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YouTube Workouts: Bringing the gym to you!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

I’m sure I’m not alone in promising myself every Sunday evening that next week is the week that I commit to my relationship with the gym. Gym membership is a big commitment as a student, and it’s a time in our lives when most of us struggle to commit to a decision on a pizza topping.

Some days we just don’t have the energy to endure the animal kingdom with the alpha males in their wife beaters emphasising their disproportionate bodies, and the girls in their padded sports bras next to the mirrors admiring themselves. This social phenomenon is exhausting even without the exercise element.

So if you’re struggling to drag yourself to the gym on a miserably cold evening, then I’ve found a way to bring the gym to you. I’ve searched the depths of YouTube for exercise videos, sifting out the annoying, the amateur, and the quite frankly absurd, to present you with the best options I could find – now there really is no reason not to work out!

General work out channels

XHIT Daily is an exercise channel that releases different workouts, well, daily! You don’t always want to do the same routine, so a channel like this can be great for variety in workouts and trainers. The best thing about this channel is the accessibility- their home page has an amazing layout that allows you to choose a workout based on an idealised celeb’s legs, core strength training or a variety of quick targeted sessions for different muscles or general cardio. I highly recommend it!


  • Different workouts to target different muscle areas or cardio depending on your mood.
  • Reasonable for beginners- you can be selective in your videos, with a vast amount of their videos averaging around 10 minutes long the pain won’t last too long. You can gradually build up the number of workouts you do in line with your fitness.
  • Variety of trainers so you don’t associate the pain of exercise with one person. If you tend to get bored of watching the same person you’ll appreciate the change.
  • No props needed – don’t need to splash out on any fancy equipment as they utilise simple objects like chairs. If you come across a couple of dumbbell videos and don’t want to invest then there are plenty of other options.
  • They work out with you! For me this is crucial- there is nothing I hated more than my PE teaching yelling at me to run faster whilst she crammed her podgy face with food. If I have to suffer through your work out at least suffer with me!
  • Appealing work outs- my favourites are ‘Burn 150 calories in 8 minutes’ and ‘The best Victoria secret ab work out’- true or not, you’ve got my attention!


  • Be prepared for a lot of talking- these girls aren’t short of the motivational speeches so if you’re not a fan of some jibber-jabber whilst you sweat maybe look for alternatives
  • This is a fantastic channel if you can excuse some of the corny moments- just skip past the dramatic music as a trainer eats a doughnut- these moments are few and far between, so as long as is stays this way they can be forgiven.


If you’re like me and trying yoga appeals to you but you’re not a natural acrobat and just not ready to embarrass yourself in front of the pros, then Yoga with Adriene is the one for you. This channel that offers a 30 day yoga challenge that starts off with the basics. Adriene also offers a variety of other workouts if you’re more of a pro.


  • Literally takes you from beginning, no experience of any sort needed, starting from the most basic sitting positions – if you find the first few too slow paced then just skip a few ahead!
  • She teaches you progressive techniques so you don’t need to be the most agile of people.
  • Options are offered for positions so that you can make your work out personal and suitable to your ability.
  • Her channel offers plenty of yoga workouts- the 30 day challenge is just one series of work outs- she does more specialised workouts if you’re in the mood for something more specific for example ’yoga for weight loss’.


  • Be prepared for a LOT of breathing.
  • Apparently introspection is a huge part of yoga so there is a lot of contemplating of your inner feelings. I’ve never thought so much during exercise!
  • Again – she’s a bit of a talker, and an American one at that y’all. If you want a silent yoga experience then put the videos on mute!
  • They are quite long videos per session – around 30 minutes- but yoga is a state of mind so be prepared to find the time.

4 minute workouts

If your excuse is that you don’t have the time to exercise, then I’m afraid you’re going to have to find a new excuse pronto. Brad Gouthro has created a series of 4 minute work outs on his channel that will have you rapidly working up a sweat; there is a reason why these work outs are only 4 minutes!


  • His channel is comprised of workout videos and cooking shows so you can get tips for a more general healthy lifestyle.
  • He’s got a fantastic body if a bit of eye candy is what motivates you.


  • He films a lot of these work outs on the beach so the sound of the wind makes it harder to hear.
  • His videos don’t account for the timings! For me this just kills it. You’ll have to time your own intervals and do a lot of pausing to follow the work out. I would advise noting down the exercises and doing the workout afterwards whilst listening to your own music because exercising alongside the video is beyond frustrating.


Edited by Amelia Bauer





Harriet Dunlea is Campus Correspondent and Co-Editor in Chief of Her Campus Nottingham. She is a final year English student at the University of Nottingham. Her passion for student journalism derives from her too-nosey-for-her-own-good nature.