PSA: Fitness apps are getting really good, guys. With tons of non-boring workouts, fun trainers to coach you through, and features that are low-key addictive, your phone might be the best thing to happen to your cardiovascular system.
Because there are So. Damn. Many. Apps. We read the fine print so you know what's worth your time and money. Behold.
1. If you like lots of options:
All Out Studio
Sometimes you want to start a real fitness program with guidelines and rules...and sometimes you just want to take a cardio dance class in your underwear and call it day. Welp, All Out Studio (which is a Hearst affiliate) is pretty awesome for both of those situations. The app has more than 100 on-demand workout videos you can stream anytime (including a few from yours truly) taught by certified trainers. You can choose from strength sessions, yoga and stretching, dance cardio, and way more. If you want an actual
regimen, the app also has plans created by trainers you can follow along with.
2. If you want to level-up your belfie game:
Kardashian-adjacent model and fitness influencer Tammy Hembrow created her strength-based fitness app to help people get a "piece of the Tammy Hembrow lifestyle." And, just guessing here, I think they mean her butt. Sign up for the app, enter info about your fitness goals and your current activity level and the app suggests a plan, like a beginner booty workout, an advanced version of that plan, a post-pregnancy regimen, plus an at-home and at-the-gym full body workout plans. Each plan features three to five workouts a week, focusing on resistance and weight training. There's something for everyone here, but judging by the before and after pics on the app's Instagram page, booty gains are definitely included.
3. If you love you a Fitbit:
If you want your fitness app to know your life, this is your jam. The Fitbit Coach uses data collected from your wearable, like the Fitbit Versa, to recommend exercises specifically for you and your fitness level. From there, you'll follow equipment-free workouts via video demonstration on the app or follow along as the app audio coaches you through a run or walk. During the workouts, which range from six to 60 minutes, the coach suggests modifications, gives tips on form, and cheers you on (you're doing great, sweetie!). If you upgrade to premium, you'll get custom workouts based on your fitness goals, like gaining muscle or improving your strength, rather than your current fitness status.
4. If you're all about aesthetic:
$27/month or $200/year on iTunes
We're not giving out superlatives here, but if we were this would be named "prettiest in the class," thanks to the rainbow colored room each workout is shot in. But she's not all about looks. The app features live classes (15 per day!) and streaming workouts, like strength and resistance training, yoga, and cardio. Though Obé suggests you do three strength training and two cardio classes per week, you can totally choose your own adventure here. And with boutique-style classes like Dance HIIT and Pilates, your short attention span will be very entertained.
5. If challenges get you psyched to work out:
30 Day Fitness Challenge
Download the app, create your profile, and enter how many pushups you can do, how long you can run, and how often you exercise and the app will put together weekly equipment-free workout routines. That's cool and all, but the 30-day challenge feature will get you even more pumped about going after your fitness goals. Select a challenge like Cardio Blast or Sexy Legs and Butt and tune in daily for your workout vid, which range from 14 to 26 minutes each.
6. If you want to make this fitness thing a habit:
8fit Workout and Meal Planner
You out here just trying to move more than you normally do? Then, a custom workout routine by 8fit could be clutch. The app chooses a workout plan for you based on your weight, goals, and criteria like how many pushups you can do in a row. From there, you can expect a body weight workout from 8fit three to five days a week. Plus, the app can also track your steps, encouraging you to walk it out more frequently when you're not sweating it out. And if that 10- to 20-minute sweat sesh isn't enough for you, throw in one of their "classes" like yoga and core strength.
7. If you don't own a single fitness prop:
The free version of this app includes 900 equipment-free workouts based on time rather than a set number of reps. Chose between high-intensity interval training and strength-building workouts, which last between five and 30 minutes.
For a fitness assessment and custom plan to help you reach specific fitness goals, like building muscle or increasing your endurance, you can opt into a 12-week coaching plan beginning at $35.
8. If you’re new to working out:
Aaptiv has more than 2,500 on-demand workouts lasting as few as seven minutes for different fitness levels, including beginner. Each sweat session is led by a trainer who talks you through a treadmill or outdoor run, elliptical session, race training, cycling, strength training, stretching, or yoga. Even better: Each is set to a playlist made of popular songs you might actually know, as opposed to lame stock music.
9. If you're ready to start running:
C25K 5K Trainer
Set your sights on a mini goal of running 5K (just over 3 miles) in two months with the app that literally talks you through three, 30- to 40-minute runs (including a five minute warm-up and cool down) per week. Don't worry: Each session alternates between walking and running so you can build up your endurance and includes an optional playlist keep you in the zone.
10. If you can't handle long workouts:
Workout for Women
Free on iTunes
If you like your workouts quick and dirty, this totally free (!!!) app exclusively offers seven-minute workouts—no equipment needed. Featuring a mix of strength-building and cardio moves like butt kicks, squat jumps, donkey kicks, and planks, each workout includes video and audio instructions to keep you motivated and your form on point.
11. If you’re training for a race:
Nike + Run Club
Whether your goal is to simply survive or hit a new personal record, you need a training plan to get you across the finish line. The Nike + Run Club app customizes its 5K, 10K, 15K, half-marathon, or full marathon training plans based on your current pace, the furthest distance you can run, and how often you're willing to get out there. Then, it adapts based on your progress (and all those runs you inevitably skip) so your goal remains in reach.
12. If you love yoga but prefer not to pay per class:
For the price of one hella bougie yoga class, you get 12 months of access to more than 100 guided beginner- to master-level yoga and meditation videos with audio instructions. The app also features yoga workout plans for various goals such as becoming more mindful or getting toned, which include a series of classes and individual poses. Or, if you want to master one specific pose, like a headstand, you can choose from more than 500 moves and follow the video instructions.
13. If you live for variety:
Studio Tone It Up
$13/month or $84/year on iTunes
From Instagram-famous Tone It Up trainers Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott, this app offers a fresh GIF-based workout every day—for free. If you’re feeling extra, you can purchase a Studio membership, which offers access to 40 on-demand workout videos, including yoga, kickboxing, cardio, toning, kettlebell, and strength-training. The upgrade also features new live-streaming classes every week, which you can join via your phone.
14. If you want to break a sweat without running:
Nike Training Club
Cardio is hard, but you don’t have to jump on a treadmill to get it done. Nike Training Club has more than 160 mostly fast-paced 15- to 45-minute workouts (including circuit training, bodyweight training, and weight training) that get your heart rate up fast. Filter workouts based on body part, required equipment, or goal, like building endurance or strength. You can then follow an instructional video, or once you've mastered your form (or your phone's battery is low), refer to a simple list of moves. The app also has yoga and stretching exercises for when you need a breather.
15. If you love spin but hate the pricey classes:
Peloton Cycling and Workouts
$13/month on iTunes
This app brings live spin classes and on-demand cycling workouts to your phone for a fraction of the cost of most cycling studios. The monthly membership gets you 14 live-streaming rides per day (lol good luck). When you need a break from the bike, tune into one of 8,000 on-demand exercise videos, which also include classes like yoga, strength training, and stretching.
16. If you want a little guidance in the weight room:
Intrigued but unexperienced? Learn the basics of lifting with SWEAT's four-week PWR program for beginners, which entails three weight-training sessions plus three cardio workouts per week. Led by Instagram fitness star Kelsey Wells, it preps you for the app's 12-week strength-building program, which involves heavy-weight, low-rep exercises performed with free weights or weight machines. Each workout lasts 45 minutes to an hour and includes an eight-minute warm up; three to four sets of three different strength-training moves; two sets of circuit training; and a five-minute cool down. Around week five, expect an extra two minutes of burnout exercises designed to push you to the limit at the end of your workout.
Bonus: The app also provides access to Kayla Itsines's BBG program, a fitness plan based on bodyweight exercises to keep your strength up on days you can't get to the gym.
17. If you want to lift your butt:
30-Day Squat Challenge
You don’t have to do squats for booty gains, but they sure don’t hurt. Depending on your fitness level, daily workouts include as few as 10 basic squats (in the beginner level one program) or as many as 50 wide squats and 50 sumo squats (in the advanced level two program). From there, the app gradually turns up the intensity by increasing reps and incorporating more difficult squat variations over the course of 30 days. Each week includes one rest day to help your muscles recover.
18. If you want to sculpt your core:
Sworkit Abs and Core
This mini, free version of the subscription-based Sworkit app features three core workouts: one for your abs, one for your back, and one that targets both. Once you pick your routine, select how much time you have (between five and 55 minutes), and the app puts together a series of challenging but easy-to-follow exercises. Each move is demonstrated via video and an audio voiceover, which calls out the next move when it’s time to switch. Over time, as you get stronger, you can lengthen workouts to challenge yourself even more.
19. If your body is sore AF:
Stretching and Flexibility Plans
$10/six months or $18/year on iTunes
When everything hurts, this app will guide you through 50 stretching routines sorted by fitness level and workout time via instructional video to improve your flexibility and (hopefully) ease your pain a little. Or, if you want to go rogue, you can browse through 300 different stretches or create your own stretching routine to follow.
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