Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Online Workout Review: Flex TV

We're all being told we should be exercising more. Leaflets for gym membership find their way through our letterboxes from the first days of January. We make resolutions. Friends invite us along to Zumba at the local school hall. But for some of us, getting to a gym or a yoga class at a specific time is pretty impossible to begin with. What about childcare for little ones? A partner who works shifts? What if we're working all day and there are no classes or gyms near us that we can get to, in the hours we're free? 

What do we do then? 

The world of online fitness recognises this problem and has been only too happy to cater for us. We have YouTube videos. Short workout demos on Instagram. Video services like Yoga Glo and Eckhart Yoga. And now, we have Flex



Review of Flex TV Online Home Workout
Photo credits: Unsplash.com; Dominic WycisloJakob OwensMikayla Mallek

Flex is a UK run service, where you pay a subscription for a year and then can access classes around the world in whatever genre of fitness you like. Notice I say classes and not videos. What makes Flex unique to many of the other online fitness services out there is that when you log on, you're attending a live class, with other people at the same time. Yes, you can see all the action on a screen but it's live. You can actually see how many other people are in your class, in real time. This all adds to the feeling that although you're in your bedroom doing tree pose in front of a mirror, you're coming together with others, at least virtually. It has more of a social aspect than, say Yoga Glo, where your subscription lets you stream pre-recorded videos. It's good, but you do feel disconnected a little bit. Flex brings more of the social side of exercising to you. 

You can link your Facebook account too, to recommend and invite friends to classes you think they might like. 


Review of Flex TV Online Home Workout


The instructors are there to chat with you too, so you can leave a message to thank them when you're done, suggest improvements or just say hello. You can even go for 1-1 personal training, if you think you need it. 

See what I mean? It's really social. 

There's a huge range of classes, too. To try it for myself, I was given a login and logged on for a few weeks, following classes such as Burlexercise, which is kind of like Zumba but with saucy pin-up style routines. Fun. Also I took part in a few yoga classes, which I liked because they varied in intensity and addressed some of the things I was looking for at the time - easing a stiff neck and shoulders, for example. There's also HIIT, cardio, dance, pilates and classes to help you meditate. And, because it's all there on your screen, there are no restrictions as to what you can try. You access all of it. You don't just sign up for cardio, or yoga. Try barre. Or a barre and pilates fusion. Or have a go at dance. You might discover something new. 


Review of Flex TV Online Home Workout


It works the other way, too. Book yourself in for a class when you know you'll be free. Or, if you haven't booked any classes, but find yourself free at 3pm on a Friday afternoon? Just log in, click 'live and upcoming classes' and take your pick. 

In my mind, it's a good thing to encourage people to enjoy their exercise and make time for it in their day. It's a lot easier - and cheaper - to put the kids to bed and take part in a class in your bedroom with your laptop than it is to try and arrange a babysitter and go out to a class outside of the home. Classes are scheduled throughout the day and into the evening, so you're bound to find something that suits you. The social aspect of the site makes you feel welcome and somehow valued - you're working alongside others, at the same time. 

I can't think of any downsides to the site - perhaps one day there will be more types of classes to try, say, boxercise, for example. I'm sure as the site grows there will be more choice added. 

With the accessibility of the site, the easy to use interface and the range of classes on offer, there will no longer be any excuses not to have fun, try something new and increase your fitness. 

Have a look at Flex TV here

What do you think? Have you tried Flex TV? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

Disclosure: I received a free login to access the site for the purposes of this review, so I could give an honest opinion for you on the workouts. All opinions are my own.