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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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.)
So tell us, what’s your go-to workout?