Most us understand that we need to do more exercise, in order to get fitter and be healthier. However, whether it’s a lack of time or unwillingness to head down to the packed gym after work, not many of us actually meet the recommended fitness guidelines.
There are a few obstacles to regular workouts:
- Finding the time is difficult for most of us, even for a 30 minute workout, especially when you factor in having to get ready and travel to and from the gym.
- Motivation is another obstacle to regular workouts – it is recommended that we exercise first thing in the morning, but can you really see yourself setting your alarm an hour earlier, in order to get in a workout and a shower?
- Then there’s knowledge; how many of us really know the best bodyweight exercises to form a HIIT workout regimen, or which muscle groups you should be targeting to improve posture?
- There’s also cost; gym memberships and new equipment can cost a lot of money.
Fitness apps can help overcome many of these obstacles to fitness. They allow you to exercise from home, negating the need to travel to and from the gym. Some enable you to slot a quick 5-minute HIIT workout in whenever you have the time, and they have built-in features to encourage motivation. They also come packed with information on everything from nutrition to the different muscle groups and their importance. Finally, while some of these apps do cost money, even the premium editions cost less than a typical gym membership, and some are available as a free app download too.
To help you kickstart your journey to improved fitness, we have listed 10 of the best fitness apps that you can download today:
1 – Sworkit
Sworkit used to have a free membership available. While this option has gone, it is available for around £4 per month if you pay annually, and new members get a free one-month trial.
The Sworkit app first offers you the chance to focus on strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching, and all the exercises are bodyweight so don’t require any special equipment. Once you’ve chosen one of the four main categories, you can then choose a more focused workout, such as a lower body workout. You can then choose the amount of time you want to work out and you can choose the amount of time between exercises.
Every exercise includes an animation to help ensure you get the right form. There’s a lot of workouts and exercises to choose from and you can also use these to create your own custom workouts.
2 – Asana Rebel
Asana Rebel is a premium app that combines yoga with bodyweight exercises, pilates, and other methods to create a daily HIIT routine to match you, your goals, and the time you have available. Monthly subscriptions starts from £8 per month, but there is a free, albeit limited, version also available for download.
The yoga sessions included in Asana Rebel last anywhere from around 5 minutes to 30 minutes. With the free trial, you unlock a couple of new exercises every day, but the full version includes more than 200 yoga positions and more than 30 classes in full HD.
3 – 8fit
Completing set after set of push ups and squats is all well and good, but without the proper diet to accompany your new fitness regimen, you won’t be making the kind of gains you are hoping for. This is where 8fit really excels because it includes exercise routines as well as a customised meal planner to help ensure that you’re getting the right levels of protein, carbs, and calories every day.
The app includes a free trial, and will cost you around £50 a year for a subscription after the trial.
8fit does a great job of customising your workout plan according to age, weight, and goals. It also tracks steps, further encouraging improved lifestyle changes. It also offers additional classes like yoga and core strength training sessions.
4 – Freeletics
While there are a lot of reasons you might not want to visit the gym, one of the pitfalls of working from home is not having a personal trainer to really push you to new limits. Freeletics does a good job of pushing you in a similar way to a PT, and as well as providing exercises and workout routines, it can also be used to give you customised nutrition plans too.
The Freeletics app costs around £13 for a single month of bodyweight, gym and running apps. It’s cheaper than a gym membership, and it offers the flexibility that you can perform the exercises and routines anywhere and at any time.
Freeletics uses an initial fitness test to determine your current level, and combines this with the goals that you have in order to create a customised exercise plan. It uses AI to continually develop your plan and ensure that you continue to make improvements.
5 – Daily Yoga
Daily Yoga costs the equivalent of $10 a month or $40 a year, and they also have a lifetime subscription option that will save you even more.
The app itself is obviously geared towards yoga, but if you are new to this type of exercise, don’t let that put you off. The app provides guided videos and audio, and with a subscription you receive access to more 100 of these guided classes. Most classes are for beginner or intermediate level yogis. This doesn’t mean that the routines are easy, but it does mean that they are achievable and easy to learn.
There are general plans, as well as those targeted to specific goals such as getting toned. You can also choose from a list of 500 individual moves and watch the accompanying video to help you master any individual yoga pose.
6 – Seven
Seven costs £3.99 per month for the full version and sets users the challenge of performing seven minutes of exercise, seven days a week for seven months.
The great feature of the Seven app is that it uses bodyweight exercises, so all you need in order to be able to take part in the challenge is a chair, and a wall, and yourself. Seven also turns exercise into a game. Users start with three lives, missing a day of exercise means that you lose one of those lives, and if you lose three lives in a single month then your progress starts again.
There is a free version of the app, but this has very limited options when choosing exercises. The full version introduces a more extensive range of premium workouts, preventing your body from getting used to the workout.
7 – Fitivity
Fitivity has a free version and a pro version of the app. It concentrates on pilates, which is all about strengthening the core muscles, which are primarily around the back, abdomen, and hips. Free membership lasts for three weeks, which allows you to get used to the app and see exactly what it has to offer. After this, you will have to pay the subscription to keep using the app.
Every exercise included in the Fitivity pilates app includes instructional videos so that you can learn exactly how you perform the exercises, and also enables you to keep perfect form to get the best possible results.
8 – Nike Training Club
The Nike+ Training Club is a free app that the sports apparel manufacturer presumably hopes will encourage you to go and buy more of their clothing and equipment. The app is expansive, offering a range of workouts that range from 15 minutes to considerably longer, endurance sessions.
Arguably the main draw of the Nike+ app is that it features some of the famous athletes that make up the Nike stable. You can train along with Rory McIlroy, Ellie Goulding, and others, for additional motivation.
The app also synchronises with your Nike profile so that you can enjoy a constantly updated and ongoing idea of your fitness profile.
9 – 30 Day Squat Challenge
The squat has become a staple part of bodyweight exercise regimens, and for good reason. Even in its simplest form, the squat is a compound exercise that trains a number of body parts and muscle groups. With various alternatives, including Sumo squats, you can ramp up the intensity and difficulty, while also targeting different and specific areas of the body.
Squats are already a challenge for most people, but the free 30 day squat challenge app increases the challenge by increasing the difficulty as you progress. You can start on something as basic as doing 10 basic squats, or 50 of each of several different types of squat. As you progress through the month, the app will provide an increasingly demanding challenge from you.
10 – Zombies, Run
Zombies, Run! is a fun and enjoyable app to make your running journey more enjoyable. As you run, the app progresses through a zombie related story. The further you run, the further you progress through the story.
The app isn’t all story based fun, it also tracks your runs, monitors your distance, and serves as a genuinely useful running tool, while the 300 story missions serve to keep you interested in your new activity that costs around £3 per month, also making it one of the more affordable fitness apps on the market.
Andy Griffiths is an online personal trainer, offering customised workout and dietary plans. Achieve your goals, and do so from the comfort of your own home gym or in your own time.