“Hot Bod” is a weekly exploration of fitness culture and its adjacent oddities.
When it comes to working out, I have a tendency to become obsessed with whatever piques my interest that season, which is usually biking or dancing. This all means that I can be quite a one-trick pony. I’m certain that if left unchecked, I would turn into a centaur: a creature of solely leg-based strength. But when reason strikes, I try to find some full-body workout routines that incorporate as many muscles as they can. There’s no reason to play favorites with muscle groups. But there is a reason to play favorites with workout videos, so here are several good ones that work on the whole body!
1. If you need someone else to provide the energy
Deja Riley workouts are always a reliable, demanding go-to. This 15-minute full-body workout is one of my favorites of hers. That’s probably because it’s pretty heavy on the cardio, so I’m distracted enough by leaping around the whole time to do the whole thing. Her programs are also really useful if you’re feeling surly, because Riley won’t stand for it. If I have no enthusiasm, Riley has enough for the both of us.
2. If you want to get into pilates
Every time I see a rundown of a Pilates workout, I think: Oh, that looks achievable. And then it’s such a devastating micro-torture that my muscles howl at me for the next 48 hours. Luckily, Blogilates founder Cassey Ho’s charm can get me through any workout. Here she is, telling me an anecdote about how hard it is to actually shoot a bow and arrow and then there’s another anecdote about her fear of scary movies. And then the video is complete. Anyway, her stuff is very intense, and adding the extra pressure of a resistance band only makes it more fiery.
3. If you really wish you were just dancing
And8 Fitness’s half-hour routine is a bouncy cardio dance plus “adwork” — doing an ab routine like planks, bicycles, or crunches during the inevitable ads that play during the video. That shoehorns some full-body toning right into dancing, so guess what, you’re doing sit-ups now. Doesn’t that suck? Well, it’s what you asked for.
4. If you’re feeling punchy
Boxing makes me feel unique because I’m a southpaw and instructors always fuss about how much of an advantage I have and how special I am. I love to have natural intrigue! This quick boxing video is a great introduction. Jaws, the instructor, demonstrates the movements, stance, and coordination very clearly. At 17 minutes, this is also a pretty quick workout, but something about boxing makes it feel like I’ve gone through a big, accomplished ordeal.
5. If you’re new here
I’d been meaning to try Chloe Ting videos for a while, and I was most impressed with her welcoming approach. Ting’s very skilled at designing modifications for various moves, which gives beginners something less challenging to start with and an example of what to work up toward. Ting is also very firm about taking breaks. She’s good at taking care of the participant in a way that I would have really appreciated if I were new to full-body routines.
6. If you are a visual learner
If I want to hoist around my clunky dumbbells, I often turn to Mrs. Muscle, of Mr. and Mrs. Muscle, a very fit couple that co-host this YouTube channel. Their YouTube page has great low-impact options — which also tend to be the quieter videos, if you’ve got neighbors around. Mrs. Muscle’s workouts are mostly silent and she doesn’t explain anything about form or stance, so I’d recommend them if you’re confident in your weight-lifting knowledge or if you learn by imitation. Her workouts also include a very “cool” feature, in which anatomical charts of the human body flash on the screen and highlight which muscles you’re working when you do a deadlift or a push-up. I love to learn!
7. If you’re seeking some grumpy kinship
Ashley Graham’s YouTube fitness series “Thank Bod” is a simple, get-it-done circuit, but the most appealing factor is how much she appears to hate working out. She’s always like: “Let’s do planks, I HATE PLANKS.” Then she loves that they’re over! In summary: Ashley is a great companion for commiseration. Also the videos tend to be a very reasonable length (i.e., extremely short): six, seven, and eight minutes and it’s done.
8. If you’re easily bored
I’ve learned that I’m someone who needs routines without repetition. If we do a plank session, a squat session, a jumping-jack session — and then we return after a break to do the exact same series over again with no variation, I will be leaving the video. Luckily, Heather Robertson has a whole series of full-body exercise videos that distinguish themselves with the honor of including “no repeats.” Her full-body routine (which incorporates weights) manages to continue for an impressive half-hour with no — you guessed it — repeats.
9. If you need encouragement
If you need some encouragement along with your instruction, Kola Olaosebikan will never leave you lonely: She talks to you the entire time! She’s an active presence. She also introduced me to “sphinx pushes,” which are such a relieving lower-back complement for literally everything else I do. Now I want to do them every day.
10. If you feel like you’ve done everything already
Toni Mitchell’s full-body workout routines are refreshing! There were so many series I’d never done before that also weren’t, like, strange or eccentric or uncomfortable. In this 25-minute HIIT video, the leg swings to warm up were pliant and challenged my balance; then a variant of squat jumps (called “the frog”) as the final cardio push at the end were an exciting killer. The movements feel natural, but also unusual. I always think there’s nothing new to do anymore, and then when there is, I’m thrilled!