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Tips to make your online workouts worthwhile

Tips to make your online workouts worthwhile

While physical sessions at a gym or a fitness centre have their advantages, similar rewards are available through online workouts too, say experts
Online workout sessions give people the option to work out at a time of their choice and convenience.
For beginners, live online workout sessions are better than recorded ones since the instructor can customise the intensity and exercise flow based on individual needs. (Photo: Anantha Subramanyam K / Happiest Health)

Life, as you know, revolves around the internet today. And fitness workouts are no exception. While online workout sessions have been around for almost a decade, they really took off during the Covid-19 pandemic when everything went online — from shopping and office meetings to school and the gym.

Earlier, online fitness or training sessions used to be considered inadequate especially because most people preferred personal interventions, working out in groups or in the gym (with a coach, trainer or workout partner around). Though training and how-to videos were around, the real gamechanger was when trainers started conducting live sessions online.

“The recorded videos lacked guidance and motivation,” says Tanuja Panda, a fitness trainer from Bengaluru. “But when everything shifted online, it was a challenging task to transform in-person sessions into online workouts. Everything was a learning process but with time things fell in place.”

Online training sessions have their plus points, but the world still stands divided about their effectiveness.

Advantages of online workouts

Pavithra Prabhu, 24, a copywriter from Bengaluru, prefers doing live online classes where a trainer guides her through a video call.

“I started working out online two years ago,” says Prabhu. “It is a smooth process without much hassle. It’s convenient for me to just work out at home.”

Prabhu started with an advantage: an avid gym goer already, she was pretty well versed with the exercises. For people like Prabhu, who are largely self-motivated and know the drill, online workout sessions are convenient — training in their own space and saving travel time.

Over the past two years, trainers have also stepped up their game to suit the needs of internet-drive gyms.

Here are some advantages of online workouts:

  • Fitness at your doorstep: You save time since there is no need to travel to the gym or fitness centre.
  • Convenience: They help people plan their workouts as per the demands of their work and life schedule.
  • Economical: No travelling means online workouts are cheaper. Personal training fees are also less.

Recorded training modules

While live sessions are more engaging, recorded training modules are also available — and at a lesser cost. But do they really work?

Baby Damodaran, a 58-year-old homemaker from Bengaluru, finds using pre-recorded training modules convenient. She picks videos that offer low to moderate exercise routines.

“I have knee pain and lack concentration, but I choose exercises that revolve around my condition, and it has provided me good benefits and guidance,” says Damodaran.

But some people say pre-recorded videos are not engaging enough and thereby hamper learning. Or that they provide only an incomplete understanding of the exercise, its form and function.

Prabhu, for instance, tried working out with recorded videos but was not aware about the techniques and postures. She learnt them only later when she started going to a gym.

There are also live online workout sessions that help overcome the problem of a lack of personal touch — since the instructor is available onscreen to push and egg you on, besides correcting the form, etc.

Disadvantages of online workouts

But be it live or recorded, online sessions are not perfect. Here are some disadvantages of online workouts:

  • Lack of a physical trainer: When you are trying to push or increase the intensity or volume of training, it is better to have trainer ensures you don’t make mistakes or push too much and injure yourself.
  • Lack of engagement: Online workouts lack engagement and connect. You will reap the benefits of online training if the exercises are done the correct way. Otherwise, you will lag and your interest will wane. Engagement with a trainer as well as peers in a physical setting can help you avoid this.

Online workouts for beginners

For novices, live online workout sessions tend to be better than recorded ones. The instructor can plan the intensity or form to suit the needs, bringing about changes — beginner to intermediate and advanced — based on the progress.

“Being a trainer, I try to understand the specifications of my client by having one-on-one and demo sessions with them to design exercises based on their capacity and guide them before they join the class,” says Panda. “This gives them a basic knowledge of what’s going to happen in the class.”

It is also important for a person working out to constantly engage with their trainer and address any concerns so that the online workout sessions can be made more efficient and rewarding.


  • Online workout sessions save time and make it possible to train in one’s own space.
  • To make online training sessions more rewarding, you should engage with the trainer often to address concerns, correct mistakes and ensure progress.

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