Open for Fitness: Easy, Free Online Workout Classes to Try During Lockdown
From sculpt-and-burn to boot camp, web workouts are virtual-ly all we can do. But we’re not complaining: The classes are free and the fitness instructors bring much-needed positive vibes to our daily lives.
Photo: Lindsay Wong, @illuminate.photography.hi
We are now sheltering at home for the second time, meaning all nonessential businesses, parks and beaches are closed. Soooo, what can we do to relieve the stay-at-home stressors, besides eat a pint of ice cream or scream at the top of our lungs into a pillow? Well, for us, we find workouts online that release extra energy and anger (you know those “Karens” out there get our blood boiling). Plus, online workouts have their advantages: You can take breaks whenever you want, workout in your PJs, set your own schedule and turn on your favorite TV shows so you’re not counting every crunch.
Below are the options we found, tried and loved. If you have any recommendations, please let us know. Right now, we’re down to try any classes that tighten our waists and asses. And if you do decide to jump online, we encourage all participants to support their trainers through word-of-mouth, online reviews and, if you can, monetary donations.
Hip-Hop Dance with Kristi
Time: 32 minutes
Stacey Makiya: If you’ve read our blog, you know I like to “get low, get low.” However, nowadays, my ol’ arse can’t get back up. So, I was hesitant to try this class, but then I remembered I’m quarantining at home so if I must take a break from being “Savage” (insert eyeroll from my daughter), then there’s no judgment. Except from my daughter.
The warmup was basic, with marching and toe taps, then Kristi upped the pace and threw in a grapevine and shoulder rolls. After a few more basic steps, she turned up the volume—of moves. Crazy knees (moving your knees in and out while taking turns lifting each one) was crazy fun. Toe-heel taps, slide backs and the rock star (raising your hands crisscrossed over your head) followed. Every time a new step was introduced it became part of the whole routine.
I enjoyed the pace; it was slow enough to learn the moves and fast enough to keep me interested. The booty-poppin’ music was lacking—the tune played was instrumental, with no familiar beats—but the moves and their catchy names were very entertaining. Case in point: The genie, wipe-the-sweat-off and a move that resembled The Dougie had me snaking, swaying and smiling.
Overall, great workout and I did feel exhausted by the end, mentally (there were a lot of moves to learn) and physically. But I would recommend having a playlist on hand with songs that make you want to shake it off. For me, I gotta have Cardi B with my cardio.
Orangetheory Fitness Hawai‘i
Time: 49 minutes (broken up into 12-, 23- and 14-minute videos)
Katrina Valcourt: Orangetheory’s Coronacure series can be done all at once or one at a time (*raises hand*). The first part, Cardio with Coach Blasi (above), eases you into it with a 12-minute video of basic moves: You do three rounds of jumping jacks, squats, burpees and the running man. Repeat this video a few times for a longer workout that gets your heart pumping but isn’t too strenuous.
SEE ALSO: Open for Fitness: We Tried an Intense Cardio Workout at Orangetheory Fitness
The second episode, Lower Body with Coach Ryan, is the longest, clocking in at 23:29, and most intense, but Ryan’s attitude kept me pumped the whole time. Warm up with knee circles, Cossack squats (which I’d never tried before—but they stretch my inner thighs in a great way) and butt kicks. Then it’s two rounds of squats: one minute of regular squats followed by a 15-second break, then 45 seconds of pulsing squats. Repeat with reverse lunges and jump lunges (here’s your Cardi, Stacey!), lateral lunges and speed skaters, and hip bridges and side hip bridges for each side (I just … didn’t). As if that’s not enough, you then repeat this entire series of moves.
The last (and most difficult for me) is Upper Body with Coach EK for 14 minutes. Warm up with arm circles, seal jacks (like jumping jacks but with your arms in front of you) and some T-spine rotations. That’s the last of the easy moves. The workout consists of four exercises for one minute each, then repeated for a second round. I don’t spend nearly enough time on my upper body, so I struggled (and didn’t try that hard, honestly). Maybe if I do this video a few more times it will get easier, but I can’t even do all the moves. Each starts from the plank position, so if that’s a weak point for you, this is not the video for you.
One slightly annoying thing is that the videos are filmed horizontally and Instagram doesn’t auto rotate, so you’ll want to watch on a sideways phone, not computer.
Sweat Session with Max and Tiana Hannemann
Time: 25 minutes
SM: I loved going to Max’s classes at CorePower Yoga, before pandemic pandemonium. So, I’m super-duper happy he continues to teach via IGTV and that his account is stocked with videos that you can do for free whenever you’re free. Bonus: His super cute daughter tag-teams with him, so you get a Hannemann and a Hanne-womann encouraging you throughout the workouts.
SEE ALSO: Open for Fitness: CorePower Yoga
I did the sweat sesh, which is only 25 minutes. I’ve been comforted by way too many baked goods to try an hourlong class. This class will now be in my weekly workout rotation. It begins with a warmup, butt kicks, punch-outs and football runs to get the adrenaline up. Then there’s four Tabata series that include: a rotation of scissor kicks and eagle crunches, a rotation of triceps and wide-arm pushups, a rotation of frog squats and full squats with a twist, and a rotation with cardio drills and burpees. Every rotation is four minutes long and each exercise is performed six times for 20 seconds. For me, when the targeted muscles of each exercise started to really burn, it was time to switch moves—this kept me moving and motivated. Let me be clear though: I did take water breaks during the pushups and cardio-slash-burpee series. Again, I’m fluffy like the omelet I made this morning.
And, Max saved the best (I mean worst) part for last. There was a two-minute plank challenge that included leg lifts and body shifts. I did it for one minute and flopped down on my face and belly. My arms, gut and thighs were like, “not today brah, NOT TODAY.”
Sculpt and Burn
Time: 30 minutes (broken up into 7-, 8- and 15-minute videos)
KV: I’ve been meaning to try one of Keli Robertson’s classes for months, and she recently launched her own online studio this summer called Sculpt and Burn. Sculpt classes sound super intimidating since they’re designed to push you to get quick results, so I dipped my toes in with three of her short videos on IGTV.
The seven-minute side-saddle workout (above) is short enough that I could follow along without needing too many breaks (except around the five-minute mark with those mermaid-tail crunches), and it warmed up my core for the eight-minute ab workout. Lots of planking (including torturous side plank twists) exhausted me pretty quickly, so I spent the second half of the workout flat on my back with my legs bent at a 90-degree angle instead of pointed straight up for the remaining moves. I finished with the 10-minute booty workout, which I think will definitely hurt tomorrow. Even though it was the longest video, you’re doing 30 reps of only a few exercises, so it was over in no time.
Keli uses an exercise band and ankle weights in the videos but they’re still challenging without them. Any of these would make a great break when you realize you haven’t moved from the same home office chair (or bed) in four hours. Trust me, those emails will still be there in 10 minutes, and no one will even know you were gone.
If you like these videos, Sculpt and Burn offers a free 14-day trial, and memberships are $30 a month or $250 per year. sculptandburn.com
Boot Camp with Kelley Richardson: Minute to Win It Round 1
Time: 9 minutes
SM: This boot camp is not going to get your heart pumpin’ like a 50-yard dash, but for those who need a get-off-your-behind boost, this will do the job. In under 10 minutes, you’ll work the trifecta of weight-gain areas: tush, tummy and thighs. There’s a brief warmup, marching in place and jumping jacks, then it’s on to a series of squats, side lunges with knee raises, standing burpees, squats with boxing jabs, crab crawls with leg lifts (I’ve never done this before) and punch-out jumping jacks. The movements are much slower than regular boot camp classes, there’s no Lizzo playing in the background (which I missed), and the people in the video are not yoked-out fitness freaks who make you want to press pause, eat some carbs and return to the video when you feel less guilty that you don’t have six-pack abs—which I appreciate. I did break a sweat. I think with shorter, to-the-point workouts, you put in more effort because the finish line is close. Well, at least that’s my philosophy.
Overall, I suggest this workout after an evening run to firm up muscles that didn’t feel the burn, or as a morning exer-rise and shine!
READ MORE STORIES BY STACEY MAKIYA AND KATRINA VALCOURT