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According to Blink Fitness, the monthly cost of a gym membership can start at around $10 for cheaper gym memberships and can go upwards of $100 if you want access to extra amenities and classes. But while establishing a regular exercise routine can get expensive, it actually doesn’t have to cost a dime.
Think about it. When you consider how many amazing YouTube workout channels there are out there, it seems almost silly to pay for monthly gym memberships or boutique fitness classes. Sure, even the best YouTube workout videos won’t offer the same personalization or accountability as paid fitness apps or a personal trainer might. But you don’t need to pay for YouTube — these workouts are completely free.
A quick search for an at-home workout on YouTube will yield hundreds, if not thousands, of video results, which can feel overwhelming. So we weeded out the best YouTube workout channels to make things easier. Most of the videos are meant to be followed at home, but many can be done in a gym. Plus, not all require equipment, meaning you really need nothing but yourself to get them done.
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1. Yoga With Adriene
Yoga classes in a studio can add up quickly (classes average between $15 to $25 an hour), especially since practicing every day is beneficial. That’s why we like Yoga With Adriene, a channel created by yoga instructor Adriene Mishler. The only thing you may need to purchase is a mat if you don’t already have one. Otherwise, Adriene is really good at offering at-home substitutes for any other props she uses in her workouts.
The extremely popular YouTube channel features 30-day challenges where Adriene walks you through a new video/session every day. Videos can range from 10 minutes to almost an hour, and they are easy to follow for all levels. You can even search through practices by length or look through categories like “morning yoga” or “yoga for back pain.”
Related: Work Out for FREE in 2023: 17 Places to Help You Get Moving in the New Year
MadFit by Maddie Lymburner is newly trending, but the YouTube workout channel has already amassed over 7 million subscribers. The channel offers hundreds of free, easy-to-follow workout videos for every level. There are basic videos, like a 15-minute full-body workout for beginners, but there are also videos like a Taylor Swift dance party workout. I like that Maddie labels each video with the approximate time-length of each session, whether it’s seven minutes or 40.
The range of different options makes you want to follow along with the channel to see all of the new videos being released. There are also no-equipment workout videos, apartment-friendly options, and shorts that give HIIT options or quick tutorials. The channel can also go along with the MadFit app, which costs $19.99 per month if you want more customized options and meal plans. However, it’s also great to follow along on its own.
3. Natacha Oceane
Typically a nutrition and fitness-based option like this would cost a monthly fee between $10 and $25, but this one costs nothing. Natacha from Natacha Oceane posts a lot of free workout videos on her page, and most of them focus on no-equipment exercises. I personally like that they’re challenging but easy to follow. In addition to fitness, this lifestyle and wellness channel focuses on all things health, from workout tutorial videos to meal ideas and “I tried it” style videos.
4. PopSugar Fitness
The PopSugar Fitness channel with Jenna Willis and Liza Koshy offers hundreds of fun, effective workouts for free. And new options are always being added. Really, though. The amount of fresh content this channel offers can compare to what you’d normally pay for on a fitness app. Most of them are beginner-friendly, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t challenging.
One of the things this channel specializes in is no-equipment cardio workouts. You’ll also find a lot of dance routines, HIIT classes, barre workouts, and so much more. A range of diverse instructors and trainers is a big plus and really makes the savings worth it.
5. Pamela Reif
With almost 10 million subscribers, the Pamela Reif YouTube channel is clearly a huge hit. There’s a wide range of versatile workouts here that make this channel comparable to a fitness app. New content is always being added, and there are live videos that you can participate in for free.
You’ll find playlists for categories like “male-friendly” workout videos, as well as quick 10-minute strength training routines, dance workouts, and pilates-based sets. Pamela demonstrates each move clearly with explanations, and everything is timed. Most of them don’t use equipment.
6. Fitness Blender
If you just want some basic workout videos that will teach you the correct form and get you sweating, try Fitness Blender. Created by a husband and wife team, this popular YouTube channel has an impressive library of over 600 videos to go through, meaning you’ll never get bored.
Popular videos include full-length workouts, body part-specific workouts (like butt and abs), and shorts that offer helpful tips. They sometimes do challenges where new videos are released for each day, and they also have mindset-break videos to help you focus mentally. You can sort by the duration of workout, type of workout, or trainers.
The average price of pilates classes, depending on whether they’re private, group sessions, or using a reformer, can cost anywhere between $15 and $100 per hour. That’s a significant cost! Blogilates is a great free YouTube channel that makes pilates-based classes a lot more accessible, especially since they can be done at home.
There are a lot of workout videos to go through, including options made specifically for beginners that don’t feel intimidating. The challenges are popular to follow as well, like the Ab challenge or the 21-day Tone Challenge. There are even some nutrition and mindset videos to check out as well.
8. Heather Roberston
For free HIIT videos, Heather Roberston’s channel is a great option. The certified personal trainer and nutrition coach offers hundreds of videos, including challenges and series to follow. Generally, fitness apps that use series and routines like these can cost between $10 and $25 per month.
If you want to try something structured, take a look at something like the 12-Week Free Workout plan, which offers you an exercise option daily for three months. There are shorter videos, like 10-minute abs, and you can search by length or type. The majority of them also don’t require any equipment.
9. 305 Fitness
Weight lifting, stretching, and even traditional HIIT classes can get a little boring after a while. If you need something new, 305 Fitness is worth checking out. 305 Fitness actually offers in-person classes in major cities in the U.S., and memberships can cost about $29.99 per month. While following the videos at home is a different experience, their YouTube channel features an impressive amount of dance classes. And they’re all free.
The YouTube channel for the fitness center features lots of fun, easy-to-follow dance videos that range in difficulty, length, and genre. They’re all entertaining and aim to make exercise a little bit more exciting.
10. Chloe Ting
Straightforward and comprehensive, Chloe Ting’s popular account offers lots of free workout videos, plus nutrition and meal advice. The channel has over 24 million subscribers, which should really tell you something. It’s filled with a variety of different workout videos, from HIIT to low impact to strength training.
The free workout programs, which offer a more structured approach, are another perk to this channel. All of the videos and programs combined, along with the nutrition advice, make this content worthy of an app you would pay for.