There’s nothing quite like the appeal of YouTube workouts. The videos are free, you can stream them whenever you want in the privacy of your own home, and they’re a fun way to add
variety to your fitness routine. What’s even better is when they’re backed by science, as is the case with Natacha Océane’s workouts. Océane’s YouTube channel has over 1.5 million subscribers who show up in droves for her health advice and fitness videos as well as her approachable take on all things science. The English YouTuber is a biophysicist at University College London, is also a former IronMan athlete, and is the creator of her own fitness program, which just so happens to be approved by a GB Olympic Team expert.
Océane’s channel has playlists like
Science Explained! and Health is Wealth, where she puts health topics (like how your menstrual cycle affects your training) into layman’s terms for her audience. She also takes the time to explain the science behind her workouts at the start of each video. That way, you know why you’re doing each move and how each one affects your fitness game, which always feels reassuring when you’re covered in sweat.
The biophysicist’s workouts are easy to follow and yet super challenging, so it’s nice that Océane often includes tracks from everyone’s fave artists, like Dua Lipa and Childish Gambino, as a motivating distraction. She also shows a timer in the corner of the screen and offers tips and modifications so you can slay your session. Ahead is a roundup of the best Natacha Océane workouts to get you started.
1 20-Minute HIIT Workout
In this 20-minute video, Océane takes the time to explain why
HIIT works. To make the most out of this interval-based workout, Océane recommends taking deep breaths, sitting down, or even lying down between each round instead of shortening your rest times by pacing or continuing to exercise. That way, when you are moving, you can push as hard as possible. If it’s tough to talk, that’s a sign you’re in the right zone.
This session features five exercises that last for 30 seconds each followed by 30 seconds of rest. You’ll do four rounds of moves like
side-to-side squats, halo slams, and lateral bear crawls. Even if you only do one or two rounds, you’re sure to feel exhilarated and strong. 2 10-Minute Full-Body Dumbbell Workout
This workout is perfect for those moments
when you only have dumbbells on hand, and/or when you’re looking for a compact workout you can do in the corner of a gym. It starts off with five minutes of gentle cardio to raise your heart rate and then moves into nine dumbbell exercises, including a squat to alternating lunge and renegade rows. Finish up with Océane’s 10-minute cooldown stretch, and you’ll be good to go. 3 10-Minute Abs
ab workout is super easy to follow and you can do it anywhere — at the gym, at home, or while traveling. It features staple core-burning moves like a plank with a knee grab, a reverse crunch, and side plank dips, to name just a few. Each exercise lasts for 45 seconds followed by a 15-second rest. Océane also includes variations for the more challenging moves. 4 15-Minute No-Equipment HIIT
apartment-friendly workout that doesn’t make any noise (read: no burpees or jumps), this session is a great option. Get ready to do HIIT exercises in a 30-seconds on, 30-seconds off pattern. You’ll move through low to high woodchoppers, squats to standing donkey kicks, and more compound exercises for a simple yet challenging sweat sesh. 5 15-Minute Advanced HIIT Workout
Here’s another no-noise 15-minute HIIT workout, this time with 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest. It’s a circuit with five exercises that you repeat four times to get your heart rate up and strengthen your muscles — all
without any equipment.
Brace yourself for curtsy lunges, lateral kneels, and a core move Océane dubs “chameleon sit backs with a tap” that’ll make your muscles burn. Once you get through, you and your human-shaped pool of sweat will truly enjoy the 10-minute cooldown at the end.
6 20-Minute Full-Body Workout
workout can be done in tiny spaces, whether it’s your apartment, a hotel room, or a mat at the gym. It’s chock-full of compact moves that don’t require any equipment, like invisible ball slams, side plank extensions, crab hip thrusts, and bicycle twists. It all adds up to 20 exercises total that you do for 45 seconds each, followed by a 15-second break in between. Remember to fully enjoy that moment of rest so that you can dive back into the next round and really give it your all. 7 10-Minute Legs & Glutes
If you’re craving some lower body work, try this series of
functional leg and glute exercises. Océane starts the session off with a five-minute warm-up before diving into various lower body exercises, like front squats, plate cleans, static squat jumps, and tempo hip thrusts. If you’ve always wondered how to do moves like these without hurting yourself, this one’s for you — she’ll share all the pointers you’ll need to nail each exercise. 8 10-Minute Full-Body Stretch & Mobility Routine
If you want to feel more flexible and
mobile, Océane has you covered with this 10-minute routine. Move through these stretches anytime you want to warm up, cool down, or as a part of a daily routine to improve your joint health and flexibility.
This 10-minute video features 10 movements that last for 45 seconds each, and includes feel-good stretches like a dynamic squat, a moving frog, and a
wrist mobility series. 9 20-Minute Full-Body HIIT
In this fiery workout, Océane recommends working as hard as you can for 45 seconds before taking a 15-second break between each move. You’ll sweat through 10 exercises — including rocket launches, tricep extensions with a crab reach, a standing Superman fly, and lateral crabs with knee touches — before a quick cooldown... after which you can
enjoy your post-exercise mood boost. Studies referenced: Gillen, JB. (2014). Is high-intensity interval training a time-efficient exercise strategy to improve health and fitness? Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2013-0187. Thum, JS. (2017). High-Intensity Interval Training Elicits Higher Enjoyment than Moderate Intensity Continuous Exercise. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166299.
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This article was originally published on
Sep. 19, 2022