You could argue that one of the hardest parts about working out is actually getting to the gym. Finding the time in your schedule, then fighting against traffic or elbowing your way through a crowded subway is a feat in and of itself — not to mention it can feel counterproductive to the zen you’d otherwise achieve in a yoga class. Also, sometimes getting to the gym simply isn’t feasible because you’re traveling, or because you’ve got so much going on at home that you can’t sneak away.
Whatever the case, the fitness community has heard the collective pleas to make routine exercise a more achievable goal via apps. Yes, apps you can download to your phone and use anywhere you are, be it your living room, a hotel room or an open conference room at work. And bonus, they’re often less expensive than a gym membership (sometimes even free). Here, four awesome fitness apps you should try, stat. You’ve got no excuses now – grab your phone, lace up your sneakers, and get ready for a little sweat session.
There were a few notable digital fitness pioneers, and Cassie Ho is one of them. She founded Blogilates back in 2009 using YouTube as her medium, and eventually amassed a loyal following of about 500 million who helped earn her the esteemed status of the #1 female fitness channel on the site. She still maintains a YouTube channel, but has since partnered with 24 Hour Fitness to provide in-person classes while broadening her digital platform via a website and app. Blogilates focuses on a mix of cardio fitness and pilates (hence the name) set to pop music with Ho right there to motivate and guide you through each move.
You can download the app for free via Google Play or the Apple store, where you’ll find many free videos and lots of other resources. You can also opt into a .99 cents/month subscription for access to exclusive content.
Fitness gurus Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott came together to develop Tone It Up, an inclusive community that allows you to workout anywhere you take your phone. The app features an assortment of both live and on-demand classes, with new workouts added every Tuesday. A major highlight is that the range of class types offered is very broad — options include yoga, barre, kettlebell, boxing, and strength training — which means you’ll be able to find something that works for you, and then switch it up whenever you’re feeling it.
An annual subscription costs $83.88 (or $6.99/ month) when paid in full, or $12.99 per month when you opt for monthly billing. You can get more information on the app here.
You’re probably already familiar with the Beachbody programs, which have maintained their popularity since being founded in 1998. Back then you had to purchase a bulky set of DVDs, but the digital age has made accessing their programs — which include P90X, Insanity, TurboFire, and 21 Day Fix — way easier via Beachbody on Demand. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a broad network of proven workout programs from celebrity trainers like Shaun T, Autumn Calabrese, and Tony Horton that you can stream from your phone or computer. Consider it the Netflix of fitness apps.
Beachbody on Demand costs $99 per year when billed annually, or you can opt into a 3-month plan for $39 or 6-month plan for $59. You can check out the various pricing options and subscribe here.
If you’re more of a HIIT (high intensity interval training) fan, then the Fhitting Room app is an awesome, sweat-soaker of an option. The app was developed by Kari Saitowitz and the team’s kettlebell experts, features a robust library of content with varying workout times and intensities, and can be used on any of your favorite smart devices. New content is added to the platform weekly, and subscribers are given flexibility to create a “playlist,” if you will, of their ideal session using building blocks of classes that range from four to 30 minutes each.
A monthly subscription costs $26.99, but Fhitting Room is currently offering a special $300 lifetime subscription which could end up saving you lots. You can get more information here.
If you prefer hitting the pavement, Runkeeper is a favorite among runners and cyclists. It syncs with your phone’s GPS to track your route while recording your pace, total distance, progress, and other helpful metrics. The app also comes with a variety of training plans and offers popular running routes near your location. Another cool feature: You can “challenge” other users on the app, making it ideal for anyone who is motivated by a little competition or training for an upcoming race.