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The Best Streaming Workouts for Women

Here, five first-person accounts on the most fun and effective online workouts

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Best streaming workouts | Online workouts to stream

The best workouts to stream

Even pre-quarantine, online workouts have been the fitness routine of choice for many women. They’re glorious in the way that they can be accessed anywhere, any time of day, and are super cost-effective. What’s more, they really only require a yoga mat, maybe a couple hand weights, and a good wifi collection.

To help you find the best workout to stream, we asked a few women who are lifelong fans of at-home fitness routines about their favourite one. Below, five online workout programs you need to know about.

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Best streaming workouts | Best online workouts to stream | Tracy Anderson

Tracy Anderson Method

Who are you?

Renée Reardin, digital editor at Best Health, and writer of this article!

Which workout do you stream?

Tracy Anderson’s Metamorphosis Hipcentric.

What drew you to this workout?

I was introduced to her about ten years ago via goop, I believe, or perhaps an interview Gwyneth Paltrow did for some magazine where she gushed about Tracy Anderson. GP called her a “pint-sized miracle” and an “exercise genius,” which I believed, since she was responsible for not only Gwyneth’s toned figure but also Madonna’s. At the time, I was determined to find a workout that would target my hips in particular, and that’s what I found. Instead of going to the gym and hopping on machines that were not necessarily toning my body in the way I desired, I started following Tracy Anderson’s routine for a curated workout that targeted my “trouble” area.

Any equipment required?

Just a mat (I suggest choosing a thick one, like this one, which was in our holiday gift guide, as it’ll be more comfortable) and three-pound weights, like these.

How long is the workout? What does the it entail?

The workout is an hour—30 minutes of dance cardio and 30 minutes of muscular structure work, which basically means repetitive moves for the arms, core and legs.  Tracy recommends doing it six days a week.

Are there levels?

It’s a 90-day workout that I have actually been repeating for nine years! Every 10 days, there’s a new muscular structure training routine, and there are nine of those in total.

How many workouts do you do a week? 

I’ve cut the workout down to 40 minutes a day (I only do 10 minutes of dance cardio instead of 30) four to seven days a week, depending on whether or not I’m doing other classes. In my normal life (when I’m not quarantined), I do ballet-inspired workouts at the Extension Room. Now, I do a couple of those classes a week via streaming, when owner Jennifer Nichols offers Instagram Live workouts. In quarantine, I also started doing a few Ballet Beautiful workouts at home (more on that way down below).

Why do you keep streaming this workout?

Two reasons: First, I prefer to work out in the morning, before I get ready for the day, and streaming a routine makes it possible to do that. I just wouldn’t have time to make it to an early morning class before work, in normal life. Second, it, especially the dance part, is actually really fun! I look forward to the workout.

How has this workout changed your body/endurance/strength/flexibility?

Tracy’s program has been super effective at toning and shaping my body in a way that’s strong and feminine.

How much is it?

It’s a one-time fee of $88 USD for the entire 90-day collection of Metamorphosis—Hipcentric (not to sound like an infomercial).

Anything else to note?

There are tons of other workouts available—including some for pregnant women and teenagers, as well as others in the Metamorphosis collection, like workouts that focus on the butt or core. She also has a Per4mance Program that is $40 USD a month, and other workouts available in the TA online studio (which she’s offering a free trial for now!).

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Best streaming workouts | Best online workouts to stream | Yoga by Adriene

Yoga With Adriene

Who are you?

Courtney Reilly-Larke, managing editor at Best Health!

Which workout do you stream?

I love streaming yoga classes from Yoga With Adriene via YouTube.

What drew you to this workout?

Sometimes what keeps me from unwinding with yoga at home is (ironically) that my environment isn’t perfect. I find myself making excuses like “I haven’t vacuumed in a while” or “my dog won’t stop trying to sit on my mat” (a real problem). But Adrien’s videos are so down-to-earth and approachable. She’s often wearing an old t-shirt, and her dog walks in and out of frame. It reminds me that yoga isn’t about being perfect — it’s about being present.

Any equipment required?

Just a mat. I like to use a blanket for restorative classes (because comfort).

How long is the workout?

There are mini routines (like a 7-minute bedtime one) that are perfect for when you’re in a rush as well as much longer videos that are more physically intense. I don’t use any program but seek-out classes that suit my needs at the time. There’s everything from yoga for anxiety, for weight loss, for stress etc.

What does the workout entail?

It depends on the focus of the video, but it ranges from restorative yoga to physically challenging versions.

Are there levels?

There are beginner classes available to learn foundations.

How many workouts do you do a week and for how long?

I’m big into trying new workouts and (luckily) it’s part of our job at Best Health. On any given week, I could have done anything from running and swimming to barre, Pilates and boxing. That being said, I love ending the day with yoga to help recover and improve my flexibility. This past summer, I was training for a half-marathon, and these yoga videos likely saved my hamstrings on more than one occasion.

Why do you keep streaming this workout?

It helps me practice mindfulness.

How has this workout changed your body/endurance/strength/flexibility?

It’s definitely helped my flexibility. More importantly (to me), it’s helped me relax and find a healthy way to cope with stress when I need it.

How much is it?

Free!

Anything else to note?

She’s got a great sense of humour and, as I mentioned above, a dog who often makes appearances in the videos — two wins, in my opinion.

(Check out how to find the best yoga for you.)

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Best streaming workouts | Best online workouts to stream | Sarah's Day

Sarah’s Day Sweat It to Shred It (SITSI)

Who are you?

Alyssa Ball, assistant digital editor at Best Health!

Which workout do you stream?

Sarah’s Day Sweat It to Shred It (SITSI) eight-week workout program.

What drew you to this workout?

My sister, Amanda, actually introduced me to this workout program. Already a fan of the Sarah Day’s workout videos on her YouTube channel, she wanted clearer insight into how the Aussie maintains such a toned physique. Cue: The SITSI workout program. Since purchasing Sarah’s eBook workout program online a little over a year ago, she’s already completed the program three times.

As for what really drew me to the workout? Sarah’s simple timer app, Sezzy Timer, which is designed specifically for her workout program. It calculates reps, sets, rounds, and rest periods, making the workout easy to follow and complete.

Any equipment required?

There is no equipment required since all of these exercises are done using your own body weight.

How long is the workout?

It’s an eight-week program, and workouts range from just 10 minutes to 30 minutes. During the first few weeks, there are only three workouts in the schedule, but by the end there are six workouts a week.

What does the workout entail?

The program is categorized into four different training styles: sweaty shredder, toning power, challenge, and activity. Throughout the eight weeks, you’re required each day to complete one of the specified training styles or enjoy a rest day. Sweaty shredder and toning power workouts are 30 minutes and a challenge is only 10 minutes. Here’s more about each training style:

  • Sweaty shredder: A high-intensity, fat-burning workout that’s made up of seven exercises. The idea is to perform one exercise six times for 30 seconds, with a 10-second break in-between each set.
  • Toning power: A body sculpting workout that’s made up of three supersets (two exercises one after the other). Once one superset is completed, enjoy a 45-second break. This process is then repeated for a total of four rounds.
  • Challenge: These workouts range from a 10-minute ab blaster to a full-body blaster.
  • Activity: You have the freedom to go for a 30-minute walk, attend a Pilates class, or even take up a new sport you’ve always wanted to try. Ideally, it can be any activity you feel like.

Do you do any other workouts in the average week?

I attend an adult ballet class at Canada’s National Ballet School, as well as a Pilates class at Studio Lagree.

Why do you like streaming this workout?

I loved the fact that the program laid out everything I needed to do week-by-week. For once, I wasn’t fixated on what my next workout should be. In the end, I believe it’s what allowed me to stay on track and actually complete the program.

How has this workout changed your body/endurance/strength/flexibility?

What really amazed me was how many more reps I could do per exercise without getting fatigued by the end of the program.

How much is it?

It’s $59 for the full eight-week program.

Anything else to note?

I find it hard to actually stick to a workout routine. If I miss more than three days in a row, the rest of my week is a complete right off and I avoid working out until the following Monday rolls around. It’s a mental thing that’s been hard for me to break…until I completed this program. I would actually look forward to every workout, but I do believe it’s because of how Sarah’s workouts are designed—pre-planned, full body-focused, and timed through an app—that made me never want to skip a single day.

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Best streaming workouts | Best online workouts to stream | Kayla Itsines

Kayla Itsines’s Sweat

Who are you?

Jamie Lee Reardin, illustrator, and sister to Renée, the digital editor at Best Health.

Which workout do you stream?

Kayla Itsines‘s on her app, Sweat.

What drew you to this workout?

A few things. First, it was because, like me, she just had a baby and was getting into workout out again. Second, the before and after photos of herself and other women she posts on her Instagram page show just how effective the workout is. And third, the fact that the workout is manageable—it only requires you to work out for under 30 minutes three days a week.

(Editor’s Note: Katherine Heigl also relied on the Sweat app to get in shape after giving birth.)

Any equipment required?

A yoga mat, a chair, hand weights (I use 3 pounds,) a resistance band, and a foam roller But if you don’t have those items, you can filter out the workouts that require them. Kayla also offers routines to do at the gym, which require more equipment.

How long is the workout? How many days a week are recommended?

It’s just a 28-minute workout three days a week, that, ideally, you space out. On three of the other days in the week, you do low intensity cardio, like walking, for 30 minutes. And the last day of the week is a recovery day, when you stretch and relieve muscle pain with a foam roller, if desired.

What does the workout entail?

One workout may focus on lower body moves for 28-minutes, the second full-body moves, and the third upper body or abs, but it changes every week.

Are there levels?

There are different workout programs to choose from. I tried the postpartum one, but I found it too easy— if I had started it six to eight weeks after I had my baby, it would’ve been great because it’s designed to ease you into working out again. But I started it at ten weeks, so I jumped into the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) beginner. There’s also the BBG Stronger, which is a more advanced program. Her app also features other fitness instructors and their workouts.

How many workouts do you do a week and for how long? 

I follow the program fully—three 28-minute workouts a week, three low-impact cardio days, which usually means I put my daughter in a stroller and go for a walk, and one stretch day. I do, however, make some adjustments to the routines. For example, sometimes I swap out burpees for another workout—they make the floor shake too much!

Why do you keep streaming this workout?

I keep going back to it because it’s realistic. It’s easy to fit a 30-minute workout or walk into my schedule. Plus, I can see the way my body is changing, which keeps me motivated. I also like the way her body looks—strong, fit and feminine—so that makes me want to continue.

How has this workout changed your body/endurance/strength/flexibility?

I found it made me look and feel more toned very quickly. In just a few weeks, I definitely felt stronger than I had after giving birth, when I was feeling really weak.

How much is it?

It’s $110 USD for the year, or $20 USD per month.

Anything else to note?

I like that there’s no music, so I can listen to whatever I want. The app allows you to add a playlist to the workout.

(Here are other health apps that’ll push you harder and make you healthier.)

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Best streaming workouts | Best online workouts to stream | Ballet Beautiful

Ballet Beautiful

Who are you?

Me again—Renée!—digital editor at Best Health.

Which workout do you stream?

Ballet Beautiful.

What drew you to this workout?

Last summer, I started taking ballet lessons, and I wanted an at-home routine to supplement what I was learning in my weekly class. When I was in New York in February, I visited the Ballet Beautiful studio for a training session and found it to be a fantastic workout. So, now that we’re in quarantine, I rely on the Ballet Beautiful streaming workouts as they help me continue my ballet training, and also help me get a good stretch in and improve my flexibility.

Any equipment required?

All you need is a yoga mat, really. For anything else, you can make do with your surroundings. For example, in replace of a barre you can use your kitchen counter.

How long is the workout? How many days a week are recommended?

They can be as long as you’d like! There are individual workouts that are about 8-15 minutes, which can be mixed and matched to create a curated workout. You also have the option to choose a custom workout, in which you enter information based on what you’d like to achieve, and a workout is generated for you.

What does the workout entail?

Each 8-15 minute workout targets arms, abs, legs, butt, or offers a full-body workout. Think pliés, mat work with straight legs and pointed toes, and some classical ballet moves like “swan arms.”

How many workouts do you do a week and for how long? Do you do any other workouts in the average week?

I do three customized Ballet Beautiful workouts a week, in the evening, and they’re each under an hour. On top of that, in quarantine, I do Tracy Anderson (as mentioned above) for 40 minutes or the Extension Method’s IG Live workout classes for 60 minutes every morning.

Why do you like streaming this workout?

It tones my body, improves my flexibility and posture, and enables me to continue my ballerina training! I like to do it in the evening, when I’m looking for some downtime. I can set up my barre spot in my living space and have instructor Mary Helen tell me the moves while watching a show. It beats sitting on the couch scrolling through my phone!

How has this workout changed your body/endurance/strength/flexibility?

I’ve never been naturally flexible—since I was a kid, it’s been something I’ve had to work very hard at. But these workouts help me be a little more flexible. What’s more, after doing a class, I feel I stand a little taller and straighter the next day.

How much is it?

It’s $40 USD per month to have access to all of the videos, but there’s a special promotion on now where you can get your first month for $17 USD. Alternatively, you can purchase individual 8-15-minute workout videos for as low as $6 USD.

Anything else to note?

A fun fact: Ballet Beautiful’s founder Mary Helen trained Natalie Portman for Black Swan!

Next, check out the Canadian fitness studios offering free streaming workout classes during quarantine.