The Best Workout Apps, According To Top Trainers

Sweat. It. Out.


Mallory Creveling |

Obvious statement alert: Getting to the gym on super-busy days or when you’re traveling can be damn near impossible. Sometimes even fitting a sweat session into your regular work day can pose a challenge.

But that’s the beauty of apps. They’re not just for scoring a date (*cough*, Tinder)—some offer killer workout inspo, too. And there are plenty of them out there that’ll fit your workout style, preferences, and goals.

What’s also great about using an app: You can track your progress. “Be consistent and spend a little time each week reviewing the data,” says Pete McCall, host of the All About Fitness Podcast and instructor at Equinox in San Diego. “It can help you identify when you’re training too hard or not training hard enough—or not hitting the ideal heart rate long enough for significant kilojoule burn.”

Download these 14 top workout apps—all approved by fitness pros—to have your phone double as your personal trainer.

1/ FOR STRENGTH: FREELETICS

Free, with in-app purchases

If you want to fit in a quick sweat, this app offers bodyweight workouts from five to 30 minutes—and if you pay for an in-app coach, you also get a personalized training plan.

“The workouts are perfect for traveling with no equipment and no access to a gym,” says Kirsten Beverley-Waters, trainer, yoga instructor and founder of Thryve.

2/ FOR STRENGTH: PEAR

Free, with in-app purchases

This strength, cardio, and yoga workout app features tons of different fitness partnerships from TRX (for core strength and stability) to TriggerPoint (foam rolling). That means you’ll find any type of workout you could possibly feel like doing, whether intense or for recovery.

Another pro: Top run coaches will walk (er, run) you through all types of workouts, including Jenny Hadfield and Deena and Andrew Kastor.

3/ FOR STRENGTH: SWORKIT

Free, with in-app purchases

Want to sculpt your shoulders? Target your tush? Work on that six-pack? SworkIt offers body part-specific workouts that’ll help you do just that.

Pick your goal (leaner, fitter, stronger), and it’ll show you the routines to get you there. A few examples: five-minute abs, yoga for runners, a daily stretch, and “Rump Roaster,” a.k.a. building that booty.

4/ FOR STRENGTH: BEYOND THE WHITEBOARD

Free

CrossFitters, this tracker is for you. It makes tallying your gains and setbacks super simple, plus it offers full workouts you can do, too. “I use it to log in all my lifts, times, and distances on my run,” says Sherry Ward, a coach at Brick New York. “The bonus here is how it keeps you connected with your community at the gym or amongst your squad worldwide, showing the same workout performance on a leaderboard.” It also points out strength and weaknesses, and your fitness level.

5/ FOR CARDIO: STRAVA

Free; Premium: R99/month

So many runners and bicyclists use Strava—and that’s likely because it’s so big on community. You can follow friends, see their routes, share photos, and compete in challenges. “This allows you to stay connected with your fit friends, which is a great way to hold each other accountable,” says Hollis Tuttle, senior run coach at Mile High Run Club.

The best part: You can easily find places to run if you’re in a new city, thanks to the local feature that shows popular routes in major cities.

6/ FOR CARDIO: MAPMYRUN

Free, with in-app purchases

Training plans, routes, workouts—you get it all with MapMyRun, which makes it easy to stay on course. Also: If you love a competition, this one might be your top choice.

They have tons of challenges every month, like committing to a certain number of miles in a week, or month, or a specific number of days. The app might even encourage you to go for a hike.

7/ FOR CARDIO: PACE ME RUNNING CALCULATOR

R14.99

Anyone chasing that PR should turn to Running Pace as their training BFF. It helps you figure out your time per KM, so you easily hit that end goal. “If you’re training for an upcoming race in a specific finish time, then this will ensure that you’re running at the appropriate speed,” Tuttle says

8/ FOR CARDIO: RUNTASTIC

Free; Premium from R199.99/month

In addition to pace, splits, elevation, mileage, and routes, you can set goals, share mileage with followers and get live feedback from a coach through your first kilometre. For those later miles when you start to feel a little sluggish, you can also set a power song to add some pep to that step.

Upgrade to premium and you also get nutrition and training plans catered to your goals.

9/ FOR CARDIO: COUCH TO 5K

Free, with in-app purchases

Swap that Netflix night for a few laps around your neighbourhood. All you have to do is download this widely-loved app, which will get beginner runners clocking 5K in nine weeks.

10/ FOR HIIT: NIKE+ TRAINING CLUB

Free

Whether you want a strength-focused workout or a cardio-focused interval set, the Nike training app has you covered. “The Nike training app has workouts for all durations. So, when I want to get in a quick workout, I use it to keep things fresh,” says Noam Tamir, owner of TS Fitness in NYC. “I like that they have warmups for all the workouts.”

11/ FOR HIIT: OUR BODY ELECTRIC

Free

Live-stream classes every day, each under 30 minutes. You get real-time shoutouts from the energetic instructors, and you can easily string a few of these workouts together to get a longer session if that’s what you’re after. It’s like being in-person for a class, but from the comfort of your living room.

12/ FOR YOGA: YOGAGLO

Free, with in-app purchases

YogaGlo knows exactly what you need: “The app starts to assist in selecting classes you might like, based on previous ones you have taken, which is awesome,” Beverley-Waters raves. “And now they even have specific programmes you can enroll in and set your schedule so that you can have some accountability.”

13/ FOR YOGA: POCKET YOGA

R49.99

Newb yogis will especially love this. You can choose the practice that interests you, how long you want to go with the flow, and the difficulty level before pressing play on the soothing voice that cues you through the practice.

You also have access to a pose library that shows correct posture and the benefits of the pose, along with the Sanskrit name. To top it off, you also don’t need Wifi to play them. Go ahead and hit the beach for an extra-relaxing session.

14/ FOR EVERYTHING ELSE: WE TIME

Free

Love posting your workouts to Insta? Use this timer to record without missing a beat. “The video feature is a plus because it shows the duration of a workout when there is no clock in camera view,” says Ward. “It’s a great way to showcase a workout in real-time and unedited on your personal social media.”

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice