Working out in the gym just isn’t in the cards all the time. Whether you don’t have time, find gyms to be intimidating, simply don’t like going to a physical gym, or something else is preventing you from going, you can still exercise. Workout apps allow you to meet your fitness goals at home, and they may actually be the motivation you need to get moving.
Luckily, there are a ton of fitness apps out there. Unfortunately, that can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
What fitness app is best for me?
First of all, decide what kind of exercises you want to do. Are you into strength training? Is yoga more your thing? Or do you want a fitness plan that focuses on cardio? You’ll also need to figure out what your goals are, whether it’s weight loss, muscle toning, or something else.
If losing weight is a top priority, look for the online fitness programs that have strict routines and meal plans to follow.
Traditional gym exercises don’t work for everybody, and that’s where many of these fitness classes come in. There are some apps that do focus on workouts you’d do at a gym, but quite a few apps offer more than that. The beauty of virtual fitness programs is that you can take classes from top-rated professional trainers from the comfort of your living room, and you can try out things like HIIT (high-intensity interval training), dance cardio, and other fun exercises your local gym or studio might not offer.
Benefits of online fitness programs
The obvious benefit of workout apps is that you don’t have to leave your house. Additionally, you usually don’t need much equipment, you can learn at your own pace, and you can still get access to personal trainers (often without paying pricey trainer fees).
You’re also able to start out at whatever fitness level feels comfortable, and with many workout apps offering free trials, you can try out a few before fully committing. As with most things in the age of the internet, you can find super niche fitness programs that give you exactly what you’re looking for in a home workout.
Best for real-time feedback
Feedback from real trainers • Personalized meal plans
Workouts done on the TV might not record in the app
Openfit gives you access to personal trainers without having to pay a personal trainer fee.
Work out in your home while still getting live feedback and advice from trainers.
- Free trial: 14 days
- 3-month plan: $13/month
- 6-month plan: $10/month
- Annual plan: $8/month
Through the app you’ll get personalized fitness and nutrition advice to help you along on a customized health journey. You get daily meal plans and can track them in the app. Openfit isn’t just on mobile — you can also access it on your tablet, computer, or smart TV.
In addition to personal trainers, you also gain an online community through social media. You’re encouraged to motivate one another and share your experiences. Head’s up: You’ll need a set of dumbbells for some of Openfit’s programs.
Best for losing weight
Specialized fitness programs • Meal plans • Personal coaches
Some users experienced issues canceling their subscriptions
With Beachbody, you get a well-rounded fitness plan including workouts and meal planning.
Beachbody offers exercise and nutrition plans to help you get fit and lose weight.
- Free trial: 14 days
- 3-month plan: $39 every 3 months
- 6-month plan: $59 every 6 months
- 12-month plan: $99 every 12 months
Within those 40 workout programs, there are more than 1,000 individual workouts, so there’s plenty for you to try out and find the ones that work for you. Beachbody is accessible from your phone, laptop, tablet, and smart TV.
Best for audio workouts
New classes every week • Good music selections
Not for visual learners
Focus on your body with audio-based guided workouts from Aaptiv.
Aaptiv cuts out visual distractions from virtual workouts.
- Free trial: 7 days
- Monthly plan: $14.99/month
- Annual plan: $99.99/year
You can do Aaptiv workouts at home, at the gym, or outside because all you need is your phone and some headphones. With a membership you get access to more than 2,500 guided workouts, with more than 40 new classes added each week. There’s also curated music to go along with the exercises.
Best for women
Meal plans • Focused on female empowerment • Workouts will actually have you sweating and working
Workouts are not super customizable
Sweat offers fitness and meal plans designed specifically for women.
The Sweat app provides challenging workouts while encouraging female empowerment.
- Free trial: No
- Monthly plan: $19.99/month
- 3-month plan: $54.99 every 3 months
- Annual plan: $119.94/year
Workouts are designed as a program and the intensity level increases with each week, encouraging you to get stronger. The app also features weekly meal plans and grocery shopping lists. Plus, Sweat has a forum where you can connect with other women using the platform.
Best for non-traditional workouts
Different skill level options • Live classes • Private Facebook group
Live schedule does not offer evening classes
This program is great for people who want to focus on cardio and defining their bodies.
Obé Fitness focuses on cardio, strength training, and yoga.
- Free trial: 7 days
- Monthly plan: $27/month
- Annual plan: $199/year
Obé offers classes like dance HIIT, cardio boxing, pilates, and barre. These engaging classes are typically 28 minutes long, but there are also 10-minute express classes for when you want to squeeze in a quick workout in the middle of the day.
You can choose to take a live class or follow along with one of the pre-recorded on-demand options. You don’t need any equipment for most classes, but if you want to push it to the next level, Obé recommends grabbing some resistance bands, ankle weights, or sliders.
Best for one-on-one training
Quiz matches you to best trainers • Virtual and in-person sessions offered
Find your own personal trainer and get exercise plans specifically built for you.
Find Your Trainer
FYT allows you to train one-on-one with a professional wither in person or virtually.
- 4 session plan: Standard session rate (starting at $29)
- 12 session plan: 5% discount
- 24 session plan: 10% discount
In-person sessions happen at your home, so you get the one-on-one attention and help you need without the intimidation of a gym. This service is ideal for people who want more than just workout videos to follow along with.
Pricing is by session rather than by month, so you only pay when you use the service. Sessions never expire, so you can use them whenever you want. Pricing starts at $29 per session — though some trainers cost more than $100 per session — so this is a pricier option than typical online workout programs.
Best for dance workouts
Fun dance routines • Live and on-demand classes
Pricey for virtual workouts
Dance workouts are a great option if traditional exercise is not your jam, and DanceBody features fun classes that will have you sweating.
Dance with some of New York’s top instructors in the comfort of your home.
- Free trial: 7 days
- Monthly plan: $34.99/month
- Annual plan: $349.99/year
DanceBody Live has videos to break down each routine as well as videos of the routines full out for you to follow along once you’ve mastered the moves. It offers options for different styles and you’ll be doing dances that give you a solid workout and a nice arsenal of moves to bust out at the bar. Follow along with live and on-demand classes.
Best for yoga
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