Opinion — Best at-home workouts for all fitness levels

Andie Balenger

Have you been looking to start working out, but have a crippling fear of going to the gym? I have been working out consistently since I was 15 years old and have never purchased a gym membership.

The internet is home to several content creators that make full-length workout routines for free. From pilates to weightlifting, jazzercise to hot yoga, there is certainly a workout style out there that will work for you.

Here is a list of my favorite fitness programs on YouTube. I tried to provide a list of creators that vary in intensity, experience and equipment needs so there is an option for all fitness levels. This list is by no means exhaustive, so I encourage those who are looking to start their fitness journey to take the time to find a workout that works best for them.



Experience level: Beginner

Equipment: None

My first introduction to at-home workouts was Cassey Ho, the creator of POP Pilates and Blogilates. While at times intense, POP Pilates is a relatively low-impact workout routine that emphasizes posture, core strength and balance. Most of the work is done on a yoga mat — which is not required — and lasts for roughly an hour, depending on the length of your breaks.

The great thing about the Blogilates YouTube channel is your daily workout is created by Ho and her archive of workout videos. Every day of the week, Ho will create a playlist that contains anywhere from two to five videos for you to complete. Upon completing all of the videos, you will have finished your workout for the day.

Most of Ho’s workouts require no equipment to be completed, but she always provides variations to movements to help accommodate different experience levels. Instead of a weight set, some of Ho’s videos use common household items, like textbooks, cans of soup or wine bottles, to help add tension to certain movements. 

If you are looking to get active but do not know where to start, Blogilates is the way to go. The workouts are effective and you will be sore the next day, but Ho’s optimism helps make up for the struggle.


Yoga with Adriene

Experience level: Beginner-Intermediate

Equipment: None

If you are looking for a low-impact workout routine, especially if you have issues with your joints, I recommend Yoga with Adriene. Practicing yoga daily will not only help increase your mobility, but it also focuses heavily on breathing and the relationship between your mind and body. Adriene provides a great introduction to the practice and slowly guides you through each movement.

Adriene’s recent videos have been relatively short, ranging anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. However, her channel includes several playlists that allow you to choose the length of your practice, which goes up to 60 minutes. Adriene has several programs on her channel as well, which are great if you are looking for something that allows you to track your progress over a period of time. 

As someone who is not at all flexible, I find some of Adriene’s routines to be much more challenging than my standard high-intensity interval training. But if you are looking to work on stretching above all else, her channel is the place to be.

While Yoga with Adriene will not leave you dripping in sweat like the other workouts on this list, it is great for those who know their body’s limitations and are looking to add some form of intentional movement to their daily routine. Even if you are just looking for a mental reset or some guided meditation, I highly recommend her videos. Our health is not just about our physical well-being, but our mental well-being as well.

Also, her dog Benji seems to always be chilling in videos with her, which is such a bonus in my opinion.



Experience level: Beginner-Intermediate

Equipment: None

I recently discovered POPSUGAR Fitness and am incredibly impressed by the channel’s offerings. The channel is divided into two sections, Dance FITSUGAR and Class FITSUGAR. The dance section of the channel is much more light-hearted and includes a variety of dance genres to choose from, including salsa and hip-hop. The class section of the channel is more serious and emulates traditional workout routines.

Not only does POPSUGAR Fitness have nearly 20 trainers on staff, but each workout routine has three individuals who demonstrate beginner, intermediate and advanced movements. In addition to accommodating all fitness levels, the channel provides a wide variety of workout styles. From cardio barre to high-intensity interval training, pilates to weight-lifting, there is truly something for everyone.

The workouts offered by POPSUGAR Fitness are on the shorter side, with most varying from 10 to 30 minutes. So if you are looking for a quick burn or want a quick pump while on vacation, you will likely find what you need with POPSUGAR Fitness. While most of their playlists are organized by trainers, if you simply scroll through their recent uploads you will be able to find the program or routine that you are looking for. 


Sydney Cummings Houdyshell

Experience level: Intermediate-Advanced

Equipment: Dumbbells, resistance bands

Sydney Cummings Houdyshell is a certified trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Primarily focusing on high-intensity weight training, Houdyshell’s workouts are certainly not for the faint of heart. However, she does provide modifications for all movements in her routines and has an extensive catalog of training programs to choose from.

Most of Houdyshell’s workout routines are in the 30 to 50-minute range, which is great for those who only have time for a quick session. A majority of her videos, however, require dumbbells and resistance bands. Because of this, I would recommend her channel to those who are committed to their fitness journey and looking to further invest in it. 

The great thing about Houdyshell’s channel is its organization. She has created several playlists that are categorized by program — which include four, eight and 12-week programs — body part-specific workouts, time-specific workouts and stretching. So even if you do not want to take part in the current program Houdyshell is uploading in real-time, you can find something to get the blood flowing.

Houdyshell has been my personal trainer for a year now and I have never felt better physically and emotionally. Considering she was uploading workout routines until the day she went into labor with her first son, Houdyshell has taught me that I am so much stronger than I realize. Working out no longer feels like a chore to me. Instead, it is something that I get to do.


Editor’s Note: The North Wind is committed to offering a free and open public forum of ideas, publishing a wide range of viewpoints to accurately represent the NMU student body. This is a staff column, written by an employee of the North Wind. As such, it expresses the personal opinions of the individual writer, and does not necessarily reflect the position of the North Wind Editorial Board.