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Virtual workouts bring fitness wherever you are

September 7, 2021 - 20 min read


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At-home workout trends

Ready for the next step? Here are 10 workouts to try at home now

Develop your physical and mental fitness with a virtual workout

Working out is a crucial part of maintaining physical and mental well-being.

But with travel restrictions, busy schedules, and commutes, it can be difficult to attend live workout classes.

However, wellness trends are adapting to be more accessible in a rapidly changing world.

Virtual workouts are an amazing resource for anyone who wants to prioritize their health from anywhere, at any time. Not only do they help you maintain physical fitness, but they help your mental fitness as well. 

Let’s explore some of the most popular virtual (and at-home) workout trends and classes you can take today.

At-home workout trends 

There are several new workout trends to choose from if you want to vary your training style. Here are the eight latest trends for virtual classes and workouts.

1. Quick-fire workouts

If you’re short on time, quick-fire workouts could be the best type of virtual workout for you.

Quick-fire workouts are similar to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. During this type of training, you perform a high-intensity move for a short burst of time, then rest. Then, you repeat.

Quick-fire workouts are like short bursts of HIIT workouts. If you only have a few minutes, you can perform a three-minute quick-fire bodyweight workout and give it your all during those three minutes.

But you can also perform longer workouts for up to 20 minutes.

Quick-fire workouts stimulate autophagy in the skeletal muscle. Autophagy gets rid of the body’s cellular debris while also stimulating stem cell production.

These workouts also allow you to get the benefits of exercise and achieve physical well-being in shorter amounts of time.

A short workout is better than no workout at all.


2. Pilates

Pilates has been around for a long time. The Pilates Method is made up of 500 exercises. These exercises are inspired by yoga, ballet, and calisthenics.

Joseph Pilates introduced this method in America in the 1920s to help athletes and dancers safely recover from injury and return to their usual fitness activities.

During a Pilates class, you’ll perform exercise sequences five to ten times. These workouts are low-intensity but require high concentration. They require you to lengthen and stretch all your major muscle groups.

A class typically lasts between 45–90 minutes.

Other benefits of Pilates include:

  • Improved flexibility
  • Better posture
  • Balanced muscular strength across the body
  • Improved concentration
  • Stress management
  • Improved body awareness
  • Injury prevention

3. Everesting

‘Everesting’ isn’t for the faint of heart. While people couldn’t climb Mount Everest because of travel restrictions in 2020 and 2021, nothing stopped them from doing so virtually on stationary bikes.

Everesting is the process of climbing the 8,848m elevation height of Mount Everest using a stationary bike. You can also do Everesting outside if you have access to a hill.

All you need to do is climb this hill repeatedly in a single session until you hit 8,848m climbed. You can do this on foot or with a bike.

If you don’t use a stationary bike, you’ll likely need something to measure the elevation of your chosen hill. 

The Everesting website has a calculator in which you can enter a Strava route or segment that includes your chosen hill. It then calculates the elevation for you. Strava is a social media platform for runners and cyclists.

Everesting isn’t easy. And it’s not the type of workout you can fit into a regular day. Setting this goal and achieving it can give you a sense of accomplishment.

4. Walking

Before we dive into the world of virtual gym classes that are trending online, let’s chat about good old-fashion walking. Walking and hiking is also experiencing a surge in popularity (even on the golf course!) The benefits to your health are vast. It’s also more accessible to a wider audience since walking is something most of us do everyday.

In the UK, almost 1/4 of 16-to-24-year-olds now walk regularly to work out. This is up from 16% in 2018.

Walking is an amazing low-impact activity that lets you enjoy the great outdoors or discover new areas in your neighborhood. You can do it with no equipment and improve your wellness. If you work in an office, you can walk during your breaks.

Because walking is low-impact, you don’t usually have to change your clothes or shower afterward. Your walk can also be as long or short as you want.

Taking a break from a busy day to slow down and enjoy a walk can have great benefits for your mental health and mental fitness.


5. On-demand training videos

On-demand training videos are similar to other on-demand video services. Just like Netflix or Hulu, you can watch (and rewatch) workout videos at any time from anywhere you’d like.

Some video-on-demand (VOD) services require a paid subscription, while others provide you with free virtual workouts. 

You can also find on-demand training videos for all sorts of workouts. They can range from yoga and Pilates to strength training and HIIT and everything in between.

On-demand training videos are an amazing and flexible way to get in shape. Whether gyms are open or closed, you can get your workout in without a problem. You also don’t have to miss a workout if you’re traveling.

Finally, you can get together with friends and family to follow workouts as a group.

6. Livestream training

Livestream training is the opposite of on-demand video training. Instead of tuning in to pre-recorded videos, you can join live workout classes.

Instructors stream themselves giving the class, and you can access the class from anywhere.

If you want the sense of belonging that can come from working out with several other people, this type of virtual workout could be a good option for you.

7. Outdoor fitness

Outdoor fitness has seen a surge in popularity, just like walking. There are many virtual workout apps that give you free virtual workouts or paid workouts you can do in the great outdoors.

For people who spend most of their day working inside, changing the scenery and doing outside fitness can help boost your mental well-being. You can even do livestreams and on-demand video workouts if you have space outside of your home.

8. Eye yoga

For people who work at an office in front of a computer, spending time in front of a screen is a constant reality. Apart from work, several people also spend their leisure time in front of screens to watch streaming services or browse social media.

It is unlikely that extended time in front of screens will cause permanent vision damage. But it can make your eyes tired and cause strain over time.

Eye yoga uses gentle movements to move and massage your eyes and surrounding areas in your face. It can help relieve the tiredness some people feel after spending too much time in front of a screen or computer monitor.

You can use eye yoga as part of a digital detox when you need a complete break from screens.


Ready for the next step? Here are 10 workouts to try at home now 

No matter your fitness level or budget, you can find a virtual workout that suits you. Here are ten of the best ones you can try.

1. Aaptiv

Aaptiv provides you with unlimited access to thousands of workouts online. They add new classes every week.

Aaptiv is designed for listening instead of watching. 

This means you can listen to the workouts on the go without consuming too much cellular data. And if you download a workout, it won’t take up too much storage space on your smartphone.

You can also hit the gym and listen to workouts without always taking your phone out.

Cost: Aaptiv has a seven-day free trial and costs $99.99 per year. You can also pay a monthly subscription of $14.99 instead.

Difficulty: Aaptiv’s workouts vary in level of difficulty.

Accessibility: because of its price, Aaptiv is accessible to some.

2. Alo Moves

Alo Moves is an on-demand yoga, fitness, and meditation platform. They have Pilates, barre, HIIT, core, and strength workouts available in addition to yoga and mindfulness practices.

In addition to virtual workout classes, they also have specific skills that you can work on, like handstands or splits. 

Cost: Alo Moves costs $20 per month or $199 per year.

Difficulty: Alo Moves workouts vary in level of difficulty.

Accessibility: because of its price, Alo Moves is accessible to some.

3. be.come Project

The be.come Project is a fitness platform built with inclusivity and body neutrality in mind. They don’t use before-and-after photos or body shaming tactics to motivate participants to work out.

This virtual workout is also pregnancy-friendly. 

You can access your workout routines via their app or their website. Every week, there’s a different featured workout routine to practice. You can also discuss this routine with the community.

Cost: the be.come Project has a free ten-day trial and then costs $35 per month.

Difficulty: be.come Project workouts have a difficulty level of easy.

Accessibility: because of its price, be.come Project is accessible to some.


4. Peloton

Peloton is famous for its high-end stationary bikes and virtual spinning classes you can do from home. 

The Peloton app has thousands of classes available on-demand, but not just for cycling. They have stretching, yoga, strength training, outdoor running, bootcamp-style workouts, and meditation.

The app also allows you to track your metrics so that you can stay on top of your progress.

Cost: with Peloton, you can get free virtual fitness classes for 30 days. It costs $12.99 per month after that. If you already have a Peloton Bike or Tread (Peloton’s treadmill) subscription, you can access the Peloton app at no additional cost.

Difficulty: Peloton workouts vary in level of difficulty.

Accessibility: because of its cost, Peloton is accessible to some.

5. Crunch Live

Crunch Fitness is a gym with group fitness classes and a traditional training room with weights and cardio equipment. But they also have virtual exercise options that you can access through Crunch Live.

Crunch Live has more than 85 types of workouts you can do from anywhere.

Cost: If you already have a membership to a Crunch Fitness gym, you can access Crunch Live without additional charges. Otherwise, it costs $9.99 to access the workouts or $90 per year. They also have a 90-day-free trial, so you can test out the free online workouts extensively before you commit.

Difficulty: Crunch Live classes vary in level of difficulty.

Accessibility: because of its extended free trial, Crunch Live is accessible to most.


6. 305 Fitness At Home

305 Fitness is a dance cardio group workout class that is in person. But they also have virtual workouts you can do from home.

If you enjoy dancing, you’ll likely love 305 Fitness. They add new classes daily so you’ll never get bored of the same dance routines.

Cost: you can try 305 Fitness At Home for seven days free. After that, it’s $30 a month.

Difficulty: 305 Fitness workouts vary in level of difficulty.

Accessibility: because of its cost, 305 Fitness is accessible to some.

7. Zombies, Run!

If you enjoy running but find it difficult to stay motivated, try out Zombies, Run! This is one of the best free at-home workout programs because it functions more like a game than a traditional workout.

All you need is a place to run, your smartphone, and some headphones to access over 200 missions where you escape zombies.

While you run, you collect supplies to build up your base. You can even do interval training and build your own missions.

Cost: the Zombies, Run! app is free to download and play. The first four missions are free, and you unlock a new mission every week. You can also pay $5.99 per month or $34.99 per year to unlock the entire app.

Difficulty: because you can walk, jog, or run when completing this workout, Zombies, Run! workouts vary in level of difficulty.

Accessibility: because this app is free and can be used anywhere, it is accessible to most.

8. Active by Popsugar

Popsugar offers thousands of free online workouts both on YouTube and on its website. They also have a premium subscription service called Active by Popsugar.

With Active, you get access to over 500 ad-free workouts with celebrity trainers and fitness experts. There’s a workout for everyone, including boxing, dance, high-intensity, low-impact, yoga, Pilates, and more.

Cost: Active is usually a paid subscription, but they’re currently offering free at-home workout programs to support their community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Difficulty: Active workouts vary in level of difficulty.

Accessibility: because Active is currently offering free workouts that can be done at home, it is accessible to most.

9. ClassPass

With ClassPass, you can access several in-person fitness classes from different gyms and studios with a single subscription. But they also have virtual workouts included with the subscription.

The ClassPass app has over 4,000 on-demand workouts for cardio, yoga, barre, HIIT, strength training, and more.

Cost: pricing varies depending on how many class credits you need per month.

Difficulty: ClassPass workouts vary in level of difficulty.

Accessibility: because accessing the workouts requires a subscription, ClassPass is accessible to some.


10. Daily Burn 365

Daily Burn is designed to work out the entire body at any fitness level. You can enter information about yourself to get matched with a workout program designed for your needs.

They have thousands of on-demand workouts available online. This includes barre, muscle building, yoga, cardio, Zumba, kickboxing, pregnancy and post-natal, HIIT, and many other workout types.

In addition to the on-demand videos, they also have 30-minute live classes every day at 9 am EST. If you don’t catch it live, you can watch this video on-demand later.

Cost: you can try Daily Burn 365 for free for 30 days. Afterward, it costs $14.95 per month for the regular subscription. There’s also Daily Burn Premium for $19.95 a month, which provides extra workouts and content.

Difficulty: Daily Burn 365 workouts vary in level of difficulty.

Accessibility: because of its cost, Daily Burn 365 is accessible to some.

Develop your physical and mental fitness with a virtual workout 

With these virtual workout subscription services, you can work on your physical and mental fitness from anywhere.

You can also take your mental fitness to a new level with BetterUp’s coaching platform. 

Request a custom demo to see how it can work for you.

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Published September 7, 2021

Erin Eatough, PhD

Sr. Insights Manager

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