If I’ve learned anything after running for — more than — a handful of years, it’s that running — and only running — can be really tough on your body and that cross-training is incredibly important.
But what to do if you hate the gym? After all, one of the reasons I started running in the first place was to get out into nature and enjoy the fresh air. And still, one of the reasons I’ve continued for so long is because I’m morally opposed to the sky-high cost of a gym membership in New York City when this…
…is pretty affordable. The opportunities abound when you consider all the resources we have to break a sweat with little more than a yoga mat and iPad. Sweat doesn’t have to be costly! Take advantage of options like yogadownload.com and YouTube!
I can’t say that I prefer strength training or yoga over my beloved morning runs. What I can say is that I’ve learned what I like and don’t like through trial and error, testing out various short- and long-form videos from my living room floor.
See, here I am. Hello, from my humble abode.
If you’re looking to add a bit of variety to your routine without breaking the bank or leaving your home, then check out these videos. Below, I’ve listed some of my favorites and will continue to add to the lineup as I come across more.
Insanity No. 3: Cardio Power and Resistance
Ya’ll know how much I love my living room workouts. No gyms. No attitudes. No t-shirts (what?). Insanity is filmed in such a way that you actually feel as though you’re right there, in that expansive, sweat-filled, pumped up gym, along with the other 10 to 15 or so fitness junkies. And the best part? Even they struggle to finish the movements, confirming that you are not alone in this struggle to be a beast.
Despite the high intensity, I actually find that Insanity offers a really nice combination of quick-paced movements and solid, body-conscious stretches. If you can get past the first 10 minutes (which are ostensibly the worst of video numero tres), then you can survive the rest. In fact, the last few sets of movements are peppered with 30-second water breaks — I repeat, 30-second water breaks.
Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism: Cardio Circuit 1
Been loving this lately. Clearly, since I run most days, living room cardio isn’t exactly a priority. But this is just a great time. It’s fun and good for you.
Jillian Michaels: Cardio Circuit 2
I spoke worlds of Jillian’s Cardio Circuit Pt. 1. This one, I didn’t love as much, but it’s a pretty solid workout either way. Unlike part 1, this video is focused on traditional plyometrics — burpees, squats and such.
Ballet and Pilates Fusion
I started up with these videos a couple of months ago and have been taking inspiration from them since. In short, I do the first halves of each video 1 and video 2. Try the videos on your own to learn whether you like them in their entirety, or if you prefer to skip around like I do. I also use 8-pound weights, as opposed to the lighter ones recommended.
Exhale Core Fusion Pilates Plus
Of all the Exhale Core Fusion videos, this one is my favorite — especially when compared to the arms and core workout. I find Pilates Plus especially great for runners, both for strengthening the glutes and muscles around the piriformis as well as stretching you head to toe.
Any WRFG regular knows how much I love this video, despite its antiquated feel. Tip: Try it with weights. I like to hold a couple of 8-pounders in my hands to add an element of ouch.
What can I say, I just can’t get enough of the instructor’s spandex onesie. If you like 8-minute abs, then you’ll just heart this one too.
Tara Stiles: Morning Yoga for Flexibility
This speedy video was like a 7-minute stretch-a-thon. Morning workout lover? Then you’ll adore this.
Tara Stiles: Hard Core Yoga Routine
Some of Tara’s core-centric videos tend to focus too much on crunches and the likes. This one incorporated far more planks and traditional yoga poses than usual, which I really enjoyed.
Okay, so I had major location envy (my apartment does not, unfortunately, look like this zen urban rooftop). Either way, I’d definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for a sequence that blends vigorous poses with restful breaks.
Tara Stiles: Total Body Sweat and Tone
The title says it all. You’ll sweat. You’ll tone. And with a little luck, you’ll become sexy or something.
Tara Stiles: Yoga for a Strong Core
Did I mentioned I love core work? This short ab video is well-suited for the AM hours. Just try not to get jealous of Tara’s awesome hot pink top/black bootie short combination, or her in-your-face bangin’ physique.
Tara Stiles Total Body Yoga
Another awesome video from the feel good queen. Even her voice and demeanor are soothing. This total body session will have you stretched and strong in no time.
Tara Stiles Core Strength Beginner Yoga
I’m nowhere near flexible enough for this, but maybe if I keep at it, I’ll get there one day? Unlikely. Anyway, straight legs or not, this is a great little core video. The yoga is definitely for the beginner. But when targeting my core, all I really want are elements of yoga; I’m more focused on the simple core moves that I now feel comfortable integrating into my own personal ab (I use this term lightly) routine.
Tara Stiles Morning Routine l The Yoga Solution
This video is just what you need to wake up tired, hating-you-for-wearing-heels legs. It incorporates lots of lunges mixed with upper body stretching. In each pose, Tara encourages you to take time to move your body from side to side. Stillness is not an option.
Tara Stiles: Yoga to Get Your Morning Moving
A bit more on the meditative side, Tara’s “Get Your Morning Moving” sequence helps you roll out of bed and right onto the mat. It’s ideal if you’re looking to calm your mind and, as she puts it, “keep everything clear.”
I’m always looking to add to my repertoire Leave a comment below with your favorites, anything you think I should try, or with a review of these videos of your own!