Mindbody

Download the app

The MINDBODY app

Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.

Install
at-home fitness collage
Fitness
Published Thursday Sep 10, 2020 by Sara Lesher

How Has COVID-19 Changed Fitness Routines?

Fitness
COVID-19

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in our plans. Whether you were hopping around your city trying all the best yoga studiosjust getting into the groove with some in-person HIIT classes, working on finding the perfect gym membership, or all of the above like me, you were probably just a little disappointed when the world shut down (to say the least). 

But what I didn’t expect when I was sulking around my apartment and struggling my way through at-home yoga was that fitness would take on an entirely new form.  

Once we realized this isn’t as temporary as we thought, we had to decide: Be sad about the whole thing... or adapt. And because we’re humans—and we prioritize our wellness—we chose the latter. We came together as a wellness community in more ways than one, and we figured out how to make this work for us.  

To discover how we’re all adapting to this new normal of fitness, we polled our Instagram followers, asking you all how your fitness routines have changed over the past six months. 

Here’s what you had to say: 

1.    Trying new (online) classes became a must

Although many are probably religiously taking the online versions of their pre-COVID go-to fitness classes, 64% of those polled have tried new online classes during the pandemic as well. Maybe it’s the whole being stuck at home thing, maybe we all just want a little excitement in our lives, I don’t know, but I like it. I personally have tried out some new classes, and it has made my fitness routine fun and exciting in a time when I’m feeling the monotony of working, working out, eating, sleeping—you know, everything—from home. 
 


2.    Taking it outside reintroduced us to some normalcy. 


Somewhere along the line (month 3, 4, 5? I’ve lost count...) studios all over the country started to introduce outdoor workouts. Beaches, parks, rooftops, parking lots, you name it, people are working out there. Fifty seven percent of those who responded to the poll have tried (and loved) outdoor workouts—I know I have. I’ve been hitting the open road, AKA the Cycletribe SLO parking lot, twice a week and spinning to the beat in the great outdoors. I’ve been getting to sweat alongside real live people and be coached and encouraged by real live instructors—it’s been SO GREAT (I mean, check this out).  


3.    Being flexible with our schedules has worked in our favor. 


With work-from-home mandates, commute cut-outs, new homeschool/daycare duties, and more, we’ve all seen some major schedule changes in 2020. Because of this, 77% of us are now working out at a different time of day than previously. While I used to commute 2.5 hours a day, I now just hop from my bed to my desk, and I have plenty more time to work out. I’m exercising now more than ever, and sometimes I can even squeeze in a 30-minute class on my lunch break! Gotta find those silver linings. 

4.    Going for the gusto (and gains) is the new yoga

While yoga is consistently our most popular category, it seems like strength and cardio may be catching up. According to our poll, 60% of respondents have been doing more live stream and on demand strength or cardio classes than yoga. I can’t speak for everyone, but at this point, I know I’m pretty restless. That combined with the fact that I’m totally adjusted to my new schedule and WFH situation means that I can rely a little less on yoga and jump back into the HIIT classes I was skipping out on for so long.


5.    Brevity has proven popular. 


On the other side of the whole restless thing, we also have some short attention spans (or long to-do lists? Or short lunch breaks?). Fifty-seven percent of those polled say the ideal length of a virtual class is 0-30 minutes, while the other 43% prefer 45-75 mins. You know I’m in that first boat... I love a good lunch break workout (and I just can't last very long).  

 

6.    The debate between using weights or bodyweight continues (sorta). 

Do you even HIIT, bro? We asked our community if they prefer using weights for their workouts or if their own bodyweight will suffice. While 52% of those polled say they prefer to work out in groups (versus all alone 😢), 72% also said they definitely use props in their workouts, with 80% admitting they own their own set of weights. One who draws conclusions may assume that the majority of people who own weights and prefer to use props would use weights in their workouts (or resistance bands, which 70% of you said you most definitely utilize). However, when asked directly, it was a 50/50 split: 50% prefer classes that use weights, and 50% prefer those that use bodyweights. Also, shoutout to the one person that said they prefer to use sledgehammers in their workouts


7.    We’ve all learned to love the virtual. 


The one thing we know for sure: despite our love-hate relationships with live stream and on demand workouts, they’re here to stay. Although we miss our studios a lotvirtual classes give us the option to find and take affordable classes from the comfort of our homes, which can be really convenient. After “this is all over,” 75% said they’d continue taking virtual classes in addition to returning to their studios. We’re living in a hybrid world now, and we’re embracing it with open arms! 


8.    We’re staying connected and spreading the love. 


Our last question to our followers was about which studios and instructors were their favorites for virtual workouts, and let me tell ya, we got a ton of responses. It was so awesome to see everyone spreading the love to their favorite fitness pros and reminding us all that we’re still one big happy wellness community, no matter how long we go without seeing one another in person.  
 

chat bubbles with studios and instructors


Leave it to the fitness community to find the silver linings, adapt, and come together during these crazy times. We’re all trying our best to prioritize wellness, support our favorite studios, adapt and move forward with positive attitudes and open minds—and it shows. 

If you’d like to hop on the train and try out some virtual fitness classes, tons of studios are offering Intro Offers right now to help you get started for a great deal. What are you waiting for? 

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As Mindbody’s marketing content associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).
I chose to 'swerk' inside
Fitness
Published Wednesday Nov 04, 2020 by Sara Lesher

So, I Tried an Online Twerk Fitness Class...

Fitness
Dance

Have you ever come across a fitness class on Instagram and thought, that looks so fun, only to scroll on by knowing you’d never in a million years actually sign up for it? Because, same.  
For me, it’s always been dance. Pole dancing, twerking, salsa, ballet, Zumba... I don’t even think twice about booking. There is no way in hell I’m heading into a studio with a bunch of strangers and attempting to follow along to some moves I’ve never tried before.  

...and then there was COVID.  

When studios everywhere started to shut down, virtual fitness started to blow up—and all of the sudden, I had the opportunity to try basically anything without leaving my house (or feeling at all embarrassed). It was a silver lining and a kick in the ass all wrapped into one.  


Finding a Virtual Dance Class 

I started small, doing the classes I was most comfortable with. Once I had perfected my online yoga routine, I needed a little more oomph, so, I stepped it up to HIIT. I was proud of myself for getting back into the swing of things after a long the-world-is-ending-so-I-don't-need-to-work-out break. But still, I hadn’t fully gotten out of my comfort zone. I had taken in-person yoga and HIIT classes before, so even though I had tried out some new studios online, I had a general idea of what to expect.  

Then, my coworkers told me about Rachel Vickhouse and MVP Dance Fit. Rachel and some other badass, beautiful ladies coined the phrase “Lift Your Booty, Love Your Body ™,” and that’s what MVP Dance Fit is all about. They told me this studio offered twerk fitness classes, and that right now, they’re not only offering virtual, but they’re giving one free class to all newbies, too. 
I was curious.  


Sweat + Work + Twerk = Swerk 

Without really looking into it much further, I trusted my coworkers and signed up for the signature “Swerk” class (Sweat, Work, Twerk) to take after work one day.  

Or so I thought...  

My first mistake was not checking the time zone before booking. I thought I was signing up for a class at 5:30 PM, but turns out, the studio is in Ohio. Seeing that I live in California, my timing was all off. Luckily, I realized my mistake when I received the link to join the class in my inbox, and I had time to get ready to twerk in the middle of my workday (whoops).  

I usually exercise out on my deck, but there was no way I was going to give my neighbors a free show (although I’m sure it would’ve spiced up their Monday). So, there I was—at 2:30 PM on a Monday afternoon, dragging my coffee table to the side, shutting my blinds and curtains, filling up my water bottle, and getting ready to dance like no one was watching. 


Here’s what it was like to Swerk 

When I logged on, I saw lots of faces on the screen. One woman was dancing while doing her laundry, another was rocking to the beat in her living room, and another had a prime weight room setup I was pretty jealous of. About half of the participants had their cameras turned on and were starting to warm up (AKA dance around) to the Drake song that was playing, while the other half kept their videos off. Because these women looked like seasoned pros, and I was a total newbie, I opted to keep mine off. (Yes, this is 100% an excuse. I know you see right through me.)  

Then, Rachel herself appeared onscreen with French braids and bright pink lipstick. I’ve never seen someone with more energy—I swear, I think she was drinking Diet Coke out of her tumbler, but I can’t be sure. She let everyone know there were a bunch of first-timers in class, and they’d all have to show us how it’s done (no pressure). She asked if anyone had any song requests, and the chat started popping off.  

After that, there was no messing around. The first song started playing, and she got right to it. Right about now, I was so glad I had my camera off because I must’ve looked ridiculous. She was moving so fast, and I was stumbling trying to keep up.  

She went from sliding left to right, to dropping low, to lifting a leg and landing in a squat, to hands-on-the-floor-ass-in-the-air, all in the span of a song. 

But after just a few minutes, I started getting the hang of it. The choreography repeated, with different moves for different parts of the song, and once I figured them out, I was able to keep up.  
As soon as I got the hang of song #1, we were onto the next. And I love a challenge, so I was ready. Throughout class, we switched from more cardio-intensive songs to leg-focused dances involving squats and lunges. Halfway through, I was sweating. I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having, while also getting such a good workout at the same time.  


Here’s a peek at what it looked like.

At the end, I was so proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone, and I definitely felt the high of a great workout on a day when I was feeling some serious Monday energy (or lack of energy) beforehand. I’m so thankful virtual was an option, because, without it, I don’t know if I ever would’ve tried a class like this. 

During class, I knew I’d end up being sore, and over the next few days, I proved myself right. The next morning, I stood up out of bed and I felt it in my quads and glutes. Thinking I’d be good by the weekend, I planned an eight-mile hike for Saturday morning with some friends. I was so sore I thought they were going to have to leave me on the mountain. Thanks, Rachel. 


Here’s what I wish I knew going in... 

1.    Check the time zone. 


Luckily, I figured it out just in time, but if I didn’t check my email, I easily could’ve missed my class. The beauty of online fitness classes is you can book them at studios all over the world. But, with that, comes time differences. Whenever you’re booking a virtual class, make sure you check the time zone and figure out where the studio is located, so you don’t have to ditch your afternoon meetings. (Unless that’s what you’re going for. Then, more power to you.) 

2.    Wear shoes. 


This might seem obvious, but to me, it wasn’t. When I was getting ready to start class, I wasn’t sure if I needed to wear shoes or if I should have a yoga mat, towel, or weights ready. I wasn’t really sure of anything, to be honest. So, after I made some space in my living room, I looked up MVP Dance Fit on Instagram to see if I could find some answers. From the looks of it, no equipment was necessary, and shoes were probably a good idea. So, if you’re reading this, I hope I saved you some trouble. All you need is some shoes and a little bit of space. 

3.    Know that no one’s watching you.  


Camera or not, no one can really see what you’re doing. And no one cares. I started off the class in gallery mode so I could see everyone, but to follow along with Rachel’s movements, I had to have her on full screen, and I couldn’t pay attention to anyone else in class. Having the camera on just gives everyone the sense that you’re in class together, just like you would be in person. So, maybe next time, I’ll toughen up and leave it on.  

4.    Maybe have some caffeine.  


Should I be encouraging that? I don’t know. But man, that girl had a lot of energy. And dancing takes a lot out of you. About halfway through, when I started getting tired, I wished I’d had something caffeinated before to get me through. But maybe that’s just me. The good music and Rachel’s encouragement definitely got me going, and I had a lot of fun with it. 

5.    Try it with friends. 


Distracting or helpful? I’m not sure. But I do know it would’ve been so fun to have seen all my friends dancing around in little boxes on the screen from their respective houses. And since the first class is free, it probably wouldn’t have been too hard to convince them. So, if you’re planning on trying it out, get some friends to join! I’m sure it’ll be fun to talk about after. 
 
I’d recommend this class to anyone who likes hip-hop and wants to spice up their routine. If you’ve thought about trying a twerk fitness class, just do it already. There are literally no more excuses (coming from someone who would literally never set foot in a dance studio for real).  

Maybe pole dancing is more up your alley, or maybe you’ve never tried a HIIT class before. Whatever it is, just know that it's the perfect time to get over your exercise embarrassment and try something new. 
 

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As Mindbody’s marketing content associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).