Streaming workouts from your favorite big-name boutique studios, led by star trainers, is a great way to work up a sweat in your living room on those days when there’s just no time to travel to a workout. And yes, when you’re saving your pennies, you can even tap free YouTube videos for a quick full-body burn.
But a new breed of startups is taking things a few (virtual) steps further, with innovative takes on online fitness and wellness—offering more choices than ever for those of us with packed schedules (AKA everyone).
It’s like Skype for squats, but more sophisticated.
Whether it’s a personal trainer who perfects your squat form via your iPad camera or Kundalini yoga videos you can stream in between conference calls, there are more choices—and more personalization—than ever before.
Keep reading for the details on three next-gen, tech-enabled fitness platforms.
Virtual personal training
During more than a decade working in New York City’s fitness industry, LIFT Session founder Chris Blyth saw that personal training generally led to the best results, but that many people weren’t doing it because of barriers like cost and busy schedules that didn’t allow for consistency. “Our goal is to make personal training more accessible to more people,” he says, and they do that by allowing you to book affordable sessions ($44 each, with a break on the price when you commit to more sessions) with a trainer who’s only with you virtually. It’s like Skype for squats, but more sophisticated. While you plank, the trainer watches and offers cues and encouragement (and if you choose to wear a heart-rate monitor, they’ll see your stats on the screen). And LIFT offers the first session free, so you can even try it before you buy it.
Workouts plus wellness sessions
Launched this spring, Mission360 is an online one-stop shop for crystal-wearing yogis to tap into healthy vibes at home (or while traveling). A monthly membership ($35) includes streaming mind-body workouts like vinyasa flow classes with The Springs LA, arm and ab toning with Norma Jean Pilates, and barre class with Elements Fitness. Plus, it includes a library of meditation classes, and you can also purchase one-on-one video sessions with nutrition experts, relationship coaches, and even reiki healers.
IRL fitness on demand
Currently available in 22 cities—including New York City, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago—TRN was created by the renowned founder of La Palestra Center for Preventative Medicine Pat Manocchia and his business partner, fitness expert Greg Peters, and instructor quality is super important to them. The app is easy to use and allows you to search for and book vetted personal training, yoga, Pilates, and swimming instructors, each of whom have short intro videos you can watch to find your match (plus rate info). They then come to you wherever you are—your apartment, building gym, or local park, for example—to guide you towards a fitter life IRL.
Another way to get a good sweat going in your living room? Stream classes from your favorite boutique studio—everything from AKT to Ballet Beautiful. Or wait a bit longer for Teyana Taylor, the breakout dance star from Kanye West’s Fade video, to release her dance workout app, Fade 2 Fit.
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