Five DVD and Online Workouts to Try Now
Whether it’s due to inclement weather or a busy schedule, sometimes working out has to be fast and indoors. But if your only experience with DVD workouts is being screamed at by Jillian Michaels, you may decide to pop open a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and hit the couch instead. Fortunately, there’s a slew of cool DVDs and free YouTube workouts to choose from.
We polled five Boston fitness pros to find their favorite online or DVD workout programs. Below, you’ll find everything from yoga to interval training, and many are free.
Jennifer Phelan, owner of Jennifer Phelan Pilates
Favorite workout: Sweat with Lauren Hefez
Pilates instructor Phelan is a new mother, so at-home workouts are more important than ever. “Lauren’s workouts are a mixture of core sculpting, cardio, and strength training,” she says. “As a new mom my time is very limited and what I love about Lauren’s workouts is that they are usually quick — under 30 minutes — yet challenging and very effective. It feels like she is in your living room right by your side.”
Sweat with Lauren Hefez is free via YouTube. Workouts are shorter than 30 minutes and include cardio, arms, lower body, ankles, and more.
Julia Williamson, owner of Modern Barre
Favorite workout: BMAX
With a varied fitness background that includes classical ballet training, lacrosse, cross country, and a stint as a Patriots cheerleader, Williamson likes to mix it up. “One of my favorite online workouts is called BMAX, which was founded by Andy Berler, who is the official trainer of my former team, the New England Patriots Cheerleaders,” she explains. “It is an interval-style workout that will deliver the five critical health components of physical fitness in every less-than-30-minute workout: cardio, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and body composition.”
BMAX is free via YouTube. Workouts are shorter than 30 minutes and include a mix of cardio and strength training.
Jennifer Prohaska, coach at Boston Running Center
Favorite workout: Gaia online yoga
Yoga and running have long complemented one another, and Prohaska — who is a yoga instructor in addition to a certified running and health coach — knows that better than anyone. “I like [Gaia] because my schedule and training program don’t always allow for me to get to yoga classes when they are offered,” she explains. “There are many athlete-specific classes to choose from, with my favorite class being David Magone’s Full Body Strengthening and Toning session.”
Unlimited workouts at myyogaonline.com are available through a $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year membership. Classes range from 15 minutes to more than an hour long and include yoga, Pilates, dance, and meditation.
Gregg D’Andrea, owner of gstarfit personal training
Favorite workout: Functional Patterns
D’Andrea favors Functional Patterns for its devotion to functional movement. “Naudi [the trainer behind Functional Patterns] takes a very real human approach, similar to mine, on how the body should be trained,” D’Andrea says. “We as trainers must stick to how a human being works and not deviate from that in training for the sake of being cute, cool, or trendy. That doesn’t help anyone, only hurts.”
Functional Patterns workouts are free on YouTube.
Siga Bielkus, co-owner of Health Yoga Life
Favorite workout: Kundalini Yoga for Circulation and Detoxification
Bielkus, who owns Health Yoga Life with her three sisters, says the whole family loves this DVD workout, which was filmed live at a yoga festival. “We find this to be a perfect program to heat us up from the inside out,” she says. “Gurumukh Khalsa, a master yoga teacher, leads the class, and Snatam Kaur, an amazing singer, sings live. This is definitely not your typical workout DVD. The DVD is lively, uplifting, inspiring, and a seriously hard workout.”
Kundalini Yoga for Circulation & Detoxification is available on Amazon.com for $19.97 and runs for 90 minutes.