High Quality, Body-Positive Fitness YouTube?
May 23, 2020 8:18 AM   Subscribe

I've been doing fitness videos on Jitsi with my mother and I'm on a quest for some reasonably body-positive quality fitness videos (ideally available on YouTube, so we can do the simultaneous viewing on Jitsi). Richard Simmons is providing good music and actual people instead of fitness models, but is hard to follow. Kathy Smith's videos are high quality, but dull and have these comments about how you're doing the video to be "toned" rather than for general fitness.

Ideally, suggestions would be available on YouTube, but we do both have access to Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Things I like about the Richard Simmons video (we've been doing Sweating to the Oldies II):
  • the people in the background of varied shapes and sizes; there are a number of POC
  • the music (I mean, we picked the oldies one for a reason)
  • there's a quick weight routine and a "floor work" section
Things I don't like:
  • the weight section is too fast for anything but ultralight weights
  • there are a lot of overhead shots where you can't see what you're meant to be doing
  • it can be hard to tell what you're meant to be doing, nevermind whether you're doing it properly
  • the lighting is kind of dark
  • why is there an Elvis impersonator? and a love interest!?
Things I like about Kathy Smith (we did this video)
  • clear instructions about how to hold your body, etc (it actually cuts away for emphasis on form)
  • it's clear what you're meant to be doing
  • 1980/1990s fitness models look more like actual people than modern fitness models
  • the camera stays in one place and the lighting is bright
  • she talks about modifying moves if needed, but there do seem to be very few suggested modifications
Things I don't like:
  • she actually makes a speech at the end about not giving in to toxic messaging about appearance and fitness, but there are these offhand comments throughout the video about "toning" or "flab" that we could do without--little speech or not, the whole thing is premised on that toxic messaging
  • boring music (is there music?)
I do like have the weights and abs section in the Richard Simmons video, but I don't think that outweighs quality in an aerobics-only video. When there's not a pandemic on, my mom teaches Bone Builders at the local retirement home, so we can do that weight routine on alternate days, but it's deathly boring.
posted by hoyland to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I found Mommastrong (and Pappastrong) here on Metafilter and I’m a huge fan now.. it’s not YouTube (but only 5$ a month), a new video every day but most important really stresses good form and modifications for all skill levels (never shaming and very encouraging for just showing up). You really get to know Courtney (the owner who is also doing all the Mommastrong videos) - and she is really lovely and awesome.

It’s the most physiology-/anatomy aware online (and offline) fitness course I’ve ever seen and really really good for core strength/glute activation.

It’s hard to describe but it really changed my life in that it showed me how to use my pelvic and gluteal muscles for so many new things. There are “fix-mes” for specific issues and its sooooooooo good.
posted by mathiu at 9:07 AM on May 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Don't know if you're into yoga, but Jessamyn Stanley is a body-positive yoga instructor with a YouTube presence, and I've found her videos to be really accommodating to different body types and abilities, and really open about how she makes certain poses work with her body type (i.e., shifting her stomach to different places, etc.).
posted by SweetAvenue at 9:09 AM on May 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Fitness Marshall on Youtube has lots of free workouts with fun, popy dance moves with dancers of different shapes, sizes, and heights. It's fun!
posted by shortyJBot at 9:39 AM on May 23, 2020

I've been really enjoying the workouts from Team Body Project. They have a website where you can pay for many more workouts/programs, but they offer plenty of free workouts on Youtube. The workouts are led by a married couple who themselves look like they eat nothing but kale, but their enthusiasm and encouragement of all body types and abilities is really inspiring. Some workouts are just cardio, some resistance, and some both.
posted by JanetLand at 10:03 AM on May 23, 2020

Walk at home might work!
posted by caoimhe at 12:46 PM on May 23, 2020

You should google and try Fitness Blender (Fitnessblender.com). They are excellent!!
--Husband/wife team out of the Northwest somewhere
--Their studio is their garage, but it's a plain white background
--Intentionally do NOT play music, but you can always play your own in the background
--They have several free videos and a new option for a subscription-based, haven't tried it; felt like I haven't really needed to with so much they offer already. You actually don't even need to create an account, you can "lurk" forever (I did, for about 3 years before I actually created an account)
--Videos range from Level 1 - 5 (1 is easy, 5 most difficult)
--A WIDE range of HIIT, low impact, high impact, stretching only, yoga-focus, lower body, upper body, total body, core only, etc etc with modifications given throughout;
--wide range of times as well - from 5 minutes to 80 minutes
--very positive and realistic talking and encouragement, "normal" instruction
--alot of health tips on the website
--alot of health tips on each workout

These guys are GREAT - i LOVE their videos. I recommend them to everyone who talks about working out!
posted by foxhat10 at 4:18 PM on May 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh and their videos are on youtube, but you can filter for that perfect workout a lot easier from the website.
posted by foxhat10 at 4:20 PM on May 23, 2020

+1 Fitness Blender. Heartily concur with foxhat10’s endorsement and would add that the community forum on their website is really supportive and encouraging. I’ve done a lot of their workouts in the last few years, and find their teaching style really clear with good detail on form for the exercises (especially weight training). Owner/trainer Kelli has had some health problems herself in the last few years, and I’ve noticed that they are really focusing their messaging and teaching around treating your body well, setting attainable goals and doing the best you can on any given day. Love them. Check it out.
posted by sk932 at 6:41 PM on May 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

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