Can't Get Motivated to Exercise Alone? Set Up a Video Chat Group Workout — Here's How

Many of us are missing the motivation that group fitness classes provide. Whether it's CrossFit, Orangetheory Fitness, barre, yoga, or Zumba, if you're feeling a little too socially distant, with a little creativity and technology, you can recreate those group classes at home. Just grab your workout buddies, hop on a video chat, and sweat it out together with these tips.

Gather Your Group

Get in touch with a few of the people you used to work out with and see if they'd be into doing a group workout video chat. Even if you only know one or two people, chances are, they'll know one or two more, and so on. Decide how big you want the group to be — even working out with one other person could offer enough motivation and accountability. You don't all need to be on the same fitness level since you can make modifications, and in fact, having someone who's highly motivated and excited can help push everyone else.

Nail Down the Logistics

Decide how you want to video chat, whether through Zoom, Google Hangouts, or even FaceTime. Be mindful of what platform you're using and that everyone has access to it, whether on their phone, tablet, or computer. Note that some services, such as Zoom, have free options, but will end the call after 40 minutes. You can also sign up for Zoom Pro for a monthly or annual fee. Make sure you are all able to be on the same platform for the duration of the workout. One perk of using Google Hangouts or Zoom is that one person can share their screen, so if you are all following along to the same workout video, that's a way to make sure you are all on track at the same time.

Next, agree on one day and time that you'll all set aside for your group workout. It might help to designate the same time on the same days of the week, such as Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6 a.m. Having a routine planned out will make it more likely to happen. Text each other the night before just to make sure you're all still on board!

Workout Tips

One way to do the workout is to have one person lead it and decide on the exercises, work times, and rest times. Or you can have each person on the chat be in charge of leading the group for five minutes — if there are four of you, that's a 20-minute workout. Just have someone in charge of monitoring the time to keep things moving along. The five minutes can be anything - ab exercises, squat and lunge variations, yoga, meditation, jogging in place, burpees, imaginary jump rope, dancing — whatever!

If no one feels up to leading, you can choose an online video workout and just follow along simultaneously in your homes, or have one person share their screen on the video chat, if possible. These bodyweight videos or these yoga videos would be perfect since not everyone has equipment. You could also share and follow along to these printable bodyweight workouts, which makes it easier to vent chat while sweating together. And, if you all have two different devices you can use to chat and then to also log on to social media to follow along to a workout, trainers and studios frequently post live workouts on Instagram Live. Check out POPSUGAR Fitness's Instagram account for live workouts streamed daily.

Make It Fun!

This is a stressful time for everyone, so applaud yourselves for making this commitment and for showing up to offer support and encouragement. We have enough to worry about, so this 20-to-60 minutes together should be enjoyable! Choose fun music to listen to — you can even share playlists on Spotify — and make the workouts challenging yet lighthearted. Maybe now's a good time to try a different workout. If you're used to hardcore strength training with weights, maybe try some upbeat dance cardio to make you smile. Don't beat yourself up if the workout isn't as intense as you're used to. Be proud that you're taking this time for self-care and appreciate your effort.

Make It Positive

While everyone is warming up, you can each take turns sharing one positive thing that happened to you the day before. It'll set the tone for the workout and help take your mind off something that might be worrying you. And you can end with a cooldown where everyone shares three things they're grateful for. This is a great habit to get into as it sets the tone for the rest of your day.