Five Effective Full Length Work Outs (For Free) On YouTube

Getting to the gym can be a challenge. Going out for to bike or run can be even more of one if you live in areas of the globe that experience winter.

I’m constantly looking for effective (free) workouts on YouTube. I guess you could say it is one of my favorite past times. And, on this site I have always generously shared my picks with you.

So, here are my latest favorites. Honestly, I’m having trouble understanding why these instructors are giving away their workouts for free, but they are so ENJOY!

Tracie Long TLF Focus Series

I have to admit I just recently became familiar with Tracie Long. Her workouts are excellent for any fitness level and all are available on YouTube at no cost. Because there are so many good ones I had trouble deciding which one to post on the site but, ultimately chose the Tracie Long TLF Focus Series Vol 5 – Break Through.

Don’t let this seemingly simple workout that uses only a 6 pound medicine ball deceive you. Its low impact/high intensity moves kick in way before it’s over. How does she do the entire workout on that stage without falling off the side?

Equipment needed: one weighted ball (that will kick your you-know-what).

Chalene Extreme Intervals

It doesn’t get better than Chalene’s Extreme workouts. This one starts out using a big ball in the warm up, and then goes to cardio intervals that require no equipment. The workout alternates between cardio and strength intervals for a 40 minute fat-burning workout. As always, Chalene’s enthusiasm is infectious. Be ready to get your sweat on!

Equipment needed: Large ball, weights or resistance band.

Melissa Bender Cardio Body Sculpt HIIT

Melissa Bender is the real deal. She offers every type of work out from “Improve Your Rear View” to “Dancer Body” and boot camp. They are all intense but you can pace yourself and lower the impact on some of the moves as needed.

I’m sharing the 15 Minute Cardio Body Sculpt HIIT: No Equipment workout that was posted on her YouTube channel earlier this month. Melissa does most of her workouts using an interval timer (including this one). This is a tough workout so modify as needed.

Equipment needed:  yoga mat (optional).

Gym Ra – 30 Minute Power Workout With Dumbbells

This workout focuses on toning and strength. The instructor appears to be using three or four pound weights and is working through full range of motion on each of the exercises. For people that have been working out with weights, five or six pound dumbbells would be even more effective. Works upper and lower body. Check out more workouts at

Equipment needed: Light weights.

Fitness Blender 32 Minute Home Cardio Workout With No Equipment

Fitness Blender has been delivering fitness videos for several years so if this one doesn’t suit you there are oodles on YouTube or the Fitness Blender web site to choose from. I like the setting of this workout and it appeals to a variety a levels. It’s not over-the-top, but is a good low-impact cardio workout.

Equipment needed: none

I hope you find a workout here that you like.

What’s Your Favorite YouTube Workout?

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Are You Getting Enough Exercise? The Answer Might Surprise You.

Is Your Sedentary Lifestyle Making You Feel Drained, Tired and Bored?

Too much sitting, whether it be at the office or on the couch in front of the TV, not only gives you’re a bigger, flatter bottom, it messes with your metabolism making it harder for you to lose weight and keep it off.

A review in the Journal of Applied Physiology says that inactivity makes you insulin resistant and raises your lipid levels. These two factors, alone or combined, can put you at a greater risk for type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease. The Journal also says that prolonged periods of sitting make it harder for your body to burn fat and may even encourage fat storage.

So we know that sitting too much is bad for us. That’s not new news. If you’re someone who shrugs your shoulders and thinks there is nothing you can do about it because you sit at a job all day and don’t have a lot of options for physical activity before or after work, hang on. There are some things you could be doing every day to get more activity in.

And, for people who already do structured workouts three or four days a week, moving more throughout the day is good for you too. In fact, some research shows that sitting all day undoes the benefits of that 45 minute HIIT workout you did this morning at the gym.

Doing These Five Things Every Day Can Improve Your Health

Wall Push-Ups – A quick, simple exercise that you can do anywhere gets you out of your chair and increases blood flow to your extremities. Stand facing a wall, put both hands on the wall about shoulder width apart. Press into the wall, then push away from the wall. Do 12 reps.

Wall Squat – Stand with your back against the wall and lower down to a sitting position. Hold the squat (with your back against the wall) for at least 30 seconds. Repeat six times.

Chair Squat – Stand up from your chair, then sit back until you’re almost touching the seat. Hover for two seconds without touching then stand back up. Repeat 12 times.

Move For Three – After 60 minutes of sitting stand and move around for three minutes. Marching in place while doing shoulder rotations or arm circles counts and will get kick up your metabolism for the next hour.

Leg Extensions – Sitting on the edge of a chair, lift and lower one leg. Repeat 12 times on each side.

Try to do these exercises everyday for two weeks. Keep track of how many you do and how you feel. See if the short activity breaks help you be more productive give your more energy throughout the day.

Get Creative

There are tons of other exercises that you can do at work and at home. Get creative and come up with a list of your own. Be sure to add some resistance to your exercises. Keep a light set of dumbbells in your desk that you can pull out during the day for a set of bicep curls or shoulder presses. Using light dumbbells, weighted balls and elastic tubing will help you maintain, and even increase, your muscle mass over time.

For more tips on staying active in a sedentary world, click here.

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Five Killer Butt Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Sitting all day on your tush can take a toll on its shape. And, for most people, finding time to go to the gym can be problem. Below are five butt workouts that you can do at home.  The best part is they are all around 10 minutes in length so they are easy to fit in to even the busiest schedule:

1. Best Beginner Workout for Butt & Thighs from GymRa

The pace in this workout is slow, but the exercises are effective and include enough repetitions of each exercise to achieve results. The exercises also promote balance and incorporate core training. This 11-minute video is excellent for the person that’s too busy to workout.

2. The Butt-Lifting Workout That’s Better Than Spanx from FitSugar

FitSugar never disappoints and this workout is one of my favorites.  Celebrity Tracey Mallett leads this 10-minute workout that will get your butt and legs in shape. Can you say pulse, pulse, pulse? Ouch!

3. 5 Best Butt Exercises to Sculpt a Cute Booty from Blogilates

Blogilates is one of the most popular workout sites on the web. In this workout Casey Ho proves that it takes more than squats when it comes to getting a firm, cute booty. None of these exercises require any equipment.

 4. The Kim Kardashian Butt Workout

Fitness trainer Rebecca-Louise shows you how you can get a Kim Kardashian-style butt in just 11 minutes a day. Rebecca does use a set of light dumbbells in this video. You could start with a five pound set and work your way up. I love this workout because at 5:57 minutes Rebecca does my absolute favorite glute exercise. Grab your weights and get to work!

5. Butt Workout 1 Tone Up: 30 Day Butt Lift from Be Fit

Be Fit has a 30-day butt lift program and this workout is the first of the series. The workout starts out with squats and lunges that use a chair then moves on to more targeted glute exercises.  The 30 day butt lift program is good for all fitness levels.

These five workouts provide you with different options for five days of the week so you’ll never have the chance to get bored. I’ve done all of these workouts and I hope you’ll try them too.

Which one is your favorite?

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What You Can Learn From Shaun T: You Can Do This!

“Every person has a unique gift or talent that they are meant to share with the world. That is why you are on this planet . . . . because you have something to offer that makes everyone better. Let your light shine today and every day. Because without your light, the work would be dark.” – Shaun T

Flickr Photo by: Vital Worldwide

Flickr Photo by: Vital Worldwide

Shaun is known for his big guns and ripped abs. He’s also got a big heart and a passion for helping other people be the absolute best they can be. He’s worked hard for his fitness icon stardom and had to overcome some challenges to get where he is today.

Before Shaun became known a fitness icon for Beach Body’s Hip Hop Abs and Insanity series he was a dance choreographer in New Jersey. In a podcast for NPR’s “My Big Break” series, Shaun says at the time, he was in an abusive relationship with a partner that was not supportive of his career.

He got a call from a friend in California that encouraged him to come out to Los Angeles for a vacation. While in L.A. he auditioned for a new dance agency. Out of the hundreds of people auditioning for the spots only seven men and five women made the cut. Shaun was one of them and was told that he would be contacted in a couple of weeks if they were interested in him.

Shaun tells NPR, “I was at the laundry mat, with my pocket full of quarters, when I got the phone call that the agency wanted me to move to LA to pursue a career in dance.”

Shaun T Meets Beach Body

“Believe it or not, Insanity is very difficult for me to do!” — Shaun T

He moved to L.A. to lead workout dance classes. In not time his classes were full.  That’s when Beach Body discovered him and set his iconic career in motion.

Shaun’s first Beach Body project was Hip Hop Abs, then Rockin’ Body followed by Focus T25 and finally, Insanity. It’s amazing to hear him admit that Insanity is difficult for him to do! He goes on to say that when people that are new to Insanity do the workout with him for the first timey they notice he’s out of breath too.

In October 2012, Shaun Thompson married his best friend and became Shaun Blokker. He made a choice to get rid of the negative influences in his life and go after his dream.

“People, you have no idea. I understand why you feel weak and why you might be not as confident as you want to be,” he says. “All you have to do is tell yourself you can do this, and I know that it’s possible.”

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Collage Video is Back With a New Look and More Features

Not only is Collage Video back, it’s been given a much needed face lift and has some added features I think you’ll like.

In April I wrote that Collage Video was going off-line. Without a going-out-of business sale yet! But it is back and running and it has been updated with a more dynamic and engaging design.

Collage Video

Collage Video is the number one site for reviewing and selling workout videos.  My favorite feature  – being able to preview clips of the videos before you buy – is still intact. I’ve been introduced to some of my favorite instructors and found the best workouts for me using the preview tool.

Instructors like Kelly Coffey Meyer:

Kelley Coffey Meyer

And workouts like After Burn with Cathe Friedrich:

Cathe Friedrick's After Burn

Plus, Collage Video now has three active blogs: Angie’s Corner, Ask Gilad and the Collage Video Blog.

Ask Gilad

BayView Entertainment

Collage Video is now a division of BayView Entertainment. BayView Entertainment, LLC, is America’s number one independent distributor of fitness, wellness, and special-interest DVD releases. BayView has forged relationships with the top names in fitness and special-interest, including Pranamaya and Yoga Journal Magazine as well as performers and producers as diverse as Kathy Smith, Gilad, Total Immersion, 8 Minute Abs, Scott Cole, Joyce Vedral and many others.

The Collage Video website operates via a new design and faster web host with improved security and technical capabilities.

In a recent press release BayView Entertainment said it will leverage its buying power and industry insight, as well as its own deep catalog of fitness and wellness titles, to re-energize the Collage website with an even greater selection of fitness.

No Excuses

There are still plenty of reasons to have a good selection of at-home workouts in your possession. The main one is they are excuse busters. It’s never too cold, too hot, too early or too late for a workout in your own home. They fit your schedule, and the best selection is at Collage.

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Fitness Tip Of The Week: Increase Upper Body Strength With This One Move

Most people don’t use the muscles in their arms, chest and back nearly as much as they should.

If you go for a brisk walk or a quick run that’s great for your heart and will help keep the legs strong, but these common workouts only use the muscle groups in one half of your body.

Unless you’re doing specific strength exercises to prevent muscle loss, the upper body gets weak.  The muscles begin to atrophy and day-to-day activities become more of a challenge.  Eventually you’ll find that you look more frail and aren’t able to stand up as straight as you’d like.  This is the result of both muscle and bone loss.


Basic Push-Up (Flickr photo by mewall82)

You can turn that upper body muscle and bone loss around with one simple exercise. The push-up. When you do a push-up you’re working your shoulders, chest, triceps, biceps, and core.

How To Do A Basic Push-Up 

There are a number of ways to execute a push-up (we’ll talk more about that in a minute) but the same, basic rules apply to all of them.

1. Get down on the floor on your hands and toes. Position the arms so that they are wider than your shoulders.

2.  Slowly lower your upper body down to the floor. Make sure you keep your back flat and your core muscles tight. It’s important that the body stays in a straight line throughout the exercise.  If you’re able to check out your form in a mirror, that’s a good way to make sure you’re doing it right.

3.  Once your nose is almost down to the floor, slowly push back up to starting position.

4.  Try to be aware of your breathing so that you’re inhaling on the way down to the floor, and exhaling on the way up.

Push-Up Tips

If you haven’t done push-ups for a while just one will get you started.  Rest and then do one more.  Do as many as you can each day and don’t get discouraged if you can’t do many at one time.

You get the same benefits if you break up your sets and do them at different times of the day. For example, rather than trying to do 20 push-ups at a time, do 10 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon.  Make it a goal to increase the number of push-ups that you do each week.

As you progress you can add some variety to your push-ups by placing your hands in a staggered position on the floor, decrease or increase the distance between your hands, or put your feet on a box or bench that is slight higher than your hands for a decline push-up (pictured below).

Decline Push Up

Decline push up (flickr photo by shawnbrowntraining)

At first push-ups might seem hard  but in no time your upper body strength will increase and you’ll be able to handle the workload without resting.

The increase in muscle mass that you’ll gain from doing push-ups and squats every day is crucial to maintaining precious muscle and bone mass and will help keep those extra pounds away.  Plus adding muscle to your frame will improve your body composition so you’ll look and feel better.

Still Need Convincing?

New research from the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that people that have more muscle mass live longer. One of the doctors associated with the project said that instead of worrying about weight or body mass index we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.

What’s your favorite upper body strengthening exercise?

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Good Bye To Collage Video. You Will Be Missed.

Collage Video is out of business.  The exercise DVD company that has been reviewing and selling at-home workouts for more than 20 years has suspended operations.

I have shared links to workout DVDs at Collage Video many times on this site.  In fact, the first indication I had that Collage Video was no longer in operation was a notification I received alerting me to several  broken links on my site.  All of the broken links led to Collage

The best thing about Collage Video was the video clips and reviews.

The best thing about Collage Video was the video clips and reviews.

Over A Thousand DVDs Reviewed

Collage Video offered something unique to consumers with the thirteen hundred plus workout DVDs it had for sale.  You could browse through the site, watch snippets of the workouts and read detailed reviews before you made a selection.  I used this site a lot to find the perfect workout for friends and co-workers.

What I liked most about Collage Video was being able to see the workout trailers for so many DVDs.  I discovered instructors that I might not have known about – Patrick Goudeau for example – if it hadn’t been for Collage Video.  I’m guessing the instructors that were highlighted on the site will miss that exposure.

Collage Video indicates that their reason for closing is because they are not able to compete with larger companies. Do they mean Amazon?

That might be one reason, but no doubt the free workouts channels like Be Fit, that can be found at YouTube have affected their sales as well. Why purchase a DVD when you have access for free?

Add to that the fact that most of the instructors that had DVDs for sale at Collage Video have their own web sites where customers can download the video, receive it instantaneously, and not spend money on shipping costs.  Collage Video also did not support affiliate marketing which may have resulted in a loss of consumer awareness and missed sales for their products.

As much as I liked visiting Collage, I have to admit that I sensed they were struggling to keep up with the current trends in today’s market.

What Now?

Collage Video is still alive and well in the YouTube archives so you can view short clips of all the videos that they had for sale on the site. You’ll just have to purchase them somewhere else

If you do a Google search for Collage you’ll land on a splash page that indicates the company still has plans in the works for a different operation but there’s no hint as to what that might be. I’ll be anxious to see if they will be able to re-invent themselves so that they can become relevant again in today’s market.

The official announcement from Collage Video.

The official announcement from Collage Video.

Were you a customer and fan of Collage Video?

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Fitness Tip Of The Week: 100 Squats A Day. Everyday.

You can get big results from doing 100 Squats A Day. Everyday.

Sometimes just doing one simple thing can make a big difference.  It’s easy to get into the habit of thinking that if you’ don’t have at least 30 minutes to work out you might as well forget it.

No true.

A lot of days I’m busy too but I’ve decided that I am going to add 100 squats a day to whatever it is I’m already doing.

There are a lot of reasons to add 100 squats a day.  The main one is to look better in jeans and a swim suit. Bikini season will be here before you know and, I don’t know about you, but my body isn’t ready.

Plus, doing 100 squats a day is easy.  It only takes a few minutes, you don’t need any special equipment or a gym membership.  You can do them in your bathroom while you’re brushing your teeth in the morning, in the evening while you’re preparing dinner, or in front of the TV at night.

It doesn’t matter where or when.  Just get them done!

There are many ways to squat but to get results the basic squat will do:


Add some weights to your squats (as in dumbbells, a weighted bar or medicine ball):

Squats with weight

Or do a plyo squat by adding a jump at the end:


Plyo squat

However you decide to do your squats, make sure that you’re in good form. You want your hips to drop behind your knees and over your heels.  Be careful not to push your weight out over your knees. The best way to make sure you’re doing the perfect squat is to pretend you’re sitting down in a chair that someone is pulling away from you.  You have to stick your booty way to the back to reach it.

The baby in this picture (from Pinterest) has the 411 on squats. (You don’t have to go quite that low though.):

Baby Squatting

Within 10 days you’ll start to see the results of your squats. Your hips and thighs will begin to feel stronger and leaner.  Your winter body will be closer to being bikini ready.

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Strength Training: The Secret to Looking Younger and Better

Walking, running, swimming, biking, or getting on the elliptical for 30 minutes are the most popular forms of exercise and typically what people turn to when they want to lose weight.

If this is how you spend your time at the gym or outdoors, the heart health benefits are undeniable. But, unless you’re pushing around some weights a couple of times a week, you’re missing out on one of the most important components of physical fitness. The one that will make you look younger and better.


Save Your Muscles

As you age you lose muscle. People that are inactive lose about three to five percent of their muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. That means, by the time you’re 50 you will have lost up to 15 percent. Physically active people also experience age-related muscle loss although not quite as drastically.

The loss of muscle tissue can generate a variety of inflictions including sarcopenia, osteoporosis, weight gain, loss of balance and decreased energy. It is the primary reason why people begin to look frail and weak as they age and many take on a stooped appearance.

Adding a couple of strength training workouts to your cardio routine a couple of times a week can turn these conditions around or prevent them from occurring in the first place. Strength training is the key to looking and feeling younger than your age.

You don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment to do some basic exercises that will help you save your muscles.  I’ve picked seven exercises that target the larger muscle groups so you get the best results for your time spent.

If you have time left over and want to work on biceps, triceps and calves – what I call vanity muscles – go for it. But focus first on working the larger muscle groups to prevent overall muscle loss and stimulate muscle gain.

1. Chest Press – Lie on your back on a bench or exercise ball with a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly press your hands to the ceiling and then back down so that the elbows drop slightly below the ball.  Repeat 12 times. Do two sets.

Chest Press

2.  Upper Back or Rear Deltoid Fly – Still holding the weights, stand and bend over so your hands are down by your knees. Lift your arms out to the side as though you’re getting ready to take off and fly.  Release slowly to starting position. Focus on pulling the shoulder blades together in the back.

Rear Deltoid Fly

3.  Clean and Press – This is a multi-purpose exercise.  It works the large muscle groups in the legs as well as shoulders. Holding the dumbbells down by your sides, squat down slowly. As you come up, push weights overhead to a shoulder press.  Release the weights back down and repeat.

Clean and press

4.  Dead Lift – This exercise works the hamstrings.  Start by holding a weight, weighted ball or kettle bell in front.  Slowly bend over lowering the weight down to the floor.  Try to keep your knees straight as you bend over. Slowly come back up to starting position.

Dead Lift


5.  Side Leg Raise – Having strong abductors (outer thighs) will help you maintain balance. In a standing position or laying on your side on the floor, slowly lift one leg away from the body and back in 12 times.  Repeat on the other leg. Using a resistance tube will make this exercise more challenging.

Side Leg Raise

6.  Push-Ups – On your knees or with toes on the floor, place hands under your shoulders and lower your chest down to the floor. Come back to starting position and repeat.

Push Up

7.  Plank – With your elbows and toes on the floor, tighten your tummy and hold your body in a straight line for 10 seconds.  Work up to holding the position for 30 seconds and eventually a minute.

Elbow Plank

There are numerous variations to these moves, but if you want to get started with some basic exercises that don’t take a lot of time or equipment these should do the trick.

Try to do two sets of 12 of each exercise two to three times a week.  When they start to feel easy to you keep challenging yourself by increasing the weight or adding a weight bar or other equipment such as kettle bells. You should notice some noticeable changes within three to four weeks.

Strength training will save your muscle and your bones. Did I mention that these basic strength training exercises will make you look better?

(Pics are from Pinterest. Click on the picture to see the source.)

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Eight Amazing At-Home Workout Channels For Free On YouTube

We’re in the dog days of winter if there is such a thing.  Snow and ice combined with bitter cold temps mean low motivation to pack clothes and go to the gym, work up a sweat, and then head back out into the cold.

If you’re not getting to the gym or outdoors to walk or run as often as you’d like, there are some amazing workouts to be found on-line.  Most of these workouts require minimal equipment.  All you need to do is carve out a space for yourself at home and get to work.

Pop Sugar's Fit Sugar channel has a variety of workouts for all fitness levels.

Pop Sugar’s Fit Sugar channel has a variety of workouts for all fitness levels.

Since the death of Exercise TV (may it rest in peace) in 2011 there have been tons of people looking for an alternative. I know this because the majority of hits on this web site have been the result of search engine traffic generated as a result of a “What Happened To Exercise TV?” post that I published on December 13, 2011.

There is no shortage of at-home workouts on YouTube which leaves no excuses for not getting your sweat on even if it’s zero outside. Below are eight of the best (that I’ve found) workout channels on YouTube.  If you know of one I haven’t mentioned, please share, share, share by leaving a comment in the box below.


1.  Fitappy – The creator of Fitappy claims she’s a regular girl that likes to workout.  She’s a martial artist that competes in traditional Japanese Karate and in her bio she says “exercising is her top priority”.  She has created a variety of workouts that include cardio, tabata, strength and flexibility and she offers them to you for free on her You Tube channel Fitappy.

2.  Christine Salus – Christine offers full body workouts  and many require no equipment. Many of the workouts are intense and probably wouldn’t be labeled for beginners.  But if you’re looking for a quick ten or twenty minute workout that gets the job done, check out Christine here.

3.  Bryan Jones – Bryan is everything yoga.  I stumbled across his channel when I was searching for ball exercise ideas for a class that I was subbing this week.  Bryan is incredibly strong and has a wide variety of yoga methods for you to try. If you like to do ab exercises with a ball check out his “100 Exercises On The Ball” video. You can find all of his yoga and ball workouts here.

Bryan Jones Collage

Bryan’s 100 Ab Exercises On The Ball video.

4. Melissa Bender – I mentioned Melissa in my Link Love post last Friday because I had just found her on YouTube and was amazed by the number and quality of workouts that she posts.  She has both full body workouts and workouts that are specific to certain muscle groups.  For example, the Exercise Tummy Tuck (no surgery required) is an 18 minute program that focuses on – you guessed it – core. Check out Melissa Bender here.

5.  HASFit – Coach Kozak has an endless supply of energy that he channels to you via YouTube workouts.  From a 12 minute 6-Pack Workout to a 25 minute beginner cardio program, there’s something here for everyone. I’ve followed HASFit for several years and the workout videos never end.  The coach is knowledgeable and motivating and will help you beat the winter blahs.  Check HASFit out here.

6. XHit – As Jillian Michaels would say, this isn’t your mother’s workout.  XHit offers a little higher intensity, but has some fun stuff too. XHit has the Full Body Twerkout, Beyonce Butt Workout, How To Get Legs Like Jennifer Lawrence and a variety of celebrity workouts.  They can all be found here.

Celebrity workouts from XFit.

Celebrity workouts from XFit.

7. Pop Sugar – Pop Sugar’s Fit Sugar is one of the more popular and well-known places to go for at-home workouts but I thought it was still worth mentioning. There is a lot of variety in these workouts and anyone could adapt them to their fitness level. They are moderate intensity and perfect for an at-home workout. You can find the workouts here.

8. Jessica Smith TV – It would be impossible not to love Jessica Smith and her workouts. I love that she uses music in the background.  So far, she is the only one that moves to the beat. Jessica also has a web site where she posts her workouts, weight loss tips, healthy how-tos’ and a blog that she updates regularly.  Catch Jessica’s workout channel here.

Jessica's Core Floor workout.

Jessica’s Core Floor workout.

Exercise TV may be long gone but, there are so many quality workouts on YouTube, we need to no longer mourn its passing.

Do you have a go to site for at-home workouts?

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