These are the free, no-equipment online fitness classes you need right now
A long list of options that'll give you a really good burn at home
Most gyms and fitness studios in Canada have closed their doors on short notice in response to health and safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you usually rely on trainer-led classes and/or the equipment that gyms offer, you might be struggling to figure out how to maintain your physical and mental well-being, especially in this stressful time.
Here's a list of free apps and videos, online class subscriptions (free trials to take advantage of before you sign up), and special online classes and live streams being offered by studios and trainers, dedicated to helping you keep fit no matter the circumstances right now. That means a lot of body weight work, so get ready to move and sweat! (Safely, in your own home.)
Free apps and channels
New workouts by Nike's world-class Master Trainers are added regularly with slick videos showing correct form and posture for new moves. Browse the collection of workouts based on muscle group, workout type and duration. The workouts range from beginner to more advanced moves as you progress and allow you to choose from body weight only programs to plans with full equipment.
Don't let the 20-minute workout fool you; it's a great sweat.
Fitness Blender is a popular YouTube channel featuring over 600 workouts that can be searched by length, difficulty, training type, calories burned and muscle group.
They have videos suitable for all fitness levels, as well as excellent options for when you might want a really short but intense workout.
A studio in the west end of Toronto, Well&Tight offers a selection of barre, yoga, pilates, HIIT-style and mom and baby classes to help you achieve your long term wellness and fitness goals.
They offer six 30 minute full body workouts at no cost when you sign up online.
One in a series of Down Dog apps (others include Yoga, Yoga for Beginners, Barre and 7 Minute) is offering access to their large library of workouts for free until April 1st as more people find themselves without a gym or a place to exercise. Now's a good time to test them out and see how you like them without any commitment.
A staple for many home yogis, this YouTube channel offers a yoga workout for everyone (unless you hate yoga). Click through different styles and intensity or look for a video to help with a specific issue like yoga for lower back pain. Pilates and Power Yoga are available for a more intense workout and if you have kids at home, try their collection of yoga for the little ones.
Studios offering online workouts while their facilities are closed
A top-notch training centre known for calorie-burning group classes and a welcoming space for weight-lifters of all levels, Fit Squad Training has launched daily Instagram Live workouts at 12 p.m. for anyone who is interested in getting a taste of their class style.
Classes will be between 45 and 60 minutes in length and will focus on strength, core, and conditioning with little to no equipment required.
Fit Squad is also offering a four-week kettlebell intensive at-home program. It includes three training classes per week with live instruction for $180
Featuring a mix of pilates, barre, yoga, functional fitness with HIIT, treadmill and group classes, owner Tina DiLeo has paused her classes and is posting HIIT/circuit workouts daily on Instagram. The workouts are a great daily inspiration for those who are familiar with the moves and need a workout plan to get motivated. The workouts appear in the feed and the demo videos appear in stories.
Known for small group classes that build strength and endurance while pushing you to be better, dedicated members are thrilled to have online workouts during the gym's temporary closure. Now anyone can get a taste of their workout programs with live streamed classes. The programs are also accessible for free through the gym's WodUp app page. Workouts for non-members will cost $5 a class or $20 for the week.
Those who have kettlebells at home will be happy to know the gym is planning to incorporate them into some classes.
The founder of this boutique gym, Sopearin Yos, is hosting workouts on Instagram Live through his personal account. HIIT style, bodyweight movements with a focus on core and obliques, they will go live Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. with the possibility of more classes being added if the demand is there.
A fitness instructor and plus size model Sarah Taylor is launching 60 minute full-body strength and cardio classes. The cost is $10 per virtual class for non-members and workouts will be based primarily on body weight exercises with a focus on providing modifications for all levels.
Known for their intense and highly efficient 30 minute HIIT classes, the gym has launched morning classes on their Instagram page every day at 10 a.m. Knowing that people don't have gym equipment at home, the classes will be comprised of mostly body weight moves but ambitious exercisers can grab any type of weight they have at home. A sweaty half-hour workout is perfect for those who need to get off the couch before their next Netflix binge.
This Montreal gym specializes in small group personal training and has started running free daily workouts at 10 a.m. through Facebook Live so that members can stay active and non-members can get a taste of their class style at no cost.
Each day will feature a different coach with classes running 30-40 minutes long.
Expect metabolic conditioning or circuit style classes with modifications and a stretching class on Sundays.
While its doors are closed, studio owner and instructor, MJ Shaw continues to deliver a free live class every morning via Instagram that remains available all day long. From HIIT to barre, to slow-burn conditioning classes, there's a little something new to look forward to with each hour-long session. And although many of the classes are based on body-weight exercises, MJ has been offering up unique alts for when equipment is needed; wine bottles, hand towels, canned tomatoes and a heavy backpack have all made an appearance in this week's lineup. Check out the studio's Instagram account for daily updates on upcoming sessions.
Calgary- and Toronto-based studio Undrcard launched a complimentary 30 day challenge that is running from March 20th to April 20th. Classes are streamed on IGTV and through Mind Body. They highly recommend you register so that you'll be able to interact with your fellow socially-distanced boxers. Tune in to sweat with one of the trainers from their Calgary location, no punching bag (or other gear) required!
Big gyms and fitness chains offering online workouts to members and non-members
Planet Fitness will be hosting "Home Work-Ins" — a series of free fitness classes for everyone — that will be streamed live on Planet Fitness' Canadian Facebook page daily at 7 p.m. Classes will be led by Planet Fitness certified trainers, as well as special guests like "The Biggest Loser" coach and fitness trainer Erica Lugo, among others.
The virtual classes will be 20 minutes (or less) and won't require any equipment.
For anyone who can't participate live, each workout will also be available to view on both the Planet Fitness Facebook page and the brand's YouTube channel after the broadcast is over.
Free trials of online class subscriptions
In addition to their online class subscription called Missfit Video, MISSFITSTUDIO is offering free classes over Instagram while their studio is temporarily closed. The workouts will be available two to three times a day over on their Instagram stories. The Misfitmethod is a blend of pilates, yoga and dance and has a large community of devoted fans who love the variety of classes offered by the movement studio.
After the two week trial of Misfit Video, subscriptions are $14.95 a month. If you're looking for the really sweaty workouts during this time of being stuck at home, try Fusion, Get Up, Get Hot, Get Worked or Get Shifted.
Launched almost a year ago to bring quality yoga experiences to homes across the country, YYOGA offers a two-week free trial of their online videos. Users can access full-body fitness, power yoga classes and favourites from the popular yoga studio from anywhere they are.
Choose the class length that suits you and the style of class that ranges from a quick five-minute tutorial to an intense 60-minute class.
After your free two-weeks are up, access to their library of classes is $7.99 USD a month or $79.99 USD for a year.
With locations in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, the popular barre-based workouts are inspired by dance moves with a strength and cardio focus, designed to make you sweat. A series of online Belle Bod workouts have always been available to subscribers starting at $19.99 a month but a seven day free trial is being offered during this time with a special promo price of $9.99 a month.
Pay Chen is a food and lifestyle expert on television, an occasional actress, and an avid eater who also writes about food and travel for numerous publications.