Sweat, Save, Repeat: Get Fit on a Budget
FREE Flex: Crush Your Fitness Goals with Amazing Online Workout Programs at Zero (or minimal) Cost!
If you are like me, you probably say, ‘If it’s free, it’s for me’ more times than you can count. And I use those words for everything, especially my workouts because I enjoy versatility. So, are you like me and looking to get fit or improve your technique without breaking the bank? Don't worry; from HIIT workouts that make you feel like a superhero to dance cardio sessions that'll have you busting moves like Beyoncé, the options available to you are endless. Let's dive into some of what’s out there so you can pick and choose what works for you!
Looking to embrace the zen? Try out these yoga-inspired suggestions:
I swear by yoga with Adriene; although I am a yoga instructor, I recommend her to everyone. Adriene may not be the world's top yoga bunny, but she has a loyal following of 11.5 million subscribers on YouTube. Her signature service, which has been around for a decade, is a series of 30 different videos in 30 days, starting each January. With her sweet manner and mindful approach, Adriene is a great fit for almost everyone except for the Bikram hot yoga crowd, who thrive on pain. And that is why I recommend her every chance I get – I should ask her for a commission ;)
If I were on YouTube, this is who I imagine I would most relate to. If you like a challenging workout, Kassandra has a range of yoga videos to help you build up your practice. From bite-size beginner videos to intense 30-minute intermediate Vinyasa flows, Kassandra's precise instructions and clear communication make her a great choice. Plus, she offers anxiety-relieving Yin routines for those who need a calmer experience.
Ready for a fitness adventure on Instagram? @asanarebel is a jewel in the genre, covering yoga from beginners to advanced levels and stretching into HIIT workouts, mindfulness, toning, and diet. If watching beautiful people doing things motivates you, you'll enjoy Asana Rebel's content.
Want to be the next Lance Armstrong? We got you covered with these recommendations:
If you're a serious cyclist, you've probably heard of Zwift. While it does require a monthly subscription and a specialized setup, it's worth considering if you're committed to indoor training. Zwift offers tailored programs, group rides, CGI scenery, data collection, and features that cater to both elite cyclists and casual riders. It's like attending a virtual cycling club or competing against others, all from the comfort of your home. Who's ready to go up against me?!
For a slightly cheaper alternative to Zwift, check out the BKool app. It offers similar features and training programs with slightly more macho graphics.
If you're passionate about cycling and looking for coaching tips, the Fascat Cycling Coach Podcast is a must-listen. Hosted by semi-pro mountain biker Frank Overton and journalist Ben Delaney, this podcast caters mainly to elite riders but provides valuable insights for enthusiasts as well. From intense workout suggestions to personal anecdotes about the love for riding, Fascat will keep you motivated and entertained.
Looking to work on form and strength? Test these out:
Cori Lefkowith, based in California, is a straight-talking fitness expert who focuses on bodyweight exercises. Her thorough and varied workouts will impress you, and her strength will leave you in awe. She's a great resource for those looking for effective workouts that don't require a lot of equipment.
Alice Liveing, a columnist for Women's Fitness UK, offers both gym-based and home workouts. Her deadpan delivery and infectious triumph make her engaging to watch, and her Instagram reels provide plenty of inspiration. Keep in mind that some of her workouts require weights.
Chris Hemsworth. Need I say more? Although this option is not free, it’s worth considering as it is created by Thor himself and offers comprehensive workouts AND a meal planner. The idea behind it is that by faithfully following the app, you can strive to achieve a physique like Hemsworth's, although that outcome is obviously unlikely. However, the app is highly popular due to its polished production value, attractive graphics, diverse workouts, daily planners, and unique features like "household item hacks." So if you don't have sandbags, you could get creative and use a large bag of rice instead.
Like to Hear Yourself Grunt? Try these high-intensity + cardio options:
One name you're probably familiar with is Joe Wicks, and it would be remiss not to mention him. He's a prime example of how you don't need to constantly reinvent cardio routines to reap the benefits. Wicks leads you through 10 exercises, most of which you'll recognize from classic aerobics classes spanning different eras. By the end, you'll feel accomplished and invigorated.
Lewis's Instagram content can be quite poetic, with occasional posts about her hiking adventures. However, her YouTube channel offers more structured and challenging 30-minute cardio workouts.
Ben Ogden provides 25-minute audio workouts on Spotify, along with shorter sessions centered around specific themes. For example, he offers a five-minute boxing session. The workouts can be quite simple in terms of production, such as a "towel workout" that resembles a bodyweight session using a towel. It's important to have confidence in your technique since you can't see Ogden during the workouts, and remember to take breaks as needed to avoid overexertion.
Expecting? Try These:
Two major challenges arise when it comes to exercising before and after pregnancy. Firstly, comparing yourself to other pregnant women who seem less tired, more graceful, and effortlessly radiant can be discouraging. The last thing you want is to be grouped together with them in a workout setting. Secondly, the aesthetic aspect is problematic. Searching for workouts online often leads to an overwhelming sea of purples, pinks, flowers, and overly stylized fonts, as if becoming pregnant automatically reverts you to a juvenile state. The only alternative is an empowered and energized perspective (Slam symbolizes being "strong like a mother"), which can be somewhat grating. However, the workouts are effective, and prioritizing your pelvic floor health is crucial.
While kimperry.com offers personalized paid programs, her Instagram content provides a glimpse into her approach. The main difference between prenatal and postnatal cardio workouts essentially comes down to impact. While your instinct might discourage you from jumping during a jumping jack when you're eight months pregnant, it might not offer guidance on what to do instead. This is where Perry's expertise comes into play.
Despite the rebellious connotation of her name, Erica Ziel is primarily recognized for her prolific and dedicated work. She shares podcasts and short-burst workouts on Instagram and offers tailored programs on ericaziel.com. Some of her content delves into intricate details, such as core restoration after a cesarean birth, while other aspects possess a humorous Californian flair ("Non-negotiable self-care in motherhood" laughter ensues).
It is important to note that the above options are just that, options. There are TONS more out there. If you are disabled, you are covered with apps. If you are older and need modified options from the list above, you are covered. We cannot preach this enough in our posts – find what works for you and know we are here to help you; if none of the above work, we can provide more.
So grab your phone, lace up those sneakers, and let's embark on a journey of fitness adventures that won't empty your wallet. Remember, a healthy and happy you doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. It's time to sweat, smile, and slay those workouts like the budget-savvy warrior that you are!
-- Lindsey Escaja