Millions of people have gym memberships, but that doesn’t mean each person is taking full advantage of it. Research from Finder shows Americans spend $1.8 billion on unused gym memberships each year.¹ If you’re one of those people, consider canceling your membership and working out at home. You can effectively burn calories, gain muscle and lose weight by following some easy-to-learn exercises.
These workouts are really customizable, allowing you to create your own routine or even make it up as you go along simply by following the format. You can also look up entire classes on YouTube and follow along an instructor for free.
Here are three workouts to try at home.
1. HIIT Workout
High intensity interval training, otherwise known as HIIT, is one of the best full-body workouts you can do at home. It doesn’t require any gym equipment and you start feeling the burn only a few minutes into the session.
HIIT workouts are short bursts of vigorous exercise. It’s a cardio session that pushes you to your limits for 20 to 90 seconds at a time, depending on your chosen level of intensity.² Each set usually consists of three to five exercises with no break in between, then you can take a minute or two break between sets.
What’s great about HIIT workouts is they’re customizable to fit your level of experience and desired timeframe. You can choose to do three sets repeating the same exercise to focus on a certain part of the body, or do three different sets of exercise for a full-body workout.
There are tons of exercises you can do. Some workouts you can implement into your HIIT routine include:
- Squat jumps, sumo squats,
- Side lunges
- Russian twists
You can find beginner, moderate and advanced HIIT workout classes to follow along free on YouTube. To start seeing results, implement a HIIT workout into your routine at least three times per week.
This is another high energy workout you can do at home. It’s a form of HIIT workout because it requires maximum effort and has been proven to help people achieve fitness results, but it follows different time intervals.
Tabata is a four minute workout that involves 20 seconds of exercise followed by a 10 second rest.³ This is typically repeated eight times resulting in a four minute workout. Unlike other HIIT workouts which are more flexible with time frames, Tabata is authentic because of this unique 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off structure.
You can do more than one four-minute session to give yourself a solid workout. This is a good way to sweat if you’re short on time or want to give your all during a shorter exercise. Either way, you’ll be sure to burn calories and build muscle.
3. Dance Cardio
Your gym might have Zumba classes scheduled every week, but you can do dance workout classes anytime at home. Fitness dance routines are full body workouts without the burpees, push ups or other traditional moves. Dance cardio is a lot more fun because you can dance to your favorite music and forget that you’re exercising in the first place.
Here are some YouTube channels where you can find dance cardio workouts.
One of the most popular workouts you’ll find from POPSUGAR Fitness is dance workouts.⁴ They take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes to complete and are choreographed to hip hop, Latin, pop music and more. To try one of the POPSUGAR Fitness workout classes, you can download the app for free or visit the YouTube channel.
This fitness YouTuber creates dances to popular songs that will make you sweat.⁵ Some of the videos are 15 minute workouts to 90’s, 2000’s TikTok music and more. She also uploads single song videos with popular music by Harry Styles, Post Malone, Britney Spears and more. Choose your favorite songs, make a playlist and follow along for a personalized workout.
If you’re looking to combine Tabata with some dance choreography, then check out the YouTube channel Emkfit.⁶ Emily has collaborated with other YouTubers and created 20 minute dance classes of her own. Workout to throwback music that will have you repeat two dance moves throughout one song, learning new choreography for each song. It sounds easy, but you’ll quickly learn it’s an effective way to workout.
Find More Free At-Home Workout Online
Paying for a gym membership or equipment isn’t necessary if you start doing HIIT, tabata and dance cardio workouts. You can save money by canceling your gym membership and doing these easy-to-learn workouts at home.
Remember that if you choose to do more intense workouts like HIIT or tabata, don’t do them consecutive days in a row. Your body needs a day to recover from intense workouts with either a rest day or doing a lower impact workout.
Search online for free apps and YouTube videos to guide you through workouts. Fitness experts and gyms provide tons of resources of workout guides, live classes and YouTube playlists that you can take advantage of with a quick search online.