Six leading home exercise regimes to burn the most calories

Which workout works best? As social lives restart, we all want to lose weight — fast. We tried out six leading home exercise regimes to see which really burns the most calories

  • Average adult in the UK has gained 1kg by snacking and drinking in lockdown 
  • Projected date for outdoor meet-ups in pubs and restaurants is six weeks away
  • Sarah Rainey dons a Fitbit to reveal the best workouts for losing weight at home

At long last the halcyon days of long lunches in pub gardens and summer barbecues with friends are almost within reach.

But if you’ve spent the last few months lounging in tracksuit bottoms and dipping into the biscuit tin, the prospect of socialising may not appeal as much as it once did.

Almost half of us admit to putting on weight during lockdown, with the average adult gaining 1kg through drinking, snacking and less physical activity.

With April 12 — the projected date for outdoor meet-ups in pubs and restaurants — just six weeks away, there’s not much time to get in shape before lockdown ends. Gyms are still closed, but there’s nothing to stop you exercising at home — there are plenty of online workouts designed for you to do in your living room, kitchen or garden.

Sarah Rainey dons a Fitbit to reveal the best workouts for losing weight at home, as it’s revealed outdoor meet-ups are projected to return in just six weeks. Pictured: Sarah trying the Tracy Anderson workout 

From PE with Joe Wicks to celeb-endorsed trampoline sessions, there’s something to suit everyone and, better still, many are free. SARAH RAINEY dons her Fitbit and puts a selection to the test. . .

FIGHT ALL-OVER FLAB WITH JOE WICKS

WHAT IS IT? Three 20-minute live workout sessions a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9am) with ‘Body Coach’ Joe Wicks, 34, who has 2.7 million YouTube subscribers. His lockdown PE classes were viewed 22 million times last year, earning him an MBE and a Guinness World Record, with fans tuning in worldwide.

BEST FOR: All the family. His initial goal was getting children active, but the sessions are now aimed at grown-ups, too. It’s useful to have a sense of humour, as some of the moves — such as the ‘Pikachu pop’ — are a bit silly.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 3/5

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: None, although you’ll need quite a lot of space to jump around.

COST: Free. Search for ‘The Body Coach TV’ on youtube.com.

THE WORKOUT: A series of cardio-based exercises, from running on the spot to kangaroo hops, bicycle crunches and high kicks, with 20-second breaks in between. It’s fast-paced and fun — I can see why he proved so popular last spring.

By the time we get to the second round my heart is pounding and I’m feeling the burn. There’s no cool-down at the end, but I’m ready to flop on the sofa.

CALORIES BURNED IN 20 MINS: 295

HOW OFTEN? Three times a week will burn 5,310 calories in six weeks, equivalent to 1kg weight loss.

TONE UP YOUR LEGS ON A TRAMPOLINE

Sarah who hasn’t been on a trampoline since her eighth birthday, said The Ness workout (pictured) burned 302 calories in 20 minutes

WHAT IS IT? Showing that trampolining isn’t just for kids, celebrity fitness studio The Ness has opened to the masses, offering virtual ‘bounce sessions’ to subscribers.

Fans include Gwyneth Paltrow and Eva Longoria, while Goldie Hawn has also endorsed the fat-burning powers of ‘rebounding’ — high-intensity cardio exercises on a mini trampoline.

BEST FOR: Fitness fanatics looking for something a bit different. You’ll also need high ceilings.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 4/5

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: A mini trampoline is helpful, although there are ‘sculpting’ sessions that require only a mat. You can buy a fold-up trampoline from £29.99 (argos.co.uk), or hop on the kids’ one in the garden.

COST: £28.39 a month or £255.59 a year; there’s a seven-day trial package, too (thenessdigital.com).

THE WORKOUT: Having not been on a trampoline since my eighth birthday, I start by acquainting myself with the basics. There are 15-second video tutorials for each move, from squats and knee tucks to the more intimidating ‘cross tap’ and ‘scissor’.

I choose a 20-minute session with an energetic jumper called Kendall, who takes me through a fast-paced routine that involves high kicks, squats and jumping jacks.

I soon get into the swing of it, my enthusiasm tempered only by fear of hitting the ceiling.

By the end, I’m dripping with sweat and pumping with adrenaline.

CALORIES BURNED IN 20 MINS: 302

HOW OFTEN? Do this high-intensity routine twice a week and within six weeks you’ll have burned 3,624 calories — just over half a kilogram.

GET A-LIST FIT WITH SOME DANCE MOVES

Sarah said the ‘Tracy Anderson Method’ (pictured) could easily shift a kilo, if done four times a week 

WHAT IS IT? She counts the likes of Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz as clients — but now you can learn the patented ‘Tracy Anderson Method’, as the celebrity fitness trainer has opened up her studios online.

Online subscribers choose from three levels (start, fundamental or attain), which comprise 20 to 30-minute dance cardio videos.

There’s a virtual ‘prescription office’ where experts will analyse your fitness and experience, too.

BEST FOR: Intermediate and advanced workout fans, with some dance training. The workouts are fast-paced and tough, with no explanation of the moves.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 5/5

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: None.

COST: £64.48 a month or £579.21 a year, so it’s more expensive than most real-life gym memberships. You can test it out first with a 14-day free trial (tracyanderson.com).

THE WORKOUT: I choose a ‘Catalyst Cardio’ workout with Nikki, an impossibly toned Gigi Hadid lookalike. Flailing around as I attempt to copy her graceful dance moves, I feel like a hippo.

She bounds from one movement to the next — grapevines, twists, jumping jacks and twirls — without a break, and I find it hard to follow with no instructions. There’s heavy techno music blaring throughout and the whole thing is less Strictly Come Dancing, and more dodgy nightclub. Still, I’m shattered by the end.

CALORIES BURNED IN 20 MINS: 230

HOW OFTEN? Do this four times a week and you’ll easily shift a kilo.

HONE A SIX-PACK WITH GIRL POWER

Sarah said Sweat (pictured) is great for those who enjoy fast-paced cardio workouts, and could deliver noticeably toned abs if done three times a week

WHAT IS IT? Designed by women for women, Sweat is a lifestyle hub offering fitness tips, workouts, nutrition advice and recipes.

Co-founded by Australian fitness influencer Kayla Itsines (who has 12.8 million followers on Instagram), its trainers are all female and are based around the world.

Subscribers are connected via an app, which then tracks your fitness by linking to your Fitbit or Apple Watch.

BEST FOR: Fans of short, fast-paced cardio workouts (though there are yoga and Pilates options, too).

Workouts can be done in small spaces with just a smartphone, so it’s ideal if you live in a flat.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 4/5

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: None. Instead of weights, the instructors suggest using household cleaning products or water bottles.

COST: £14.32 a month or £85.93 a year. Sign up at sweat.com.

THE WORKOUT: A 20-minute full-body session with Kayla — who’s earned an impressive £356 million from her online workouts, so she should know a thing or two about working up a sweat at home.

We start with some basic lunges and stretches before moving into a demanding routine of jumping jacks, squats, Russian twists and sit-ups. Somehow, she manages to talk (and smile) throughout, shouting out words of encouragement, but I’m completely breathless and red in the face. It’s so intense I collapse onto my mat during the penultimate exercise, a side plank, and have to sit the last few minutes out.

CALORIES BURNED IN 20 MINS: 286

HOW OFTEN? Three times a week will result in 1kg weight loss — and noticeably toned abs.

BOX CLEVER FOR PERFECT BICEPS

Sarah said Rumble classes (pictured) should shed 1kg, if you work up a sweat doing it four times a week 

WHAT IS IT? Boxing-inspired toning, strength and conditioning classes from Rumble, the trendy gym founded in New York. David Beckham swears by it, apparently, as does Justin Bieber.

Classes are live-streamed on Zoom (so you can access them on your phone, laptop or tablet), up to nine times a day, and last 45 minutes.

BEST FOR: Anthony Joshua wannabes or teens with pent-up angst.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 4/5

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Gloves are optional (£14.95, amazon.co.uk).

COST: Single classes cost £11, or you can buy a set of eight (which expire within 30 days) for £70. Visit doyourumble.com.

THE WORKOUT: A trio of glossy-haired instructors take me through Rumble’s signature moves: the jab, cross, uppercut and hook, all while hopping back and forth on their toes.

There’s skipping, squatting and lunging, too, with modifications for beginners.

The workout finishes with an abs section, comprising sit-ups, planks and mountain climbers. It’s high-octane and easy to follow, with clear explanations and plenty of motivation throughout.

CALORIES BURNED IN 20 MINS: 225

HOW OFTEN? Work up a sweat doing this four times a week and you should lose 1kg.

SHRINK YOUR WAISTLINE WITH RETRO AEROBICS 

Sarah said Carl Harrison’s workout (pictured) burned just 106 calories in 20 minutes, but is good for those who love cheesy pop 

WHAT IS IT? Described as ‘Joe Wicks meets Jane Fonda’, Carl Harrison’s workout videos are a joy to watch. Combining retro aerobics with dance, stretching and 1980s pop, his live-streamed sessions last 45 minutes.

A trained actor and choreographer who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, he hosts workouts on YouTube at 10am on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

BEST FOR: Anyone with a sense of fun and a love of cheesy pop.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 2/5

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: None.

COST: Free, although you can donate via his website, carlharrison.biz.

THE WORKOUT: Filmed in what appears to be Carl’s bedroom, this looks a little amateurish. He starts with a warm-up and moves into a brilliantly naff dance routine featuring high kicks, twirls, grapevines and some Fonda-esque reach-throughs.

CALORIES BURNED IN 20 MINS: 106

HOW OFTEN? Even doing this five days a week will burn off only half a kilogram (3,180 calories) in six weeks.

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