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Losing Weight on a Budget: The Best Free Workouts

Updated on September 10, 2012

Welcome to the first installment in my Losing Weight on a Budget series. In this article, I'll guide you through the massive number of exercise videos, programs and routines on the internet to help you find the best, most effective and completely free workouts out there.

Working out is a critical part of losing weight, but when you're working within a strict budget, it can also be the toughest. Gym memberships, exercise DVDs and workout equipment are tough to find inexpensively, but they're not your only option for getting a tough workout - far from it!

The internet is chock full of workouts that are advertised as free. The hardest part is finding high-quality exercise routines that are also truly free (that means no subscription, no fees down the road, etc.). I've scoured the internet, talked to other "fitness-philes" and tried one workout after another, and I've compiled a list of the very best free workouts for anyone trying to lose weight or just change their body. To make it easier to sort through the different websites and find the ones that are right for you, I've included an 'At a Glance' section which gives you the basics on the type and format of the workout, as well as any other pertinent information.


At a Glance:

  • Type: strength, cardio
  • Primary audience: men and women
  • Video format: yes is one of the absolute best sources if you're looking for super quick and super intense workouts. Every 2-3 days, Freddy, the site's creator, posts a new workout video shot right in his own home. The workouts are usually 8 to 12 minutes long (yes, that's a full body workout), and give you both a cardio and strength workout in one. But don't be fooled by these quick workouts: the exercises featured require maximum effort, and are best suited to people who already have some exercise experience.

Hint: Many BodyRock workouts utilize a few pieces of equipment, like a sandbag and an interval timer. If you don't want to purchase anything, make some easy substitutions (use a free smartphone interval timer, fill a gym bag with rice instead of getting a sandbag). Or just stick to the BodyRock workouts that don't require equipment - there are tons of them!

Zuzka Light

At a Glance:

  • Type: strength, cardio
  • Primary audience: men and women
  • Video format: yes

Like BodyRock? Don't miss Zuzka Light. Zuzana Light, the creator and star of these workout videos, was the original star of BodyRock, back when she was married to Freddy. When the two split up, Zuzana created her own YouTube channel which features tons of videos in the same style as BodyRock (short, intense and requiring minimal equipment). Zuzana's personality is sweet and charming, and if her body doesn't inspire you to work hard, nothing will!

Loving Fit

At a Glance:

  • Type: strength, cardio
  • Primary audience: men and women
  • Video format: yes

Loving Fit is a fitness blog founded by personal trainer and former pro figure skater Tatianna. Throughout every week, Tatianna posts new and completely free workout videos that require little to no equipment. Much like ZuzkaLight and BodyRock, the Loving Fit workouts are short but intense. They feature modifications for beginners, and the blog even includes free workout programs customized for your own fitness level. Tatianna emphasizes unit training, in which the entire body is trained as a single unit, rather than targeting different muscles every day; she learned this type of training during her days as a figure skater, and if her body is any indication, unit training works!


At a Glance:

  • Type: strength, cardio, pilates
  • Primary audience: women
  • Video format: yes

Blogilates is a one-stop website for a huge variety of exercise videos, from full-body to part-specific workouts. Cassey Ho, the site's bubbly creator, stars in the videos, which require minimal equipment and are filmed in fun locations like London and New York. The real standout on this site is POP Pilates, a series of fun and effective Pilates videos set to top 40 music hits. Check out the Blogilates YouTube channel for the full collection of free workout videos.

Bonus: The Blogilates site also features a workout calendar, recipes, meal plans plus other information about Cassey's diet and fitness routine - a great overall resource for women who want to lose weight on a budget.

At a Glance:

  • Type: strength, cardio
  • Primary audience: men and women
  • Video format: no (Exercise Prescription on the Internet) is an invaluable resource if you're into strength-training (which you absolutely should be if you're trying to lose weight!). The site features a massive library of strength exercises, all of which are searchable by name or by muscle targeted. Choose an exercise and you'll find step-by-step instructions on how to perform it, plus demonstration photos.

Beyond the exercise library, ExRx is basically a one-stop-shop for fitness advice and weight-loss information, covering everything from gym etiquette and cardio programs to dietary guidelines and fitness myths and facts.

Tone It Up

At a Glance:

  • Type: mostly strength
  • Primary audience: women
  • Video format: yes

Karena and Katrina are the gorgeous girls behind Tone It Up, a popular blog that features a huge assortment of free workout videos, plus healthy recipes, nutrition advice, beauty tips and an eating plan (the eating plan is a paid program - everything else is free). Every month, a new workout calendar is posted so you can follow a free exercise program using the videos. You can also find the workouts on the Tone It Up YouTube channel.

At a Glance:

  • Type: strength, kettlebells
  • Primary audience: men and women
  • Video format: yes is a fitness blog run by Marianne, a qualified Fitness and Extreme Kettlebell Instructor. This site is one of the few places online where you can find high-quality and completely free Kettlebell workout videos, which are an excellent way to condition and strengthen the body without traditional weight-lifting. If you're not into Kettlebell training, the site also has a wide selection of other videos, including bodyweight workouts, conditioning and strength, plus warm-ups and cool-downs.

One of my favorite things about Myomytv is the tutorials, where you'll find videos that focus on individual exercises such as kettlebell swings, burpees, pull-ups and many others. While many workout videos and programs gloss over the importance of correct form, Marianne emphasizes proper execution of each exercise in order to get the best results out of every workout.

American Council on Exercise

At a Glance:

  • Type: strength
  • Primary audience: men and women
  • Video format: no

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is one of the best-known providers of personal trainer and fitness certifications, but their website is chock full of exercise information for people of all fitness levels. The ACE exercise library, which is organized by body part, offers detailed instructions on how to perform a huge variety of strength exercises, and each includes instructional photos. You'll also find free exercise programs like core workouts, equipment-free workouts and even sport-specific workouts (swimming, gymnastics, track and field, and cycling).

You'll also find information from professional studies and research, plus articles that cover topics from weight loss and circuit training to flexibility and different forms of training.


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    • onlinemanagement profile image


      6 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape

      Great info! Lets hope we get more

    • Luxor profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Thanks arrtd2! I hope to get the rest of the series up soon

    • arrtd2 profile image

      Aarati Ramanand 

      6 years ago from New Hyde Park, NY, USA

      Thank you for this hub! I look forward to the rest of the series :)

    • Luxor profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I hope you find a few workouts that you love!

    • greeneryday profile image


      6 years ago from Some tropical country

      Thank you for the very useful information written on this hub! Now I have the opportunity to lose some weight while saving money too! Voted up & useful and also bookmarked!


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