Hiring a personal trainer can be a major investment. The average cost for one is
$50 per hour, according to WebMD, and oftentimes they are much more expensive than that. But if you're a fitness lover looking for an optimized workout with specific instructions, don't fret — you have plenty of cheaper options.
Thankfully, it's 2017 and shelling out cash to meet one-on-one with a certified personal trainer isn't always necessary when you're equipped with a smartphone. Lots of inspiring
trainers on Instagram may get you excited to work out. But when you're ready to create a personalized fitness plan, you're going to want to use an app (or many apps!) to focus your workouts, track your successes, and plan your goals.
Whether you're 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, we've rounded up the best workout apps to spare you the expense of a personal trainer
and keep your workouts interesting. Ready, set, download.
(We'll be adding more of our favorites, so check back when you're ready to add another workout app to your fitness routine.)
Nike+ Training Club Price: Free
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.
Daily Leg Workout Price: Free
You can only do so many squats and lunges before you get bored. This app features 5- to 10-minute leg workouts developed by a personal trainer, with a range of leg exercises that you probably haven't tried yet. You don't have to be connected to the internet to access the app, which is great if you get terrible service in your gym.
Ab & Core Sworkit Price: Free
If you only have a few moments to work out everyday, this ab and core workout app is built for you. To start, you select "Absolutely Awesome," "Back Strength," or "Complete Core Strength" to choose your workout. Then, you plug in how many minutes you have to work out, and the app will create a set of ab exercises to do during that set amount of time. If you'd rather choose exactly which exercises to do, there's also an option to make your own custom workout.
7-Minute Butt Workout Price: Free
This app piggy-backs on the
magic of the seven-minute workout, but it focuses only on butt exercises. When you start the workout, it shows you a video of each move, and there's a clear timer that tells you how much longer you have to do each move. And if you like to wear headphones while you work out, there's a voice-prompting feature that talks to you and tells you when to switch moves. More Read More
Couch to 5K Running App Price: Free
The idea of running a 5K sounds nice and all, but if you have no idea how to start training, it can be intimidating. There are four virtual coaches on this free app, and they each have different training personalities. If you need a little fire under your butt, try "Sergeant Block." And if you want someone to level with you, try "Constance," a trainer who just finished her first 5K, too. The app will generate a run-walk training plan that's right for your ability, and that will motivate you to stay on-track.
30 Day Pushup Challenge Price: Free
Can't do a single pushup? That's okay. This 30-day challenge encourages you to do a few pushups everyday, so by the end of the month, you'll be able to do a standard pushup full out. If you master that move early on, there are tons of pushup variations to try to make the move even harder, like incline and diamond pushups.
Daily Burn Price: Free to download, $14.95 a month (includes a free 30-day trial)
If you usually have trouble following along with an app, try streaming one of the Daily Burn home workout videos. There's over 800 routines to choose from, like dance cardio, yoga, or strength training. They also host a live workout called Daily Burn 365 every single day, so you can work out in real time with other Daily Burn users. It's like you're going to a boutique workout class, but, you know, not.
Freeletics Body Weight Price: Free
As the name suggests, this app has tons of bodyweight-only exercises, so it's perfect if you don't have access to a gym. Before you choose one of the 10- to 30-minute workouts in this app, you have to complete a fitness test to assess your level. The "virtual coach" will create a weekly training plan that's tailored to your abilities and goals. While all the routines are home-friendly, you can switch the app to "2x2 mode," and they'll only show you workouts that can be done in two by two meters of space.
Fitstar Personal Trainer Price: Free download, $7.99 a month
If you use a Fitbit, you can sync your device to the app, and it'll take that data into account when suggesting workouts. For example, if your Fitbit tracked that you walked eight miles one day, the app will suggest a back and legs workout later on in the week. The workouts range from seven to 50 minutes long, and there are hundreds of exercises to mix and match, so you'll never do the same routine twice.
Pilates Anytime Price: Free download, $18 monthly subscription
Most Pilates classes require a lot of tricky vocabulary that can be intimidating to learn in a group setting. This app has videos that break down each Pilates move clearly, so you can watch them as many times as you'd need, and learn them at your own pace. When you're ready for a full class, there are more than 2,500 Pilates classes to choose from, including basic mat Pilates, barre fusion, and foam roller workouts. It's like having a membership to a chic Pilates studio, but costs way less.
Pocket Yoga Price: $2.99
There are 27 full yoga classes, complete with soothing voiceover instructions that tell you exactly when to breathe and move, along with calming music. You can preview the list of poses that you'll be doing during a workout, which might be helpful if you tend to have trouble following along. You can also choose a "setting" for your yoga practice, and it'll show the cartoon avatar on a mountain or in the desert.
Sworkit Price: Free
Following along with virtual trainers in workout videos can be sort of hard. 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). More
Daily Butt Workout Price: Free
This app is like taking a daily vitamin for your butt. As the name suggests, every day you can choose a 5- or 10-minute butt workout with 10 different exercises. There's a video to go with each move and detailed written instructions that include exactly where you should feel the exercise in your body.
Qinetic Price: Free
Quit your ClassPass membership — this app lets you stream a wide variety of fitness classes, ranging from morning yoga routines to fast-paced 10-minute HIIT workouts to personal training sessions that will build up your gym technique. If you’re interested in a mix of fitness styles, this free app won’t bore you with its wide range of fitness classes.
7 Minute Workout Price: Free
For those too busy to hire a personal trainer, this 7-minute personal training app is your key to an effective workout regimen — seriously! Daily workouts combine strength and cardio training and track your progress to keep challenging you and making your daily 7-minute training sessions even more intense.
My Virtual Mission Price: Free, $2.99 subscription after first mission
Have you always wanted to run from Canada to California or the length of the Great Wall in China? There’s an app for that. My Virtual Mission lets you plan Sims-style fitness missions across the globe, tracking your mileage and pace as you run wherever your imagination takes you. Plan solo missions running, cycling, and swimming, or invite friends to create a group challenge and compare stats on the leadership board. You can send digital postcards of landmarks and sites you’ve virtually visited to keep up motivation and also raise funds for charity via mission sponsorships.
Yoga Studio Price: $3.99
Dozens of yoga classes for less than the cost of a single in-studio class? Sign us up! Yoga Studio offers easy to follow, instructor-led 30-minute yoga classes, as well as tutorials so you can master the poses. If you’re a yoga procrastinator, use the app’s calendaring feature to schedule your next yoga session.
Blogilates Official App Price: Free, $0.99 in-app purchases
Beloved fitness blogger and YouTube star Cassey Ho’s app puts your digital best friend (who happens to be a trainer) in your pocket for fun, effective workouts whenever you’re in the mood to exercise. A calendar lets you schedule your future fitness routines and stick to it. Other fun features — like a fitness forum and healthy recipes list — make this app almost as addicting to check as Instagram. Almost.
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