This Is the Best Fitness App for You
Yogi? Runner? Just starting out? There’s an app for that.
There’s an app for that
Fitness apps are becoming an increasingly popular tool to help boost movement during the day. In fact, fitness app downloads increased by nearly 50 percent worldwide in the first half of 2020 as a result of last spring’s lockdown, which shut down gyms, studios, and other IRL classes.
Fitness apps allow users to get fit anywhere. They usually feature some sort of streamed video component (both live and on-demand) which guides users through a workout. Many apps also integrate your phone’s health tracker, or you can sync up your Apple Watch or other fitness tracker to it so you can track your progress.
As someone who relies heavily on working out and moving around in order to stay sane during quarantine, I know how essential a good fitness app can be—it really helps me stick to a routine and guides me through a workout sesh (I’d be clueless otherwise!). For me, it’s the difference between sitting on the couch for an hour, trying to pick out a workout video that “will do just the trick” and actually exercising.
Luckily, there are apps for every exercise niche out there. Maybe you’re a dancer who can’t get to your favourite studio right now. Or perhaps you’re new to the home workout game and need a bit of guidance. No matter who you are, or what your needs, there’s an app for you.
(Related: Can’t Fit In a Full At-Home Workout? Do This)
For the beginner
Apple Fitness+, the tech giant’s foray into the at-home workout ecosystem, features 5 to 45 minute on-demand workouts led by charismatic trainers. This app offers 10 different types of workouts, such as HIIT (high intensity interval training), strength, yoga, and cycling. Once you’ve done a workout, the program will start to recommend more for you to do. As the system learns more about you, their recommendations become more and more specific, cutting down on time spent searching for a video and making it easier to get on a roll. Fitness+ is perfect if you’re just starting out—it focuses on modifications for beginners, those with less range of motion, and anyone else who needs a simpler version of an exercise. The app even has a “For Beginners” series. However, you do need an Apple Watch (and some other Apple device like an iPhone or iPad to stream the videos on) to access the app. (Want to know more? Check out our full review of Apple Fitness+)
Apple Fitness+, $12.99/month
For the yogi
If you’re missing your normal visits to the yoga studio, Alo Moves offers thousands of guided practices to do at home. Unlike other yoga apps or guided practices on YouTube, Alo Moves’ classes are sorted into hundreds of series which makes browsing fast and easy. Looking for something to help you wind down, for example? There’s a Yoga for Better Sleep series. You can also develop your yoga skills with classes that work towards one goal, like this learn to handstand series and this flexibility for beginners series. Bonus: Alo Moves isn’t just yoga, the app also has strength, Pilates, HIIT, core and Barre classes.
Alo Moves, $20/month.
For the runner
Bored with your normal running route? You might want to try out Zombies, Run!, an immersive app that turns your run into a zombie adventure story. Essentially, you play as one of the few survivors after the zombie apocalypse, and now you need to run to one of humanity’s last remaining outposts. Then, walk, run, or jog with your headphones in—the story will play in your ears. If you’re chased by zombies, speed up! Definitely beats your normal run around the block.
Zombies, Run!, $6USD/month
(Related: 7 Best Cardio Workouts You Can Do at Home)
For the spin fanatic
If you covet a Peloton Bike but can’t afford its steep price tag, there’s a much more affordable way to turn your old faithful standing bike into a Peloton. The Peloton app gives users access to the same classes Bike and Bike+ users do. You can use the app on your phone, tablet, or TV and stream any of Peloton’s strength, yoga, running, bootcamp, and, of course, cycling classes. A subscription usually costs $17 a month, but Peloton is offering a two-month free trial right now.
Peloton App, $17/month
(Related: Is The New Peloton Bike+ Worth the Price?)
For the dancer
For those who are looking to sweat and groove at the same time, Obé fitness is for you. Obé (which stands for Our Body Electric) has both live and on-demand dance-inspired HIIT, cardio, strength, yoga, and boxing classes hosted by a crew of energetic coaches in colourful outfits. The best part of Obé is its themed live classes, like ‘80s aerobics, Sex and the City cardio, and Lady Gaga themed HIIT, which make workouts into events to get excited about. They’re currently running a one-month free trial for new users.
Obé Fitness, $27USD/month
For the devoted trainee
If you’re missing your personal trainer, try Nike Training Club. With custom 4-to-6-week programs, the app acts like a personal trainer—it gives you a weekly schedule, building blocks to work with, and sends you reminders to exercise. All you need to do is pick a plan, input how often you want to work out and what equipment you have, and the app will curate a series of workouts that build on each other. Even if you don’t follow a program, there’s plenty to pick from, including guided cardio, mobility, HIIT, strength training, and yoga.
Nike Training Club, free
For the celebrity obsessive
FitOn, which was founded by former FitBit exec Lindsay Cook, not only hosts a huge range of workout videos, it also features workouts led by celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, and Jonathan van Ness (and their trainers), bringing their killer routines (and abs) to your home. And, the best part is: all the workout videos on FitOn are completely free!