Workout videos are great, but sometimes, it can be a pain to follow along with one or rewind to review certain moves. And the music can be weak. However, having a clear visual of the moves you have to do is super important because it helps you with form. Don't worry! The GIF workout is here to help.
These moving images are the happy medium between videos and static workout graphics, and savvy online publications are using them to demonstrate fun, fascinating workouts for you to try. Best of all, you get to choose the soundtrack. Remember, check with your doctor before beginning these workouts to see if they are right for you, and be aware: these workouts are quite challenging and definitely not for newbies.
There’s no better way to break an exercise rut than by trying a workout from a hot fitness studio, but if you’re not in a major city — or you’re broke — it isn’t always possible. Well+Good has upped the workout GIF game by giving us the “10 fitness moves you’ve never done before” workout with moves from two hot New York–based fitness sensations: The Movement and Circuit of Change. This dynamic, intense workout is a mix of kickboxing, toning, dance and primal movements. You’re not going to get bored; in fact, I found myself laughing and getting increasingly hyped after completing each move. It doesn’t hurt that the workout starts off with a Gorilla Walk, automatically taking you out of your comfort zone and encouraging you to get in touch with your playful side. This routine is hard work and absolutely not for beginners, but it is so much fun I didn’t feel like I was working out until, of course, it was all over and the soreness set in. Doing a cool-down helped me feel refreshed afterward. Well+Good says that the workout should take 20 minutes, but the first round took me longer than the suggested time because I was working on understanding the moves and performing them with proper form. The beauty of GIF workouts is that you have more freedom to go at your own pace. Also, while the workout consists of four rounds, you can always start with one and work your way up. This workout was a major mood booster as well; you can’t do a 360 degree crab turn and not smile. It’s just a fact.
Have you ever heard the fitspo saying, “Sweat is your fat crying?” Fitspo can be kind of dodgy, but all I could think when I was trying That Girl London’s GIF workouts created for U.K. magazine Red was, “If sweat is fat crying, my fat is having a meltdown.” That Girl London is a wellness website created by personal trainer Christina Howells and activewear designer Charli Cohen that specializes in unique GIF workouts, bundles of which are available for purchase. But thanks to a collaboration with Red, you can try That Girl London’s insanely tough, awesome workouts at home free. The high-quality GIFs and the accompanying clear instructions really helped me to execute the moves with proper form.
The That Red Girl HIIT Workout consists of four pairs of complimentary exercises. Each pair is done for 40 seconds — 20 seconds apiece — followed by a 40-second rest. Many of the moves, such as Plié Squats and Walk-Out Planks, were familiar enough but still exciting due to the pairings. After the first round, I was almost giddy. That wasn’t too bad, I thought. And then the second round began, and the backs of my thighs literally began to quiver. Much like the Well+Good workout, this workout took a bit more time than the magazine suggests at first because I reviewed the moves and got used to the rhythm of the HIIT format.
The That Red Girl Workout Plan tones every inch of your body and activates your abs, and there’s not a crunch in the bunch. Forget regular pushups; the Star Press is the mother of all toning moves. (Pro-tip: the Star Press GIF didn’t work for me initially, but I tried opening it in a new tab, which downloaded it to my computer, and I was able to properly view the GIF.) The one move I wasn’t a fan of was the Chair Pull; it’s very difficult, and being under the chair was uncomfortable. Aside from that, I loved this workout. If you’re looking for a major challenge that will seriously work your entire body, including those sometimes neglected areas like shoulders and inner thighs, this could be the workout for you.
When you’re working hard, it helps to have pulsating beats and someone like Sam Smith serenading you to help stay motivated and focused. Here’s the soundtrack I used for these workouts: