So the first question you might be asking is, “Why the hell would someone who supports her employees and her family by selling fitness services point us to where we can get it for free!?”.
And there are three answers to that.
- I genuinely want you to get fit and feel good. And by ‘you’ I mean all of you. Even those of you who will never join any of my programs. And by ‘feel good’ I mean alive and strong and confident and ferocious and clear-headed and kick ass. Like this:
So I want to give you as many tools as I can to make that happen!
2. I don’t really feel a big sense of competition with other fitness professionals. Especially after teaching and certifying so many trainers and fitness instructors – I am all about elevating my colleagues. There is no competition. Besides – we are all so different. I hope my clients try on all kinds of awesome fitness offerings until they find something that they can do consistently (one of the Seven Habits Of Highly Healthy Motherf*ckers in my #1 bestselling book).
In all of my programs, I love exposing my clients to special guest instructors (like Obstacle Course champion Jesse Bruce, Bestselling author of Let That Shit Go, Nina Purwall and International Trainer of the Year Marc Lebert). When I led Bootcamp classes, we would go on ‘field trips’, where we visited other fitness facilities (like Legacy Cycle and Bikram Yoga)
3. If you’ve heard any of my podcast interviews, you’ll see that my passion is
changing lives by creating communities that foster healthy living and lots of laughter.
It’s not “to run you guys through a bunch of push-ups and sit-ups” because really…who cares about that.
I care about feeling amazing. And nothing makes you feel more amazing than the kind of results you achieve when you’ve got a good trainer and a community of people who support you living a healthy life.
You might notice that whenever we feature any client testimonials, everyone mentions that the online community is their favourite part of any of my programs. So yes – this stuff will be helpful but make sure you find your peeps!
When clients feel really stuck with their weight or their energy levels, the first thing I will ask them to do is start to track their food intake. Even for those of us who THINK we eat mindfully, chances are (between 50-60% according to some studies) that we are drastically underestimating our caloric intake. Don’t be afraid to find out and get real with yourself. There are a bunch of free trackers but try Lose It or My Fitness Pal.
For awesome healthy recipes, try Oh She Glows (try to talk to a vegan without hearing about this site) and my friend Joy over at Joyous Health also does a lot of delicious mostly plants type stuff. Healthy Meal Plans is a site where you can create custom meal plans from their archive of recipes and World’s Healthiest Foods has a nice search engine where you can input the ingredient you want to use and exclude anything you are avoiding and all the corresponding good stuff will pop up. My favourite, though is Bad Manners (formerly known as Thug Kitchen), where the directions for a salad will sound like this:
“Now I have to write out how to make a salad, which is weird. Are you still reading? Here it goes, in case you’ve never seen a fucking salad before:”
Remember that week when Netflix had fitness videos? Until that happens again, here some great options.
BeFit is a Youtube channel that has a huge variety of videos with various focuses and lengths. This Denise Austen Hot Body Yoga is (embarrassing but true) the first at-home fitness video I ever did with any consistency:
Fitness Blender is another good option for high quality, full-length videos. There’s nothing super creative here but they get the job done for sure.
Hasfit is another example of a channel that has solid full length videos – lots of low impact and no equipment options here as well:
Most of my workout videos are in my paid programs but I do have a few gems that I put out for free. This one is a full body strength training and cardio workout that requires no equipment and is set to music that will get you pumped up. Be warned – this is a killer. The Thunderstruck leg track alone is a goal for many of my clients.
Remember Billy Blanks and the Tae Bo craze of the ’90s? He’s generous enough to allow all his full-length videos on Youtube and they can be good to get your retro kickboxing fix.
If you need something quick and dirty, how about a 20-Minute At-Home Glider Workout With Towels
Toni Mitchell has some great quickie ab and glute videos as well as full length HIIT style workouts that require no equipment. She doesn’t talk during her workouts and the music is kind of low energy so I would just pump up your jams and play her on mute. It helps that she’s drop dead gorgeous and her fitness is #goals:
I feel like everyone already knows about The Fitness Marshall, but if you haven’t, here’s the routine that went viral and you’ll see why he’s a cult favourite for dance fitness:
And if you’ve already done all the Fitness Marshall’s stuff and you want more – you will LOVE my friend MJ’s new Popfit channel. Same vibe of sassy choreo to popular music but with added delights like Push It taught by a very pregnant woman:
If you want to supplement your regular routine with some extra abs or glutes, you could try some of the stuff at Blogilates. The host, Cassey is popular but she’ll be pretty girly for some of you.
Another good one for add-ons as well as full length workouts is Madfit. She delivers solid workouts with good music and high quality production values. My clients and I got obsessed with this Dancer Arms add-on last summer:
Ok – here is my most recent discovery and I’m in love. Jo is from my home town of Toronto and she has an adorable smiley personality and she’s having so much fun in her workouts. Plus, she’s refreshingly upfront about her adorable belly and rocks cute outfits. I love her dance stuff but here is a one hour, low impact, no equipment sweat fest that might be exactly what you need.
A lot of people love The Betty Rocker. Her videos aren’t the highest quality but she doesn’t hold back and you can get into the Barre craze without spending $40 a class at your local boutique studio:
If you are looking at all of those and thinking ‘hellllll no’ then maybe you might like More Life Health for Seniors. This fantastic channel is awesome for, well, seniors, but also anyone who needs a chair workout or a gentle approach for any reason:
Or if you want a workout that’s somewhere in between a one hour sweatfest and a chair workout, then Pahla b might be your girl. She focuses on women around menopause and is fit but totally relatable:
Trying to squeeze in a workout with munchkins around? My free kid workout is a great option to do with your kids or anyone who needs to burn off some energy.
Another way to get the whole family moving is Just Dance videos on Youtube. I love everything about these videos – from the moves to the different characters. Also – my the kids are young enough that they don’t realize that we aren’t actually playing the game and getting the points so they get all competitive about it.
And if you have kids, I hope you already know about Cosmic Kids Yoga. This incredible woman will involve your kids’ favourite characters, make it look like a fun cartoon and get them moving and being mindful. Highly recommended!
Or just do something weird like play this video and try to copy the guy in the front (who makes me want to go back in time so I can ask him to be my boyfriend. Check it:)
No list of fitness Youtubers would be complete without Yoga With Adriene. With 10M subscribers, this woman knows how to please. You will find yoga videos to address anything from a stiff neck to a heartbreak to a hangover. Beginner yogis will especially love her gentle pace and quirky, non-judgey personality:
If you are in the ‘baby steps’ phase of getting active, a ‘Couch to 5K’ program could be a great place to get started. This is a gentle 3 days a week program designed to help newbies gradually build up to running a 5k.
If you need a little motivation to get off that couch, you could try Charity Miles, which will donate to a charity to reward you for your mileage. If you are totally selfish and more about preserving your own life, you might want to try the cult favourite, Zombies Run. I haven’t tried this yet but it’s supposed to be highly…
If you are on the road and need a bodyweight challenge, try Sworkit (although it might have some in-app purchases; it’s got good reviews). I’m also hearing great things about the FitOn app – which seems to be genuinely free (unlike many fitness apps, that have a free version that is basically useless) If you have a set of dumbells handy, the Nike Training Club app is awesome.
Of all these, though, my most-used apps are Yoga Studio , and Insight Timer for meditation, which I use to supplement my workouts and dance classes for a well-rounded fitness program. Yoga Studio has great pre-made yoga classes for all abilities and with different focuses. (Note – Yoga Studio isn’t free – it’s $3.99, which seems expensive for an app that will give you hours of quality movement, but cheap for a Starbucks drink. Life is weird sometimes) If you are just starting with meditation, go for Headspace, which is described as ‘Meditation for Skeptics’ and it’s sort of like a Couch to 5K for meditation.
So maybe you’ve done my videos to death (don’t forget about the Cottage Workout and The Cottage Workout 2.0 !). If so, I hope you download one of these apps or bookmark this page for a free workout and let me know which one you like best!
Thanks for reading!
Did you find this post helpful? Did I miss any awesome free fitness sources? If so, leave a comment. Feel free to share with friends and make sure you let me know if any of these help you get fit and feeling amazing!
Oonagh, Thanks for the excellent post – lots of great info!
Great post. Thanks for sharing
Do you have any suggestions for excellent 20min HIIT videos?
Follow up: you talk about HIIT and strength training in the book. Is it a 20min workout that includes cardio and strength or is it 20min of HIIT and then a strength workout? Also, if I’m getting in my 10,000 a day and moving a lot – how many days should I be doing HIIT and strength – or HIIT strength (see question above).
Hey! I have a ton of those workouts in my program https://www.fitfeelsgood.com/transform and here’s a free one to try: https://www.fitfeelsgood.com/get-in-shape-get-in-state/
I adore Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube for getting my toddler moving with me.
YES Erica! I love them as well! Such a good call that they should be added to this! Thanks!
Thanks Oonagh -this is awesome ! Also If you ever want to do a field trip with your boot campers to do some aerial I d love to have you. Its a great upper body work out with lots of flexibilty work at the same time.
OOOOO yes please!! We normally do our field trips in the winter. I’m going to take you up on that in November! 🙂
Yoga with Adriene is always fantastic! Thanks for this amazing resource
Thanks for these resources. I really love The Body Coach workouts on Youtube. They’re almost all HIIT workouts and there are so many. He’s got a great personality and I like that he expresses that the workouts are hard for him, too! And I agree with Jessica, Yoga with Adrienne is awesome, too.
How fun! Thanks
Thank you for posting so many options for us
Thanks so much Oonagh! Excellent recommendations.
There is another completely free and informative website on the internet —- pahla b fitness! Not only will she supply subscribers with month-long workout programs (which are moderate so good for many beginners) she also has a great podcast which explores many issues around the thoughts-feeling-actions cycle. I really like her, although I do find her workouts to be too easy – great for beginners!
I look forward to trying those. FITON is another free app that I like & has a great variety of workouts & meditation! Enjoy
Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll check them out. I personally LOVE Heather Robertson! She doesn’t talk so you can put your own music on in the background and follow along. And she has dozens of free videos.
This is great. Just what I was looking for – all in one spot! do you have suggestions for videos with barbells? I have a bar and a few plates. No bench though. Would that Nike app work for this kind of equipment?
I only knew of 2 of these (Cosmic Kids and YWA) – and I love them both! I’m looking forward to checking most of these others out, including yours. Thank you for the fantastic list – I’m motivated now!
Thank you very much for this beautiful article. I loved the way that you have written. This is really great and praiseworthy. Well done.
This post is super helpful! It’s something I’ve wanted but never knew it haha how to navigate workout videos on the web. I like how there is a variety of options for different interests and levels.
Hey peeps and Oonagh,
Just finished your book, Oonagh, thank you! Also for the free stuff!
I wanted to mention ‘Down Dog’ fitness and meditation apps (no affiliation of mine, promise!), although a subscription they do offer significant discounts for peeps on low incomes. They offer meditation, yoga, HIIT and barre apps… all really clean and simple to use re: length of time, area of focus, difficulty etc. they are even a bit quirky and fun.