8 YouTube workouts you can almost pretend aren’t really exercise #HealthAndFitnessWeek

Sometimes fun and fitness CAN go together…

In an ideal world, we’d all be bounding out of bed enthused with anticipation for a good workout every morning, right?

If you’re thinking ‘no, in an ideal world our muscles would just exercise themselves while we slept’, then you need a workout that doesn’t feel like a workout – be it dancing, cheering, cleaning or pretending to be Beyonce. Here are some of the best free not-workouts that YouTube has to offer.

Sweaty Betty’s Ballet Bootcamp

You might have been kicked out of Miss Julie’s Twinkle Toes when you were eight for tripping up the girl who got the lead in the Nutcracker, but put all that behind you now and embrace Sweaty Betty’s fantastic free ballet bootcamp workout.

With 40 minutes of intense springing, leaping, stretching and twirling, it’s guaranteed to work up more of a sweat than good-toes-naughty-toes ever did. Get into the spirit by wearing some wafty chiffon and buying yourself a Chomp at the newsagents afterwards.

Disturbance level: 7/10. Best for detached houses and ground-floor flats, unless you tell everyone in the building you’re the next Darcey Bussell.


10-minute skipping workout

More childhood inspiration here, with a good old skipping session from Popsugar Fitness. There is a short portion in the middle when you’ll need to put your skipping rope down and do some lunging, but apart from that, you’ll barely notice you’re not back in the playground during morning break. Unless accidentally break your flatmate’s favourite lamp in the process.

Disturbance level: 8/10. High ceilings are a must. Go outside or risk the lampshade.


Beyoncé Run The World workout

Who run the world? YOU DO, sweaty lady! Beyoncé’s moves lend themselves so well to cardio creativity that in the US there are whole workout studios devoting themselves to dancing their way through her whole back catalogue.

Back on awkward British soil, kick things off with this intense but not impossible Run the World routine – it’s less than five minutes long so you could do it before breakfast, and just think how powerful you’ll feel all day.

Careful not to dislocate a hip, mind.

Disturbance level: 7/10. Stomping, jumping, bouncing and probably a little empowered grunting.


Let It Go routine

Sure, we can pretend you don’t do an approximate version of this in your kitchen three times a week anyway, using a tea towel as a magical cloak. We can pretend that, or you can embrace the fact that Frozen has stolen your heart as much as it has your three-year-old niece’s and turn your obsession into a decent dance workout instead.

Your balletic technique might make it a bit more ‘Adele Dazeem’ than Idina Menzel to begin with, but this is about passion, not skill – and the routine is at least 65% hair swishing anyway.

Disturbance level: 9/10. Buy your neighbours an apology gift basket.


Cirque School Workout

It might have been a while since you dreamed of running away to join the circus, but you can barely go a day right now without seeing someone casually doing a bit of aerial acrobatics – and unlike driving a tiny clown car, it’s an amazing full-body workout too.

For those of us too scared to hoist ourselves up in silks or join a trapeze class, core strength moves like these are a great way to sculpt impressive abs and arms without getting off the carpet.

Disruption level: 2/10. Silent and stealthy, but you’ll need a foam roller and a balance ball.


The Rag Drag

Legend has it that lean cleaning guru Carolyn Barnes invented her signature ‘rag drag’ exercise while cleaning her son’s vomit off the kitchen floor. So that’s a promising start.

Peppy and perfectly toned Barnes has built an entire empire on her ‘cLEAN Momma’ workout programme, which teaches you to burn calories while doing all those pesky household chores. Provided you can stop yourself wondering why all the Clean Poppas aren’t helping, her hilarious videos definitely beat spin class.

Disturbance level: 4/10. You’re cleaning! No one can possibly complain.



Be aggressive! Be, be aggressive! Here’s your chance to make all those unfulfilled Bring It On dreams come true, with a cheer-tastic workout the likes of which even Big Red would struggle to keep up with. Pom-poms are optional, and at a push you could probably use shower puffs.

Disturbance level: 8/10. More if you insist on actually cheering.


Greer Childers’ facial workout

If all of the above still feel too much like actual exercise, there’s always the Greer Childers method. Which means donning your very best high-legged 80s lycra, standing still and gurning as if your life depended on it. That face you do every time you put mascara on? A bonafide fitness move.

Part of her BodyFlex workout, Childers’ facercise will supposedly tighten muscles and smooth skin, like an all-natural facelift. If you manage to fight off the laughter lines, that is.

Disturbance level: 1/10. Oh, except you look disturbed.

It’s #HealthAndFitnessWeek on ShinyShiny! We’re here to help you keep running, swimming, and nourishing your way to the healthier, happier self you imagined when you wrote your new year’s resolutions. See all the posts here

Image: Kevin Dooley’s Flickr

Lauren Bravo