Get one of the best workout apps loaded up on your smartphone, and it doesn't matter if you're at the gym or working out at home — the right app can get you started on a healthier lifestyle. Most of the apps we've looked at help you exercise where you are, offering step-by-step instructions for getting the most out of your workouts, even if your gym is your home.
No matter what your workout routine involves — cycling on one of the best exercise bikes, running on the best treadmills, strength training with the best home gym equipment or some other form of fitness — you'll find a great workout partner here to help you meet your exercise goals. Some apps even sync data to some of the best fitness trackers, so you can chart your progress.
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The world of workout companions is about to get even more crowded, with Apple planning to launch its Apple Fitness Plus subscription service. While mostly designed to work with the Apple Watch, you'll also be able to experience guided workouts on your iPhone and other devices for $9.99 a month.
Until that service arrives, these are the best workout apps you can download right now.
What are the best workout apps?
Your choice in workout apps will depend on exactly how and where you plan to workout. While we tend to favor apps that help you get some exercise at home, many of the choices on our best workout apps list are just as helpful at the gym.
We like apps that include instructions, which is why PEAR Personal Fitness Coach, Fitbit Coach and Kineticoach rate so highly in our rankings. If you're looking for apps that chart out an exercise routine for you, Workout Trainer, Shred and Sworkit can be your guide.
Several workout apps on this list promise a library of different exercises — these include Shock and Nike Training Club. We also selected apps that focus on very specific activities, including yoga (Yoga Studio), weight training (JEFIT) or high-intensity interval training (8Fit). Other apps, such as ASICS Studio, support a variety of workouts.
We'd encourage beginners to try something like Seven, which emphasizes short, regular workouts.
The best workout apps you can download today
1. PEAR Personal Fitness Coach (Android, iOS: Free)
The PEAR Personal Fitness Coach apps is all about eyes-free, hands-free audio coaching, providing users with a rich array of guided workouts for a variety of fitness levels and intensities that adapt based on your performance. You can check out a wide array of workout packages and coaches, and the app plays well with a variety of fitness trackers and devices, allowing you to keep track of your performance and share metrics with other fitness apps.
PEAR has a free tier with a limited selection of workouts, but to really get the most out of the app, you'll want the premium subscription ($5.99 per month), which gives you unlimited access to the workout library and extra features.
2. Fitbit Coach (Android, iOS: $39.99/year)
Fitbit makes some of the best fitness trackers, so adding Fitbit Coach to your smartphone may help you get even more out of your wearable. Fitbit Coach uses the daily activity logged by your fitness tracker to recommend workouts and activities.
These are dynamic workouts that adjust not only to what you've done, but your fitness goals and feedback. Tell the app the workout was pretty easy, for example, and you can expect a bigger challenge next time.
The good news is that Fitbit Coach offers hundreds of routines so there's bound to be a workout in there for you. You will have to pay for the privilege, as Fitbit Coach requires a subscription — either $7.99 a month or $39.99 annually.
3. Workout Trainer (Android, iOS: Free)
Skimble’s Workout Trainer app offers exercises and training routines for total newbies and gym veterans alike. A simple questionnaire measuring your physical fitness helds generate recommended exercises and workout plans personalized to your fitness goals. Notifications, reminders and streak and stat tracking help keep you focused; users can even hire one-on-one trainers with different fitness specialties.
While it’s one of the best workout apps just based on those features, Workout Trainer also includes a premium subscription tier starting at $6.99 per month. Your paid subscription features expanded access to more than 100 different workout programs, the ability to customize your workouts and exercises, and extras like wearable fitness tracker integration.
4. Peloton — at home fitness (Android, iOS: $12.99/£12.99 per month)
Forget about buying one of those fancy stationary bikes to get fit. You can still reap the benefits of Peloton's approach to fitness with Peloton — at home fitness. It's free to download, and you can enjoy a 30-day trial to sample the live and on-demand classes to help you with running, cycling and strength exercises. (If you do own one of those Peloton bikes, your membership is free.) Peloton offers guided workouts in everything from yoga to cardio to stretching.
A recent update to the Peloton app brought a feature called Tags that allows you to take part in group workouts. Joining a tag brings workout recommendations and lets you see which of your friends are working out so that you can motivate one another to stay fit.
5. Shred (Android, iOS: $12.99 per month)
You might not be able to make it to the gym as much as you used to, but that doesn't mean the workouts have to stop. Shred promises to serve up daily workout routines, covering a range of training styles, to help you stay fit even when you're stuck at home.
Shred lets you choose between different types of training — gym, bodyweight and cardio — serving up different exercise routines that push you toward meeting your goals. The app features interactive visuals and activity logging, so that you can see your progress on a daily basis. There's even a Shred community to add extra motivation for your workouts. (You can also opt out of that feature, should you prefer to exercise alone.)
A 7-day free trial lets you sample Shred to see if its approach to home exercise works for you. After that, you'll pay $12.99 per month for a Shred membership. After starting out on the iOS App Store, Shred is now available for Android phones, though it's still listed as an early access app at Google Play.
6. Seven (Android, iOS: Free)
From working at home to remote learning for your kids to all the other day-to-day demands on your schedule, no one has a lot of time of their hands these days. That makes Seven one of the best workout apps for squeezing a quick workout into your daily routine. All you need is 7 minutes a day for seven months, with a tracker screen to monitor your progress.
Stick with the program and you can earn achievements that unlock new activities. You can turn to friends through the app for encouragement or a little friendly competition. If you're not sure about this whole business of working out, Seven's 3D guides can help you get comfortable with each exercise.
Looking for something more? The subscription-based 7 Club ($9.99 per month or $79.99 per year) delivers personalized workout plans and access to all workouts.
7. Nike Training Club (Android, iOS: Free)
Nike Training Club takes the freemium app approach, offering a vast workout library with exercises aimed at body parts or fitness objectives and with workouts stretching from 15 to 45 minutes and varying intensities.
Guided workout collections let you focus on your fitness objectives, with workouts available for full or light equipment or bodyweight-only courses. Personalized recommendations are based on your workout choices, as recommended exercises spring out of your activity.
A premium tier offers guided 4-6 week programs, nutrition and wellness guidance, and new workout formats for users looking for more ways to get fit.
8. JEFIT (Android, iOS: Free)
JEFIT.com's apps serve as an incredible resource for users looking to do strength training and bodybuilding. Loaded with an exercise database of thousands of routines sorted by targeted body part, the app comes complete with detailed instructions, a workout planner, exercise log, progress tracker, numerous timers and options and synchronization with your JEFIT profile.
The free version of JEFIT is ad-supported, while a pro version offers more features and removes advertising.
9. You Are Your Own Gym (Android, iOS: $4.99)
You don't need an expensive gym membership or bulky exercise gear to stay fit and healthy. You Are Your Own Gym on Android, (also known as Bodyweight Training: Your Gym on iOS) teaches you to use your own body weight as your exercise device, with more than 200 different exercises and routines and exercise tutorials.
Based on Mark Lauren's book and exercise system, the YAYOG app provides workout plans, short routines, warm ups and cool downs all using nothing more than your body, saving you the need for a trip to the gym. Additional exercises are available as in-app purchases, expanding the repertoire of videos and tutorials.
10. Aaptiv (Android, iOS: $9.99 / £8.99 per month)
Aaptiv provides trainer-led audio workouts for a variety of workout styles and goals, complete with accompanying music playlists. Users can select from more than 2,500 workouts in hundreds of fitness classes, whether for running, cycling, high intensity interval training, 5K, or marathon training, with training routines streamed or downloaded to your phone for offline use. Workouts can be configured for distance, duration, intensity, and calories burned.
11. Shock: Women's Fitness (iOS: $9.99 per month)
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't cut it with workouts, which is something Shock: Women's Fitness seems to understand. For starters, the app gears its workout regimen toward women, but the customized approach doesn't end there. You enter your goals and fitness level, with Shock crating a personalized training program to help you do everything from getting healthy to toning specific muscles.
And there's a lot to choose from in Shock, which boasts 550-plus workouts across four training levels. You can follow the workout programs at your local gym or indoors — ideal if you're socially distancing these days. We're particularly impressed by Shock's integration with the Apple Watch, where the app uses wrist taps, vibrations and sound alerts to let you know when it's time to switch your exercise.
A new addition to Shock features live classes. You'll be able to sign up for a time and get a push notification reminding you when a class is about to begin.
You can try out Shock for seven days, but you'll need to subscribe to use the app beyond that. Monthly memberships start at $9.99 a month with quarterly and annual options also available.
Download Shock: iOS
12. Kineticoach (Android, iOS: $9.99 monthly)
Kineticoach is designed to help travelers and frequent fliers to always stay fit and in top condition, offering customized workout plans tweaked to fit the limitations of your hotel gym, as well as your available time, fitness goals, and level of fitness and experience. The app builds your routine from a rich library of 1,000-plus workouts; many come with GIF and video instructions as well as built-in timers.
13. ASICS Studio (Android, iOS: 14-day Free Trial)
From the same team behind Runkeeper comes ASICS Studio, which gives subscribers access to unlimited guided audio workouts.
ASICS Studio can help you meet a variety of fitness goals, such as strength training or cardio, with workouts led by professional trainers and accompanied by motivational music. Videos and photos provide exercise tutorials, while timers and audio prompts make it easy to follow along with the pace of the workout.
You can download workouts for offline use, and ASICS Studio integrates with the Health app allowing you to store your fitness data in one place. The app comes with a free 14-day trial, after which you'll need to subscribe for access to the workouts.
14. Freeletics (Android, iOS: Free)
Freeletics provides you with hundreds of workout routines covering a variety of muscle groups and fitness levels, all designed to use only your body weight as your exercise equipment. Audio and video guides provide step-by-step sequences for your workouts.
Premium subscribers get access to further training plans, performance analysis, workout goals, and a "2x2" training mode that requires only a tiny amount of workout space.
15. 8Fit (Android, iOS: Free)
8fit combines workout training and meal planning to help users achieve their fitness goals, whether it's to get fit or gain or lose weight. A fitness assessment helps place your initial level, matching you with workout routines and meal plans customized to your goals.
8fit's exercises are based on high intensity interval training in short but intense bursts using your body weight as your main workout tool, making it ideal for indoor, equipment-free workouts. Meal plans in this best workout app are recommended based on your fitness goals, tastes, and dietary preferences, and come with grocery lists and lists of food to eat and avoid.
While the app offers many features for free, a premium subscription unlocks more exercises and more complete meal plans.
16. Yoga Studio (Android, iOS: $9.99/month)
Gaiam’s Yoga Studio includes a library of more than 70 yoga and meditation classes that range from 10 to 60 minutes. These classes address strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance, or a combination of all four, and the app lets you filter based on duration, focus, and ability level. More advanced Yoga Studio users can create their own classes from the app’s library of nearly 300 poses as well as 20 pose blocks.
Users can download videos and play them later, without an Internet connection, while class instructors can sync Yoga Studio to a television using Chromecast, Apple TV or AirPlay.
Yoga Studio switched to a subscription model, so you can try out the app for 7 days before committing to a subscription. A monthly pass costs $9.99, while you can get an annual pass for $69.99.
17. Sworkit (Android, iOS: Free)
Stop procrastinating and Sworkit, an abbreviation for Simply Work It. Rather than focus on set exercise routines, Sworkit has users create targeted workout routines. Select whether you want to build strength, do yoga, practice cardio, stretch, pilates or build a custom routine, as well as a duration of your workout, and Sworkit builds you a routine of randomized exercises that fit your exercise goals.
Each workout is different, making sure that you stay alert and are never bored. A premium version unlocks more features such as exercise variations, a workout history and the ability to save custom workouts for a fully customizable experience.
18. RockMyRun (Android, iOS: Free)
If running's your workout of choice, then RockMyRun can provide some welcome musical accompaniment for a run of any length. The app can adjust music to sync with your steps or heart rate, and you can also manually adjust the music so that it's matching your beats per minute.
You'll find curated playlists in RockMyRun, where songs are blended together to help you maximize your workout. Stations cover a wide array of genres from hip-hop and rap to pop, alternative, reggae and more. RockMyRun also promises easy integration with other apps including Apple Health, Strava, Nike+, Runkeeper, MapMyFitness, and Runtastic.
While the focus is obviously on running, RockMyRun can come in handy even if you're exercising at home, giving you a steady beat while you work out on your treadmill or elliptical machine.
19. Seconds Pro (Android, iOS: $4.99 / £4.99)
Runloop’s Seconds Pro helps athletes keep time during interval training workouts. The app offers templates for Tabata, circuit training, and HIIT, along with the ability to customize and combine timers.
Once a workout begins, Seconds Pro will display the current interval and the next interval; text-to-speech capabilities will announce what’s next. Users can customize music playlists and alerts to match the mood of the workout.
Seconds Pro connects to heart rate monitors using Bluetooth. iOS users can use AirPlay Mirroring to display timers on a big screen — a handy feature for class instructors.
20. StrongLifts 5x5 (Android, iOS: Free)
Based on the strength training program of the same name, StrongLifts 5x5 stands for five sets of five reps of five free-weight exercises — squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press, and barbell row — done in three 45-minute workouts per week.
The app tells you which exercises to do in each workout, complete with video tutorials, and how long to rest in between sets. As you log your reps, StrongLifts 5x5 graphs your progress in a weekly or monthly view.
The Power Pack upgrade unlocks additional arm, ab, and calf exercises; the upgrade also syncs with Apple Health and Google Fit.
How to choose the best workout app
The best workout app for you covers the exercises you're interested in doing at a level that's accessible to you. Ideally, a good fitness app will support multiple levels of expertise so that as you get fitter and more comfortable, you can push yourself to the next level.
While a handful of apps are free, many of these workout apps require a subscription. Take advantage of any trial period and then try a monthly subscription to see if the app meets your needs. If you like what you see, you can always switch to an annual subscription, which usually lowers your monthly cost.
Several of the options on our best workout apps list will log your exercise data. If you're an iPhone user, pay special attention to any apps that integrate with the built-in Health app on your phone.