The Best At Home Workout Apps of 2020
At this time last year, nearly 1 in every 5 Americans had at least one paid gym or health club membership. We were going to the gym and we were going to the gym a lot. In fact, we went over 6 billion times in 2019 alone. But we weren’t just going to the gym. We were also working out from the comfort of our homes thanks to some really innovative at home workout apps from fitness tech developers.
Fast forward to March 2020. The novel coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the globe. International leaders call for mandatory stay at home orders and closures of public and private businesses world wide to stop the spread of the virus. Nearly 40,000 of our fitness facilities across the country close their doors within a couple days. It’s like our gyms disappeared overnight. So what do we do now? How do we stay in shape? How do we find a replacement for something we did so many times the year before? And more importantly, how do we fend off that dreaded COVID 15 without access to our precious gyms?
Well…we do like we did in 2019 and workout from home under the guidance of these almost prophetic at home workout apps…just on a greater scale and this time out of necessity. I’ve already done some of the heavy lifting (pun intended) for you and tested out a handful of apps. What you see below is what worked out for me. Without further ado, I present to you the very best at home workout apps that will help you stay in shape while staying home during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Best Video Workout App - Peloton
When you think of Peloton, you probably envision its super sleek stationary bike or treadmill. But believe it or not, you don’t have to shell out the big bucks on the equipment to get the benefits of its digital at home workout app. The Peloton App combines its top-tier spin and running classes with several other types of live and on-demand fitness classes. Strength training, yoga, outdoor running (audio only), cardio, stretching, meditation, and even bootcamp. Browse their list of thousands (yes, literally thousands) of classes by type, instructor, duration, and even music genre, and follow along while watching from your mobile device or smart TV. Explore training programs hand-picked by the instructors themselves and even participate in many of their “themed” classes. I took a 45-minute Grateful Dead-themed ride last week and I loved every minute of it. I also took a 30-minute Backstreet Boys-themed ride and loved every minute of that…but don’t tell anyone.
Don’t own a treadmill? Give an outdoor running class a try. All you need is your mobile device and a set of headphones (we like the Powerbeats Pro) for this audio-only class type. Your mobile device will capture your speed and route via GPS and the app will keep track of your metrics. Pairing a device such as an Apple watch will allow you to view metrics plus your heart rate mid-workout. Pretty cool, right? The app is available on both iOS and Android devices. Peloton is currently offering a free 30 day trial. After the trial period expires, expect to pay $12.99/month for the service. The instructor-guided workouts range from five minutes all the way up to an hour and can be streamed from your phone directly to your smart TV via Chromecast or AirPlay. I actually found the best overall experience working out in our living room with the Amazon Fire Stick (only $39.99 on Amazon as of this writing). Roku, Apple TV, & Android TV also have apps. New classes are added daily, so no need to fret about lack of content.
Best Audio Workout App - Aaptiv
Aaptiv takes a different approach to the at home workout by offering audio-only classes tailored to your specific fitness goals and taste in music. If you need guidance and/or motivation when working out, Aaptiv is the app for you. All you need is your iOS or Android device and a set of headphones to get started. Browse through its vast library of home workouts including: outdoor running, elliptical, yoga, meditation, stair-climbing, treadmill, stretching and strength training. Alternatively, you can use the coach feature for hand-picked workouts tailored specifically to your fitness goals.
Aaptiv’s audio-only platform, in my opinion, works for two reasons. Reason one being the music. I don’t know about you, but music choice plays a huge role in keeping me motivated during a grueling workout. My intensity levels seem to sink when I’m listening to anything aside from hip hop or heavy hitting electronic music. I need something with a good beat and a couple drops to keep me going. Perhaps you are the same, or maybe you dig something a little more poppy or some good ole rock and roll. Whatever that genre may be, Aaptiv has you covered. Just update your preferences in the app at any time and your workouts will be paired with your tunes.
The second reason is a game-changer and is probably the reason Aaptiv has over 200k+ loyal customers. The trainer is always in your ear. And when I say “in your ear,” I mean it in the literal sense. From start to finish on every workout. They instruct, motivate, and push you to your limits. It’s like having your own personal trainer! And in a day and age when you can’t even get a haircut without worrying about personal health, it proves priceless. Give Aaptiv a try with a risk-free trial for 7 days and check out tons of other features its fitness platform offers. Once the trial period ends, your credit card will be billed $15/month.
Fitbit, more famously known for its line of wearable fitness tech, also offers a solid and affordable at home workout app. Fitbit Premium is essentially a beefed up version of its flagship app that runs any of its wearable products. So if you own a Fitbit, odds are you already have the app installed on your phone. Although they recommend it for workout tracking, you don’t actually need a Fitbit to use the Fitbit Preimum app. Whether you own one or not, it still has some pretty sweet content worth checking out. In addition to its world class fitness tracking features, Fitbit has a pretty diverse at home workout library once you unlock Premium. This includes everything from audio workouts for running and walking to video workouts for cardio, dance, kickboxing, yoga, abs and core. You name it, Fitbit has it. Quarantining at a relative’s house and don’t have your weights? No worries, just browse from a list of classes where no additional equipment is needed. In a rush? Fitbit has you set with workouts that can be done in less than 15 minutes. It even has workouts curated specifically for kids! The app also just released a new at home workout series by special guest instructor, Ayesha Curry.
The Fitbit Premium app comes preloaded with a solid amount of free workouts. Fitbit was nice enough to expand the free workout library even further for all you work-from-homers out there who are on the fence about a premium subscription. You can also unlock premium and give the app a try risk-free for 90 days. After that, it’s $9.99/month or $79.99 for an annual subscription. If you choose to go this route, you chose wisely, because a paid Fitbit Premium subscription also gets you access to the Fitbit Coach app. This app is a completely separate workout app that performs more like Fitbit Premium’s jacked older brother. Choose from workout programs like “Daily Dose”, which suggests shorter workouts to complement a busy lifestyle, or the “Get Lean” program that suggests workouts packed with fat burning moves for those of us looking to slim down. Or just browse from its library of preloaded classes with workout types like bodyweight workouts, outdoor walks, stair workouts, outdoor runs, treadmill, rowing, elliptical, total body, stretching and indoor cycling.
Needless to say, if you are looking for the best value, this is it, folks. It’s a win-win. If you own a Fitbit, maybe even a win-win-win. If you don’t have a Fitbit just yet, we highly recommend the Fitbit Charge 3.
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