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In Shape, in Style: My 7 Absolute Fave Workout Routines

Mental Health & Self Love

July 31, 2023

Summer 2020 may be long gone, but you know what isn’t? The hype over at-home workouts!

I’ve spent the past three years independently exploring pretty much every popular and semi-popular women’s fitness channel YouTube has to offer, so I’m no stranger to the two faces of completing a workout routine: the “Oh my gosh, I just did that!”, “Literally what can stop me?”, and “I am a poster child for health right now” side, and the often dominant “That was actually a near-death experience” and “Are those tears or sweat?” one.

Beyond this, however, I’ve also discovered which routines work best for me and my body, based both on my goals and on my limits. Because these are different for anyone, I can’t guarantee that you’ll love them just as much as I do, but I can say that they’re at the very least wonderful places to start.

So, without further ado, here are my 7 favourite equipment-less workouts, from basic cardio and HIIT to pilates and dancing!

1. Move with Nicole’s 20 Minute Pilates

#LowIntensity #FullBody #Pilates #Energizer #Beginners #NoJumping

Nicole is an absolute godsend during lazy days! Her pilates workouts are thorough and relaxing, allowing you to breathe steadily and reflect while still feeling a perfect amount of burn.

For anyone who struggles to actually begin their regular exercises, or who isn’t exactly keen on flopping around on the floor, slicked with sweat and gasping for air, there isn’t any better place to be! You’ll complete this workout with the best possible sentiments: fulfilment, rejuvenation, peace, and self-love.

I guarantee you, fifteen years in the future, Nicole’s going to be the origin story of every hot pilates mom out there.

"Love your classes, Nicole. Just such a good burst, that perfect edge of pushing but attainable. Such an eye opener to see the areas I have lost strength."

— @lisahoughton3478

2. Daisy Keech’s Hourglass Abs Workout

#LowIntensity #QuickAndEasy #Hourglass #Core #Beginners #NoJumping

If you’re vying for that hourglass figure and are on the hunt for a workout that is quick, relaxing, and effective, you’ve come to the right place. Daisy’s highly acclaimed routine is one that is fairly easy to carry out multiple times a day, even at your laziest moments!

It consists of 10 simple manoeuvres executed individually over the course of a minute, with short breaks in between each. One of my favourite things about it is that it is so manipulable to your own limitations and present sentiments; you could lift your back higher and go faster, or you could keep it slow and steady.

No matter what, this is genuinely one of the few videos wherein you feel no pressure to push yourself far beyond what you feel like or are capable of. Everyone has limits, and that’s okay!

"I’ve been doing this for the past 2 months and have achieved a very pronounced hourglass figure. It motivated me to eat healthier, too, which then impacted my mood. To say the least, this video... has changed my life."

— @melodicnuggets8045

3. Lita Lewis’ 30-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout

#HighIntensity #FullBody #Cardio #LegHeavy #Jumping

The days I have time to make it to the gym are my favourite sort. Why? Because when I can’t, I instead get absolutely obliterated by Lita and Reece’s leg-heavy HIIT routine.

The workout consists of three rounds of two circuits each, preceded and succeeded by a warmup and cooldown, and features a wide variety of exercises, from the easier toe taps and high knees to the soul-sucking power jacks and jumping lunges.

Lita possesses many talents, but by far the most impressive is her ability to stretch out time. Life is short, so if you’d like to make it seem longer, this workout is the one for you! I promise that, once you’ve rolled off your yoga mat and wiped away the tears you’ve convinced yourself is sweat, you’ll feel great! I know I sure did.

"This is on my consistent rotation every week! What a great workout sequence... Really inspiring and positive routine and verbal cues. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

— @joannablazo6577

4. MadFit’s 20 Minute Fat Burning Workout

#MidIntensity #FullBody #Cardio #Beginners #NoJumping

I’d argue that there is no better place to kick off your fitness journey than right here. Maddie’s 20-minute routine is every typical high-intensity advanced workout stripped to its very core, making it thorough, rewarding, and absolutely achievable, even for the quintessential beginner.

Anyone who has yet to experience the unparalleled joy and relief of clicking Pause at the end— not at the beginning, not at the middle— of a workout should make their way right on over here! Maddie’s the perfect wingwoman to fall in love with the rush.

"This is the most beginner-friendly workout out there. No B.S., no excess pushing! Very considerable for people who want to get into shape and start their workout journey!"

— @tooluckydeo8081

5. Pamela Reif’s 12 Minute Happy Cardio

#MidIntensity #Dance #Fun #FullBody #Cardio #Beginners #Jumping

I adore Pamela’s 12-minute regimen. It’s quick, fun, and upbeat, so much so that it’s practically dancing. Unlike many popular zumba routines, however, it’s still solidly a workout, so you get some good, familiar exercise out of it sans all the complicated moves.

Even better, it really does live up to its name! It’s the only workout that puts a smile (and no, twitchy grimaces aren’t considered) on my face, and as someone who doesn’t particularly love it when coaches speak a tad too much, I was beyond glad to fully and peacefully soak in all the energy and vibes.

"I usually do not have a smile on my face during cardio, but this was so silly and so much fun! I was laughing at myself [during] the last song."

— @morganvinneau7579

6. Chloe Ting’s 10 Minute Morning Routine

#LowIntensity #QuickAndEasy #Energizer #FullBody #Cardio #Beginners #NoJumping

Once you get past Chloe’s signature war-flashback-inducing beats (don’t worry, even I haven’t been able to rid myself of the memories of Summer 2020), you’ll realise that many of her workouts are actually pretty great.

Although I’ve moved on to other channels, this quick rise-and-shine routine remains the perfect pick-me-up. It’s fast-paced, but it’s also short— the perfect energy-boosting combo everyone needs to kick off their day.

A quick warning, however: because of exercises like side planks and corkscrews, this workout requires some level of balance and flexibility. And when I say “some,” I mean very little, but still there.

"Chloe is a genius! This was relatively low impact and, like she said, not too intense! Still got my heart rate up, though, and I feel great!"

— @LionSPH

7. Emi Wong’s 45 Minute Full-Body Workout

#MidIntensity #TimeConsuming #FullBody #Cardio #SlightJumping

If I could describe Emi’s top-tier calorie burner in one word, it’s this: balance. It isn’t a gasping, near-death tear-jerker, but it isn’t quite so easy that you feel unfulfilled afterward. It doesn’t rush you, but it keeps you moving regardless. It’s a flawless blend of working out and stretching, and Emi incorporates the perfect mix of silence and encouragement.

So if you’ve got the time to carry it out through and through, I couldn’t recommend it enough! It’s certainly thorough, consisting of 5 sets, each with a specific goal— namely, full body, arms and back, abs and core, legs and thighs, and cooldown.

This one epitomises one of my favourite workout concepts: “Once you get started, it isn’t bad at all.” Trust me, I’ve done it all!

"This was such a good burn! Especially the stretch after the workout— [it's] heavenly!"

— @anya_paw

In Conclusion…

The routines that work best for you will depend upon your own personal goals and limitations— two things that nobody (not even this article!) should determine for or impose upon you. It’s perfectly okay if you haven’t found them yet, or if you haven’t even started searching. What matters is that you take the first step, not out of social pressure, but out of hope and self-love!

Maybe— just maybe— the videos above may be exactly what you need.

Meg P.
50k+ pageviews

Meg is a student who loves anything to do with the social and natural sciences. In the free time she doesn't spend rewatching or rereading comfort works instead of starting new ones, she enjoys daydreaming about the future and ordering takeout.

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