Just like with the other articles in our YouTube series — the coolest music YouTube channels, the funniest YouTube channels, and my favorite YouTube history channels — with the exception of the biggest YouTube channels (which is obviously meant to be a list of most-subscribed YouTube channels), I didn’t want this to be a list of most-subscribed fitness YouTube channels, but rather the best fitness YouTube channels that I could find, with content that is functional, fun, and/or educational. And if a channel could combine all three of those targets, all the better.
And I found some really cool ones. Some that I already knew and that I’ve been following for a long time and some new ones that I’ll be certainly following from now on. I tried to keep this list varied to include workouts of all kinds and fitness YouTube channels that talk about the science behind working out so that you can train as efficiently as possible and prevent injury.
If you’re into fitness, I believe you’ll appreciate our list of best fitness YouTube channels. If you’re not into fitness yet, I think at least one of these channels will put a fire under your butt and make you want to start working out, like… now!
While researching these channels, I found even more channels that I didn’t have time to write about, so keep an eye out, as I’ll be updating this article with even more amazing fitness YouTube channels. Until then, let’s check out the ones we have:
The Best Fitness YouTube Channels
The Bioneer is a channel dedicated to human performance, run by Adam Sinicki, currently at 606K subscribers. His fascination with martial arts and Jackie Chan movies was what first got him into fitness training when he was a kid, as well as his step-grandfather, who started teaching him basic self-defense that he had learned from the army and showed him functional exercises. He was always more interested in performance rather than aesthetics, so although he got into some bodybuilding when he was younger, since that was all the rage back then, he always resonated the most with functional training. He also studied psychology at University, which has helped him a lot in running his fitness YouTube channel, where he talks a lot about neuroscience. When he finished his studies, he started working as a freelance writer and spent eight years writing about 10,000 words a day on health and fitness, which taught him a lot on the subject and allowed him to turn a hobby into a profession. He started training people online, and eventually also got a personal trainer qualification, and wrote three books, including “Functional Traning and Beyond.”
Adam still considers himself a technical writer, and his videos are thoroughly-researched essays focusing on functional training, brain training, productivity, the human body, and more, with practical exercise examples. If you are into superheroes and action heroes, you’ll enjoy his channel, as Adam truly believes we should train like comic-book heroes and constantly push ourselves to unleash new powers within our bodies. Here is one of his videos on running, and why it’s so good for you:
Jeff Nippard is a Canadian natural pro bodybuilder and internationally-qualified powerlifter with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and a passion for science. That’s why his channel is focused on providing science-based training and nutrition, similar to Bioneer’s channel. Jeff has been training for over 15 years and created his channel in 2014, which is now at 3.24 million subscribers and where he is documenting his own fitness journey, as well as teaching others the smartest ways to train and eat for weight loss, muscle growth, and other fitness objectives.
I believe his channel is suited to both beginners and advanced, as beginner trainees can save themselves the trouble of training improperly or inefficiently, and advanced trainees can learn the science behind correct exercise, follow his programs, and maybe learn a few new things. Some of his most popular videos include “MEN vs WOMEN | Sex Differences in Training”, “How to Grow a BUTT | The Most Scientific Way to Train Glutes”, “How to Eat to Build Muscle & Lose Fat (Lean Bulking Full Day of Eating)”, and the most popular one, “How to Build Muscle And Lose Fat At The Same Time: Step By Step Explained (Body Recomposition)”:
Abby Pollock is a Canadian fitness YouTuber with 909K subscribers. In her own words, she is an engineer turned fitness trainer who combines science with experience to help you work smarter, not harder on your fitness journey. And she does that with a bit of humor and sass, which people love about her and which also makes her videos a lot more enjoyable and easier to follow. She was one of the first fitness YouTubers I’ve watched and she won me over with her charming personality combined with her thoroughly-researched workouts.
Abby usually breaks down her science-based lesson videos into three parts: what you’re doing wrong right now (the mistake), what she would do to fix it (the strategy), and the specific exercises she would recommend as part of that strategy (the solution). I believe this makes it a lot easier to understand and apply, so her subscribers are not just left with a bunch of new information they don’t know what to do with and how to put into practice. Some of her most popular videos include “HOW I LOST 20 LBS OF STUBBORN FAT | What REALLY Worked for Calories, Cardio, and Workouts”, “5 MIND BLOWING FITNESS MYTHS”, “How to Shrink Your Thighs While Keeping Your Booty | What REALLY Worked”, and the most popular video on her channel, at over 10 million views, “How to Grow Your Butt WITHOUT Growing Your Thighs | NO SQUATS Booty Workout”:
Abby is also pregnant right now and she started including pregnancy workouts, like this video called “WEEK OF WORKOUTS *pregnant*…Weightlifting, Running, Feeling Low Energy (second trimester workouts)”, and what she eats in a day, so if you happen to be pregnant, I recommend checking out her channel for workouts and meal ideas. You’ll be the fittest mom ever!
Speaking of Abby’s popular video on glutes, if you’re interested in getting that peach booty, I also recommend checking out the “glute guru” Bret Contreras, who she also mentions in her video. If you want to understand glutes, Bret is your guy! Bret has been obsessed with training the glutes for over two decades, and is the one who invented the barbell hip thrust in 2006 and has worked hard to popularize it and its countless variants for the past 16 years. I’m surprised his channel is at “only” 372K subscribers given how booty-obsessed people are nowadays. His most popular videos include “Hip Thrust Instructional Video”, “How To Train Glutes At Home (With The Glute Guy)”, and “Grow Your Glutes Without Growing Your Legs”:
Tom Merrick is best known in the fitness industry for his flexibility and handstand videos. People know him as the “Bodyweight Warrior”, which was previously his channel name, and which he adapted from two of his main influences in life: bodyweight strength and the Warrior archetype proposed by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Tom created his channel in 2015 with the purpose of helping people develop their bodyweight strength, mobility, and ability to hold handstands, which he did extensive research on. Tom believes strongly in bodyweight training, and apparently, so do other 812 thousand people who are subscribed to his channel.
But while his bodyweight strength workouts are pretty popular on his channel, more than 20 of his most popular videos revolve around flexibility routines: for beginners, more advanced, for runners, for fixing different mobility issues, like an inability to squat. This is the most popular video on his channel, at 14 million views, a beginner flexibility routine that my husband and I (try to) do on the regular:
Depending on how “rusty” you are, even this beginner routine might have moves that prove difficult for you but just go at your own pace, don’t force anything (too much), and repeat. You’ll get more and more flexible every time. We find it difficult at times, but not absurd like some other beginner tutorials we’ve tried in the past. Stretching is meant to be a bit painful in the beginning, but you shouldn’t be in excruciating pain, and you should at least be able to do some of it, even if not nearly at the bendy level of the instructor. We found this one enjoyable and relaxing, even if quite painful at times. There are some things that you won’t be able to do at all, but just remember that’s normal for a beginner, so don’t feel bad about yourself. Not every body bends as easily!
ATHLEAN-X™, at 12.8 million subscribers, is the most-subscribed fitness YouTube channel on this list, run by Jeff Cavaliere, a physical therapist and strength coach who takes a scientific approach to teaching you how to build muscle and strength while keeping your joints healthy and improving your athletic performance. Jeff takes the same approach as when he trains his professional athletes and celebrity clients. If you don’t know how to approach certain parts of your training or get certain results, or even worse, if you’re suffering from back or knee pain, I recommend this channel. It will help you fix all sorts of problems that the modern person has to deal with due to sitting in a chair for too long or exercising with improper form. Some of the most popular videos on this channel include: “How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt”, “How to Fix Your Posture in 4 Moves! (PERMANENTLY)”, “Top 5 Worst Exercises”, and “How to Fix Low Back Pain (INSTANTLY)”:
MoveU is a movement program created by chiropractor Dr. Michael Wasilisin out of frustration over the healthcare system being inefficient in diagnosing and treating injuries and functional body issues. He started teaching fun and simple exercises for free in online videos, and when those went viral, he knew he had to bring this simplified movement to the masses, so he created an online program called “The Total Body Program”, which then evolved into more specific courses for different regions on the body. You can check out their paid body mechanics programs on their website, but if you want some free classes, you can check out their YouTube or Instagram videos. On YouTube, they only have 70.1K subscribers so far, but their moveu Instagram account has 1.1 million followers. What sets them apart from other fitness instructors on this list is that their videos are super fun. They have a professional draw anatomic details (muscles, bones, ligaments) on male and female bodies, which helps Michael better pinpoint in a very visual manner problematic areas and proper/improper form in short humorous snippets with sound effects and other comedic effects. On YouTube, they post a lot of shorts or short videos, because their content is most suitable for short-form videos, like this one:
Now go, it’s time to fix yo’ shit! I didn’t say that, it’s their slogan 🙂
Hampton’s goal with Hybrid Calisthenics is to help people cultivate long-term fitness and health with calisthenics. And it seems he got 2.92 million people on board to do that. In an interview for Newsweek, Hampton said that he believes we already have what we need to be healthy, fit, and strong — our body, the floor, and gravity — so we don’t need the expensive products and equipment often pushed by the fitness industry. His approach to fitness is kind, patient, and wholesome, and that’s why many people love him. He’s a breath of fresh air in a world of “do it!”-type of trainers.
Hampton prefers teaching a more balanced approach to fitness, where you might actually find that you don’t actually need to train as hard as you thought to reach your fitness goals, and you can instead focus that energy on spending time with your family or doing other activities as he talks about in this video called “The mindset that makes “getting fit” MUCH easier”:
He promotes a flexible fitness routine that can fit into your unique lifestyle and match the energy level you have on an individual day. It might be as simple as doing a set of squats or a 10-minute routine, whatever you find the time for.
The most popular video on his channel is called “You CAN Do Pushups”:
Here again, he promotes starting slow with wall pushups until you can move on to more advanced forms of pushups like incline pushups, and finally floor pushups. Everyone can do pushups if they believe in themselves and start with what they can do right now. If you like a balanced calm approach to fitness that’s motivational at the same time, I believe you’ll enjoy his fitness YouTube channel very much.
Fitness Blender was created by husband and wife Daniel and Kelli in 2010, and is now at 6.66 million subscribers, with over 600 free full-length workout videos. Their goal is to make fitness attainable, affordable, and approachable to everyone, regardless of income level or access to a gym. They also offer research-based meal plans and nutrition tips to help you live a healthier life. It is the third most-subscribed channel on our list of best fitness YouTube channels. Their fitness tutorials are varied and offer different types of workouts like HIIT, bodyweight, pilates, yoga, circuits, resistance band training, flexibility, and strength workouts. I appreciate that they also have various intensity levels, so you can find a suitable workout whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced trainee. Their most popular video, at 77 million views, is a 10-minute at-home abs workout from 2012 that’s just as relevant in 2022:
If you don’t want to pay money to go to a gym or subscribe to a membership, or you want to avoid going to the gym due to a pandemic or simply time constraints, FitnessBlender will be a perfect match for you.
Yoga With Adriene is the second most-subscribed channel on our list of best fitness YouTube channels, at 11.2 million, and the most subscribed yoga channel overall. If you like following online yoga tutorials and you don’t know Adriene, you’ve kind of been living under a rock. Adriene has been on YouTube since 2012 and people absolutely love her open, light-hearted, and fun personality. She often cracks jokes during her yoga flows to lighten the mood, so if you love a fun yoga session, you will absolutely love her yoga channel. However, there are some people that find her jokes distracting and like it takes them out of a spiritual mindset, so if you prefer performing yoga in a more serious environment that’s more conducive to inner peace and detachment, you might find other yoga channels more suitable for you.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Adriene constantly cracks jokes or anything like that — her videos are very peaceful and calming, and sometimes fully joke-free — I’m just saying that the occasional joke might be distracting for some.
Her videos are also very high-quality, and she is welcoming to all levels and all bodies. Her hope is to connect as many people as possible through yoga, and she always has deep messages that a lot of people resonate with. One of her most used phrases is “find what feels good”, which is meant to encourage people to tune into how their body feels and listen to it, so they can find positions and variants that feel good for them, and not over-stretch or over-exert themselves just to keep up with a qualified trainer. If you are a beginner at yoga, I suggest checking out her Yoga For Beginners and Foundations of Yoga series, where she proposes a lot of modified variants to make it easy even for the most inexperienced yogis. In fact, her most popular video, at 46 million views, is a 20-minute yoga for complete beginners workout: