Staying Fit While Staying At Home. Update on CLT Fitness Options Including 15+ Free Streaming. (3/23/20)

As you probably know, fitness studios and gyms across Mecklenburg County were ordered to close for 1 month earlier this week to help flatten the curve and decrease the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Since then, instructors have leapt into action to provide improvised streamed and recorded workouts you can do in your home while practicing social distancing. So far I’ve done Pilates using a towel as a glider and bicep curls with wine bottles. The creativity in our community and dedication of our instructors is such a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy time.

Check out the list below of more than 15 studios offering free streaming workouts and many others offering significantly reduced rates. Keep reading for how you can pitch in to support local fitness businesses while their doors are temporarily closed.

And scroll down to see some specific instructions on at home workouts from a few studio instructors we love.

CLT Classes That Are Free to Stream and Follow

Ebb & Flow Movement Studio: offering two free streaming options right now ~

Vibe5: Offering live streaming classes thru ZOOM, access via MindBody or their App.

YMCA / Y360 app: offering on-demand videos from the YMCA.

Camp Gladiator: Camp Gladiator has taken extraordinary measures to ensure campers and community can stay fit at home. They have weekly PDF workouts you can download and LIVE streaming workouts happening every day Weekdays 6am, 9am & 6:30pm and Saturday at 9am. Everyone can tune in and join these workouts on the main Camp Gladiator Facebook. Check out the workout and info from the Hustle from Home series on their blog: Hustle from Home Blog

F45 Midtown: taking to Instagram Live to help you stick to your goals. These workouts are available for all, but other F45 locations have additional options for members as well.

West Kept Secret: get your HIIT fix with these goddesses of CLT fitness. Streaming on their Instagram regularly.

Barry’s Bootcamp: follow Shane Lucas, Chelsea Cox, and Erica Penunuri Rossi of Barry’s Charlotte for daily workouts.

Scultphouse: follow their Instagram for IG Live workouts.

CycleBar Midtown: IGTV workouts coming your way

Row House – Costwold: 5pm everyday. No equipment needed. Streamed on Facebook.

SweatNet: They are streaming and archiving SO MUCH. It’s free for members and if you haven’t already joined, you’re missing out on the best fitness deal in the city.

Carolina Barre and Core: posting virtual workouts 1-2 times per day. Check out Instagram for more info as it becomes available.

BK Pilates: knows how important your fitness routine is to your physical and mental well-being. That’s why they’ve just added a full schedule of online mat Pilates classes that you can stream live in your living room! Each class is 30 minute classes at $5.00 each!

Hustle House: until they reopen on 4/16, this new name on the CLT fitness scene is offering workouts on Facebook and Instagram plus a fun way to stay social each week with their Hustle in Your House team contest- check it out here

AIR Charlotte: Free Daily Instagram workouts.

Khali Yoga: a new studio on the CLT yoga scene, offering free online content.

CORE 704 / CORE LKN: offered through Zoom 3x per day on weekdays and a few weekend classes too. Reach out to the studio for the link to classes.

Sydney Cummings, Personal Traininer: a sweet soul with a superhero mentality (and muscles to match). Check out her free daily workouts!

Studios Offering Free Trials and Discounted Options

Orangetheory: posting daily home workout on their app where members can still use their heartrate monitors for splat points

Queen City Professional Yoga Therapy:is offering kids’ classes for any busy bodies you need to tucker out. Shoot her an email for the link.

Arrichion: offering their full schedule of yoga and HIIT classes on Zoom to members. New members can get their first month at a discount using the promo code STAYHOME.

FitAtelier: your first 2 weeks on their streaming platform are free. It’s stacked with everything from ballet strength with Ballet Fit Theory led by a real life ballerina to cardio dance with The Beat Led by a Panther’s Topcat to strength training with TOND.

Hilliard Studio Method: They’ve always streamed their killer 60-minute classes and 5-minute supplemental workouts, but now it’s a MUST. Try it free for 7 days.

MADabolic: you can now have a MAD virtual training membership at a competitive weekly rate. Reach out to the studio for more info.

Pure Barre: try their on-demand service free for 7 days.

The Bar Code: 50% your first month of streaming here.

Burn Bootcamp: streaming and recorded workouts daily with a 14-day free trial.

Yoga One: classes, meditations, and inspirational talks from their instructors free for your first 7 days.

Corepower Yoga: 7-day free trial for yoga and stretch.

Harmony Yoga: new 90-minute classes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Classes are $13 each and payments can be made via Venmo, Zelle, PayPal and check. Email [email protected] or call 704-277-3887 to RSVP.

Exercises You Can Do Any Time at Home:

Ebb & Flow Owner and Head Instructor, Lauren Childs who instructs in REAL Classical Pilates Exercises suggests you try these simple but effective Pilates movements to keep your core tight.

1: “Double Leg Straight” Abdominal exercise from Classical Pilates Mat sequence

Beginner Set Up: Hands under hips for support, head can stay down on the mat, and knees slightly bent.

Intermediate/Advanced Set Up: Hands under head, elbows out, head off of mat, and knees straight. 

DO: Lying on your back on a cushioned mat, legs in the air at 90º over the hips, back pressing down into the mat. INHALE as you LOWER the legs, exhale as you lift the legs back up. Repeat 8-10x.

Goals: Keep abdominals pulling in and the back pressing down into the mat the whole time. Only lower the legs to your body point of control, and if you feel any discomfort, modify as needed. Shoulders always try to stay down and “relaxed” and if the head is up, elbows stay out wide. 


2. “Criss- Cross” Abdominal exercise from Classical Pilates Mat sequence

Lying on your back on a cushioned mat, hands stacked behind the back of the head, legs off the mat bent in “table top” position to start. Extend one leg, keep the other bent at 90º and twist the OPPOSITE elbow towards the OPPOSITE knee. INHALE in the middle, EXHALE in the twist across. Repeat 8-10x.

Goals: Keep bent knee at 90º and work on getting the upper body to twist towards the knee instead of bringing the knee towards the arm. Keep the hips on the mat and think about the armpit reaching towards the inside of the knee instead of just the elbow for an extra burn! Elbows stay wide, neck stays long, eyes follow the movement. Remember to breathe!

3. “Spine Stretch Forward” Post-Abdominal exercise from the Classical Pilates Mat Sequence 

Sitting upright, legs extended out mat width apart and as long as possible. Feet flexed, toes pointing up to ceiling, arms extended out long in from of the chest. INHALE sit as tall as possible, fill lungs up to capacity, EXHALE round the back over, one vertebra at a time, slowly bowing the head forward and emptying lungs to completion. INHALE to sit up tall again. (Repeat 5-10x)  

Goals: To work on posture and flexibility. Lengthening, articulating, and decompressing the spine. This is a breathing exercise to work on improving breath control and lung capacity. Also, this exercise helps calm the nervous system and stretch the abdominal area after the abdominal exercises. 

Flywheel Lead Instructors Sarah Pitts & Jenna Nygaard offer this stroller workout so you can get your moves in while you’re walking your children. (non moms can modify without a stroller of course).

Warm Up: Jog/walk with stroller 5-7 minutes

Circuit 1: Repeat 2-3x

  • 20 walking lunges away from stroller, sprint back
  • 10 squats facing baby
  • 10 push ups

Circuit 2: Repeat 2-3x

  • 10 stroller deadlifts: balancing on one leg, push the stroller away from you, while extending other leg back behind you.  Squeeze glutes as you come back to standing.
  • 20 jumping jacks between each side of stroller
  • 20 alternating arm raise plank: in a high plank position in front of your stroller, alternate tapping each hand to the stroller. Separate your feet wider to help keep your hips still and core more engaged.

Circuit 3: Repeat 2-3x

  • 20 skaters side to side in front of stroller
  • 15 tricep dips in front of stroller
  • 15 leg lowers: lying on back in front of stroller, hold on to front of stroller with legs up and lower and lift back up slowly, keeping low pressed back down to ground.

As we’re all navigating our “new normal”, try these tips at home workout from Vibe5 Instructor Sarah Pay:

  1. Set a time for your workout that is consistent every day. If at all possible, make it the same as it was when you were going to class.
  2. Make sure you have good tunes ~ make your own playlist or DM your favorite teachers for some of theirs. 
  3. Try to eliminate distractions. Find somewhere in your house or outdoors where you won’t be interrupted and avoid checking texts or taking calls during your designated workout time.
  4. Document it. If you keep a calendar or write in a journal, it’s a great idea to jot down a few notes about your workout. Allow yourself to observe and notice the differences you experience in your mind and body when you work out alone. There are certainly pros and cons. 
  5. Finally, and maybe most importantly, end your workout, run, ride or practice with some sort of gratitude offering. Maybe it’s sharing what you did with an accountability partner, speaking out loud to your family how thankful you are they gave you the time, or expressing gratitude to God for a body that is healthy and can move!

In more somber news, The Bar Method has closed both of its locations permanently effective 3/21. We have so enjoyed working and working out with local studio owner Autumn Frk, we will miss her, her studios and fellow classmates!

On that note… there’s more than a bit of sadness as I write this month’s #GetFitCLT. Usually it’s about how to have fun while doing something good for yourself and your body. This month is different ~ what an understatement. Instead of marking your calendars for brewery workouts or chances to work up a sweat in the Carolina spring sunshine, this feels like a call for survival for some of our favorite studios. An enormous part of fitness is the community that emerges when people work together towards a common goal (and suffer through a torturous amount of burpees or crunches). It’s not silly. It’s not imagined. We’re bonded to each other.

While you’re enjoying the awesome home workouts instructors have lovingly planned and performed for you, please consider supporting them in this time of uncertainty. Leave positive comments, message them if you really enjoyed a workout, simply ask how you can help if you feel compelled. C

Consider these other ways you can support:

  • I know some instructors have included Venmo info in their social profiles- tip them when you take a virtual class.
  • If you’re able to, buy gift cards or merchandise from your favorite studios.
  • If you take a class virtually that you really love, head to the studio when they reopen for an in-person class.
  • If you don’t have to financially, don’t freeze or cancel your memberships right now.
  • Try classes you might not usually try- you’re in private, this is your chance! I took a dance class today and, although I knocked a vase of flowers in my living room over, I LOVED it. Step out of your comfort zone within the comfort of your own home 🙂

In all ways, if we each do our part we can come out of this stronger, maybe even better in unexpected ways- kinder, more patient, more understanding. What a hard lesson we’re learning in what we might have taken for granted before. I can’t wait to high five someone after we finish a tough sweat real soon. Until then, stay connected to your fitness community however you can virtually and take this time to stay home and stay healthy.

As always and especially now, if there are any opportunities to support local studios that I’ve missed please drop a comment below!


Nicole Brantley
Nicole is a native Charlottean that loves the Queen City almost as much as running, writing, and type-A organization.