Regular exercise is the closest thing to a miracle drug that we have. It can improve your physical health, fight disease, boost your memory, and more. Plus, it just feels good to be fit. If you do not already have an established exercise routine, it is hard to go from intending to work out to actually getting it done.
Effective workouts are well-planned, targeted, and efficient. But unless you happen to be a certified personal trainer, creating routines and tracking your progress is no easy feat. Luckily, with a little help from technology, you can train like a pro (minus the hefty price tag). Whether you are a gym rat, an at-home workout obsessive, or training for a race, there’s an app out there to help you exercise better and more effectively. Ahead, I’ve rounded up the best workout apps to spare you the expense of a personal trainer and keep your workouts interesting. Ready, set, download.
Running, jogging, biking – it does not matter how you train, keeping track of your workouts is essential. Runtastic allows you to set goals, uses a built-in GPS to record routes in real-time, and even lets you share your successes with your friends.
The app also includes a personal workout diary and metrics, dashboard configuration, graphs, and performance analysis. Users can also enjoy their workouts with the integrated music player.
Moreover, Runtastic also provides a complete manual entry for treadmill, spinning and weightlifting workouts. It also provides a monthly and overall metric for distance, number of work outs duration and calories burned.
The online community provides further analysis to user work out progress and comparison to other app users. In addition, users can also choose their training plan and track body statistics.
Stop procrastinating and Sworkit, an abbreviation for Simply Work It. Rather than focusing on set exercise routines, Sworkit (Android, iOS) has users create targeted workout routines. Select whether you want to build strength, do yoga, practice cardio, stretch, pilates or build a custom routine, as well as a duration of your workout, and Sworkit builds you a routine of randomized exercises that fit your exercise goals. Each workout is different, making sure that you stay alert and are never bored. A premium version unlocks more features such as exercise variations, a workout history and the ability to save custom workouts for a fully customizable experience.
In a 2015 study, exercise scientists from the University of Florida determined that Sworkit (which stands for “simply work it”) was the closest aligned to the American College of Sports Medicine’s training guidelines. In other words, the workout advice is very legit compared to the 30 other apps on the market that were studied. You can mix and match your own “playlist” of body weight exercises to build a workout with exercises you love, so you don’t have to endure the ones you hate (hi, burpees).
3. Nike+ Training Club
Boutique fitness aficionados will appreciate the range of 100-plus workouts on the Nike+ Training Club app. The experts guiding you through the workouts are all super-legit Nike Trainers, and there are even some professional athletes and celebrities (like Serena Williams and Kevin Hart) who make an appearance on some of the routines. You can also use this app as an activity log, and track your other workouts or any activities that happen outside of the app.
Nike + Training Club is the ultimate app for fitness enthusiasts who want to experience an intense sweat session with a variety of options for their workout—so you never get bored.
4. Google Fit
Google Fit is a bit of a lame pick, but it’s extremely serviceable and it’s one of the better free fitness apps. It can do a lot of stuff. You can track your fitness using a point system as well as active minutes. The app also features fitness goal tracking, customized tips, and integration with a variety of other apps like Runkeeper, Strava, MyFitnessPal, and others. You even get support for some hardware like Wear OS smartwatches and Xiaomi Mi Bands. It’s more versatile than basically any other free fitness app and its integration with other apps makes it a little easier to recommend than most other free solutions.
The new Google Fit is centered around two simple and smart activity goals based on AHA and WHO’s activity recommendations shown to impact health: Move Minutes and Heart Points. When you’re walking, running or biking throughout the day, Google Fit will automatically detect these activities using your phone or watch sensors—like the accelerometer and GPS—to estimate the number of Heart Points you earn.
If you are into a different type of exercise, you can choose other activities like gardening, pilates, rowing or spinning, and Google Fit will calculate the Heart Points and Move Minutes achieved during your workout. You’ll get tips and help to adjust your goals over time based on your activity. Your journal will show your activities, achievements and goal progress across all of your apps.
Runkeeper (Android, iOS) uses your phone’s GPS to track your running, cycling, hiking and other distance activities, making it a perennial favorite among runners. The app records your pace, distance, total exercise time, calories burned and other useful metrics, while also allowing you to take and tag pictures on the go. You can measure your progress and workout history, as well as sync with numerous other apps and services and receive detailed reports of your tracked activity.
Runkeeper is one of the most popular running apps. It is one of the biggest competitors to Runtastic. The app does the basics like track your running length, pace, and frequency. It also has a map feature so you can map out your runs beforehand. You also get some fun stuff like interval training, encouraging messages, and even Story Runs, a feature similar to the premise of Zombies, Run!
FitNotes is an excellent fitness tracker app. It works offline and requires no account sign-ups or anything like that. It’s highly customizable, works for both cardio and resistance exercises, and it includes a calendar for workout planning. The UI is serviceable and good looking. It even supports cloud backups with Dropbox and Google Drive Really, there is very little actually wrong with this one. It is a little more manual than some other fitness apps. However, it gets everything else right. The premium version is for supporting the developer, but it doesn’t add anymore features.
The app works as your exercise logger and recorder that tells you about your workouts, when and where, how much you did including the sets of reps, weight, distance and time. Coupled with calendar system and a data base of exercises and routines. Moreover, you may also export your training logs in a CSV format so that you may share your work to friends and can be also analyzed by experts. Lastly, you can back up your data to a personal storage device or to the Clouds.
7. Daily Yoga
A true yoga app for beginners to advanced.
Daily Yoga offers the most professional yoga class plans, 200+ guided yoga, pilates, asanas, meditation classes plus the largest yoga pose base that suit yogis from beginner to advanced. Not only helps you stay with yoga every day, but also provides health benefits for both your mind and body.
Focused on yoga for weight loss, beginner to advanced, better sleep & full relax, altogether 20 yoga experts aim to make it easier & convenient to yoga workout and help you gain better results from yoga.
This fitness app facilitates the most convenient home exercises, not only nourishes your health but also spares you all the tiresome workouts and help you achieve fitness goals with yoga studio on the go. Daily Yoga inspires yogis worldwide with the largest yoga pose base.
This app is program-based, meaning you can select a customized plan that caters to your needs. Using your personal data (such as weight and daily calorie count), preferences, and fitness goals, the app will formulate a plan for you. The plans range from one week to 30 days. They feature a variety of yoga classes to keep your body moving. Overall, it’s a great app for anyone, whether your goal is to improve fitness or to gain mindful awareness.
Remember that in general to meet basic fitness guidelines, you should try to work out 3 days/ week. They should be on an average of at least 30 minutes every day. From there, choose something you are interested in and give it a shot.
If these apps do not meet your needs, there are plenty more out there. While the apps on this list correspond best to the ACSM guidelines for a fitness program, everyone needs something different. Cyclists or runners just looking to track their workouts might prefer to use something like Strava or MapMyRide.
Whatever you do, find a workout you enjoy enough to keep doing it regularly.