In the midst of all the unrelenting anxiety, comfort eating and drinking going on right now, you might be feeling a little lockdown heavy.
Aches and pains are setting in – particularly in shoulders, lower back and hips. In fact, a recent study found up to 4 in 5 of us are suffering.
Many of us also had more motivation to exercise during the first lockdown – thanks to better weather, novelty factor and blissful ignorance of how long it would all last.
If you need more help taking the leap this lockdown, here is a list of brilliant home fitness options, all of which promise a boost to both body and mind. And who doesn’t need that right now?
A live, real time workout with a trainer, it’s called PHIIT because it combines mat Pilates with High Intensity Interval Training. Led by some of the UK’s top trainers, Virtual PHIIT is personalised, core strengthening and cardio-centric. It’s also interactive, so trainers regularly check for correct posture and form.
Ideal for someone who may injure themselves trying to follow along with an app, (including pregnancy or post-pregnancy) or for those who won’t actually do it – or work as hard – unless held accountable by a live human being, these workouts allow you to truly work at a pace and level perfect for you.
One-on-one sessions are £40 (50 mins) and small group classes (max 4 people) £14 for 40 mins. First class is free.
A high-intensity, low-impact, resistance-based fitness method, it strengthens, sculpts and energises the entire body. You may feel like you are barely moving at the time – but you will definitely feel it the next day. There is a firm ball (called a p ball) that you wedge high up between your thighs that works glutes and core.
Their on-demand library includes more than 200 workouts filtered for length of time, body focus and equipment used, or you can join their Virtual Studio via Zoom – if you sign up for membership you get free access to unlimited virtual live studio classes for 30 days.
Digital Membership is £14/month
Aimee Victoria Long
London-based personal trainer, Pilates instructor and barre specialist Aimee Victoria Long specialises in low-impact workouts that use body weight or light resistance by mixing Pilates, barre and body weight conditioning.
Her BodyBeautiful Method is a 360 degree approach: it helps to reshape clients’ bodies and includes a training and nutritional programme.
Her sessions are not easy, but they are fun, dynamic and accessible to all who want to push themselves and feel empowered by the end.
Unlimited virtual studio class access – £40p/m
Aimee Victoria Long
Define London is a boutique fitness studio famous for its high-tempo, New York-style barre classes.
Identifiable by their high-energy sessions and approachable instructors, Define works hard to make sure that virtual online live workouts classes give the same sense of community you get from their studio sessions: they are motivational, innovative and inspiring. Define also has taped workouts you can buy on their site to do on your own time.
£9.99 for a single live virtual class or £49.99 if you buy 10.
Freeletics is a subscription fitness app that is growing fast right now, with currently over 51 million users worldwide.
Best known for their hyper-personalised approach to fitness and innovative workouts, they offer users things like ‘Hybrid Running’ and ‘Fit for Life’, or even Mindset training to help build long lasting healthy habits, improve sleep and learn how to manage stress and deal with anxiety.
It’s a holistic approach to health and fitness designed to help you to become the very best that you can be.
3 months: £32.99, 12 months: £74.99
A new machine-based Pilates studio, Karve will open their London studio doors later this year – but for now, have launched an online Karve On Demand programme.
Billing itself as ‘Transformer Pilates’, it’s a new NYC-inspired strength workout designed to elevate both body and mind. Their On Demand service offers a taster of their studio which includes their bespoke spring-loaded machines – at home you use bands, optional weights and gliders (or small towels) to mimic the effect. Their workout library of signature high-intensity, low-impact workouts includes endorphin-fuelled stretching and meditation sessions.
7-day free trial and then £29.99/month
Practise with London’s newest yoga studio from the comfort of your living room.
If you’re looking to lower the pace and tune in, the Slow Flow sessions, Guided Meditation and Gentle Vinyasa with Intention Setting classes will help you reset and find calm. For those in need of more fire, the Power Yoga, blood-pumping Vinyasa with Abs and Pilates sessions will bring the heat. All you need is your body and your mat.
Unlimited Monthly Virtual Classes – £60, Single Virtual Class – £8
The Pilates PT Membership offers unlimited access to live and on-demand classes for £50 per month.
Classes are taught by Pilates Instructor Hollie Grant and include her own Pilates PT Method – a combination of dynamic mat Pilates and High Intensity Interval Training. A new mum herself, Hollie also teaches dynamic mat pilates and pre-natal workouts.
£50 per month unlimited, or £10 per class. First class is free.
Launched by heart rate monitor brand Myzone during the first lockdown, once logged on to the class, your heart rate data/effort performance is live.
All participants can see the PT through the screen on their phone and the PT can see all the participants’ heart rate/effort, allowing them to push harder or encourage a cool down. The classes are free for all those with a MZ-3 heart rate monitor (available to buy here for £129.99).
Working Out at Home? Some accessories to help look and feel the part
Pump Up the Volume
Beoplay E8 Sport by Bang & Olufsen can switch between tracks, take calls and activate Transparency Mode all with a simple tap. They can also handle dust, sweat, and water of up to 1 metre for 30 minutes. Available in Oxygen Blue and Black.
Beoplay E8 Sport, £300, Bang & Olufsen
More From Your Mat
Maybe it’s time to upgrade your mat. The Fable 4MM sustainable yoga mat is wider and longer than standard size mats, and the upper layer is non-slip, offering the grippiest of grips even when the sweat is pouring and you’re begging for savasana.
Fable 4MM Pro Grip Studio Yoga Mat, £69, Fable Yoga
More than just a time-teller, Apple Watch Series 6 can measure your blood oxygen level, see fitness metrics, set a bedtime routine and track your sleep. Handily, when not working out, you can also use it to call, text and get directions.
Apple Watch Series 6, £509, ao.com
Comfortable and designed to perform, the material on these is super stretchy with flattering seams that look good on the bum. They’re made from a sweat-wicking fabric to keep you dry and they have two handy pockets: a zipped one at the back and a non-zipped pocket to the side.
Power Gym Leggings, £75, Sweaty Betty
All Day Athleisure
The perfect oversized sweatshirt to take you from virtual workout to sofa. It’s an easy, boxy fit in soft organic cotton; nice details include cosy thumbholes and a dropped back hem.
After Class Sweatshirt, £65, Sweaty Betty
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