I'm a Fitness Editor, and I Recommend These 16 YouTube Workouts to Everyone I Know
YouTube workouts and I, we go wayyy back. Back before I fell in love with the gym and various fitness apps (hi, Centr), I went to YouTube for workouts I could do outside, in my garage, or even in my dorm room in college: mostly bodyweight routines that left me feeling sweaty, satisfied, and filled with endorphins. YouTube workouts are a great solution when you're short on cash or a total beginner trying to figure out how to get fit. I found some of my favorite trainers on YouTube — including Class Fitsugar trainers Jake DuPree and Raneir Pollard — all of whom taught me about the importance of engaging my core, putting max effort into every rep, and taking breaks when I need. I come back to some of these workouts from time to time and am amazed at how challenging they still are. Just goes to show that you can work out for years and still not be able to do a minute of burpees without collapsing.
In my years of YouTube-ing my fitness routine, I compiled a playlist of my ultimate favorite YouTube workouts, from full-body cardio to HIIT to ab burners. These are the routines that get me drenched time and time again but are so energizing and motivating that I keep coming back for more. Ahead, check out the best YouTube workouts — in my opinion — including my all-time favorites and some new routines I love just as much. Try them for yourself; maybe they'll make your favorites list, too.
30-Minute Les Mills Grit Cardio Workout With Nina Dobrev
Word of warning with this YouTube workout: it's probably the hardest cardio workout I've ever done. If I remember correctly, it almost reduced me to tears the first time I tried it, but it was tough to tell the tears from the copious amounts of sweat pouring off me. That being said, there's a reason I keep coming back to it, and it's not because I love the literal sprints at the midway point. The instructors are amazing, the music is on point, and the moves are seriously effective.
30-Minute Tabata-Style HIIT Workout With Raneir Pollard
Raneir Pollard is hands-down one of my favorite trainers, and this workout will show you why. He's hilarious and inspiring, and his moves are the real deal; this was one of the first dumbbell workouts I ever did, and it's still challenging when I do it today.
10-Minute Ab Workout With Boho Beautiful
Just looking at this YouTube workout video makes me shudder (in a good way?). It's only ten minutes long, but half of that time is spent in an endless plank sequence, going from hip dips to side planks to my forever kryptonite, the dreaded creepy crawler. I like doing this one before my runs for a nice core burn.
30-Minute Fat-Burning Cardio Sculpt Workout With Jeanette Jenkins
This total-body workout combines strength and cardio and makes 30 minutes feel wayyy longer than it is. Jeanette Jenkins also has some longer workouts (the hourlong one is not for the faint of heart), but I love the quickness and effectiveness of this 30-minute option.
30-Minute All-Levels Dance Cardio With Sheela Awe
Dance cardio is *always* a challenge for me (a side effect of having no sense of rhythm), but this workout with Sheela Awe is a new favorite. It's tough, but not in an "I'm losing the beat entirely" kind of way, and Awe's motivational, upbeat instruction makes it a sweaty and fun routine.
20-Minute Pilates Workout Challenge With Boho Beautiful
This full-body Pilates workout gives me an intense burn while being totally low-impact
, and it's perfect for small spaces, too. This was one of my dorm room go-tos!
45-Minute Cardio Boxing Workout With Christa DiPaolo
I distinctly remember the first time I did this 45-minute cardio boxing YouTube workout. I was absolutely drenched in sweat, lying on my bedroom carpet, and feeling exhausted, strong, and empowered. Bonus: My arms and abs were so sore the next day.
Kettlebell HIIT Workout With Heather Robertson
Bowflex gifted me an amazing adjustable kettlebell a few years ago, but I wasn't entirely sure how to use it; I was always more of a dumbbell person at the gym. I tried a bunch of kettlebell workouts, but this was my favorite. I love how it combines cardio with strength moves to hit all your muscle groups.
30-Minute Butt and Abs Pilates Workout With Jake DuPree
When you go into a workout with Jake DuPree, be prepared to laugh (because he's hilarious), but also cry (because he shows no mercy as a trainer). This Pilates-style workout focuses on abs and glutes, from bridge sequences to plank pulses that make my abs shake. My advice: smile through it and get a few extra endorphins to go with the burn.
10-Minute Core-Focused Yoga Workout With Christa Janine
I love yoga classes that really work abs, so Christa Janine's 10-minute YouTube yoga class was a must-try for me. You get plenty of plank work (ugh), followed by Superman-style, back-focused moves, and end with a lower-ab sequence that fried my core.
12 Minutes Ab Workout With Blogilates
This YouTube ab workout with Pilates instructor Cassey Ho, creator of Blogilates, is almost entirely on your back, so it's been great for me when I need a break from being on my feet — whether I'm sore from running or dealing with an injury. That doesn't mean it's not challenging; the eagle arm crunches are one of the toughest ab moves I do.
30-Minute No-Equipment Arms and Abs Workout With Nicole Steen
When I need an active recovery day, this is the YouTube workout I turn to. You get 20 minutes of tough abs and arms moves followed by ten minutes of stretching, so you leave this workout feeling strong and refreshed.
30-Minute Full-Body Strength-Training Workout With Betina Gozo
7-Minute Extreme Abs Workout With Cirque du Soleil
You'd never guess a seven-minute YouTube workout could be this intense, but it's created by Cirque du Soleil performers (who are also NASM-certified personal trainers), so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. I'm not sure I've ever finished this routine without stopping for a rest at least three minutes in. Nothing wrong with a quick break — just goes to show how tough it really is!
30-Minute Cardio Barre Workout With Jake DuPree
Yes, one more from Jake DuPree, because he really is that good. This full-body barre-style cardio class is guaranteed to exhaust you, probably within the first 15 minutes. My strategy is to just focus on DuPree's energy and commentary (how does he talk through these workouts?) to get me through the endless plank and lunge sets.
10 Minute Beautiful Butt Plump Workout With Blogilates
When I'm not in the mood for squats but want to wake up my glutes
, this is the quick YouTube workout I turn to. Get ready for fire hydrants and lots of pulses, with five minutes on each leg that feel way, way longer.