After more than two months in quarantine, the days have most likely begun to bleed together. Tuesday feels like Friday, early morning and late evening are interchangeable and sometimes, the weekend falls on a Wednesday afternoon. One thing that has been keeping people sane, as well as providing a semblance of a schedule, is working out. We are fortunate to be living in a time where technology and social media give us access to limitless opportunities to move our bodies and stay active, even from home. While some of us may be pining for the high-caliber equipment of our boutique fitness studios and the shared energy of group exercise classes, fitness instructors across the globe are using YouTube and Instagram to keep motivation up and legs moving. Here are some of my personal favorites.
MadFit: While Maddie Lymburner has only been posting workouts to her YouTube channel since March of 2018, she has 3.4 million subscribers and has built up quite the repertoire of creative and versatile at-home workouts. She posts everything from 30-minute, high-intensity HIIT workouts to 10-minute low cardio warmups and cool-downs. Maddie is also constantly adjusting her videos based on what she feels her followers need. Since the quarantine began, she has built routines that virtually anyone with access to YouTube can do from home—they require no equipment and are considered “apartment friendly,” with minimal jumping. After completing any of her workouts, you’ll find links to additional routines that pair well with the one you’ve completed, ensuring that you’re able to get an effective burnout in, all from your living room or backyard.
In mid-May, Maddie uploaded a video called “90’s dance workout,” switching it up from her usual muscle-focused workouts. In the midst of a pandemic we are confronted with new information by the hour. The idea of moving your body as a form of self-care can sometimes get lost, making fitness forced and dangerously obsessive. This light-hearted video made working out fun, different and entirely pressure-free. Check out her Instagram for more, @madfit.ig.
Sami Clarke: Before you head to her channel, be warned that Sami is relatively new to YouTube and so her backlog of videos is not quite as extensive as the MadFit channel. Sami Clarke is a model and health and wellness blogger, based in LA. She uses her platform to encourage women to take a holistic approach to wellness and to find fulfilling ways to nourish both their body and their mind. On her channel you’ll find easy home-cooked meal suggestions, smoothie recipes and a glimpse into her skincare routine, among workout videos that she has begun uploading weekly since quarantine began. Sami has developed a signature 30-minute routine that focuses on a different muscle group each day, like arms and back, legs or abs. If you are looking for something a little quicker that still gives you a full and effective workout, she has several 10-minute ab routines and 15-minute HIIT circuits.
Sami utilizes some equipment in her routines, such as resistance bands, light weights and decks (can be any elevated surface—even a coffee table works!) She offers modifications if these aren’t available to you. In addition to uploading routines to YouTube, Sami leads free workouts on Instagram live every week. Head to her page @samiclarke to catch a live and see what you think.
Melissa Wood Health
Melissa Wood Health: This fitness instructor, digital entrepreneur and mother has been taking over the wellness community lately. She is trained in yoga and pilates instruction as well as the art of meditation, and is the founder of the MWH (Melissa Wood Health) Method. The method is designed to help you tone and sculpt your body, while simultaneously practicing mindfulness and working towards building a better relationship with yourself. On her website she shares her personal journey with fitness, and how she maneuvered from body-image inspired intense cardio to mindful, low-impact movement.
Like Sami, her YouTube channel has videos touching on healthy eating and skincare recommendations in addition to her workout routines. You will find quick, 10-minute booty burners, full-body flows, ab circuits and guided meditation. For a deep dive on all things Melissa Wood Health, browse her Instagram @melissawoodhealth.
Pamela Reif: Pamela has been posting workouts on YouTube since 2013, and unlike a lot of the other fitness guru’s mentioned, her channel is almost exclusively focused on working out. Her page header boasts of her “quick and effective workouts with no talking,” so if you’re looking to get right down to it, this is the page for you. Pamela’s workouts rarely go longer than 15 minutes, and you have the freedom to combine any of the shorter routines for a complete workout—or, just stick with a quick burnout if you prefer! Rather than verbally guiding you through the routine, she plays catchy songs in the background and shows you the moves with proper form on camera. A lot of her circuits require no equipment, and she has some designed specifically for beginners if you are just getting started on your fitness journey.
For more on her day-to-day life and other projects, follow her on Instagram @pamela_rf.
Jessica Valant Pilates
Jessica Valant Pilates: HIIT and strength workouts aren’t for everyone. If you are looking for a guide to some low-impact Pilates moves, pain relief remedies, stretching tutorials or postpartum routines, Jessica Valant is your girl. As both a licensed physical therapist and longtime certified pilates instructor, Jessica has been utilizing YouTube to encourage people to maximize their health potential since 2013. All of her videos are Pilates-based, but focus on different muscle groups and help her subscribers achieve individualized goals. She has short videos guiding you through hip and neck stretches, as well as full-length Pilates routines, geared toward either a beginner or more advanced individual. Her channel also highlights her own journey through the wellness world, giving you some insight into her weekly workout schedule, family life, and how Pilates has impacted her personal outlook.
For more information and an opportunity to work with her in her personalized program, head to her Instagram account @jessicavalantpilates.
Here’s the thing – every person is different, and every day is new. Just because you see someone else doing long high-intensity workouts daily does not mean that you have to! And while you may need a hardcore ab and arm burnout one day, you might need a light flow and guided meditation the next. Be sure to tune into your body and respond to what it is craving. The accounts above offer versatile, effective and fun ways to move while stuck indoors, so to get those endorphins firing, these are a great place to start.
Who are some other fitness YouTubers for women we should check out? Let us know down in the comments!
This article originally published on GREY Journal.