We love a good workout. Pre-Covid, many of us swore by exercise classes outside of the house (dance classes, barre, yoga, cycling, you name it). When we had to stay home and get creative, we learned to love new, accessible workout routines everybody can join. Personally, I can’t stick to one workout for too long, so it’s nice to have options that come vetted by the team.
Our At-Home Workouts & The Activewear To Match
I know Kat is loving her Alo Moves subscription AND remember those Latin dance classes with Laurel the Philly team swears by? They’ve gone virtual, too! I’ll also say that The Mirror has all of us super-intrigued.
Not only are we sharing our go-to workouts + any equipment you may want or need, but we’re sharing our favorite activewear too (because you know we’d never leave you hanging on that one).
Quick Jump Links To Contributor Workouts
Scotti | Amy | Kat | Linzi | Laura | Meredith | Em | Shana
You guys may have heard me wax poetic about my spin bike before, and I have to say it has been my SAVING GRACE throughout this pandemic. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without it. Stressed? Get on the bike. Sad? Get on the bike. Angry? Lazy? Just feeling down? Get. On. The. Bike. Getting such a good workout in at home has been SO good for my mental health –something we all could use a little help with, right? I seriously never sweat as hard as I do while spinning, and it just feels good. Whether I’m using the Peloton app for a class (LOVE) or just turning on some good music, the bike always puts me in a better mood. The piece I couldn’t live without is obviously the actual bike (although the Peloton would be like the best gift ever, it’s a bit steep for me), but these shoes have actually saved my feet from hurting because of the solid sole (plus they’re super cute!). Find the rest of my essentials for my bike workouts below.
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My goal for exercise in this season of life is to just show up, and see how far I can go. In the past I’ve held big workout goals for myself, goals in the moment for the specific workout, as well as large long-term goals — it is truly something I love to do. But as a new mom, I’m learning, well, a whole new way of life. Squeezing in a workout during nap time can mean a big glorious chunk of time, or small increments here and there. It can mean I show up with barely any energy left to give. But if I lay my mat out and throw on quality leggings, I know that anything, even if so small, will leave me feeling a million times better than before I began. Right now I’m simply turning to Pinterest for quick ab + booty burners, or finding trainers on Instagram who record workouts for IGTV. All I gotta do is show up. Check out all my fav items that are perfect for squeezing in a workout when you can below!
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2020 was a Debbie Downer for me when it came to consistently working out. I am such a class junkie, and when all in-person classes closed, I felt like I wasn’t able to find my stride with virtual classes that gave me that studio feel. But that all changed when I recently purchased a yearly membership for Alo Moves — it has been totally life-changing! I love the variety of workouts available from meditation and yoga to barre and HIIT courses. There is truly so much variety! It is also one of the most organized and aesthetically pleasing websites I have ever used. Right now, I am doing a 28-day splits challenge, and I love all the deep stretches for opening your hips and releasing tension. I also have been finding motivation for movement with some seriously killer outfits and am in LOVE with this Nike sports bra with all the ’90s vibes. There are seriously so many amazing plus size workout outfits right now, and I am loving everything! I miss that feeling of feeling super strong and am looking forward to regaining that again in the upcoming months!
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My go-to workout is still Latin dance classes with the amazing Laurel Card. Listening to fabulous music, laughing with Laurel during her live-streamed classes, and dancing for a full hour COMPLETELY changes my mood and is SO good for my body as well. It’s definitely not the same as pre-coronarvirus, in-person classes, but my bedroom “dance studio” (our bed pushed all the way to the corner, my big selfie-mirror, and (of course) my fancy make-me-happy-rhinestone-gold-heels) is working pretty darn well. Currently, I’m doing Salsa, Bachata and Latin-House classes, and am going to try and incorporate her Reggaeton classes as well. I wear these lightweight joggers almost every class, and you can see my other dance class go-tos below.
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I feel like a broken record, but I love barre3. If you’ve been around here very long at all, you know this. I’ve been doing their workouts two to four times a week for five years now. I HAVE NEVER DONE ANYTHING ELSE FOR FIVE YEARS. But somehow, the one thing I can stick to without having to change it or mix it up is barre3. It’s different from other barre workouts, so if you haven’t tried it, don’t write it off as the same. And the workouts are constantly evolving. The focus? Balance, strengthening body and mind, supporting community, giving yourself space to mess up, being OK with modifications, listening to your body. There are yoga elements to the workout, as well as tiny muscle movement to strengthen your core (not just your abs, but the WHOLE core…which includes your booty!) I could honestly write another whole article about it (find my first barre3 post here,) but I love, love how I feel after a workout.
Sadie, who started barre3 here in Portland, once said “treat your workouts like appointments, put them on your calendar and follow through” and somehow that stuck and worked for me, and I haven’t looked back, or elsewhere. Ask me any questions any time! My fav online instructors are Christa Joy, Meredith, Andrew and Franny. I do the LIVESTREAM workouts right now, so check those out if pre-recorded isn’t quite enough for you during this time. I adore seeing my B3 friends in real time that way, it’s so motivating to see everyone and feel the energy come through the screen. It’s that little boost I need to keep going right now! xoxo
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Real talk, I’d much rather read a book or binge crappy TV than exercise. BUT I have finally found the three forms of exercise that work for me: walking with the stroller (occasionally I remember the baby) while listening to a podcast, yoga, and my Peleton (Hamilton-themed rides? WORK!). I love workout clothing I can use for everyday wear, and mesh leggings (this Lululemon pair is similar) and Alo crop top fit the bill. Recently I’ve also incorporated a Shakti Mat (acupressure mat) into my wellness routine and HOLY GAME CHANGER! My muscles are looser and I definitely feel more energized and less achy (all my autoimmune sufferers feel me). I use it every single day, whether I work out or not.
I started quarantine trying to resume my running (OK, jogging) habit — and then did a few months of daily HIIT workouts that left me feeling both accomplished aaaaand…exhausted. And then I found The Balanced Life with Robin Long. Robin is a friend of a friend (somehow knowing she’s a real person chasing around four young kiddos and facing many of the same daily struggles as the rest of us just helps me connect to her program), and her approach to moving your body is so positive that I even excuse her use of the word juicy as it relates to stretching. She’s a champion of grace over guilt — and just showing up in a way that makes you feel good, whether that means every day or whenever you can fit in a 10 or 15-min session. You can find loads of her free workouts archived on YouTube, or you can subscribe to her membership program for access to new videos every month, a suggested workout calendar and to connect with a super positive workout community (that only rivals our own Insiders Group in terms of genuine, feel-good camaraderie). Happy to answer any questions you might have here in the comments or over on IG, but bottom line: getting on the mat every day has elevated my mood and my confidence so much — not to mention my tush has never been perkier.
Like most of us, my usual workout routine was hugely disrupted by the pandemic. So over the last eight months or so, I’ve found myself trying a little bit of everything. I’m still doing the occasional online dance class (I’m with Linzi — Laurel is the best), I still love a good run outside (but only when the path is empty because I hate running in a mask), and I’ve been jumping on Mike’s Peleton and sweating it out. Now that it’s ski season, we ski two to four times per week. But there have been two types of workouts that I’ve relied on heavily during this pandemic — for both sanity and fitness — and they both can (easily!!) be done at home.
Mat Pilates – I’ve been keeping up with my once-per-week pilates class by switching to an at-home session, and have even added a second class that I do with Mike. Pilates functions as almost physical therapy, and I find that everything — skiing, running, dancing — are better when I keep up with it. Mike’s propensity to injury seems to have gone down, and I’ve found Pilates helpful even if all I’m doing is sitting hunched over a computer all day. I personally don’t miss the in-person classes at all: mat pilates has proven to be juuuust as effective (at least for me) as going into the studio. The two online Pilates classes that I can personally recommend are Urban Front Pilates (I love working with Jillian) or Opal Wellness Studio (with Sue).
HIIT (or LIIT) – High (or Low) Intensity Interval Training (with weights!!) has been a complete game-changer. Nothing has tightened me up quite as fast as doing these workouts three to four times per week. Seriously — even the 20 minute versions work! And that’s my approach: if I’m tired, I just choose a 20-min workout video, instead of a 30-minute one. Consistency is the key. My favorite videos are all from MadFit. She strikes the right balance of tough and effective…without making me feel like I’m going to DIE. I try for one with weights at least two times per week. As an example, this 20-min weight workout is one of my favorites from Madfit. (Now, of course, I’m dying to try The Mirror, which I’ve only been hearing good things about.)
Leggings (size 4) | sweatshirt (xs/s)
So tell us, what’s your go-to workout?
Just have to say a HUGE thank you to Laura for recommending Barre3. I had read your first post about it, way back when, as I was just starting to think about getting my body moving after way too long. There are no Barre3 studios anywhere near me (Montreal) so it sort of just stayed there in the back of my mind while I tried out a few other classes and videos. I found my way back, this time to the online workouts, in June and I love it so much! Love the actual workouts and also the philosophy behind it, and the online community. Thank you thank you thank you!
Ah Susan this makes me so happy to read! I’m so glad it worked out for you. I used to dance all the time and hadn’t found anything I appreciated as much as that for years until barre3. Love how positive the instruction is and the yoga elements. So happy it works for you, too!
I’ll put in a plug for Melissa Wood Health https://melissawoodhealth.com. The website has SO MANY workouts (a blend of pilates and yoga, mainly) with varying times and focuses, so even if it’s the end of the day and I only have ten minutes, say, I can fit in an arms workout or an abs. She’s great, and I feel like I’m doing something, which has been wonderful since leaving PureBarre because of the pandemic.
My husband and aunt belong to CrossFit Linchpin’s private track. It’s $10 a month and we saved the money we were spending on a traditional CF gym and built out our garage. It has a limited equipment option and a no equipment option as well so you can easily do workouts at home.
Street Parking is another online CF program but they’re a little more $$$ and have a huge community. They have nutrition plans and offer challenges throughout the year and are just a bigger company.
I’ve been a Balanced Life With Robin Long member for 5 years. Love her! I also love my Peloton–should we add a TME hashtag?! And my other go-to is Barre Blend on Beachbody On Demand.
Isn’t she great? Super positive and motivating. And it’s seeming more and more like I need to get on the Peloton train (errrr bike?). If only we had the space…
I bought a Mirror in September after getting bored of doing zoom workout classes. I have loved it! I like the variety of classes, instructors and that the mirror does not stand out in the room. It was a little tricky getting it set up (we had to upgrade our router) but other than that, it has been great. Would definitely recommend!
I used to run, years ago, and I took it up again last March for two reasons. I needed the alone time to recharge once quarantine started and my alone time (commuting on the subway to work and being at work) disappeared. The other reason was facing the emotional stress of my parents’ bankruptcy and my husband’s stroke. The actual exercise part of running was, maybe oddly, secondary. Since then, it’s become such a part of my life. I don’t fully understand how or why it helps my emotional well-being, but, as so many of you have attested, it does. I’ve also become stronger and have more endurance. Wanting to branch out a bit these days to include other workouts–so thank you for the guidance! Love this community. 🙂
Love all these recommendations! I found Studio Barre 4 years ago, it’s the fun, effective, sassy version of barre, and I’m obsessed. They just added a video on demand version. http://www.studiobarreondemand.com
Speaking as a Peloton rider, I want to know what Meredith’s leaderboard name is!
I love this post: it combines so many fun things and points of view.
Great post! the best decision I made in all of 2020 was to buy a Peloton right when the shut down happened. I’ve been on the bike and using all of their other amazing class content nearly every day since! it’s been a life saver during a very challenging time. 300+ rides and going strong! love it so much. highly recommend. my super creative handle is jchaparro if anyone ever wants to ride together?!? Scotti, Meredith? 🙂
I am a long time Barre3 studio member (really just the best all around cardio/strength/flexibility workout for me), and would occasionally do the online classes pre-corona, but last April after doing basically nothing for the first month of quarantine I decided it was time to get back to it. In the beforetimes I preferred the 45 minute workouts but now 30 minutes is all I usually have bandwidth for, and I shoot for 3 times a week. Love that they’ve recently stepped up production so it’s a new workout every time! I recently decided it was time to get back to a consistent yoga practice, which I haven’t really had since my kids were born and and I stopped teaching over a decade ago. I finally checked out Yoga with Adrienne and am currently on day 8 of this year’s 30 Day Yoga Journey. It’s free on YouTube and most of them are around 30 minutes long, which is totally doable in the morning before everyone else gets up.
I’ve been doing nothing else but Dancebody at Home for 5 years now. I’m so hooked. They have sculpting (think barre) classes as well as tons of dance cardio options from beginner dance express options, to choreographed beginner (signature), and my fave super cool high end choreographed classes (full out). The set of about 6-7 choreographed dances rotate every 3 months you have to 1 month to learn, 1 month to perfect, and 1 month to perform! They also have a HIIT option that’s only a half hour called interval express. If you want 50% off your first month you can use the code STREAMTEAMTWINS
Peloton arrived today!!! And for years we have loved our acupressure mat and headrest
GAHHHHH we love ours SO MUCH! I mean…I also kind of hate it (haha) but a Peloton is so freaking effective.