The Best 7 Online Exercise Classes to Help You Work Out From Anywhere

From dance cardio to Pilates.

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megan roup

@meganroup

Thanks to technology, multiple streaming options, and fitness equipment delivery, online exercise classes are here to stay. And it’s not just big brands pivoting to online sessions: Boutique studios and gyms around the world are stepping up to stream the in-studio experience to your home. 

And better yet, the surge of online exercise classes has led to more variety and experimentation. With on-demand platforms giving us a mix of fitness sessions, you can now seamlessly flow between burpees and backbends with the simple switch of a video.

With so many options for your thumb to scroll, where do you start? Ahead, we've got you covered with the best online exercise classes to try.

The 7 Best Online Exercise Classes of 2021

Best Overall: Alo Moves

Barre3

Barre3

Why We Chose It: Alo Moves offers an impressive variety of classes for a solid value.

What We Like:

  • Includes an extensive library to learn and practice new skills
  • Videos can be downloaded and are available through phone, tablet, web, and AppleTV+
  • Wide range of content with new classes dropping weekly

What We Don’t Like:

  • No live classes yet
  • Much of the content is geared more toward those at an intermediate and advanced level

Alo Moves has every type of workout you need to elevate your fitness routine, and then some. The content is a breeze to filter, and there's tons of variety. Choose from classes like Power and Chill Yoga and Power Barre to Fit and Strong or Sweat and Tone, to keep you busy every day of the week. This diverse mix is motivation enough to keep you coming back for more.

With Alo Moves, there is a library of content to master new techniques and up your stretch game. For example, its Beyond Flexibility 7-part video series walks you step-by-step toward harmonizing balance in the body and breaking through any mental and physical barriers, which may be hindering your stretch sessions. 

Alo’s on-demand content will have you back bending, and finding your inversions in no time. Also, the restorative videos draw attention to problem areas, such as the thighs, hips, and hamstrings, to relieve tension in the body and enhance your workouts.

The company has a free, 14-day trial that allows plenty of time to get acquainted with the various classes. After that, a monthly subscription will be about $20 per month, or roughly $200 billed annually.

Best for Yoga: Gaia

Yoga will train your body to be flexible
PeopleImages / Getty Images

Why We Chose It: Gaia stands out for its strong community of yogis, its cohort of experts, and seminars.

What We Like:

  • Super affordable, on-demand service
  • Classes available for all levels, yoga styles, and lengths
  • Content extends into documentaries, covering healthy eats, edits, original series, and films

What We Don’t Like:

  • The choice of the content may be overwhelming and takes time to navigate
  • Live access classes are an additional cost

Gaia is an inclusive platform for all levels with plenty of advanced options for the more seasoned yogi. As a brand, Gaia really goes above and beyond to provide value in class variety, trainers, and practice level.

Course offerings include the Morning Ritual Collection, Yoga Philosophy, and Meditation classes, among others, easily filtered by teacher, level, type, focus, and length. Whether you want to build strength, energize your body, or calm your mind, Gaia allows you to set an intention for each session. Additionally, Gaia also has a wealth of Pilates and other classes on tap.

Grab the one-week free trial to get acquainted with what’s on offer, before switching to the monthly fee of about $12, or pay about $99 for the year. For the serious yogis among us, the Live Access membership (billed at roughly $299 annually) is a window into expert-led workshops, live events, multi-day seminars, interacting with hosts, and ad-free access to a library of more than 8,000 shows, interviews, and more.

This all-embracing approach is a surefire way to achieve a spiritual balance between the mind and body.

Best for Pilates: Pilates Anytime

Fitness woman stretching legs doing pilates leg stretches exercises
Maridav / Getty Images

Why We Chose It: Pilates Anytime lets you focus on specific muscle groups, build strength, and increase flexibility, but is most appealing to those who already have a working knowledge of Pilates.

What We Like:

  • A comprehensive library of Pilates classes for every desire
  • Led by some of the best of teachers in the industry
  • Additional motivating challenges and informing tutorials to elevate your practice

What We Don’t Like:

  • A wide variety of workouts may be overwhelming to those new to Pilates
  • Some courses require the addition of props

Known for its core-shaking exercises and postural benefits, Pilates is a discipline you can practice daily. Under the guidance of industry-elite trainers, Pilates Anytime sets an industry standard.

Full of more than 3,400 Pilates videos (new additions added weekly) for every level, style, and length, there is content for every goal: building strength, enhancing your flexibility, or for rehabilitation. With an easy-to-use service, you're able to filter through workouts that hone in on a specific muscle group, such as sculpting your glutes or triceps or selecting a class length. And, the service is also a go-to for every practice level, whether you're looking to master your roll-up or advance your corkscrew.

As an added perk, Pilates Anytime offers sessions spanning pre- and post-natal, Barre Fusion, and challenges to rev up or unwind the body.

After a 15-day free trial, a monthly membership will cost you roughly $18 or $198 for the year. That said, it ends up being cheaper than the cost of one class in some studios.

Best for Cardio & HIIT: AKT GO

akt

@aktfitness

Why We Chose It: AKT GO ensures that you will break a sweat and keep your body consistently moving with high-energy interval sessions.

  • Easy-to-use mobile app with filtering options
  • Plenty of workouts to keep your sessions fresh
  • Affordable option when compared to in-studio pricing

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some classes require equipment
  • AKT GO mobile app is required to stream videos

AKT GO has brought its New York studio workouts to the screen for cardio fanatics to partake in heart-pumping classes.

The company delivers a range of signature classes led by dancing queen Anna Kaiser, with access to more than 1,500 minutes of workouts—from 10-minute bursts to a full 90-minute experience. The on-demand services also allow members to mix up segments and class lengths—ideal to filter through HIIT blasts or lengthier sessions.

Classes, filmed to emulate the studio experience, are meticulously designed to move the body in every which way, so expect to leap, kick, spin, and punch your way through every workout—alongside rhythmic music to get you moving.

For the cardio curious, the beginner’s guide will help ease you into the more up-tempo sessions, and be sure to follow directions from the trainers during each circuit, interval, and dance session. A monthly membership will cost about $20, with content added regularly.

Best for Combined Dance & Strength: The Sculpt Society

megan roup

@meganroup

Why We Chose It: The Sculpt Society gives you the celebrity fitness treatment that emphasizes specific parts of the body, so you'll be able to sculpt the muscles you didn't even know you had.


What We Like:

  • A reliable app, according to multiple user reviews
  • Wide variety of programs, on-demand, and live streaming classes
  • Combines a variety of fitness styles, including dance, cardio, and strength

What We Don’t Like:

  • Equipment required including light weights and floor sliders
  • Most workouts feature just the instructor, so it may lack the community vibe you want from a class setting

Celebrity trainer Megan Roup has developed a tried-and-tested method to keep your mind engaged and your body moving. Sculpt exercises, bodyweight, and light weights will help you achieve a strong body, while athletic dance workouts will push you further each time.

Clients frequently rave about Roup’s down-to-earth teaching style, easy-to-follow instruction, and upbeat energy, so it feels like you're in a one-on-one studio setting. The on-demand service's classes include five- to 25-minute full-body blasts, with other ones paced over the full hour; all of them balance bursts of sweat and strength intervals to target specific muscle groups for an all-over body burn.

Members can select classes by the desired length, with the Megan’s Friends Workouts series, and yoga, stretch, and pre- and post-natal thrown in for good measure. Beginners can take advantage of her gentle sculpt classes before dialing up the pace. And as a bonus, 30-minute live classes are streamed throughout the week. Look out for a new video added to the library every Monday.

The Sculpt Society has a 14-day free trial, followed by a monthly subscription of roughly $20 or about $200 billed once a year. Alternately, if you prefer to commit to a specific program, there are a few on offer, including a 10 week-program delivering a structured sequence of workouts.

Best for Boxing: EverybodyFights

Woman with curly hair boxing

  rez-art

Why We Chose It: If you're looking for a multi-dimensional, cross-training experience from professional fighters, then EverybodyFights is a solid pick.

What We Like:

  • 30-day free trial
  • Cross-training across various fitness disciplines
  • A blend of on-demand and live classes, bookable via the app

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some equipment, including weights, is required
  • A new app experience for streaming live classes, booking on-demand workouts, and more, is yet to launch

"Train Like a Boxer. Anytime, Anywhere." This is EverybodyFights' motto—and they mean it.

With an on-demand fitness experience from the ring to the screen, you will be well on your way toward achieving the stamina and poise of a boxer. There are more than 500 workouts that are led by USA boxing coaches and professional fighters, conditioning you across boxing, strength, cardio, yoga, and recovery, for a cross-training experience like the pros.

EverybodyFights offers a personalized service to new members, customizing its training camp across goals, interests, and styles for a plan built around you—with a free, 30-day trial to get you started. A membership is about $30 per month thereafter and includes access to daily live classes—boxing, strength, and recovery are in there—for as close to an in-studio experience as you’ll get.

Aside from this, the service features weekly challenges to keep you on your toes, techniques to teach you proper form, and tutorials from professional boxers themselves. Plus, there are nutrition tips and recipes from dietitians to stay on track.

Best for Live Classes: Fhitting Room

Woman with kettlebell

Stocksy / Javier Díez

Why We Chose It: We chose Fhitting Room for its plethora of live HIIT and strength courses and its flexibility of live sessions.

What We Like:

  • Daily live classes on offer for an in-studio class experience from home
  • Workouts evolve to keep sessions fresh
  • Personalized sessions as trainers can modify exercises to cater to individual injuries

What We Don’t Like:

  • Classes are pricey compared to on-demand memberships
  • Some workouts require equipment

With a lineup of more than 90 HIIT and strength classes on the weekly calendar, Fhitting Room delivers with its schedule of live workouts. Split into equipment and no equipment—and across pure strength, a kettlebell skills class, and agility and conditioning—the service also caters to those 65 years and up and pre- and post-natal women.

Classes, capped at about 24 people, are offered during east and west coast times and are taught on Zoom. There is a Fhitting Room host there ready to manage any issues before or during the workout. And, trainers will take note of any client injuries before each session to modify any exercises for you.

If you prefer to work out around your schedule, Fhitting Room has an on-demand service with over 36 hours of HIIT and strength workouts to keep you busy, costing about $20 per month or roughly $160 annually, with a free, 14-day trial period.

Final Verdict

Online exercise classes provide plenty of opportunities for you to jump, punch, kick, and twist your way to tip-top shape, both physically and mentally. Whether it's a blend of styles with Alo Moves, Gaia’s movement series, or even a punch session with EverybodyFights before work, the range and diversity of workouts at your fingertips makes it easier than ever before to break a sweat whenever you want. Whether you're looking to take it up a notch with AKT GO or try out The Sculpt Society’s dynamic on-screen workouts, there's an online exercise class for you.

What Makes an Online Exercise Class Ideal?

Based on instructor expertise, video quality, and the range of content available, some on-demand services provide better value for money. But it really depends on your personal goals and preferences, such as working out in real-time vs. on-demand. For some, a live class experience is a motivating factor to get up and workout. For those with an ever-changing schedule who want to maintain a fitness routine, a service with a library of content might be better. Take advantage of free trials to find what suits you.

Should I Buy a Monthly or Annual Membership?

Both memberships have their advantages. With a monthly membership, there is usually an option to cancel at any time, allowing you flexibility. Whereas an annual membership, normally billed once a year, is generally cheaper on a month-to-month basis, and is more likely to keep you committed to a workout schedule. So if you find a service you enjoy, it may be worthwhile to save some dollars with an annual pass.

Is It Better to Follow One Online Exercise Program or Mix and Match Classes?

If you have a specific goal in mind, online programs are a useful tool to keep you on track with guided workouts. So, if improving your cardio endurance is on the agenda, a program designed to steadily improve your stamina may work well for you. On the other hand, if you prefer to cross-train, there are plenty of services with a wide range of options.

Are Livestream Exercise Classes Better Than On-Demand Ones?

The choice comes down to personal preference. If you prefer the motivation of a live, in-studio experience in real-time, then a live stream class will work well for you. Or, if you want to work out at your own pace, with the option to pause or repeat specific exercises, then on-demand videos might be a better fit. Some platforms offer both, so look out for those.

How We Chose the Best Online Exercise Classes

To make this list, we evaluated workout diversity, membership cost, class levels, and positive service reviews. For example, both Gaia and Pilates Anytime provide two of the most comprehensive and affordable libraries of online exercise classes. Both established brands deliver plenty of options; the only downside is that with such a gamut of content, it might take time to decide on the right class.

Alo Moves earned our top spot based on raving reviews, the selection of courses, and sleek studio videos. In addition to Alo Moves' popular yoga and Pilates workouts, it covers other areas of exercise, such as HIIT to elevate your heart and incorporating weights to build strength. Plus, there is an in-depth skills section to work on your stretching, arm stands, and hip flexibility. It’s the best choice for an all-encompassing approach to fitness. 

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