The best free virtual workouts you can do at home

The best free virtual workouts you can do at home
  • Keeping fit at home doesn't mean you have to shell out an expensive subscription fee to stream on-demand workouts and fitness classes.
  • Thankfully, there are plenty of free at-home virtual workouts anyone can access whenever they're feeling motivated to be active.
  • Apps and services from brands like Nike, YMCA, and FightCamp all offer users a library of classes ranging from running, HIIT, boxing, and yoga.

At-home fitness is more important now than ever. With more people working from home and practicing social distancing, keeping fit and staying active requires a unique approach - and one that's not as easy as just frequenting a local gym or fitness studio (of which are now closed).

But while it's important to stay healthy right now, we understand that paying for a fitness service may seem non-essential to your monthly budget. Doling out monthly dues for a multi-level gym with free weights, treadmills, and access to personal trainers is one thing but ponying up the money for access to a streaming video in your living room may not seem as viable an option.

Thankfully, there exist plenty of free at-home virtual workouts that require nothing more than a little can-do attitude to use - and we've put in the time to test the best currently available. From fully featured workout apps via recognizable names like Nike to more beginner-friendly programs from the YMCA, we tried it all. Below, you'll find our favorite free at-home virtual workouts that let you break a sweat at no charge.

Here are the best free at-home virtual workouts:

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The best free virtual workouts overall

The best free virtual workouts overall
Normally $15 per month, the Nike Training app is now free, offering streaming strength, cardio, core, upper body, lower body, and full body workouts.

If you're looking for an app with a wide variety of workout types, Nike Training is the one. From strength training and core workout to cardio sessions and upper and lower body-focused routines, the Nike Training app has over 185 workouts available, ranging from 15 to 60 minutes.

I'm used to varying up my workouts daily — I usually do cardio each morning, either via running, a group fitness class, or yoga, followed by a strength training class or body part -specific workout in the afternoon. I'm used to being able to do different workouts on different days and with this app, I was able to keep up the variety in my routine without it ever feeling repetitive.

Nike Training allows you to take individual classes daily or pick from a multi-week program, all of which are taught and programmed by elite Nike trainers. The app also offers nutrition, sleep, mindset, and recovery tips from trainers and other experts, as well.

Pros: Offers tons of workout variety, all taught by expert Nike trainers

Cons: Some workouts are full videos versus others which are just videos of specific individual exercises with a set and rep scheme

The best free yoga workouts

The best free yoga workouts
If you're looking to keep with your yoga practice and find some zen while working out at home, the free workouts from CorePower Yoga are for you.

CorePower offers a range of free signature classes, including:

  • C1: a foundation-building, beginner friendly course
  • C2: a more challenging workout of postures and flow where experience is a plus
  • YS: a yoga and strength training routine
  • HBF: a blend of balance, core strengthening and flexibility that's beginner friendly

While the number of workouts is limited, CorePower does change them up on a weekly basis, adding for some variety and a fresh feel to the classes.

Though I'm more of a beginner or intermediate yogi, I've recently begun making yoga a part of my regular workout regimen. I'm not advanced enough to be able to flow on my own just yet, but I also don't want to lose my practice all together. Using CorePower's workouts allowed me to continue keeping yoga in my weekly routine, while continuing to learn at my pace.

The free workouts also offer a variety of meditations ranging from gratitude-focused courses to sessions based on love or trust.

Pros: Yoga workouts are changed on a daily basis, meditations offered

Cons: Limited number of workouts


The best free workouts for beginners or the elderly

The best free workouts for beginners or the elderly
Stay moving and get familiar with a new set of routines using the YMCA 360 health and fitness on-demand videos.

If you're older and looking to keep healthy, YMCA 360 offers a section of videos specific for the active older user. This includes classes like Bootcamp, barre, yoga, weightlifting, Tai Chi, and Y Box.

For the younger crowd, there's even a youth soccer section with drills and a youth sports performance section with exercises to help develop skills — and to keep kids entertained while spending more time inside.

I liked that there's a wide variety of workouts to choose from — especially exercise skills for youth sports — though I mostly stuck with the Bootcamp-specific workouts. These workouts moved at a steady pace and offered exercise modifications to make specific moves easier to manage. I personally like a bit more speed and energy in my workouts, but these get the job done.

For anyone who likes familiarity with their workouts, and want to know exactly what they're getting into, YMCA's videos are perfect. Because there's a limited number, you'll be able to try them all and easily identify your favorites to repeat.

Pros: Short and long workout options across several exercise types, keeps time and rep counts for you

Cons: Limited number of total workouts, doesn't offer much variety in fitness level

The best free workouts for intermediate fitness level

The best free workouts for intermediate fitness level
Members and non-members alike have access to a limited number of cardio, strength, and yoga classes from Life Time Athletic.

Life Time Athletic allows users to choose workouts based on a few different categories: the muscle groups they want to work, the equipment they have at home, or the type of workout they want to do, including cardio, strength or yoga. Each video states the length and optional equipment needed upfront, too, so you're never caught off-guard.

For light cardio classes, the Life Time Athletic courses are perfect. While I would classify some of the exercises as beginner level, they still kept me moving and elevated my heart rate, which is what I was looking to do.

If you're a Life Time member, you'll be familiar with some of the specific classes like Strike, Warrior Sculpt, and Shred. The workouts are good for any beginner or intermediate users who want to keep moving at home and prefer limited video options to choose from.

Pros: Strength, cardio, and yoga offerings, great for users at a beginner or intermediate level

Cons: Limited variety in fitness level, limited number of workouts, no new workouts added


The best free workouts for boxing

The best free workouts for boxing
Keep your punches in check while getting in a full-body cardiovascular workout when you download FightCamp.

While FightCamp does offer the option to purchase a bag, gloves, and sensors to track your punches and progress, the brand also offers its actual workout videos via its app for free. This means that anyone who has a bag and gloves of their own, or who wants to shadowbox, can follow the free workouts. You can also let the app know your boxing experience and fitness level so workouts are suggested accordingly.

My New York City apartment is too small for a boxing bag, so I chose to shadowbox during the workouts and found them to be great for cardio. Non-boxers may find it odd to wail away at the air but the intensity of the workout keeps you moving from start to finish, and can break a good sweat in just 20 to 30 minutes.

If you love boxing, or boxing-inspired workouts, consider downloading this app. There are more than 350 boxing and bodyweight workouts, so you'll never be lacking in variety.

Pros: Boxing workouts for people of all fitness levels, delivers a full-body workout, 350-plus workouts

Cons: Mostly boxing specific, the full FightCamp setup is required for the interactive experience

What else we considered

What else we considered

While testing the included free apps, we came across several other services offering free workouts either through Instagram or Facebook Live streams or extended free trials. Here are a few of our favorites that stood out:

Box + Flow: Led by fitness expert, Olivia Young, Box + Flow takes the popular boxing class formula and adds the mindfulness of yoga for a well-rounded, yet intense, workout. The brand, based in NYC, currently hosts daily streams of its workouts via Instagram Live, with Young herself leading a few of the workouts.

Camp Gladiator: Participate in live streaming workouts through Camp Gladiators Facebook Live channel, or try its at-home printable routines. These are free always but the site doesn't offer a library of on-demand workouts.

Peloton: Peloton now offers a free trial of its Peloton Digital Membership for 90 days. The app features thousands of on-demand workouts including running, strength, yoga, and cycling — and you don't even need a bike to access them.

Tone It Up: Strengthen, tone, or get in some cardio with founders Karena and Katrina, as well as the app's community of trainers. Choose individual workouts or do a program to follow. Free through April 22, 2020.

The Class by Taryn Toomey: Exercise your body and engage your mind with this untraditional form of training. These workouts help you to release stress and anything weighing you down through repetitive movements accompanied by loud exhales. It's a transformative experience that everyone should try. The app currently offers a free two-week trial.

FitBody: Shred, tone, or sculpt with this app created by trainer and social media personality Anna Victoria. Workouts are 30-45 minutes. The app includes food tracking, too.

Snap Fitness: Snap Fitness currently offers free 90-day access to, where you can stream workouts from Sweat Factor by Mike Donvanik, Nora Tobin, SH1FT, and DailyBurn.

obé Fitness: Join a live workout from a daily schedule of 14 classes, or choose from its library of over 4,000 on-demand workouts including strength, Pilates, dance, HIIT, cardio boxing, and more. Currently free for one month to new users.

Jazzercise: Jazz up your usual routine with a little dance party. These workouts combine jazz dance, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing and HIIT. New users can sign up for a free two-week trial.

Hydrow: Join this brand's free at-home 14-day challenge, which has a mix of 20- to 30-minute rowing and workout mat routines that include yoga, Pilates, and more.

Down Dog Yoga: This yoga app offers free access to any user through April 1, free access for students and teachers (K-12 and college) through July 1, and free access to healthcare professionals through July 1.