My Workout Routine + Favorite YouTube Exercises

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I’ve gotten a lot of questions on my workout routine – to be honest, calling what I do a “routine” would be a bit of a stretch! And if any of you are fitness gurus, you may not want to read much further because this is a mishmash, hodgepodge list of my favorite exercises. But it’s what works for me. Ok, you’ve been warned!

Baseline Goals

– 2x a week cardio via running
– 2 to 3x a week toning & strengthening my abs, legs, or arms at home. See below for my go-to YouTube workouts!
– Most importantly: making healthier eating decisions (at least on weekdays), incorporating more nutritious produce, lean protein, whole grains and less processed, fried, sodium or sugar-laden foods (MyPlate has been helpful as a guide). This has been a real struggle because I LOVE certain “bad” foods, but eating better makes a big difference in how my body feels and responds to exercise.

best youtube workout videos extra petite

Favorite YouTube Workouts

I love having a variety of exercises to try and rotate through every week. Below are some of the most-watched YouTube videos and channels on my list – these are great if you have just pockets of time, and want to squeeze in a workout in the comfort of your home!

  • Video: Perfect 10 Abs! (workout starts at 0:50 seconds) by Blogilates. I’ve followed Cassey’s videos for years and love her bubbly energy. Many workout videos on YouTube can be so dry and robotic in comparison! When working out alone in my living room, I need some friendly encouragement to push to the end. I love this particular video for toning abs from all angles (finishing that last plank is brutal)!
  • Video: 10 Min Abs Workout. While you might be distracted at first by the barely-there attire, this is a pretty good workout (I’m usually dying by the long stretch of silence around 6:30), especially if you do this video twice in a row!
  • For a less “sexy” video with most of the same moves (in a different order), you can try this ab workout. I prefer the one above, though … something about the sequence of moves and the duration of each one makes me feel it more in both my abs and arms!
  • Video: Arm Workout with Weights. Rebecca Louise is very likable … she’s upbeat and encouraging throughout videos, but not over-the-top. This is the only workout here needing some sort of equipment, but having some small weights at home is definitely worth it (get them at Target or Marshalls / TJ Maxx)! I’ve tried a lot of arm workouts without weights, and it’s just not as effective for me.
Legs & Butt
  • Video: Get Thin Thighs in 5 Minutes. Hate the title of this video, but it’s easy to follow and you get a decent burn. It’s short, so I also typically do this one twice back-to-back.
  • Channel: Ballet Beautiful series. I’ve done these dancer-inspired toning videos many times, but they don’t excite me (no music, quiet, very monotone instructor). Several of my friends love it, though, so I wanted to include it anyways!
Cardio Dance
  • Channel: Popsugar Fitness. They have several dance workout videos led by guest instructors, who do a pretty good job of breaking down the moves either in the beginning, or as you go. If it’s too gross to run outside, I’ll do one or two of these longer videos to work up a sweat indoors!
  • Channel: Keaira LaShae. Keaira has great energy and shares a wide variety of dance styles, from hip hop to African dancing, to even a lighter prenatal dance workout created when she was pregnant. I have literally no rhythm, but these are fun for occasionally letting out your inner Beyonce!

What are your favorite at-home workout routines or videos? I’m always looking to try something new, so would love to hear your recommendations! 

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Leave a Comment


  1. valeri wrote:

    JEAN! Ever since I moved here to Idaho I’ve started taking ballet classes again and I LOVE it. In addition to other workouts, it’s especially good for the ‘aging’ brain (I’m 64). Most of the people who take class later in life, started at a very young age, as did I. I’ve been looking for an online ballet class. THANK YOU SO MUCH. xo val

    Posted 3.18.20 Reply
  2. Kristie wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    Thanks for sharing. Love your blog!

    How heavy are the weights that you use for toning arms? I’m planning to invest in some but not sure what weight to use.


    Posted 11.15.17 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    thank you so much for posting this!!

    Posted 11.9.17 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean, I love your fashion blog and these occasional rotation posts on food, beauty, and fitness!!! Thanks for sharing your routine!

    Posted 11.1.17 Reply
  5. C wrote:

    My favorite youtube workout is Millionaire Hoy. I’ve always been pretty hardcore about working out. I previously used to do, but got tired of the drama and felt like I was getting a body complex looking at her perfectly tiny body.

    Millionaire Hoy’s workout kicks my ass and I’ve never felt or looked better. Highly recommend.

    Posted 10.31.17 Reply
  6. Jessica wrote:

    Thanks for sharing these work out videos! I now love Cassey Ho!

    Posted 10.31.17 Reply
  7. Cher wrote:

    Caroline Pearce has three videos I found on Amazon Prime, and they’ve been a godsend. They’re completely non-cheesy, she’s adorable, and they’ve worked fantastically well for me. I love that they’re broken into 10 or 20 minute segments that I can do individually or combine however I want. It’s sort of a combination of strength training and cardio. I’ve also tried BBG and generally liked it, but a lot of the moves were rough on my wrists and there was less flexibility in terms of selecting my workouts each day. Maybe I’ll work up to trying it again when my arms are in better shape, but these videos are awesome in the meantime. You should be able to find them by searching her name.

    Posted 10.30.17 Reply
  8. Hannah wrote:

    My favorite channel for youtube workouts is Fitness Blender. They have some killer HIIT routines and videos for anything you could want (cardio, abs, lower and upper body). Also, I believe the husband and wife who produce the videos are trained as a nutritionist and in exercise science respectively…so their focus is always on balance and exercise for a stronger, healthier body, not for looking a certain way. I think that approach is REALLY hard to find, it so often ends up being looks that are emphasized.

    Posted 10.30.17 Reply
    • Alana wrote:

      I came here to say Fitness Blender! I could go on and on but I will just second everything you’ve said here — it’s all true and I absolutely LOVE them!

      Posted 10.30.17 Reply
  9. Fictitious Fashion wrote:

    Oh My. I love Cassey. Have been following her for 3 years now. I agree, she is so real, energetic and lovely! I just fell in love with pilates and exercise because of her. She’s made me fall in love with my body, eat healthy and love life. I love meeting people who have good things to say about her 😀
    I love those arms! haha. great outfit

    Much Love
    Fictitious Fashion

    Posted 10.30.17 Reply
  10. Angela wrote:

    Hi Jean, love your blog and style. Agree with the Pop sugar recommendation – Anna Renderer is fantasti. My other favourite is fitness blender – great variety of very effective workouts. On another note discovered the label Maje this weekend. Chanced upon it in Selfridges Birmingham I had a flashback to the amazing flared skirts you featured in the past – amazing petite friendly styles!

    Posted 10.29.17 Reply
  11. Swagyu wrote:

    My favorite cardio workout is TurboFire by Chalene Jones. It’s fast paced and makes me sweat!

    I started lifting this year since January. I do squats, dead lifts, and leg press to grow my butts and sculpt hamstrings. I actually see results in my petite figure. I gained 5 lbs but feel no need to go up a size in pants or skirts. Very happy with the shape of my bottom and I highly recommend lifting for ladies.

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  12. I love these exercise posts! So much fun! Love to know what your routines are cause everyone’s is different!

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  13. Sara wrote:

    Hi Jean, you are the most polished blogger I’ve ever found. I would love to recommend Adrienne for Yoga. I think someone already mentioned her. She has 30-days of yoga and it is really basic but nice for someone new. For running, and, confessing this is an area I have a lot of experience in, – check out Hal Higdon. He is the marathon guru in my opinion, BUT he has workouts online for all levels and race lengths. It is so fun to run a quick 5K with the happy encouragement of the crowd. It is fun and then if you enjoy it you can move onto longer races! So there’s my tip! Enjoy!

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  14. Mizeats wrote:

    Great post, Jean! Thanks for sharing your fitness tips! And you look so cute in your workout clothes! The following at-home exercises have worked well for me:

    For toning :
    – Reverse leg lifts for the thighs and glutes. FitnessBlender on yt has a great video called Leg Slimming Pilates Butt and Thigh Workout to Lift Glutes and Tone Thighs

    – Leg drops for lower abdomen. Stephi Nguyen on yt
    has a great video called Lower Ab Workout for

    – Triceps exercise using a dumbbell. steady health has a great video on yt called Underarm Flab: 5 Quick Fixes For Anything that Giggles. My fave is the first exercise in the video

    For cardio, I like using a stationary bike for about 30 min 3x a week.

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  15. Esra wrote:

    My favorite channel for cardio is FitnessBlender! I love to combine their workouts with streching and toning from Blogilates. Very happy with my routine so far!

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  16. Linda Ma wrote:

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Thank you for sharing your at home workout video list! I like Jillian Michaels 30 day shred videos. She’s really upbeat and encouraging. But I’ve been in a fitness rut lately so thanks for the recommendations for new videos to try! The eating right part is the most difficult! 😣 Love your blog! 😊

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  17. Ashley wrote:

    I prefer working out at home and have been using Whitney Simmons workouts on YouTube. Even though she does a lot of gym workouts with weights, I really like her home workouts that use little to no weights. She’s also super quirky, has the cutest outfits and the most adorable dog Navy!

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  18. Ania wrote:

    Wow!! You look perfect dear 😉

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  19. Kitty wrote:

    I love yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. She’s great! And has sequences for EVERYTHING….yoga for weight loss, yoga for runners, yoga for focus, yoga for golfers,….

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      You’re not kidding about sequences for everything!! Just looked through her videos and am excited to try some. Thanks for sharing! xx

      Posted 10.28.17 Reply
      • Kitty wrote:

        You’re welcome!

        Posted 10.29.17 Reply
  20. Elizabeth wrote:

    As someone who can influence young women with fashion, i love you and have been following you from the beginning, I am quite disappointed to see your rec for Blogilates. If you check her history and other top fitness bloggers, you will see what she has done. That woman has done more damage than good.

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Elizabeth – thank you for your longtime support!
      I feel everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and can make their own decisions about what to believe on the internet and what advice to follow. As for this blog post, I’m simply sharing the videos that motivate me personally to be more active.

      Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  21. Beatriz wrote:

    Love this helpful post!! Thanks!!!

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  22. Lynette Raab wrote:

    My favorite exercise videos are Jessica Smith. There is a variety of styles, levels and lengths. She is a great instructor. She’s cheery without being obnoxious. Thanks for sharing your favorite videos and routine!

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you for sharing! Just bookmarked her YT channel.

      Posted 10.28.17 Reply
    • Jan wrote:

      I love Jessica Smith! She has one of the best demeanors for workout videos. Which, for me, means she is positive and fun without getting on my nerves…ever. And that is tough to do with so many videos. Plus, I love her variety and level options.

      Posted 10.29.17 Reply
  23. chichi wrote:

    super motivated to start a routine now!

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  24. Melissa wrote:

    Amanda Kloots – The Rope. Running would be my first choice for cardio but I just really dont have the time to go out for a run these days, it surprised me that i can actually use a jump rope in my tiny apartment! Good cardio workout plus arms and abs in 20 minutes.

    Posted 10.28.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I keep seeing her workouts on IG and have been intrigued!! Great to know that you like the rope one for even a small apartment space. I live in a top floor unit with creaky floors though so my neighbors might have to suffer a bit : )

      Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  25. Teah wrote:

    Thanks so much for this workout info! I started daily workouts at home and was looking for additional exercises to add to my routine.

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  26. Quynh wrote:

    Jillian Michael work out videos are awesome!!! They range from 30-45 minutes.

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Haha yes! I still do some of her old school videos, as well

      Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  27. Sheils wrote:

    Jean, I’ve read your blog for at least two years but this is the first time I’m commenting. Thank you for your sharing all that you do — style, great finds, and lifestyle. As someone who’s learned through your blog to invest in clothes that fit us well, I’m happy with where my wardrobe is today and in some ways and am moving beyond that so I think that’s why this post appealed to me — I bookmarked Blogilates straight away! If you are up for it, I’d love to see a post about your running routine – what’s worked for you, shoes, etc. I started running recently so just interested in this topic!

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Sheils – thank you for taking the time to write and share your thoughts! It means a lot to me to hear. Kudos to you on creating a great wardrobe and also for picking up running. Running does not come easily to me … I usually do only 2-3 miles at a time outdoors and am trying to work my way up. So if you come across any helpful running resources for novices/beginners, please do share!

      Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  28. Monica J. wrote:

    Jean, you are an influential blogger and I typically enjoy your blog. I was disappointed to read your comments about Jessica Soares (10 Min Abs Workout). While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I hope you will use your wide-reaching platform to uplift other women even if you disagree with their choice of clothing or personal style. Thanks for reading.

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Monica – I appreciate your opinion and feedback! It certainly was not my intention to put anyone down. One of the top voted comments under that video on YouTube is about viewers feeling uncomfortable with how much exposure there is, so by sharing this I could offend someone either way. I made some jokes about the situation while recommending the video for its merits. However, I did edit it slightly based on your feedback, so thank you.

      Posted 10.27.17 Reply
      • Monica J. wrote:

        Thanks, Jean. I appreciate your feedback and revisions.

        Posted 10.27.17 Reply
    • Amy C. wrote:

      But she said it was a good video…I read it as a disclaimer that we should give it a try even if we might be caught off guard with an unusual clothing choice. I’m looking forward to checking out all her suggested videos!

      Posted 11.3.17 Reply
  29. Julia wrote:

    I love the PopSugar channel as well. They do have some great guests. I’ll check out some of these other suggestions. Thanks for putting this together.

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  30. Alena Wu wrote:

    Love this variety of workout suggestions Jean! I’m trying to follow blogilates PIIT28. It’s so intense but burns good haha. Typically I don’t have a routine either, just my boyfriend dragging me to the gym and following his weight lifting sessions.

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Haha, my husband literally will not go to the gym at the same time as me because I’d always be bugging him with questions about equipment : ) You’ve reminded me to pick up PIIT28 again!

      Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  31. Renée wrote:

    FITNESS MARSHALL for cardio dance. He always makes me laugh whenever I’m working up a sweat. Highly recommend.

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you for the suggestion – can’t wait to try!

      Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  32. Rachel M wrote:

    That’s great that you can do home videos! I just can’t motivate myself well that way. I really enjoy a group atmosphere and structured workouts. 🙂

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  33. Nadia wrote:

    Don’t forget, abs are cut in the kitchen. No workout an outrun a bad diet.

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Haha it’s true … Blogilates has driven that line in my head!

      Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  34. Katerina wrote:

    Nice selection of exercises! Thank you for sharing with us 🙂
    I particularly love one which is connected with leg and butt training!


    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  35. Mireia wrote:

    Absolutely love it!

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  36. I love this Jean! Thanks for giving us some insight into your workout routine!

    I hope you have a great Friday!

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  37. Rena wrote:

    I see your workout definitely works as you are totally well in shape!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
    • Anonymous wrote:

      I named my daughter Rena (who is 11 months) after my Italian grandmother. I never see other Renas in the US. So just wanted to say hello to another Rena. 😊

      Posted 10.28.17 Reply
  38. Marjorie wrote:

    Great workout routine! These exercises looks effective.

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  39. Elizabeth wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing so many great videos! I love working out at home too, mostly because I feel less self-conscious, and I’m definitely going to be giving these a try! <3 😀

    XO, Elizabeth

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  40. I love Blogilates workout videos too! I agree with you, Cassey’s so bubbly and it really attracts me to work out – when I do on the rare occasion, haha! PS. I love your workout gear 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply

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