Even if we weren’t all in quarantine, it’s spring, which means it’s time to start sweating our way to the perfect summer body. With exercise apps for all kinds of home workouts, you can get in shape without going to the gym.
Most of these training apps don’t require any special equipment (except for Zwift and TrainerRoad, but we’ll talk about that in their respective sections) – just a little free space in your home. However, some people have more workouts than they can offer if you have things like dumbbells, resistance bands, or a yoga mat. And don’t worry if you’re just starting out (or just trying to get back to your previous routine), each of these apps is user friendly for both beginners and advanced users.
What to look for in training apps
Each training application has the same two objectives: to motivate you to get up from the sofa and to help you successfully complete successful workouts on a regular basis. Here are a few other things that any good training app should have:
- Motivating and useful trainers: A competent instructor who is passionate about the class he teaches is also more likely to get you pumped up on the class. Whether the video is pre-recorded or you are taking part in a live class, the trainer performing your virtual training should encourage you and provide you with many helpful tips to make sure you get it right. Some fitness apps even send you text messages or motivational videos from their trainers.
- A variety of workouts: Stay motivated by choosing an app with tons of programs. The best training apps make things happen regularly with fresh classes that target different muscles and areas each time. Make sure your app keeps an updated schedule of upcoming live classes, if they offer them, so you can plan ahead.
- Statistical monitoring: Your body will tell you if a workout is working or not, but it’s always fun to track your progress with statistics. Choose an app with full tracking for details like your best times, the average heart rate over a period, and anything else you want to monitor.
- At low price: These applications offer regularly updated courses, designed and run by expert trainers, so they have to cover their costs. This does not mean that your portfolio should suffer. You can still use a free training app, but premium level upgrades give you access to more classes and features, and they usually cost less than an annual gym membership.
For a complete workout: Nike Training Club
No matter your level of experience or your fitness needs, Nike Training Club (Free) is the best place to go for a full workout. You don’t need any equipment to use the app (although it has additional lessons for specific equipment if you do). NTC currently offers free access to Premium characteristics during COVID-19, so that everyone can stay in shape while staying at home (this normally costs $ 14.99 / month or $ 119 / year). Premium access gives you additional training formats, expert nutrition and wellness advice, and 4-6 week training programs led by expert trainers.
Whether you want to focus on endurance, strength, yoga or mobility, Training Club is there for you. The application has a large library of low and high intensity exercises ranging from 15 to 45 minutes, designed for beginners, intermediate and advanced users. The Nike Training Club also lets you record your activities and workouts, and it can sync with Google Fit.
For beginners: Jefit
Jefit (Free) is good for anyone looking to train, but it’s an incredible resource for beginners. It facilitates monitoring and requires no equipment. The app offers over 1,300 exercises with comprehensive, easy-to-read instructions and HD videos so you can understand each step and see which parts of your body you are working on.
Jefit offers predefined session styles for kettlebells, 5 × 5, weightlifting, 3-4 day splits, etc., or you can create custom sessions. One of the most impressive features of Jefit is its comprehensive tracking. It’s easy to enter workout data – like your weight and the number of reps you’ve done – and it shows the muscle groups you’ve targeted. You can even share your workouts with friends.
For audio training: Aaptiv
Watching a training video is not for everyone. If you just want to put your headphones on and start training, Aaptiv ($ 14.99 / month) is for you. It gives you access to more than 2,500 training sessions with 30 new classes added to the existing catalog each week. Aaptiv offers great full workouts for stretching, strength training, outdoor running, and yoga, as well as equipment-specific classes covering cycling, rowing, treadmills, and ellipticals. The app can even help you train for 5 km or full marathons. Its attractive playlists allow you to listen to the latest tunes from popular artists like Dua Lipa, David Guetta and more during your workout. Aaptiv also offers a 7-day free trial if you want to check it out before subscribing.
For HIIT workouts: interval timer
If you are in high intensity interval training (HIIT), Interval timer (Free) has the tools you need for a fast and perfect HIIT workout. The minimal color-based interface of the app and the large timing display are easy to see at a glance, and its convenient presets allow you to switch between activities without disrupting your workout. You can create custom timers and HIIT templates tailored to your specific needs, and even share them with other users of the app. And if you enjoy listening to music while you exercise, don’t worry: the musical integration of Interval Timer lets you listen to your favorite tunes while using the app.
For bodybuilding: Sworkit
Whether your goal is to get stronger, fitter or leaner, Sworkit ($ 9.99 / month or $ 59.99 / year) is the essential application for strength training. Sworkit offers over 400 personalized training programs for these three fitness goals (for beginners and advanced users), and you don’t need any equipment. The workouts last from five minutes to an hour, and you can connect with a professional trainer to see how the experts demonstrate movement. Take advantage of a 7-day free trial and find out what Sworkit has to offer before you start a subscription.
For yoga lovers: Daily yoga
Yoga is a great way to increase your flexibility, tone your muscles, and improve your athletic performance. Daily Yoga (Free) offers yoga classes for beginners and experts, offering more than 50 workouts and lesson plans, which include more than 500 yoga poses. Each video is in HD, so you will have no problem seeing exactly how advanced or extra-twisted poses work. Daily yoga classes last anywhere from five minutes to 70 minutes, so you can always find a class that’s just the right length and squeeze in one session whenever you’re looking to stretch or relax.
For cyclists: TrainerRoad
If you want to improve your cycling game and get faster, go to TrainerRoad ($ 19.95 / month). With science-based planning, training and analysis tools, the app helps you boost your performance and get the most out of your sessions. To use this app, you will need a compatible trainer as well as speed and cadence sensors at the very least. If you want the full experience, you’ll need a smart trainer and a wattmeter.
TrainerRoad has useful tools to plan your next hikes around your goals and your lifestyle. He also pushes you on walks with his structured, power-based interval training designed to make you faster (indoors and out), and tracks your performance with insights and comprehensive information. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist looking to train for your next cross-country marathon or a beginner looking to train for a road triathlon, TrainerRoad can help you reach your goals.
For gamified group races / hikes: Zwift
Whether you like running, biking or alternating the two, Zwift ($ 14.99 / month, with a 7-day free trial) is the fun app you need by your side. The app combines video games with serious training to make your trip faster and more powerful fun and memorable. As with TrainerRoad, you will need a compatible trainer and speed / cadence sensors or a smart trainer and / or power meter to use Zwift for cycling. To run, you will need a compatible treadmill for this application.
With Zwift, you can train alongside a virtual community and choose from over 1,000 structured workouts and training plans designed by expert coaches. Enjoy horse riding or racing through fun routes in deserts, at the top of volcanoes or in big cities. Zwift makes workouts more exciting and engaging, and it’s the perfect choice if you need extra motivation to workout. You can even run or roll alongside your real friends in his virtual world, which many of us need right now.