Finding Alternatives to the Gym: YouTube Fitness

With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing a wrench in the U.S. economy, businesses like gyms are taking a brutal hit. Luckily, there are other options out there for those who want to stay on track with their fitness journeys.

Social media has made it simple and easy to access fitness content. One of those is YouTube, which has a plethora of fitness channels that viewers can pick and choose from. Below are a few examples of what taking advantage of YouTube fitness can do for viewers looking for alternatives to the gym.


This decade-old channel focuses on a wide range of workouts including class “do-it-along-with-us-real-time” workouts, yoga, dance, and exercises that target specific areas of the body. POPSUGAR Fitness stays up-to-date with Hollywood’s hottest trends and brings them right to viewers’ homes.

The channel has multiple video playlists that viewers can pick and choose from based on their fitness goals. Here are some listed below:
• No-Equipment Cardio Workouts
• Full-Body Workouts
• Beginner’s Workouts
• Fit Pregnancy
• 10, 20, 30, and 45-Minute Workouts

Suggested Video to Try:
30-Minute Calorie-Burning Cardio Dance to Get Your Heart Rate Up! Led by dancer and personal trainer Deja Riley.


Created by Cassey Ho, this channel has a focus on pilates and healthy lifestyle. Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that is targeted to strengthen the muscles and increase flexibility in the body.

While this channel posts videos targeting different areas of the body twice a week, it also features workout series for those looking for a little more structure. Below are some examples of series to try:
• Apartment Friendly Series
• Turbo Pilates Series
• PIIT-Pilates Intense Interval Training
• 6 Week Body Toning Bootcamp

Suggested Series to Try:
Total Body Transformation Series. If viewers want something closer to a workout guide or schedule, trying this series can be a great place to start. Each video is about 15 minutes and targets a different part of the body.


SELF has provided fitness advice, workouts, healthy eating tips, and more since 2006. The channel also features “Body Stories” and “SELF Spotlight” by celebrities and fitness experts.

Some playlists include:
• Simple Home Workouts
• Get Fit & #StayHome
• Sweat with SELF
• Ready, Set, HIIT at Home

Suggested Video to Try:
20 Minute HIIT Bodyweight Workout-No Equipment at Home. This video has more dynamic and alternating moves to bring an extra challenge in the living room.

Walk at Home by Leslie Sansone

As the name suggests, this channel focuses on exercises that are centered on walking. The videos entail a class setting where viewers can watch and follow along. Their latest series is called Walk, Run, Lift, which offers 20, 30 and 40-minute workouts.

This channel can appeal to multiple viewers and their fitness goals; however, most of the channel’s playlists can appeal to viewers who cannot perform strenuous workouts due to injury or age. Here are some playlists found on their channel:
• Walking Down your Blood Sugar (3 part series)
• Spring 2020 Weekly Walks
• Strength Workouts
• Walk at Home | Walk 15

Suggested Video to Try:
Walk with Bands | Walk at Home. This quick, calorie burning workout enlists resistance bands to give an extra boost.

Fitness Blender

This channel was created by a husband and wife duo, Daniel and Kelli. With over 600 videos, their goal is to bring “unbiased workout, nutrition, and health information” to viewers. This can be a good channel for someone who is just starting out on their fitness journey and needs guidance. It can also help out someone who is looking for new workout ideas.

Fitness Blender has a video dedicated to just about everything the body can do. Below are some of the categories their videos cover.
• HITT and Strength workouts
• Fat Burning cardio Workout
• Easy Pilates and cardio Workouts

Video suggestions:
30 Minute HITT and Abs Workout with Warm Up and Cool Down. This video not only covers the workout, but provides techniques for warming up and cooling down around the exercise. An added bonus is that it doesn’t require equipment for those watching from home.

These YouTube channels are only the tip of the iceberg in the social media fitness community. With that in mind, check out the ones mentioned above to see if one of them can be the right fit. When it comes to this pandemic, thinking outside the box may be necessary to continue a healthy lifestyle.

Written by: Alex Dunn

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