The best workout apps don't care whether you exercise at home, at the gym or outdoors. They've got the tips, guided routines and tracking tools to be of use no matter where you get your sweat on.
That's been invaluable during the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us had to stay at home when exercising. But with lockdown advisories loosening up, the best workout apps still can come in handy no matter what your workout 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.
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The best workout apps face new competition from Apple Fitness Plus. Apple's subscription fitness service targets the Apple Watch, but also works with other Apple devices like the iPhone to provide guided workouts. It costs $9.99 a month. We've found that Apple Fitness Plus gets better the longer you stick with it.
Still, Apple's program isn't for everyone. And these apps are ready to step in if you're looking for something else to go along with your daily routines. These best workout apps are excellent companions when it's time to exercise.
What are the best workout apps?
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 All Out Studio and ASIC Studio. We also selected apps that focus on very specific activities, including yoga (Find What Feels Good), weight training (JEFIT) or high-intensity interval training (8Fit). Other apps, such as Centr, tackle meal planning and meditation as well as fitness.
We'd encourage beginners to try something like Seven, which emphasizes short, regular workouts. Wakeout is another good app for low-key exercises you can do throughout the day.
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 — we can help you find the best Fitbit if that's what you're looking for — 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. Fit Radio (Android, iOS: $9.99 per month)
Is your regular workout playlist sounding a bit stale? Fit Radio is here to help, generating new playlists for each workout that keep you moving. And it's not just about the music — a coaching tab mixes encouragement with the music so that you can push yourself to meet your fitness goals.
Fit Radio serves a number of different workout styles from high-intensity interval training to ellipticals and bike rides. You can even vary your workout tunes to whether you're running outside, on a treadmill, or just going for a walk.
You can try out Fit Radio for 7 days for free. After that, it's $9.99/month, though discounted rates are available if you sign up for quarterly and annual plans.
6. 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.
7. 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.
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. Wakeout (iOS: $4.99 per month)
Don't confuse Wakeout with some of the more intensive exercise apps in our round-up of the best workout apps. But even busy people need to take time throughout the workday to get up from their desk and move around — especially if you're staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and not being as active as you used to be.
Wakeout includes more than 1,000 different exercises that you can schedule or start with a tap. The app can even remind you if you've been sitting too long, and Wind Down routines can help you relax right before bed.
You can download the app for free, though you'll need to subscribe for $4.99 a month to access any of Wakeout's routines and features. You won't get ripped with this app, but all that moving around will likely make you feel better and less sedentary. And isn't that the point of a good workout app?
Download Wakeout: iOS
11. Centr (Android, iOS: $29.99 per month)
When looking for a fitness regimen, you could do a lot worse than opt for the own favored by Thor. Actor Chris Hemsworth has thrown his weight behind Centr, an app that looks to combine exercise with meal planning and mindfulness to help both your physical and mental shape.
Centr offers daily workout videos that you can practice either in the gym or at home, covering a variety of disciplines (HIIT, strength training, boxing and even yoga and pilates). Meal plans let you find healthy, tasty recipes, while guided meditations and sleep tips work on putting you in the right mental space.
Centr features a 7-day free trial, with monthly subscriptions costing $29.99. However, you might want to consider an annual subscription, which offers a very generous discount on the monthly rate cutting it down to $10 a month.
12. Kineticoach (Android, iOS: $9.99 per month)
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. Subscriptions start at $9.99 a month.
14. All Out Studio (Android, iOS: $14.95 per month)
When you need help, you go to an expert, so why not get expert help when it's time to exercise? That's the idea behind All Out Studio, which brings the expertise of publications like Men's Health, Women's Health, Runner's World and others to on-demand workouts you can access from your phone as well as set-top boxes and devices like Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
All Out Studio offers sessions on bodyweight strength training, HITT, dance cardio, barre and other disciplines, and you can choose sessions organized by body, lifestyle and goals. In addition to the hundreds of on-demand workouts already available, All Out Studio adds new lessons each month.
You'll need to buy a subscription, which costs $14.99 a month. Sign up for a year, though and you can save 50%, which is one of the best discounts we've seen among the best workout apps.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Find What Feels Good (Android, iOS: $9.99 per month)
Another take on a yoga app comes from Find What Feels Good, which offers a library of 700-plus videos aimed at all levels. Find What Feels Good boasts a global community with daily sessions as well as a weekly or monthly accountability series.
The app makes it easy to beam workouts to AirPlay-enabled devices like the Apple TV or to a Chromecast. You can even sync videos to watch offline when there's no internet available. A monthly plan costs $9.99, though you can sign up on an annual basis for $99.
19. 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.
20. 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.
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.
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