There’s a stigma against YouTube workouts. I get it. I too used to be a little wary of them—but then I grew up and got busy and moved somewhere cold. And since then I’ve learned to love a YouTube routine, especially on days when I’m realistically not going to do anything at all. See: January, when the gym feels like a Hunger Games movie on opening night and it’s so cold out I’m cancelling dinners with people I actually like.
Now is the perfect time for a YouTube workout, and through a little trial and error, I’ve found a few that are both decently fun and surprisingly ass-kicking.
Manny Pacquiao is a badass champion boxer, so following along with his real life training regimen makes me feel all hardcore and Hilary Swank-y. He doesn’t stop moving even for a second in this workout, and this stuff is intense. After 10 minutes of it, I’m dead. I love it.
Kym Perfetto’s Pilazies
Kym is my favorite SoulCycle instructor in NYC but she’s moving to LA this month and I’m SO SAD about it. (Ultimate first world problem, I know. I’m rolling my eyes at me, too.) But anyway she does this thing called Pilazies—Pilates for lazy people—and it’s great. If you’ve ever wondered “if I do some crunches on top of my comforter before I get dressed this morning, does it actually help me or am I kidding myself?” here is your answer. Yes, it does, if you follow Kym’s technique. (Also: that dog.)
POPSUGAR’s Muffin Top Workout
You’ll need a Bosu ball for this workout, but trust me, it’s worth investing in one. You know how doing mat work can be kinda painful on your spine and hips when you’re lying on a non-ideal surface? The Bosu fixes that. It lets you really get in there and torture your midsection (in a good way) because the rest of your body is comfy. That’s part of why I like this workout; the other part is that it’s got some of the only exercises I’ve tried where I can actually feel them blasting that tricky-to-target muffin top area.
Lifehack’s 7 Minute Workout
This workout’s scientifically-designed to get you maximum results in the shortest amount of time, which is probably what you’re looking for if you’re working out at home. Also, it uses cartoons for the demonstrations, not people, so if you find pretty much every fitness instructor you’ve ever had annoying, there’s hope you might actually like this one. The only downside is that the music’s a little annoying (okay, a lot), but that’s what your late ’90s Britney Spears Spotify playlist is for.
Tone It Up’s Butt Workout
If you’re one of those people who finds watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion show while you work out motivating, you’ll be into this. The girl looks like a cross between Shakira and a Southern sorority girl, and the beach setting makes it pretty hard to forget that while it’s winter now, bikini season is coming. Oh, and the workout is good. You’ll need kettlebell to do it, but kettlebells are awesome and take up as much space as a wine bottle, so you should own one if you don’t.
Mary Helen Bowers’ Ballet Beautiful
Mary Helen Bowers was still dancing ballet—on point—when she was nine months pregnant. It was nuts. That’s just who she is, though: the fearless leader of the ladylikes, the type As, the perfectionists in search of “long and lean muscles” workouts. If you’re one of those, you’ll love this. It’s challenging, and just, you know, beautiful.
David Kirsch’s Arms Workout
I’ve worked out with this dude in person before, and I can tell you that he is TOUGH, so it makes sense that his workout videos are too. And while he has a bunch of videos that target specific areas, I really love the arms one for quelling that “do I have tharm?” anxiety. Plus, it’s fast, because honestly I probably wasn’t going to spend more than five minutes working out my arms anyway.
Jane Fonda’s Advanced Workout
The clothes are awesome (WHAT are those high-waisted, brief-style workout underwear things?!). The Flock of Seagulls hair is awesome. And even if the actual film’s a little blurry, that just makes it all the more legit. If nothing else makes you want to work out, there’s something just really funny about doing this in your living room with your roommates. (Neon leotrards encouraged, not required.)