Now that the holidays are creeping around the corner, you may have to break up with your regularly scheduled sweat sessions, at least temporarily. And though the most wonderful time of the year may interfere with your fave spin class or butt-kicking bootcamp routine, it’s completely possible to stay fit—all you need is an Internet connection and a little living room space. (OK, and maybe a few props here and there.) And it’s all thanks to these seriously excellent, totally free workout videos. We’ve rounded up the best YouTube workouts—we’re talking everything from traditional aerobics to ballet to high-intensity interval training routines—so you can keep your physique in tip-top shape this season and beyond.
Strength and Conditioning
This video is proof positive that you don’t need to hit the gym—or have a ton of time or space—for a truly killer workout. Speed through this routine when your schedule is packed, and don’t worry: With exercises like one-legged squats and moving planks (and only 10 seconds of rest between each), you won’t be missing out on any muscle-building benefits.
Build strong lower limbs (a.k.a. “luscious legs”) with this 11-minute routine from Autumn Calabrese. Power through three sets of tough moves, like single-leg jump squats, wall squats, and more, for a quick, no-equipment-necessary workout.
Ever since butt selfies (ahem, #belfies) became a thing, it’s been clear that building the best booty is at the top of many fitness wish lists. Solution: this free workout video. Moves like kick backs and reverse lunges build a stronger, more toned and lifted rear view. (#Nofilter necessary.)
If there’s one travel-friendly workout tool, it’s the resistance band. Not only does it weigh next to nothing and take up little room in your bag, it’s also super versatile. And if you’re a fan of our full-body resistance band workout, you’ll definitely dig this free workout video. It combines strength movements, like rear lunges with a rotation, with heart rate-boosting exercises for a routine that’ll challenge your entire body.
If your travels take you somewhere with absolutely zero workout equipment, fear not! Thanks to this video, it’s totally possible to work your lower half with nothing but your own body weight and a chair. And since it’s just 10 minutes in length, you can squeeze this in between a rushed red-eye flight and brunch at your aunt’s.
It’s no secret that Beyoncé is a crazy-good performer, and while we could never mimic her vocals, with some coaching, we thought we could pick up her dance moves. That’s why we were so excited to discover this video series featuring choreographer Frank Gatson, Jr., who breaks down every portion of Beyoncé’s Let’s Move! campaign, which features a remix of “Get Me Bodied.” Watch the first instructional portion and then the second one to learn the entire routine.
Did you overdo it on Beyoncé? Trick question. There’s no such thing! That’s why we had to include another free workout video inspired by Queen Bey’s excellent moves. Learn some awesome choreography (while working up a sweat) to “Who Run The World (Girls),” one of the singer’s best girl-power anthems.
When you think of a typical aerobics dance class, you probably imagine something exactly like this video: Legwarmers! Leotards! Hip rolls for days! And with more than an hour of dancing, you’re certain to work up a sweat—without ever leaving your living room.
We dare you to not have fun breakin’ it down to reggae with Keaira LaShae. Her upbeat, super positive energy will have you laughing as much as you’re sweating, especially while attempting moves like “grandfather clocks” and “the canoe.”
10. Cardio Barre: Dancer Body’s Workout
Ballet-training and aerobics doesn’t seem like a natural pairing, but this high-energy video proves it’s possible, and the result is a solid workout. The best part? No shoes required. So no need to pack your bulky sneakers on your next trip—you can do this 38-minute workout totally barefoot!
Yoga, Pilates, and Mat-Based Workouts
11. Ballet Beautiful Lean Legs & Buns Workout
Former ballet dancer and Ballet Beautiful founder Mary Helen Bowers has serious fitness cred thanks to training Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan. With this free workout video, she takes her expertise outside the dance studio. The 15-minute mat workout will help tone your lower body with graceful ballet-inspired movements like bridge variations.
One of the beautiful things about yoga is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. (Even in the middle of a desert, as this video proves.) But sometimes you need some instruction to get through an entire sequence. That’s where Tara Stiles comes in. The New York City-based yogi teaches a full flow class in this excellent 50-minute video (one of the best YouTube workouts, in our opinion). Her detailed, easy-to-follow instructions make it seem as though you’re working one-on-one with her, and by the end of it, you’ve had a super solid yoga experience.
Question: Can you get a solid abs workout from yoga? Answer: Hell yeah! Kathryn Budig, author of THe Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga, teaches a core-blasting yoga series in this 20-minute video. She directs you through strengthening poses all while giving tips on form with the type of encouragement and reassurance you’d get if you were actually in class. (Bonus: The serene backdrop helps put you in a yoga mindset.)
If you’ve ever skipped a workout because you’re just too sore from a previous one (hey, these videos are tough!), you’re definitely not alone. That’s why we love this easy-to-follow routine. It features exercises that stretch and strengthen your muscles simultaneously so you give your body the chance to recover—without skipping a workout altogether. That’s what we consider a win-win.
Half an hour to a fitter form? Deal! That’s exactly what you get with this classic Pilates workout—you’ll feel longer, leaner, and stronger—without stepping foot into a studio. And there’s no shrill workout music so you can add in your own or just enjoy the instructor’s Aussie accent.
Just shy of an hour long, this video is a killer aerobic kickboxing workout. You’ll throw punches and kicks in supercharged sequences as you follow along with the ebullient Billy Blanks. Don’t be surprised if you start talking back to the screen, especially when Blanks looks straight into the camera and declares, “I see you at home! Keep going!” Talk about motivation.
Calling all cardio kickboxing fans: There’s no need to head for the gym to get your punches and kicks in. Just try this 25-minute workout—you’ll work your entire body with punch combinations paired with heart rate-boosting movements. This free workout video is without music, so you can supply your own Rocky soundtrack.
We’ve gone on the record with our love of MMA conditioning exercises, and that’s why we bookmarked this video. Even the warm-up is jam-packed with explosive movements that’ll get your heart pumping (think high knees and walking front kicks). And once you move into the actual workout, you’re in for even more high-energy exercises, like hopping front kicks, that are sure to condition your body from head to toe.