It would be easy to fit in a workout if we all had a free 24 Hour Fitness next door, but unfortunately gym memberships aren’t feasible for everyone. Memberships aren’t cheap, and there are only so many hours in the day – you don’t always want to spend your precious free time en route to the gym.
Fortunately there are tons of affordable at-home workout programs available, and some worthy investments that will keep you in shape but out of the gym. But it can be overwhelming to wade through the sea of at-home workout options: How do you identify the ones that are worth your time? How do you know what’s right for you?
To help with those questions, I’ve put together a list of five fantastic at-home workouts – regardless of your current fitness level or your preferred style of workout, I think you’ll find at least one of these programs will work for you!
Jillian’s style may not be to everyone’s taste – I’ll admit I put her DVDs on mute while I use them – but there’s no denying the lady can put together a good workout. No More Trouble Zones is a 50 minute program that uses hand weights and body weight resistance to build muscle. It’s split into circuits for certain groups of body parts – chest & abs in one circuit; shoulders & glutes in another, and so on. The DVD allows you to select circuits individually, which I love, because it allows you to easily pick and choose what you want to do on days when you may be short on time or what to focus on or rest a certain part of your body.
The majority of the exercises in this program are very simple and easy to follow, and Jillian does a great job of incorporating moves that keep your heart rate up throughout the workout so it’s not just a strength workout.
The Total Yoga Flow program consists of three separate workouts that you can purchase individually or as a bundle. The workouts progress in difficulty – the Earth DVD is great introduction to yoga for beginners, Water is an intermediate level program that incorporates more challenging poses, and Fire is an advanced vinyasa flow that will get your heart rate up and challenge you with a variety of poses. These programs run between 45 and 75 minutes long – so these workouts aren’t great for a quick fix, but if you want a thorough yoga session you can’t go wrong here. And don’t worry – each workout includes a generous savasana!
I’ve talked about TurboFire on The Daily Quirk before, and that’s because it is such a fun, well-rounded and effective program. It does require a bit of an investment, but you get a ton of workouts with this program, ranging from cardio kickbox style “Fire” workouts, high intensity interval training workouts, resistance training workouts, and yoga/stretching workouts. TurboFire includes a calendar you can use to follow a suggested 16 week program, but you can also mix and match the workouts on your own.
The thing that’s great about TurboFire is that it provides a fun and different way to get in a tough cardio workout without running. It’s a little dancey and, while there are modifications provided, there’s no denying it’s on the intense side – if you’re just starting out or if you’re recovering from an injury, you might want to hold off on TurboFire. But if you’re up for the challenge, it’s worth the cost.
This is another program that will require a bit of an investment, but it’s fantastic if you want great results without a major time commitment. The program is organized into a series of 25 minute workouts that run the gamut of cardio and strength training. Again, you are provided with a calendar to help you follow the suggested program, and each workout is adaptable for different fitness levels. Focus T-25 is perfect for anyone who wants to maintain variety in their workouts but also minimize the amount of time they have to spend doing it.
If you’re interested in Pilates, Denise Austin’s Hit the Spot Pilates is a fantastic program for all skill levels. The DVD consists of six 10 minute segments that focus on different areas of the body and different levels of difficulty. You can mix and match these segments to build a custom workout, and if you’re feeling brave you can even tack on a 15 minutes Pilates Challenge workout which includes standing Pilates movements to give you a break from mat work.
This program contains an interesting mix of classic Pilates moves and more unique exercises that help keep things interesting. Denise Austin is another polarizing fitness personality; I don’t really mind her relentless perky chatter, but if you do, press mute and give one of these workouts a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Whether you’re an at-home exercise newbie or a seasoned workoutaholic, hopefully you’ll find something to love on this list. Don’t see your favorite at-home workout on this list? Tell us about it in the comments!