I've tried these online fitness classes and this is what I think

Reta Lee
Editor-in-Chief, Lifestyle
The writer trying out one of the online yoga classes. (PHOTO: Reta Lee/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

With this “circuit breaker” in place, and the government ordering closures of gyms and yoga studios across the island, many of us have resorted to exercising at home or at the park, with the social distancing measure in place, of course.

Researchers have found that sitting for long periods is bad for your health, as it can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, or even result in death, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Since I’ve been working out at home, besides following quick tutorials on Instagram, or videos uploaded by my gym studio, I’ve been trying out some of these HIIT and yoga videos on YouTube. Some of these videos pack in a good workout, from 20 minutes to an hour, that will have you break out a sweat in no time.

Here’s a list of workouts I follow if I want to pack in a good workout training, with difficulty ratings (5 being most difficult) thrown in for good measure. Do you have a favourite? Share in the comments below.


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Apparel brand Lululemon has been releasing all-level yoga classes conducted by their global ambassadors for a while now. Founder of Girlvana, Ally Maz leads this class with clarity, and she doesn’t rush you into the poses. It’s easy-to-follow, and will have your strained back from sitting on the home couch for too long, sorted in no time.

Rating: 3/5, intermediate level

For a great morning flow, follow Briohny Smyth’s class for apparel brand Alo Yoga; she teaches her class with clarity and concise pacing. Strengthen your mind as you move into your downward dog stance and warrior pose, and lead into a relaxing state as you end with shavasana.

Rating: 3/5, intermediate level

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

A whole 20-minute workout can actually increase your heart levels in no time; in between my video calls, I squeezed in this easy workout that is low impact (no jumping!) and doesn’t require any weights equipment. It’s fairly easy to follow, and I would recommend to start off with this workout, before moving on to advanced levels.

Rating: 2/5, beginner’s level

I can guarantee your muscles will burn after this workout. I like Natasha Oceane’s HIIT classes as the pacing is easy to follow, and there’s no narration, so I can move to my own playlist. Oceane describes this workout as ‘no noise’, meaning no high jumps or knocks that can cause noise disturbance if you live in an apartment, but I can hear myself grunting towards the end of the video (haha!). A good workout to follow, that will target your thighs, glutes, abs and booty.

Rating: 3.5/5, intermediate level

Everyone wants a nice booty, right? Then putting in the hard work should be your priority. In this 20-minute workout by Pamela Reif, you’ll work your bottom body strength A LOT as you manoeuvre from jump squats to walking squats. I have a fairly weak left knee, and I can be awfully wobbly, so this workout left me panting for air. Don’t believe me? You’ll be able to relate to comments in the video like, ‘I almost started to cry.’ Enjoy!

Rating: 4/5, advanced level


Coined by Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Kid Peligro, the Ginastica training is a full-body weight training that combines surfing movements with jiu-jitsu. It looks like gymnastics meets capoeira, and the workout completely develops several qualities such as physical strength, flexibility, balance, and power. “Doing this with your partner, who may be less advanced like you are, is a good practice, as you both can learn and perfect the moves together,” Peligro shared in an interview.

Rating: 4/5, advanced level