As if our prior office life and the inactivity that came with sitting hunched over a laptop for 10 hours straight wasn’t damaging enough, the pandemic had to happen. And so now instead of maybe getting to walk to the car or the tube station we were stuck in a cycle of waking up and crawling to our dining table, desk or sofa, before heading back to bed.
It’s a dangerous precedent being set. Regular exercise is important for sleep, memory, mental health, and protection against a slew of diseases, injury, and weight gain. All those little trips we’d make in daily life added up, and there was a serious fitness deficit being made. We needed to start exercising and start exercising we did.
The home workout became as ubiquitous with daily lockdown life as masks and takeaway pints. This is where personal trainers and fitness coaches came in, guiding us through the transition into these regular home workouts with follow-a-longs, tutorials, and a healthy dose of friendly advice. Here we share eight workout-from-home fitness stars then who’ve helped save lockdown with their videos.
Yoga With Adriene
Adele, Madonna, Adriene; only true superstars go by their first name only. Adriene Mishler of Yoga With Adriene has been posting helpful and accessible yoga tutorials and follow-a-long videos on Youtube for years. Her popularity was already substantial, but lockdown and a rising interest in keeping our bodies limber and healthy during the downturn in activity, has seen it go into overdrive.
People have now started talking about Yoga With Adriene like their latest Netflix must-binge. If we were all in the office, Adriene would be the toast of the watercooler. All suffice to say, Adriene is a big star and has been a queen of lockdown fitness.
Moving from a queen to a king. Like Adriene, Joe Wicks (also known by his Youtube channel name The Body Coach), was already a big name in the fitness space, with several published healthy-eating cookbooks and workout guides.
But as lockdown shut schools across the country, Wicks took on the role of ‘the nation’s PE teacher’, with a series of ‘P.E. with Joe’ exercise videos aimed at helping children keep fit during the pandemic. What’s more, Wicks donated all profits from the videos to the NHS, raising around £500,000, along with the cool £2 million his 24-hour workout challenge made for Children In Need.
The Insta-workout space is a saturated market. But what makes qualified PT and three-time cover star of Women’s Health, Alice Liveing, stand out is threefold, namely an infectious, bubbly personality, a focus on practical, strength-building follow-a-long workouts, and a holistic understanding of why fitness is so important to everyday life.
It’s seen Liveing become an Insta-workout go-to for thousands of women, and a must-follow on the app.
Jump Rope Dudes
Skipping workouts have never really had a crowd besides primary school children and boxers up until the pandemic hit. But with the rise of Tik-Tok has come millions of flashy, jump rope thumb-stoppers, and when there’s a viral hit to be had, there’s always a crowd waiting to skip onto the trend.
The Jump Rope Dudes are one of the bigger names in the Insta and Youtube jump rope scene, with easy tips, advice, and tutorials to get anyone and everyone started, with an easy-going ‘gym-bro’ vibe (and physique) that belies the delicacies of their footwork.
Just as yoga has found a locked-down crowd looking to combat the physical damage our newfound lives chained to the Zoom camera are causing, the calmer, more restorative pilates is also reaching a new audience. Registered nutritionist and wellness coach Isa-Welly Locoh-Donou is one of the best digital pilates coaches around with a fun, care-free approach that updates the traditionally prescriptive exercise for the 21st century.
Catch her on Instagram where she mixes pilates tips with more general wellbeing content, or subscribe to her Youtube channel where Pilates newbies should find all the workouts they’d need to get started.
Buzzin’ With Bez
Happy Mondays hype man and professional maraca shaker, Mark Berry aka Bez, has made for an unlikely lockdown health guru, not least for his extreme prior proclivity to raving the night away on class-A drugs. But lockdown has brought out odd habits in us all, and it just so seems a new-found dedication to the squat has been Bez’s.
Dubbed ‘Get Buzzin’ With Bez’ each weekly workout sees Bez being taken through a park workout by his PT. Advanced workout types won’t find much of use here, but the videos are a good guide for newbies, while Bez’s Manucunion grumblings make for unmissable comedy gold.
Ask any of its over 3 million members how Peloton has risen to the top of the fitness tree and they’ll quickly point to its crack team of experts and fitness instructors. Hannah, Robin, and Matt all deserve special shout-outs, but for pushing the feel-good factor to the max you can’t beat Cody Rigsby.
The less gym trainer, more BFF vibe is incredibly potent as you’re racing through yet another of Rigsby’s spin classes, while his increasing popularity has seen hundreds of Reddit posts and Youtube compilations lovingly crafted in his honour.
From luxe fitness boutiques like London’s Rumble Gym to fitness for the masses groups like PureGym, beaming home workouts to your living room has been a pivot all gyms have had to make during the crisis. We’d highly recommend checking out R2TV, Rumble’s home workout channel on its site, but for their cinematic, sci-fi splendour it’s the Insta workout vids from global gym chain Equinox that really caught our eye.
Beamed in from what looks like the yoga studio of the USS Enterprise, the smooth, and constantly active camera work does an uncanny job of recreating the high-octane feeling you’d get from pushing yourself to the limit in a room filled with sweaty strangers.