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With so many fitness apps on the market, how do you know which one to choose? Here are some factors to consider before downloading:
- Credible instructors. For safety purposes and best results, we recommend choosing an app with workouts that are created or led by certified fitness experts.
- Fitness goals. Do you want to build strength or run faster? Or maybe you’re interested in losing weight or becoming more flexible. Whatever your motivation is, be sure to select an app that caters to your exercise needs.
- Budget. While some are totally free, most apps require a monthly subscription cost. Luckily, all the apps on our list offer a free trial period, so you can try a few classes before going all in.
- Equipment needed. Most apps offer classes that require some equipment, such as yoga blocks, dumbbells, or kettlebells. Unless you’re willing to purchase new gym equipment, look for an app with classes that are compatible with your current home gym setup.
- User reviews. While you should definitely take reviews with a grain of salt, reading what other users think can be valuable intel as you decide whether a workout app will be the right fit for you.
There’s nothing wrong with trying out a few fitness apps before settling on one — the most important thing is that it helps you reach your goals safely and effectively.
Best free fitness app
Work out with Nike trainers live or on demand with the Nike Training Club app. After downloading the app, you’ll get customized workout suggestions based on the results of a quick quiz.
The app offers a range of exercise styles, including high intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, core, cardio, and strength training workouts. You can also search by muscle group, workout focus, and equipment to find your perfect class.
As a bonus, in 2020, Nike made its premium content free for all users.
Best app for group fitness lovers
obé Fitness brings the feel of a boutique group fitness class to your living room with more than 15 types of classes, including HIIT, dance cardio, sculpt, and more.
The app offers 20 live classes each day — filmed in a fun neon studio — in addition to its extensive on-demand library of more than 7,000 classes.
Workouts range from 10 minutes to an hour long. The top-notch instructors bring the energy and will even shout you out during the live classes.
It’s also a favorite of Healthline Nutrition and Fitness Editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, who appreciates that the large selection of 20-minute classes makes it easy (and fun) to squeeze a sweat session into her day.
Best tried-and-true fitness app
Peloton is best known for its cycling classes, but with the Peloton digital app you can access workouts from strength training and HIIT to outdoor running and yoga.
You can work out in real time with expert instructors and other members from around the world or take one of the app’s on-demand classes.
Peloton classes feature curated music playlists, and each instructor brings their unique style to their classes.
Just keep in mind that although the instructors provide modifications, true beginners may find most of these workouts too challenging.
Several Healthline editors have commented that the Peloton app is the key to their at-home fitness success, and the app was featured as one of the best fitness gifts in a recent Healthline roundup.
Best fitness app for women
A community created for women by women, Fit Body features 12 programs led by 4 expert trainers to help you reach your fitness goals.
The classes are designed to be 30 minutes or shorter, but if you have extra time, we recommend taking advantage of the stretching and foam rolling videos as well.
What’s more, the app offers 72 weeks of meals plans with custom portions according to your daily calorie needs, plus access to 300+ recipes to create your own meal plan.
There’s also a community function within the app, allowing you to connect with others on your wellness journey.
Best fitness app for men
Known for his muscular physique, actor Chris Hemsworth decided to share his methods by creating the Centr app.
Touted as “your PT, dietician, chef, and wellness coach all in one,” Centr offers daily workouts, meal plans, and recipes, plus a mindfulness component, all via a convenient weekly planner.
With big-name trainers like Luke Zocchi — Hemsworth’s personal trainer — and Gunnar Peterson guiding you through workouts, you’ll be pushed to your limits.
However, some reviewers find the workouts a bit too challenging for beginners.
Best personal trainer-led fitness app
Created by Charlee Atkins, CPT, Le Sweat TV essentially gives you a personal trainer at your fingertips.
During the workout, Atkins is right there with you, providing helpful cues and modifications for all fitness levels.
You can browse the 250+ workouts by body part, equipment needed, or desired class length (5–30 minutes) to get started. You can also stream the videos on demand or download them for sweat sessions on the go.
Best low impact strength training app
If you’ve ever used a TRX suspension trainer at the gym, you know how great of a workout it is. TRX straps use gravity and your body weight for a full-body workout.
TRX Training Club helps you execute suspension training workouts with live daily classes or by using a fun replay option where you can add your own music.
There’s also a full library of on-demand classes, which you can access with either an On Demand or All Access membership.
Best prenatal and postpartum fitness app
Designed by prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist Brooke Cate and taught by other experts, Studio Bloom classes help expecting and new parents perform workouts safely during and after pregnancy.
The app offers more than 300 classes, including strength training, injury rehab, meditation, yoga, cardio, HIIT, boxing, and cycling.
While some workouts require dumbbells or resistance bands, there are plenty of bodyweight options to choose from as well.
Unique to Studio Bloom, the app teaches diaphragmatic breathing as the foundation of every exercise. It also offers free consults with in-house pelvic floor therapists after both vaginal and cesarean births.
Best size-inclusive fitness app
Created by Louise Green — author of “Big Fit Girl” and “Fitness for Everyone” and president of the Size-Inclusive Training Academy — the Big Fit Girl app makes fitness accessible, no matter your size, age, or fitness level.
Starting with chair exercises and working up to more advanced moves, Green offers a wide range of on-demand cardio and strength workouts.
If you’re brand-new to working out or have injuries, Green’s app will meet you where you are, allowing you to work your way up safely and confidently.
Best strength training app
Designed with serious weightlifters in mind, the Jefit app allows you to create custom weight training sessions, record each rep and set of your workout, and even time rest breaks.
The app also offers more than 1,400 workouts, post-workout analytics, and community features.
While the app does require a subscription to get the best data and share your results with friends, these additions might be worth the cost for those who love number crunching or just enjoy ribbing their friends.
Best yoga app
Whether yoga is part of your regular routine or you’re new to the practice, there’s something for you on the Glo app.
The app includes 4,000+ on-demand classes, as well as daily live classes for when your schedule allows. You can even download classes to take with you while you’re traveling.
There are 16 styles of classes to choose from, all of which are taught by experienced and credentialed instructors.
Best app for runners and cyclists
If you love to run and cycle outside, Strava is a must-have app. In addition to mapping your routes, the app tracks your progress, offers challenges, and even shares your location with friends for safety.
The free version of Strava is pretty basic, allowing you to record your activity and share your location with three designated safety contacts.
However, for $7.99 per month, the app allows you to participate in competitions, set and track goals, create training plans, and measure your performance.