If your local gym, pool, or fitness center is still closed due to COVID-19, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your exercise goals. Home workout apps—which, not surprisingly, have soared in popularity over the past year—can help you get your body moving and your heart pumping, all without ever leaving the house. Some of the best ones to check out include:
Whether you’re an experienced gym user or a complete beginner, the Workout Trainer app may be a good fit. Start by completing a simple questionnaire that measures your physical fitness level and assesses your goals; the app then recommends exercises and creates workout plans tailored to your needs. To help you stay focused, Workout Trainer offers notifications, reminders, and stat tracking tools. If you need a little extra push, you can even book one-on-one sessions with trainers from different fitness specialties. Workout Trainer is free of charge, though upgrading to a paid subscription unlocks access to features such as wearable fitness tracker integration and dozens of new workout programs.
You Are Your Own Gym
If the thought of having to buy expensive and bulky exercise equipment has put you off the idea of working out at home, you’ll want to give You Are Your Own Gym a try. Through a huge variety of tutorials and demonstrations, this helpful app teaches you how to exercise and build strength using nothing more than your own body weight. No gear required—just jump right in to the app’s workout plans, short routines, and warm-up and cool-down exercises.
PEAR Personal Fitness Coach
Do you find it challenging to exercise while keeping your eyes on your smartphone screen? If so, PEAR Personal Fitness Coach is the app for you. Unlike many other workout apps that rely on video tutorials, PEAR instead offers eyes-free, hands-free audio coaching, so you can keep your focus on your workout while simply listening for instructions. Guided workouts are available for a wide variety of fitness levels and intensities, and you can select different workout packages and coaches depending on your interests. PEAR also pairs well with many fitness trackers and devices, making it easy to track your performance and share your key fitness stats with other apps.
While yoga has long been one of the most popular ways to exercise at home, apps like Asana Rebel take the practice to a whole new level. Dozens of different yoga styles and classes are available, and the workouts are organized into specific, goal-based categories (such as relieving tension) so that you can easily choose one that best meets your needs right now. In addition to yoga workouts, the app offers plenty of tools aimed at building a healthier lifestyle overall, such as guided meditations to help you sleep better. As a bonus, Asana Rebel is gorgeously designed and the videos are beautifully shot, so you’ll get a nice dose of eye candy along with your stretches.
If you find yourself getting bored by doing the same exercise routine over and over, Sworkit has the answer. An abbreviation for “simply work it,” Sworkit is all about targeted, variable workout routines that will keep you on your toes. First select what form of exercise you want to do (such as strength building, cardio practice, stretching, yoga, or pilates), then specify the desired duration for your workout. Sworkit will use that information to build a routine of randomized exercises that will help you achieve your workout goals. Because each workout is different, you avoid the boredom that comes from too much repetition while still getting the fitness outcomes you want.
The apps mentioned above are all great choices if you have a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to your workout, but what if all the demands of your day leave you with only a few minutes to spare? The makers of the app Seven want you to know that you can still squeeze in a workout that will make a difference to your health and fitness. The goal of Seven is to encourage you to work out for seven minutes a day for a period of seven months. The app offers a series of simple, quick exercises, with special 3D guides that can help you get comfortable and a tracker screen to monitor your daily workouts. It might not seem like much, but users of Seven are often surprised by the progress they make even with such a limited amount of exercise time.
Like Seven, Wakeout is another lower-intensity app whose main goal is simply to help you be a bit more active throughout your day. Wakeout offers a library of more than 1,000 different exercises, many of which can be done right at your work desk or with office furniture. The app also offers helpful reminders to get up and move around if you’ve been stationary for too long, and Wind Down routines that can help prepare you for a better night’s sleep.