By Anna Ford
Finding excuses to exercise is all too easy. It’s January (a long time until summer), the gym’s too busy, memberships are expensive, you're pushed for time, it’s raining or perhaps you’re just not sure where to start.
Youtube has, literally, millions of free workouts covering everything from Pilates to HIIT, as well as giving access to some of the world’s top trainers, and you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home.
We’ve stretched, crunched, lunged and leapt to find the best the Internet has to offer in terms of online fitness. Whether you’re stuck in an exercise rut or simply need luring off the sofa, these workouts are fun, free and surprisingly effective. The freedom to switch between trainers also means you can constantly switch up your routine and challenge your body.
Here's ELLE's edit of the best - press play and prepare to sweat.
This full body workout by certified instructor Cassey Ho is the perfect introduction to Pilates. Her enthusiasm is seriously infectious and makes it easy to stay motivated through every move, but don’t let this have you thinking this is the lazy girl's way to exercise. You might be smiling through her commentary but the mix of twists, crunches, pulses and lifts will leave you sore the next day.
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For military displine
Celebrity trainer David Kirsch (he's worked with Liv Tyler and Heidi Klum) focuses on legs, abs and butts in this fierce workout. His selection of exercises include some killer core contractions which will tighten abs and strengthen the lower body, whilst his fuss free and straightforward approach to working out is refreshing,
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For a full body workout at home
Jillian Michaels, the woman known as ‘America’s toughest trainer’, aims to push your body to its limit with this 55-minute circuit workout. Made up of 7 cardio and strength training circuits, it requires a good level of fitness along with some serious determination. Building up to the full 55 minutes can take a while, but this routine is the straight forward way to make you sweat. We also love Michaels' 20 Day Shred workouts, which get impressive results in just one month.
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For when you’re really short for time
Thanks to its explosion in popularity, high intensity exercise videos are now all over the internet, but this four minute clip is a definite favourite. Dont be put off by the name, the workout delivers maximum impact in a minimum time frame, with the entire routine performed in a Jersey Shore ad break. Combined with the lack of space or equipment needed, this makes for a workout that is too convenient to skip and we can’t help but imagine the kind of shape we’d be in if we managed this every ad break.
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For when you don't want to get super sweaty
Ballet-inspired workouts are big news right now, this video is a Pilates-yoga fusion which aims to work the entire leg and butt area. Small targeted movements make for a leg shaking workout and the only equipment you'll need is a chair. Think long, lean muscles and ballerina like limbs.
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