With the introduction of streaming services and, of course, the pandemic, people are looking for ways to exercise from the comfort of their living rooms. There hasn’t been a more appropriate time than now to find videos online that can guide you through yoga meditations, energetic HIIT routines, and grueling barre programs. We’ve scoured different services to find the best online workout programs for 2021 and who has what it takes when it comes to workout videos so you don’t have to. Enjoy and get ready to sweat!
For free, high-quality streaming workout tutorials, we think YouTube is the winner. Second place for best online workout programs in 2021 goes to Amazon Prime. If you have space in your house, and you can safely do the movements, online workout programs are an excellent choice for keeping fit.
We’re laying out some of the best ideas for home workouts across many of the available streaming services here. We all have our favorites, but if you need more information about them, check our streaming services info page.
Exercise videos on Netflix
After August 2012, Netflix’s contracts with many of their workout videos had unfortunately expired. This means that, if you have the basic streaming plan through Netflix, there are no longer instructional workout videos available on demand. However, if you upgrade your plan to add on DVDs, then there are some options when it comes to workout content. From pilates to American Gladiator workouts, there are plenty of choices that’ll keep you busy. Their standard DVD plan is $7.99 which allows you to rent one disc at a time, while the Premier plan at $11.99 allows you to rent two discs.
If updating your subscription is not on the top of your priority list, then there are also many different documentaries that cover many different styles of exercise. Movies about yoga, boxing, weightlifting, diet, meditation, and dance are all great motivators for finding the type of exercise that’s right for you.
Another alternative is to make a workout game while watching your favorite shows. Whenever there’s a running gag you can do a rep or a round of reps. Shows like Arrested Development and Schitt’s Creek are great and hilarious shows that can make working out fun.
Fitness shows on Hulu
Similar to Netflix, there aren’t very many options to stream workout videos on Hulu with the basic package. If you upgrade to Live TV for $64.99 a month, there’s a genre available called Fitness at Home. However, it doesn’t show much information when you click on the series. There’s an option to record, but it doesn’t offer a peek into what the series is even about. Some shows about fitness and health are newer and won’t be available until later this month, so they may be in the process of adding more fitness-related content. There are documentaries, just like Netflix, about health and wellness, but if you currently just have a streaming plan, you might be out of luck with working out with Hulu.
Best exercise videos on Amazon Prime
If you have Amazon Prime, then congrats! You have plenty of workout video options. Amazon Prime is $12.99 a month or $119 for the year, while the streaming service alone is $8.99 a month if you don’t shop online. With Prime, there are a lot of “Watch now” possibilities. Whether you want a full-body HIIT workout, dance cardio, kickboxing, or barre lessons, Prime has so much at your fingertips. Find out that you love a certain instructor or routine? Good news: you can probably buy it from Amazon!
Best exercise videos on YouTube
Let’s be honest, YouTube is going to be the best option for workout tutorials. It’s free, and there’s pretty much a video for everything. I use YouTube for HIIT workouts and meal prep instructional videos. You can create a workout playlist or save videos for next time by clicking “Watch Later.” YouTube will automatically suggest related videos based on what you watch most often, and to curate your home page to your liking, you can opt-out of seeing certain channels. Just click the three little dots on the video and choose either “Don’t recommend this channel” or “Not interested.” Follow and subscribe to the instructors that you like the most and you’ll be kept up to date when they release new content!
Apple TV fitness apps
For those avid Apple users, Apple has come out with Apple Fitness+. For $9.99 a month or $79.99 for the year, you have access to weekly workouts, “world-class” trainers, and audio guides for walking experiences. You can choose 5 minute to 45 minute workouts, your choice of their high-level trainers, and what music you want to listen to. The exercises range from intense HIIT and cardio or equipment training like cycling and rowing to chill yoga and cooldowns. It pairs with your Apple Watch so your time, heart rate, and calories burned are also all monitored. An Apple Watch Series 3 or later is required, and it needs to be paired with an Apple TV, iPad, or iPhone.
Apple Fitness+ has tools you can use even when you’re not working out. You can listen to musicians, actors, and inspirational speakers while going for walks. “Time to Walk” is Apple’s way of getting people to stay active outside of their intense workout sessions.
Online workout streaming services
If you’re still looking for workout streaming options, there are now plenty of services specifically tailored to health and fitness. Here’s a quick breakdown of just a fraction of some of the most popular services out right now.
You can access Daily Burn through your laptop, smartphone, or smart TV, this includes setups with Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick and even through Chromecast. If you prefer workouts like barre, HIIT, or muscle building, they have different series for different levels. Whether you’re beginning, intermediate, or even pregnant, they have many options.
Tired of being stuck in the house? I’m sure we all are, and Daily Burn offers guided, weekly running plans to help you train, lose weight, or simply fine-tune your running skills. Or if you find you need more motivation, such as a group class then you might like Daily Burn 365 which holds a class every morning. You can keep in touch with your participants and ask trainers questions through the community chat. After a 30-day free trial, Daily Burn is $19.95 a month.
Backed behind very aesthetically pleasing pastels, these workout videos seem very light and fun. They have both live and on-demand classes for people of all levels, including those who are pregnant, similar to Daily Burn. obé fitness allows you to workout with your friends and share resources like calendars.
All of the instructors are based in NYC, and many of the workouts are just 28 minutes in length. obé divides the routines into three categories for different focuses: Flow, Define, and Sweat. You can either pay monthly at $27 a month, quarterly at $65 every three months, or annually at a rate of $199 a year. If you sign up as an annual or quarterly member, there are perks, like exclusive classes!
Peloton has a couple of options for those looking to get in shape. The actual Peloton app is available for those who are just looking for sessions to follow along with, sans equipment. These classes include yoga, bootcamp, meditation, strength, and stretching videos. You can view these videos through your Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV Stick, or Chromecast. While a lot of them won’t require any equipment, some of the sessions might use weights, and of course some will use the Peloton Bike or Tread. The cost for the app alone is $12.99, while the Bikes start at $1,895 and the Treads at $2,495. Taking part in the intense classes and competing in the leaderboard might be great motivation for some athletes serious about their fitness journeys.
Aaptiv is a streaming service that bills itself as the “world’s original audio fitness brand.” Many of their workouts are audio-based, allowing you to step away from the screen while you sweat. When you sign up, the app will ask about your fitness goals. Aaptive then tailors your training to what you are wanting to achieve. They have guided runs, instructional sessions for at-home workouts without equipment, as well as ones at the gym. Aaptiv adds new classes every week, and similar to Daily Burn, you can connect with the other users. With these other users, you can compete in Team Challenges and have weekly goals. After a 7-day trial, Aaptiv, the world’s leading audio and video fitness app is either $14.99 a month or $99.99 for the year.
For those who know what they like or are simply looking for a dance-based workout, barre3 might be a good solution. Multiple services today are barre-based, and barre3 appears to be a big name in the streaming world. Barre’s specialty is helping people improve their flexibility, balance, and can often be a great core workout. Sessions are between 10 and 60 minutes long.
Barre categorizes workouts by mood. There’s a mix of on-demand and live classes. Some of the classes require weights or other equipment, while other sessions require no additional equipment. Per month, barre3 is $29, while a yearly subscription is $16.58 a month. To watch the classes you can either stream on your smartphone, laptop, Apple TV, or through Chromecast.
Best Online Workout Programs for 2021 – Wrap Up
There are many, many different ways to move your body while staying home from the gym. YouTube and Amazon Prime are great, quick options, while a streaming service dedicated to health and fitness, such as Aaptiv or obé fitness might be great motivators. Whatever it is that you use is worth it, so long as you’re staying active and keeping healthy!