, she has 30 day fitness challenges. If you’re still intimidated, she has a Low Impact Workout playlist which promises no jumping. (Check out where her grey and white cat Gambit makes appearances.)
For those recovering from childbirth and looking to get into fighting fit form, Melissa Bender has a 6-week Postnatal programme, which is still challenging for people who don’t jog or do interval training on a regular basis, so you might have to work up to this programme.