Schlepping to the gym is so 2015. Seriously, who has time? "Streaming workout fans can now do a killer workout in the same time it takes someone else to find a parking spot at the gym," says celeb trainer Andrea Orbeck, whose clients include Heidi Klum and Julia Roberts. Simply pop open your tablet, phone, or computer, click on the video of your choice, and within minutes you'll be sweating.
How they work
Most streaming platforms are simple. Think of them as Netflix for fitness. You log onto the website and pick from a full library of workouts. They're sorted by categories -- like cardio, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), upper body, and yoga -- or by instructor so you can choose a workout from a trainer you like.
Many streaming workouts offer a free trial. If you like it, you subscribe for a month, three months, or a year. Others give you free access; just be prepared to sit through ads. For loads of freebie workouts, fire up YouTube or PopSugar.
They're portable. Work out in a hotel, your bedroom, or at the beach. What's more, they're (usually) a good deal. Most services charge a fraction of the cost of a gym membership. Some are free.
You can't beat the variety. Want Pilates one day and HIIT the next? No problem. Need a quick, 10-minute burst today, but a 45-minute workout tomorrow? Done. "You have a lot of choices," Orbeck says. "You can find the best fit for you, whether you're looking for a favorite trainer or a new workout to change up your routine."
Streaming workouts require get-up-and-go. "If you lack self-discipline to push play, you may not be able to be pushed at all," Orbeck says.
And "not all streaming workouts are the same," Orbeck adds. Some services are expensive and give you access to only one trainer. Others have added fees for special equipment. Read the fine print.
Also, not all instructors are experts. "Just having a good-looking body does not make someone qualified to teach others how to exercise," says certified trainer Pete McCall. A good coach should have credentials to lead fitness classes. Look for a nationally recognized certification or exercise degree.