The best online fitness classes: From body pump to yoga and ballet

It’s cold outside – and dark and damp –  but that is no excuse for sidestepping your fitness routine

Siobhan Norton
Friday 23 October 2015 12:52
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Let’s face it, winter is no friend to the best-laid fitness resolutions. As the evenings get darker and the autumn chill sets in, it’s easy to pack in the exercise regime along with your sandals. By the time we’ve battled home from work in the rain, there’s no way we’re going back out in the damp darkness for a run or a walk. But before you pull on your slippers and reach for the hot chocolate, the answer to all your fitness hurdles (and excuses) are at the touch of a button.

Online classes are now available in everything from high intensity interval training (HIIT) to dancing to yoga, with modifications for all fitness levels, ways to track your progression and even feedback from your trainer. What’s more, chances are it’ll work out much cheaper than a gym membership and some online classes are even free. Plus you’ll save a fortune on gymwear – no one will judge you if you’re doing star jumps in your jammies (except maybe the cat). Here are some of the best options on the net.

Best for ballet barre: Barrecore

This London-based studio has gained a cult following, with chignoned fashion editors jostling for a spot at the barre. Barrecore says its classes ‘‘melt fat’’ and now everyone around the country can take part in the ballet-based body-sculpting classes. Rent one video for £4 for 24 hours, or get unlimited classes for £25 a month. barrecore.co.uk/online-classes

Best for yoga: Movement for Modern Life

If your toes seem to be just too far away, but you don’t have the time or bravery to join a yoga class, this could be just the introduction you need. This beautiful site has yoga classes to suit every skill level, time of day and even mood, so whether you’re bounding with energy and fancy a rocket yoga class, or prefer to use it to wind down, there is something for you. The site offers a two-week free trial, followed by £15.99 per month, or £131.88 per year. (movementformodernlife.com)

Best for star quality: The Tracy Anderson Method

You may have already heard of Anderson, or noticed her flanking the fittest celebrities in Hollywood. Her method has been hailed as miraculous by many and is available in an online version where you can participate in live classes alongside her clients, as well as additional training. Quite possibly the closest you’ll ever get to rubbing shoulders with Gwyneth. It costs $90 (£59) per month. (tracyanderson.com)

Best for bringing the gym home: Les Mills On Demand

If you’re a member of a gym, chances are you’ve done a Les Mills class or two. BodyPump (weights), BodyBalance (yoga), Sh’Bam (dance) – they’re all Les Mills branded and are taught by trainers in gyms around the country. Now they’re all available online to suit your schedule, with carefully selected instructors and music to motivate you through each routine. A 10-day free trial is followed by a monthly subscription of £9.95. (lesmills.com)

Best for price: NHS Fitness Studio

If you’re just dipping your toe into the world of fitness, or don’t know if you want to commit to a monthly package just yet, this is a great option. Run by NHS Choices, it offers free classes from bellydancing to bedtime yoga, and even a 12-week plan to help you set some long-term goals. (nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio)

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