Lockdown-friendly ways to work out

Lockdown-friendly ways to work out

Here we go again: our second nationwide lockdown. Did anyone say déjà vu? Luckily, this time around I’m not completely unprepared. I know a couple of great YouTube fitness channels, and if they helped me get through lockdown last year, they’ll do the trick again.

Plus, I’m fully equipped with dumbells, ankle weights, and resistance bands. That’s pretty much all I need to put up an awkward sweat session in my living room, between the dracaena and the coffee table.

So, I thought I’d share some of my top findings in the world of ‘remote fitness’, with one caveat: if your gym offers online classes, you may want to stick with them. It’s been a tough year for fitness instructors, and they deserve an audience.

Now, without further ado, let’s get physical…

Yoga with Adriene

If you don’t know Adriene, you might as well have spent the past 18 months on Mars. Or simply, yoga isn’t your cup of tea (yet). Well, I was like that too. I used to think yoga was for a specific type of person – silly, I know – namely hyper-flexible hippies with a sheer passion for seitan.

Adriene Mishler quickly convinced me otherwise. Nothing summarises her approach to yoga better than her catchphrase, “Find what feels good”. She’s like the friend anyone would want to have: calm, smiling, and seemingly not self-absorbed. And she never makes you feel like you’re doing it “wrong” (although just between us, you probably are).

Popsugar Fitness

HIIT, Tabata, barre, cardio… you name it. Popsugar Fitness is a great place to find a variety of home workouts. They always have guest instructors from other YouTube channels, covering a wide range of fitness levels and goals. And each video tutorial usually includes easier modifications, so you can keep moving at your own pace.

To be honest, I wasn’t too fond of Popsugar Fitness at the beginning. Some instructors were a tad too energetic for my somber self, but the variety of fitness sessions is hard to beat. Plus, sometimes it pays to have someone pushing you to exercise harder (even if that’s through a screen).


If pilates is your thing, then you might like Cassey Ho’s Blogilates channel. With over 5.6 million subscribers, a blog, and even an , she’s far from an emerging name in the fitness landscape. And while I find her voice a little irritating at times, if you’re looking for a quick burn, her workouts fit the bill.

Heather Robertson

I’ve got a confession to make: I’m yet to complete any of her videos. Way too hard for my fitness level, especially after months of inactivity (oops). But I’m up for the challenge.

The good thing about this channel is that you can find full-length workouts, challenges and calendars, all clearly categorised by type and muscle group.


Another popular fitness channel on this list, MadFit was created by Canadian youtuber Maddie Lymburner. As far as I’ve seen, most of her videos are apartment-friendly (no jumping, minimal equipment), which is a plus these days. And she posts a lot of new content all the time.


Looking for fitness videos without bells-and-whistles or fashionable props? Then husband-and-wife duo Daniel and Kelli won’t disappoint you. All FitnessBlender workouts are shot in a white limbo-like room (apparently it’s their garage), so you have no distractions whatsoever.

Also, for those who have plenty of time up their sleeves, they often publish full-length videos (like the one below).

And now… apps

I’ve tried and deleted quite a few fitness apps over the years, but I decided to keep the following ones on hand, just in case.

  • Nike Training – You can either choose structured fitness programmes or one-off workouts.
  • FitOn – Many of the free classes featured on this digital fitness platform are taught by celebrity trainers. And you can add friends to work out, share photos and even cheer them on (if you’re into this kind of thing).
  • Special mention: Headspace – A great mindfulness app whose goal is to make meditation accessible to everyone. I recommend it here for two reasons: (1) the app has a workout section as well, and (2) Andy Puddicombe’s British accent is one of the most relaxing sounds I’ve ever listened to.

Did I miss any gems?

Share them in the comments, please!

By the looks of it, Auckland’s lockdown is likely to extend beyond its seven-day deadline. So we’ll need all the entertainment imaginable. Meanwhile, take care!

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