BEST FOR THE STUDIO VIBES: Barry’s At Home
While its studios are closed, Barry’s devotees can get their Red Room fix – complete with epic playlists – online. Barry’s At Home offers a full daily schedule of instructor-led, 50-minute classes, with a strong focus on strength and cardio. Keep an eye out for upper body workouts running on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, all of which use a mix of weights, bodyweight and bands for stronger shoulders and arms after just one session. For a taster of the Barry’s experience, look out for free live IG classes, which take place at 10:30am daily.
THE DETAILS: A single class is priced at £12 and can be booked online; sessions are held via Zoom. Keep an eye out for weekly and monthly memberships, launching imminently.
BEST FOR BARRE FANS: Define Abs & Arms
The upper arms can be a tricky area to train, but Define’s barre classes tick all the right boxes, serving up a serious burn for more sculpted biceps, triceps and deltoids. Moves like shoulder pulses, chest presses and tricep dips may seem small, but it’s precisely this targeted approach that’s earned barre its reputation as a toning powerhouse. Refreshingly low-impact and suitable for all levels – even if you’re a strength training beginner – Define’s Arms & Abs classes are one to try.
THE DETAILS: A single live workout costs £6.99 (or £60 for a pack of ten classes), while pre-recorded workouts cost £3.99 and promise an arm blast, whatever time of the day.
BEST FOR THE TIME-POOR: Shona Vertue
Australian ex-elite gymnast Shona Vertue’s balanced approach to fitness (think yoga meets strength) is one we can get on board with. Whether you’re a runner who always skips stretching or you’re yoga obsessed but can barely do ten push-ups, the Vertue Method gets our vote. While workouts have a full-body focus, this 15-minute arms session is an SL-favourite – try repeating it twice after a lower-body class for 360-degree toning. You’ll need a long, looped resistance band for this workout – Shona recommends this one.
THE DETAILS: Access to Shona’s YouTube channel is free of charge, while her 12-week Fitness Programme, which consists of lifetime access to 12 real time workout videos, costs £39.99.
BEST FOR YOUR HOME GYM: ROWBOTS@Home
The rowing machine may seem old-school, but ROWBOTS is taking things to the next level. Pioneered by football phenomenon Gareth Bale and team GB powerlifting icon Hendrick Famutimi, the ROWBOTS workout is, quite literally, fit for an athlete. Using water rowers, which provide the perfect level of low-impact resistance, the ROWBOTS workout combines interval work on the rower and conditioning exercises on the floor. The ‘Action’ classes, held throughout the week, are our top choice for stronger arms – expect heavy lifts and five-minute row sprints.
THE DETAILS: If you already have a rowing machine, access to ROWBOTS@Home costs £25 per month for unlimited classes. Your very own WaterRower, complete with six-months access to on-demand ROWBOTS workouts, can be yours from £10.38/week with Klarna. All classes are streamed via Zoom.
BEST FOR UPPER BODY MOBILITY: Yoga With Adriene
With more than 6m subscribers and counting, Yoga With Adriene is one of the most popular online yogis. If you spend your day hunched over a screen, Adriene’s upper body-focused sessions will release tension, build strength and improve posture. From speedy 15-minute sessions to longer 30-minute classes that will shape the arms and improve balance and stability in one fell swoop, these workouts are well worth a try if you’re after something that involves minimal equipment.
THE DETAILS: Find Adriene’s YouTube channel here; we rate the 15-minute Yoga for Upper Body Strength, while the ten-minute Yoga for Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back is the perfect antidote to chaturangas, crows and planks.
BEST FOR AT-HOME FITNESS INSPO: MadFit
Canadian Maddie Lymburner’s channel is dedicated to at-home fitness – all workouts are under 30 minutes and her fad-free, uncomplicated approach has won her fitness fans worldwide. Using light weights (if you don’t have a pair of dumbbells, substitute with a couple of tins), Maddie’s ten-minute Toned Arms workout is one of our favourites, while those with a set of heavier dumbbells should try the Full Upper Body Workout. Maddie also shares plant-based recipes over on blog – the likes of homemade protein bars, vegan pad thai and homemade bean burgers are the perfect way to refuel post workout.
THE DETAILS: All MadFit workouts are free of charge – find them on Instagram and Youtube.
BEST FOR VARIETY: Blogilates
With a cool 1.8m Instagram followers, fitness powerhouse Cassey Ho is renowned for her fun, lighthearted approach to staying in shape. Short and sweet but bringing the burn, Cassey’s workouts are suitable for all levels and will tone without putting too much impact on the joints. When it comes to arms, you’re spoilt for choice – choose from the Pilates-inspired Beautiful Arm Sculpt, the heart-raising Lean Arms Cardio, the ten-minute Arm Toner, and many more. Cassey’s seven-day fitness challenges – which include an arm-specific challenge – are also worth a try.
THE DETAILS: All Blogilates workouts are free of charge – find them on YouTube.
BEST FOR A CARDIO HIT: BoxxLDN
One look at Nicola Adams’ arms is proof boxing packs a punch in the conditioning department. Offering live boxing workouts straight from your living room, BoxxLDN’s weekly schedule will build upper body strength in no time. The combination of boxing jabs, crosses and hooks will leave your arms burning, while working across different planes of movement will keep your core engaged, too. Boxx’s 30-minute Punch & Flex classes are the one to try.
THE DETAILS: The team at BoxxLDN has made boxing without a bag possible (and seriously effective) – all you need is a pair of 1kg dumbbells. Unlimited live streamed and on-demand classes will set you back just £19.99 per month and your first seven days are free.
BEST FOR BUILDING YOUR OWN ROUTINE: The Live Fit Girl
If your lockdown fitness routine consists of mixing and matching various workouts, these ten-minute arm sessions are a must-try. Hosted by Pilates instructor Deanna, you’ll find dozens of workouts designed to target the shoulders and upper body. From resistance band arm workouts to sessions that focus solely on the back, there’s something for everyone. Tag one of these onto your next 5k run or HIIT session – you won’t be disappointed.
THE DETAILS: All Deanna’s workouts can be found free of charge on her YouTube channel. Once you work your way through the pre-recorded sessions, there’s also the option to sign up to her app, The Fitness Collective, where exclusive workouts and recipes are added weekly.