Let’s be honest — a gym membership isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Sharing workout space with a ton of people just doesn’t appeal to some of us. Thankfully, there is a whole empire of at-home workout videos specifically for those that prefer to conduct their sweat sessions from the comfort of their own home. It can, however, be difficult navigating through the many DVDs, YouTube videos, and equipment infomercials to find out which workouts get results — and which are a waste of your time.
Lucky for you, we’ve done some of the research for you. Here are some at-home workouts that totally work, and some that just flat out don’t.
Doesn’t work: Beachbody
On the surface, the expanding Beachbody empire seems like a legit way to get in great shape in record time. But the Beachbody programs, much like Max Workouts, aren’t suitable for beginners, seniors, or anyone who isn’t already at the fitness level of a professional athlete. Plus, it’s a big money pit, with reports constantly surfacing about customers’ credit cards being wrongfully charged.
An at-home workout should definitely not be costing you an arm and a leg.
Works: Yoga With Adriene
Part of what makes Adriene Mishler’s YouTube channel such a success is that it makes yoga accessible to every age, shape, and experience level. And in addition to getting millions of people to practice yoga in their homes, she also gets her followers to see results.
Her videos have different themes and address different parts of both the body and everyday life, so there’s something to help everyone meet their goals. One Forbes writer detailed that she “noticed more strength and flexibility in the body but perhaps more valuable is that I am much more attuned and aware.” Getting results like that can get even the harshest yoga critic into warrior pose.
Doesn’t work: Max Workouts
Like many other at-home workouts out there, this 90-day program boasts a rigorous regimen of high-intensity exercises to get you in the most ridiculous shape of your life. But Shin Ohtake’s Max Workout isn’t the get-fit solution most folks are looking for. For starters, the difficult program isn’t suitable for anyone who isn’t already super fit. Plus, the overly-priced program also requires you to have weights available at home, or else you will have to perform these exercises at a gym.
Isn’t the whole point of the “at-home” workout program to avoid the gym?
Former NFL player Tony Gonzalez is a personal trainer, so it’s no wonder this program has piqued the interest of people looking to workout from home. But having a superstar instructor isn’t the only reason why Fitbit’s fitness app is such a success. Fitstar has made waves for its ability to tailor workouts to your needs and know how hard to push you. One of its newest upgrades gives the app the ability to recommend new workouts for you based on the activities that are tracked by your Fitbit watch.
Additionally, the app can be used on a phone or tablet — perfect for anyone who is traveling and doesn’t want to bother with a hotel gym.
Doesn’t work: 6 Second Abs
For the most part, fitness contraptions promoted by goofy infomercials are a little too good to be true. Such is the case for the 6 Second Abs machine, which claims to give you a ripped midsection in no time flat. Of course, there is no way to perform an effective ab workout in six seconds. Plus, this odd contraption doesn’t have the power to zap belly fat — it only works your abdominal muscles.
You will have to integrate core exercises, more cardio, and change your diet if you really want a trimmer midsection.
Works: Anything by Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda has been the fitness spirit animal of many women for decades now. And that’s because the actress and exercise queen’s anthology of at-home workout videos really do produce results. From her original workout video in 1982 to the Fit & Strong video she’s done in her 70s, Fonda has been giving the world a great reason to exercise in the comfort of their living rooms, and feel the burn in the process.
Need more proof that her workouts work? Look at Fonda herself — she is in the most impeccable shape.
Works: Old School New Body
In the modern internet era, just about every workout video out there has several pages online that are dedicated to customer critiques. Quite often, a video receives more negative feedback than positive. But when weighing the pros and cons of the Old School New Body at-home workout, you’ll find that there are far more positives.
Steve and Becky Holman’s fitness regimen mixes fat-burning exercises with diet tips to give an optimal weight-loss plan. The program, called the F4X Method, is great for people 40 and above. (Although people in their 30s suffering from joint pain or recovering from injury can also benefit.) It is an all-around lifestyle change that gives you both the exercise and meal-planning you need to truly transform your body for the better.