Why You Should Avoid Free Youtube Workouts

Youtube is full of free workouts for all fitness levels. The problem is that they aren’t categorized or monitored, and any “Tina Trainer” can post what they think is the best workout of all time. You need to look for three things when downloading or purchasing an exercise video: Is the professed workout instructor or trainer certified or do they have a degree? Does the instructor offer modifications and levels for all fitness abilities and demonstrate those levels? Does the instructor enforce proper form and alignment based on current research?

Take the following video by Billy Beck III for example. This is a nicely-filmed video about using an exercise ball to work the abs, but DON’T DO IT! New research has come out that proves that crunches, especially those done on a ball make your gut bigger not smaller because crunches contribute to diastasis. And do we know if Billy Beck is certified? Does he give modifications other than giving harder choices? He does talk about alignment, but this method for working the abs is now outdated and considered dangerous by many physical therapists, because it overstretches the abs – a technique that’s fine for muscles without a band of connective tissue in the middle – and strains the connective tissue of the linea alba, leading to a separation of the outermost abdominal muscles: Diastasis Recti.



How about this next one: a beautiful yoga workout that was posted by yogaonline.com … I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to the site itself and look into their workouts, because I’m not even competing with them. What I do want to do is point out why doing one snippet on youtube could be harmful. To be candid, my first beef is the skin-tight outfit worn by the scrawny chick who has obviously never had kids, and how her butt sticks out over the top when she’s in lunge pose. My next beef is the disconnected “Voice” … I mean, who is it? And what about modification to the levels that the model is demonstrating? What this skinny chic is doing would not be achievable by most beginner exercisers who cannot touch their toes, but will hurt themselves trying to keep up with her. And what does “buttocks firm” mean?  If my butt was firm, would I be doing this workout? And check out the move at 4 minutes in!!! I think I would injure myself if I tried that asana just FOUR MINUTES into a workout!!! Ack! The workout starts with a full-on forward bend which is bad enough due to the pressure it puts on the lumbar spine whether or not the muscles are warmed up! Can you say lower back pain?



In this next video by diet.com, you can actually see the woman’s stomach sticking out as she does the Pilates 100. No matter how much the trainer tells her to pull her abs in, you can see the ridge of her gut protruding. This instructor isn’t too bad in terms of queuing, but the problem is that she’s doing very advanced moves that are not for everybody, but she’s put her workout on youtube where anybody has access to it! However, I mostly question her because she’s telling her client to do something – scoop out her abs – and her client is only able to do it part of the time, which means that the workout should be stopped and modified. If you have ever been pregnant, had abdominal surgery, or have a pooch you can’t get rid of no matter how many crunches you do, this is NOT the workout for you. If you are a trainer who doesn’t yet know about the “Check your Belly before You Wreck your Belly” Campaign, please read this post!



Instructors and trainers are a dime a dozen. It costs about $300 to $400 to get a basic certification. Many of them can be done at home or online, with maybe a two-hour test done at a weekend workshop. Me, Bethany Learn, isn’t just doing this for the extra money. I’m doing it because it’s a passion of mine. I have a degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State. On top of that degree, I’ve been a certified group fitness instructor through AFAA for 14 years, and I’ve worked in fitness for 16 years.

I work hard to stay abreast of cutting edge research and programs,  hone my skills and keep you safe. Our online fitness studio costs a little bit, but it reaches all fitness levels and abilities. We are building a community here. Can you say that about the free fitness instructors on youtube? Well, maybe a few … but how do you find them?

6 thoughts on “Why You Should Avoid Free Youtube Workouts

  1. @toddweisscfa says:

    “My first beef is the skin-tight outfit worn by the scrawny chick who has obviously never had kids, and how her butt sticks out over the top when she’s in lunge pose.”

    ROFL… and am totally with you… the good thing about social media is we can all share ideas… the bad thing is there is little accountability and folks project themselves to be experts… Thanks for sharing Beth 🙂

  2. Lydia says:

    Hi Beth, Thanks for pointing out the new research on abs on the exercize ball. Do you have a site that shows more in detail what diastasis is and why it’s bad for you? A good level of knowledge and training is essential but unfortunately, even certified trainers who know much are not always conscientious in teaching and applying their knowledge.

    • bethanylearn says:

      Hello, Lydia … If you look to the right of my blog, there is a list of old blog tags/subjects. Click on diastasis for all the other info I’ve shared on the topic. You can also go to thetummyteam.com to learn a lot more without signing up for anything. This is a huge change that is going to revolutionize how people train their core. The reality is that we can tell people all the time to pull their abs in or keep their tummies tight, but some people with torn muscles literally canNOT do it! It’s really quite sad …

  3. @lazyscripter says:

    A lot of people don’t realize that generic exercise isn’t a cure-all solution. Exercise needs to be tailored to the individual, based on what they want to work on. With teachers like Bethany, a customized workout will be far more effective.

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