Who hasn’t missed a 6am yoga class because they hit the snooze button, or skipped a post-work gym session because Netflix was suddenly more appealing than sweating up a spin class?
While many health, wellness and fitness studios were already busy in the digital space pre-pandemic, lockdowns have certainly ushered in the rest. Smartphone apps and video conferencing are now being widely used to teach classes anytime, anywhere. And it looks like the trend is here to stay – it’s a virtual experience that rivals the face-to-face experience.
In partnership with Sony BRAVIA, we highlight six of the best online classes you can do at home.
The Sydney Dance Company’s Virtual Studio
The Virtual Studio to program launched this year, allowing dancers of all abilities to take classes at home. A chair and some empty floorspace is all you need to join Ballet Beginner, a class that covers the foundations of the dance form and improves core strength, posture and muscle tone. Other dance styles include contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, Latin funk, lyrical and tap, plus there are Pilates, yoga, and strength and conditioning classes too. Membership costs $28 per week and provides unlimited access to classes – all you need to do is push back the couch and break out your lycra.
Good Times Pilates
Inclusivity is fundamental to Good Time Pilates, a Melbourne fitness studio that believes “Pilates is for every body”. Choose from six signature class styles that range in tempo and intensity, from the high-energy Sweat to the flexibility-focused Stretch and Chill. The online schedule also includes “Quickies” (workouts ranging from 10 to 15 minutes) and mini-workshops (five to 10-minute classes that focus on particular movements and skills). Choose from two online membership plans: monthly ($39 per month) or six months ($189).
Barre was developed in 1950s London by dancer Lotte Berk, who combined her ballet practice with the rehabilitative program prescribed for a back injury she sustained while dancing. The glamour set took notice: Joan Collins and Barbra Streisand were among Berk’s first students.
Some six decades later, health and wellness entrepreneur Emma Seibold opened her first Barre Body studio in Melbourne’s CBD in 2012. Today, Barre Body has six physical studios and a popular online platform that predates the pandemic.
Associated with the lean and toned dancer physique, barre is a workout that improves strength and endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. It requires minimal equipment – light weights and something that serves as a barre, like a chair – which makes it the perfect home workout.
Barre Body classes – which include several kinds of barre; yoga; prenatal and regular Pilates; dance cardio; flow; and much more – range from 10 to 60 minutes in length. The online membership provides access to both live classes and hundreds of on-demand workouts and tutorials, ranging from beginner to advanced to postnatal programs. There’s a free seven-day trial, and memberships are available for $30 to $40 per month (depending on the billing rate).
BodyMindLife is a yoga and Pilates studio and wellness centre with locations in Sydney and Byron Bay, as well as a virtual platform where users can participate in live-streamed classes or access hundreds of on-demand videos, including yoga, Pilates, barre fusion, core focus and HIIT. Pay $35 per fortnight for membership that provides access to online classes, member workshops and live-streamed meditations, talks and events. A one-day online pass costs $16.
Virtual Playground is the online platform run by Sydney fitness studio Fitness Playground. Browse more than 150 workouts and classes currently available to subscribers, from mindfulness and meditation to cardio and Fight Fitness. Virtual Playground also offers masterclasses and workshops where experts provide information about health, nutrition, training and motivation, and answer community questions. A month-to-month subscription costs $19.95 a week, while a year-long subscription costs $9.95 a week.
Sweat by Kayla Itsines
Adelaide-born trainer Kayla Itsines turned a 12-week fitness program into a global fitness empire that’s made her one of the world’s top fitness influencers. In 2014, she developed the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) fitness program with ex-partner Tobi Pearce. In 2015, they launched Sweat, an app where users can access BBG workouts and in-app guidance from expert trainers.
It’s an accessible program – Itsines’s 28-minute workouts require minimal equipment and are designed to be done at home – but it’s no walk in the park. Be prepared for burpees, push ups and bench jumps. BBG Beginner is an eight-week low-intensity program that prepares users for the higher intensity BBG, BBG Stronger and BBG Zero Equipment programs. Itsines, who gave birth to her daughter, Arna, in 2019, has also developed a post-pregnancy program. Pay $19.99 per month or $119.94 for an annual subscription.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Sony BRAVIA (“Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture”).