Finding motivation (never mind physical space) to commit to a workout routine has quite honestly never been more challenging. So kudos to you if you’re sticking to your schedule, and if you’re seeking some inspiration, we’ve got that in spades.
Auburn Lane is a group of women of different ages, abilities and interests, so when we decided to create this list of heart-thumping and inspiring workouts, we leveraged our diversity to ensure there was a little something for everyone here.
Núcleo Fitness– Rowing is at the core of this Leaside studio’s fitness schedule, but workouts always incorporate other strength training tools like Pilates, SpringWall and even boxing. During the first lockdown, Marlene quickly assessed what her members needed most- equipment, and quickly dismantled and safely sold and delivered her water rowers, SpringWalls and weights ensuring her core group could still access her Zoom classes and continue their workouts.
NRC + NTC – Nerd alert! I’m a data junkie. When it comes to burning it up, tracking steps or competing with others, connectivity and knowledge reign supreme. From taunts and cheers from your mates to training from Nike’s elite coaches and trainers, both Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club can put a little pep in your step and offer rich and easy to follow instructional videos for your next workout.
POPSUGAR Fitness- The sheer weight of their beefy catalogue is one reason to hit subscribe, from HIIT to body-specific videos targeting just about every major muscle group, POPSUGAR Fitness brings the heat in every form, with a rotating cast of sponsored (and not) hosts to help get you out of your seat.
Orangetheory Live- One of the things we miss the most is access to group fitness, seeing our gym friends and blowing off some steam. Orangetheory has perfected this community vibe in their Orangetheory Live classes. With your dedicated coach pushing you to earn those Splat Points, you’ll meet your friends on the mat and curse every Burpee in unison, just like the old days.
Just Dance- Seems odd to break a sweat to the Macarena, but pandemic times are strange times. The small Nintendo Switch controllers fit easily into your grip, allowing you to add a hand-weight if you’re looking to get extra points.
Katie Crewe Nutrition & Fitness -Crewe Only Memberships net you access to one of Instagram’s OG fitspo trainers, Katie Crewe, who focuses on building lean, strong muscles, and not just fitting into a certain body-ideal. Katie features dynamic and explosive workouts that use your own body weight, or if you have access to equipment, instructional videos using her signature moves. $19.99/month for unlimited access through the app store.
Move Coalition –With new videos dropping every week Move Coalition aims to deliver a better life through movement. Focusing on the union of body movement and mental health, Move Coalition features a rotating cast of super-inspiring fitness enthusiasts and trainers, with yoga flows, HIIT workouts and very hands-on how-to handstand videos that somehow make the impossible seem quite possible.
Apple Fitness+: I’m someone who needs A LOT of variety and a healthy dose of motivation. I’ve been exploring what Fitness+ has to offer and I never thought I’d say “wow, this is fun!” when it comes to working out but this is what I’ve discovered. The range is impressive with TONS of workouts for all ages and a variety of intensities and taught by actual instructors vetted globally and of varying backgrounds. Molly is pretty inspiring! Latin dance grooves with Jhon is fun and the music is awesome! And it’s not always an hour long session either! There are options for shorter sessions so you can squeeze in a bit of core strengthening, for example, into your busy schedule. Found a trainer you like? You can stick with them. New workouts added often. Instead of spending time scrolling and looking for the right workout for your 1/2 lunch break, you can filter through to cater to your at-the-moment needs. What I also love is the fun I can have with friends globally as we challenge each other daily to “close our rings”. Yes, you can also earn virtual badges for many of your accomplishments.
What is also worth looking into with Apple Fitness+ is the new ‘Time to Walk’ audio experiences – I listen to the series on my iPhone and download edon to the Apple Watch (I’m currently using the iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Series 6) and take the sessions on-the-go. I’ve really enjoyed these intimate conversations as I’m out walking the dog. Amazing personal stories that are are enhanced with personal photos and a playlist from the featured person. The roster includes Shawn Mendes, Dolly Parton, Ibram X. Kendi, Ruby Bridges, Uzo Aduba, Draymond Green and a new episode is added to the series each week. Apple Fitness+ subscription is $12.99 per month/$99 per year. Definitely worth it for their exclusive content.
Essentrics with Lauren Finkelstein: This full-body fitness class is a favourite if you’re wanting a workout with more flow in movement. Excellent for stretching, lengthening, and rebalancing for all ages. The technique encourages a toner and leaner body and helps with mobility as well as flexibility. A really good stretching workout for to help loosen tight muscles, joints and helping to improve circulation. Essentrics is a great complement to other activities. No equipment required just need space to move around. This is a bare-foot workout. Lauren is a level four trainer in Essentrics. She also has an Essentrics and Barre blended class. I’ve found myself walking taller and with less lower back pain overall. I am in for 3 classes each week. Quite honestly, this is the workout I could do everyday and it never gets boring! The classes are done live via zoom where Lauren can keep an eye for adjustments. Pay per class, special priced pack, or unlimited monthly pass.
Yoga Snacks with Bella Fit Yoga: Every moment counts and for those who are crushed for time, this beautiful yogi has created compact yoga sessions for every level. A great and positive way to begin the day or a wind-down before bedtime. Really great for any time of day when you need a good stretch and a chance to reset yourself even before heading into that online classroom or zoom meeting. Toronto-based instructor Annabelle has really thought of it all. Join in live virtual classes (several options) or request a link to follow her instructions on your own time. No experience required. Just have a comfortable and uninterrupted space for 20-ish minutes for the yoga snacks. Currently spotted a sample snack on her website. Once the weather gets better and we no longer have to lockdown, Annabelle often takes yoga and bootcamp sessions outdoors. Her twilight yoga sessions under the stars are beautiful.
Mindfulness Sessions with FitBit: It’s not always about burning calories but mindset for me to get on with my days. Paired with the Fitbit Sense the latest technology helps gain a deeper understanding of my body and overall wellness. Guided mindfulness content is offered along side FitBit workouts. I have the premium subscription to the app that offers amazing content like how to work towards getting more sleep (2 weeks), mindful eating (1 week) as examples. Mindfulness content is a favourite for me. I’ve taken time when I’ve felt anxious to take in the ‘Meditation for Stress’ with session like ‘Calm the Busy Mind’ and ‘Bring Kindess to Yourself’. I’ve also just played Relaxing Sounds in the background while I work. There is also a whole category dedicated to At-Home Training to balance out all your other fitness goals. Join in with friends for challenges to stay motivated.
Bootcamps by Jen: If you’re just starting and want to explore a bootcamp experience this is a great place to start. Bootcamps happen live via zoom and hosted by a Toronto-based trainer.The class is one hour long and includes a 40-minute circuit, a squat and push up challenge and a small core circuit. The circuit consists of 6 sets, which are two minutes each. Within each set, there are 3 exercises and then a 30 second break. After each full circuit there’s a 30 second cardio surge. Don’t be intimidated though. This is like working out with your BFF. Straight forward instructions and then go! Jen offers the right amount of encouragement (no yelling) and you can adjust to what you’re comfortable with. For example, I hate planks so I substituted with another core exercise. All good. Grab some hand weights (or cans of food) and an exercise band, if you have. Bonus you may spot her dog in the background hanging out. Cost per class is $5.
I know some people are super-motivated (lookin’ at you Libby), but as much as I love the feeling I get after working out, I can’t seem to get geared up to actually doing it. See if this rings a bell: I have had gym memberships over the years that I maybe went to a handful of times, but paid for months of membership fees (and the gym memberships are almost impossible to cancel); I have many excellent workout apps on my phone, and even though I keep updating them, if you look at my usage it’s in the minutes (single digits people); I have fitness games on several consoles that I started to play but are gathering dust. So what’s a girl who wants to stay healthy to do? I decided to try a personal trainer. Mell Barrie aka Minifitchick was exactly what I needed. When the pandemic hit, we were able to switch seamlessly to live classes over Zoom. Mell works with what you have (little to no equipment), she’s committed and dedicated to her clients tailoring workouts that match your needs and your fitness levels. In these dark, winter days, she has provided me with energy, motivation and fun workouts so that I actually feel better. The accountability of having someone else there is important for me, not just because I crave the social interaction during lockdown, but also because it motivates me to actually show up (and that’s the toughest part). Mell also offers nutrition coaching. Visit her website here for more info and to book your class!
Got any other favourite workouts you’d like to let us know about? We’re all ears! Drop us your favourites at-home virtual workouts in the comment section below!