Across the world, health organizations and local governments are suggesting—and, increasingly, mandating—that people stay home, avoid public spaces, and practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you're not lucky enough to have a Peloton bike or other fancy fitness tech to work out at home, you can still get in a serious workout. A great way to stay fit while avoiding the gym, yoga studio, or exercise class is to try a new fitness app.
The selection of apps offering workouts on demand has exploded in the last few years, apps that can help you work out at home while you're working from home. Many of them have special deals right now in anticipation of more people laying low at home and avoiding social spaces. With these apps, you can follow along with any kind of class, such as yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), treadmill running, or stationary cycling. You can watch a prerecorded video, join a live class solo, or pick a class with other attendees who are live and next to the instructor in the room. If you prefer very little interaction with other human beings, you can certainly choose apps and workouts that coach you through a routine using audio only.
When using a mobile app for workouts, consider hooking it up to Apple Airplay or Google Chromecast so that you can send the feed to a larger screen. It makes it a little easier to work out in your living room or bedroom.
Below are 10 fitness apps, listed alphabetically, that you can use at home to keep your activity up while maintaining social distance. If you're working on other aspects of your health, see our list of favorite fitness apps, which include weight-loss apps and those for tracking outdoor activities and sports, too.
10 Fitness Apps for Working Out at Home
8fit Workouts & Meal Planner
Free; $79.99 per year; $59.99 per half-year; $24.99 per month for meal plans and more workouts
8fit is a good app for workouts on demand if you also want to add a diet program to your fitness plan. This app creates a personalized exercise and diet program for you based on the results you want to see. It's for people who like a lot of guidance, suggestions, reminders, and instructions. You choose a goal, with your options being lose weight, get fitter, or gain muscle. Then you make your goal more specific, such as decrease body fat to 20 percent in three months. 8fit takes into consideration a lot of details about you when creating your fitness plan, such as what time of day you exercise and whether you're an ambitious cook or prefer simple meal prep. You'll see a realistic assessment of how hard or easy it will be to reach your goals.
Once you embark on your fitness journey, you use the app to workout from videos, log what you eat, and create meal plans using recipes and shopping lists. The workouts vary, with some pushing you to develop strength or flexibility and others focusing more on cardio health. 8fit is an all-in-one fitness plan that you can customize to your tastes.
Free; $0.99 for some workout videos and $0.99 per month for workout calendar
We adore Cassey Ho and her Blogilates workouts, which sculpt your body into shape. She's peppy, upbeat, happy, and fun. If that's what you like in a video workout, then this is the app for you. Each video has a descriptive name so you know what you're in for and a preview showing the time commitment. Plenty of her butt-kicking sessions are shorter than 15 minutes. You can get your sweat on while dancing, do a quick HIIT workout, or power up your arms, legs, butt, or abs. There's a great variety in length and style, although we would say all her workouts are hard.
You can get Blogilates workouts from the Blogilates website, app, or YouTube channel. The mobile app comes with exclusive videos that you can buy a la carte for $0.99 each. If Blogilates sounds up your alley, there's other content to explore here as well, such as recipes, fitness recommendations, a workout calendar, and a healthy dose of body positivity.
Free; $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year for Premium
Regardless of whether you own a Fitbit tracker, you can use the Fitbit Coach app (formerly called Fitstar) for video workouts that you can do nearly anywhere. You search for workouts based on three factors: what parts of the body you want to work, level of difficulty, and how much time you want to spend. The catalog of workouts is large, and you're bound to find content that's right for you.
A free account gives you very few workouts, with the majority of content reserved for Premium paying members. It's a good workout-on-demand app for general health and fitness.
Free; $19.99 per month or $119.99 per year
FitOn is another great app for at-home fitness classes on an app, especially if you want to commit to a long-term goal. When you sign up for FitOn, you create a profile that includes your preferred intensity level for workouts, your fitness goal, which types of classes you enjoy most, how many sessions per week you will do, and how long each session should be. For styles, you can choose from cardio, strength, stretching, yoga, barre, kickboxing, HIIT, and more. There are also classes designed for special needs, such as low-impact and prenatal. There's even a meditation session for your mental well-being. If you want to join group classes virtually, you'll need a paid subscription. The rest of the app is free.
Free; $39 per month or $288 per year
Watch a live gym class and participate from home, a remote gym, or anywhere you like to work out with Forte. With this web app, you watch as a fitness instructor teaches a live class, and it's your job to follow along from home. The instructor and other participants cannot see or hear you, leaving you to sweat, grunt, or take water breaks without anyone knowing. We tried a class that used a two-camera setup, which made the class feel a little more dynamic than what might have otherwise looked like security camera footage.
For every upcoming class, you can see the date, time, duration, intensity, what equipment is needed, and other details. Some classes call for nothing more than a mat, while others take advantage of free weights, stationary bicycles, and other equipment you may or may not have at home. There is a free version of Forte to try (although it's hard to find) which lets you access one class per month. Sign up for an account, and look for the "Practice Squad" option to get the trial.
The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout
If you're just starting to get into shape, the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout Appis ideal. It gives you a circuit training workout that you can do anywhere without any special equipment and you get to choose an intensity that fits your experience and fitness level. So, no worries if you're just starting out.
A medium-intensity workout includes jumping jacks, wall chair sits, high-knee running in place, triceps dips on a chair, and a few other moves. You see short video clips of each move, with the majority of instruction coming via audio. Even though it's called the "7 Minute Workout," this app has other routines that are longer, meaning you can challenge yourself by pushing to a harder or longer session as your fitness improves. You can also create custom workouts with moves you can do or that you enjoy. The interface is surprisingly attractive and clear for a free app. It balances simplicity with adequate information, and it's suitable for nearly anyone at any ability level.
$12.99 per month, $30.99 per quarter, or $93.99 per year
Keelo is a great app for working out at home if you're into Crossfit but can't get to the gym at the moment. It's full of HIIT exercises, and you can do them while wearing a heart rate monitor to judge your intensity. It's best to use Keelo when you have a little bit of equipment handy. You choose a workout to follow and can customize it by swapping out moves for different options based on your ability level or available equipment. For example, you can swap box jumps for a step-up move or strict pull-ups for jumping pull-ups. If you have a pull-up bar and some free weights, you should be able to get by with Keelo.
In browsing the app's catalog of workouts, you see a preview of each session with a list of the exercises and equipment you need as well as a workout "functional map." The map indicates whether you're in for aerobic exercise and which parts of the body parts you'll engage. At $12.99 per month, Keelo isn't an impulse-buy, but you can try select workouts for free and get a two-week trial for anything else you want to sample.
Nike Training Club
Free; $14.99 per month or $119.99 per year for Premium
Do you love longer workouts? Then try Nike Training Club. Sign up for this app, enter some information about yourself, and get workout recommendations based on your profile. Nike goes the distance with routines that are 30, 45, or even 60 minutes long. All the workouts are videos of a trainer doing the moves, with a voice-over giving tips and announcing the time. A good number of the workout videos are free, and you can upgrade to a Premium membership to get any that are locked. A Premium account also comes with programs led by trainers and nutrition and wellness guidance. Finally, there's a Nike store in the app where you can blow some money on sneakers, gym bags, socks, and other workout gear.
$14.99 per month, $39.99 per quarter, or $99.99 per year (prices may vary by platform)
Wish you were at a class? Openfit is the exercise app to use at home when you really want a live, in-person experience. Openfit has fitness classes in a variety of styles—barre, circuit training, kickboxing, pilates, strength training, running, stretching, yoga—that you attend in real-time via a video feed. You can see and hear the instructor, and the instructor can see you and give you feedback about your form. Or you can leave your camera off so that you can see the instructor, but not vice versa. No matter what options you choose, other class participants can never see one another.
If there's a class you love but you can't attend it in-person, you can play a recording of it to work out in your own time. In our experience trying Openfit, the instructors were wonderfully energetic. In one class, a technical problem cropped up at the beginning, and the instructor handled it with ease in a way that kept the class moving.
Free; $12.99 per month or $99.99 per year for Unlimited
You'll need some basic gym equipment to get shredded at home with the Shred app. The workouts in this app are based on your goals. Do you want to bulk up your muscles? Maybe you'd rather blend a little cardio into your routine. Whatever the case, Shred designs not just a workout for you, but a complete program. You get a list of workouts to do over the course of many days and weeks. Get ready for a lot of weight-lifting.
When you sign up for Shred, you get an Unlimited account free for one week (no credit card required). From there, you can choose to pay for Unlimited or stick with a free plan that comes with fewer workout options. Again, you do need access to some weights for this app to be effective. If you're working at home only temporarily, this is a good app to keep using once you're back in a fully equipped gym.
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