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5 ways to get a virtual workout while you’re home during the coronavirus pandemic

Missing your fitness class at the gym? You can still exercise with these online workouts.
Hot yoga instructor Alexis Holland, left, poses in Warrior I alongside yogis at the Body Electric Yoga Company in St. Petersburg.
Hot yoga instructor Alexis Holland, left, poses in Warrior I alongside yogis at the Body Electric Yoga Company in St. Petersburg. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | TIMES | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Mar. 23, 2020
Updated Mar. 24, 2020

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In these stressful, uncertain times, it’s important to find things that bring you some peace. While no longer being able to go to your local gym is certainly not the worst thing happening right now, it’s a tough shift for those of us who derive comfort from a fitness community.

In addition to moving your body, and getting all the endorphins that come with that, working out in a group offers positive energy, a sense of community, a shared goal — all things that feel hard to come by at the moment.

If you’re missing your weekly workouts, and your instructors and your barbells, check out this list of virtual exercises. It may not be the same as going to a gym, but hopefully it can help fill the void — and get you moving during long stretches at home.


Never tried Zumba before? The high-energy, Latin-based workout is basically an hour-long dance party. Be prepared to work up a sweat as you move to fast-paced rhythms. If, like me, you’re already fully obsessed with this form of cardio and miss your weekly class at the gym, good news: Some local instructors are offering virtual classes.

Peter Cintron, who teaches Zumba at Crunch Fitness in Clearwater, has started a Facebook group (search “Pete’s Live Zumba and Fitness Virtual class”) where he alerts members to virtual Zumba classes he leads via the Zoom app. They are, in a word, lit.

Fly Fitness, based in Clearwater, is offering live Zumba classes via Zoom, too. Follow @livefitgetfly on Instagram or like Fly Fitness on Facebook to get the details.

Les Mills

The fitness brand started in 1968 in New Zealand has since turned into a global fitness community. Local gyms often bring in Les Mills-certified instructors to teach certain programs that run through different “releases” — new routines, so your body doesn’t get used to the same moves.

You can access those same workouts online, with Les Mills On Demand. It’s not free, but I’ve seen weeks-long free trials available, so you can test it before committing. Also, if you belong to a local fitness center that offers Les Mills classes, check and see if they are offering any of their classes for free online at his time.

For the at-home crowd, I’d recommend BodyFlow (which combines yoga, tai chi and more) and BodyCombat (which engages your bodyweight via martial arts moves) — neither require any equipment, or a ton of space. If you have access to a barbell and weights, get your resistance training on with BodyPump, a challenging strength workout that will make you sweat.

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Locally, St. Petersburg’s Body Electric Yoga Company is offering free virtual workouts, posting classes live on their Facebook page (The Body Electric Yoga Company). The best part? They can be accessed at any time, if you can’t make the class at that specific time. Check their page daily for schedule updates.

Yoga 365 in Clearwater is also offering a couple of its classes via Zoom. Email for information, or get updates on their Facebook page (Hot Yoga 365).

Fitness Blender

This site offers hundreds of free, full-length online workouts. You can sort them by difficulty, duration and training type, from Pilates to low impact to kettlebell to toning. And you can even schedule and track your workouts, if you need that added layer of structure to get your butt in gear.

Xponential Fitness

The Xponential Fitness family of brands – AKT, CycleBar, Club Pilates, Pure Barre, Row House, StretchLab, STRIDE and YogaSix – is offering free workouts via Facebook Live over the next couple of weeks. One workout per concept per day, or 40 workouts a week. Brands scheduled soon to come to the Tampa Bay area include YogaSix in New Tampa and Odessa and Row House in Sarasota. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

Other resources

  • SunState Yoga in St. Petersburg posted on its Facebook page: “We’ll be doing Facebook live videos all week."
  • The YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg is offering virtual workouts and options for its members. Check for information, or for even more fitness videos.
  • Try searching the hashtag #HomeWorkouts on Instagram, for workouts from a few popular Instagram fitness influencers.
  • Planet Fitness, one of the largest chain gyms, is offering free online classes. The at-home workouts are streaming on the company’s Facebook page. These classes are open to anyone, including non-members.
  • Nike Master Trainer Kirsty Godso posted and demonstrated a five-minute “Glider Workout” routine on her Instagram page. Also, the Nike Training App offers a variety of free workouts designed by trainers. The mobile app includes everything from HIIT-style workouts to yoga flows for all fitness levels.
  • Peloton is offering a 90-day free trial for its on-demand, at-home training app Tone It Up. That expensive Peloton bike (or any bike) is not necessary since they also provide yoga and strength-training sessions. You can access both live and on-demand classes.

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