The Daily Gamecock

Self-motivate to exercise with this virtual workout guide

In the time of COVID-19, it can seem more difficult than ever to motivate yourself to exercise. The ways we used to workout are not necessarily an option anymore; in some places, gyms are still closed, capacity is limited and let’s face it — the idea of being in a room with a bunch of other people heavily breathing the same air isn’t all that appealing. 

Working out alone might be the smarter and safer option right now, but it’s not easy. When it comes to planning out a routine, most people have no idea where to start. This is why virtual resources can be your best friend (and personal trainer) during a solo fitness session. We’ve compiled a guide of some videos, apps and outdoors activities that can help motivate you to develop a new routine. 


YouTube is a hub for video tutorials on all subjects, from makeup to painting to workouts. There are tons of channels dedicated to providing viewers with easy-to-follow fitness routines in a variety of styles. 

Yoga is probably the easiest kind of exercise to follow along with on a video, and it's a popular practice in general because of its dual purpose methodology for relaxation and toning. YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene is a favorite because of its specific goal-oriented practices such as “Yoga for Mood Swings” or “Yoga for Writers.” In each video, you’ll get a good mix of calming breathing exercises and energizing poses.

If something fast-paced is more your speed, POPSUGAR Fitness has Zumba and other dance workout videos that are a super fun way to work some cardio into your fitness plan. The best part? Since you’re doing it virtually, you don’t need to worry about anyone judging your dance moves. For these videos, it’s best to just let loose and give it your all.

Although some students might not be comfortable participating in Strom’s in-person classes, they still might want to support the university’s instructors. Luckily, some Strom instructors are teaching virtual classes over Instagram livestreams. Keep an eye out on campus rec’s social media accounts for more information about dates and times for these virtual events.


For those who prefer a workout that’s a little more self-paced, apps that provide you with a range of routines to choose from are a good option. These offer more flexibility in terms of time frames, intensity and customization. 

If you are a beginner at yoga and want to take time learning the poses before jumping into faster-paced videos, an app could be beneficial. Down Dog was rated the #1 Yoga app by The Wall Street Journal and has 4.9 stars on Apple's App Store. The app offers 60,000 yoga configurations, boasting the fact that it “won’t make you do the same workout over and over again.” They also have a three-day Intro to Yoga series to get beginners acclimated to the basics. 

StrongHer is a good option for toning and cardio. The app aims to be a a personal trainer and nutritionist for the user, offering free workout videos and subscription-based personalized food and workout plans. Either way, the app will help you track your fitness progress with a calendar of your activities.  


Working out alone doesn’t have to be accompanied by a virtual aspect. Now that campus is quieter than usual, it’s a good opportunity to claim some space for an outdoor workout. 

Students who are new to USC can take this opportunity to explore campus while getting some exercise. Walking or jogging around the main campus will get you comfortable with your surroundings, increase your steps for the day and let you soak up some sunshine. 

Finally, if you are best motivated by other people, a socially-distanced workout session on the Horseshoe would be a fun way to socialize safely and get yourself moving. Set up some yoga mats and enjoy some self-guided stretching or pilates at the prettiest spot on campus.