Working out at home can feel isolating, so having an app with a vibrant community can help. Apps that offer live classes or workout programs with world-class instructors also provide a sense of accountability and fun.
Many of these top fitness apps have a mix of shorter and longer classes, which helps to keep workouts interesting. Some have nutrition integration, gamified workouts and progress tracking.
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- Nike Training Club
Nike has made its name with high-quality athletic apparel, but the company has also been building a robust fitness app since 2009. Nike Training Club, or NTC for short, is a top choice for anyone who wants to try new workouts from home without having to go to the gym.
NTC offers users a variety of options for different types of workouts that vary by muscle group, length and equipment needed. Users can also find a variety of workout programmes designed to help with certain fitness goals like power, endurance and sports performance. The programmes are usually 4-6 weeks long and feature a variety of trainers.
The app also provides a community that allows users to connect with their friends and share workouts. It also tracks progress and allows users to set up notifications that will alert them when they need to get back to the gym. The app also features articles and tips that can help with various aspects of health and fitness, such as nutrition, sleep and recovery.
Another unique feature of NTC is that it allows users to create and track workout goals. It can also be used to find new workouts to do, as it is constantly adding fresh content. The app is free to download and use, which makes it a great option for anyone looking to try something new.
One of the more interesting aspects of NTC is that it is available on streaming services like Netflix. This allows users to watch a show while doing a workout, which is very helpful for those who need to exercise at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also helps people stay motivated, as they can see that they are making progress towards their goals.
The Peloton app comes with its Internet-connected bikes, but you can also use it on any smart TV or smartphone. It offers access to live and on-demand classes, which you can track in real time or view in a leaderboard (even during on-demand classes). You can see detailed info about fellow class participants, including usernames, locations, age ranges and profile photos, if they’ve added one.
The instructors and music are a big part of the Peloton experience, helping to keep workouts fun and motivating. Many instructors have upbeat playlists, and you can search by genre to find a playlist that fits your mood or workout style. You can even adjust the trainer’s audio without affecting the music, allowing you to focus on the instructor’s cues.
If you’re more of a competitive person, the app has challenges you can opt into to help push yourself and encourage others. For example, you can participate in an annual challenge that logs your minutes spent working out and awards different tiered badges at the end of the year based on your total workout time. Or you can take on a monthly challenge that prompts you to complete a certain number of cycling, strength or other genre classes each month.
The app is also linked to the Peloton bike and can track heart rate during a ride via Apple Watch GymKit. It can also show you a post-workout chart of the distance, calories burned and other metrics. It’s not as intuitive as some other fitness apps, but it has plenty of features to keep you motivated. For instance, you can link up your phone and turn it into a virtual bike handlebar to control your speed.
- The Sculpt Society
The Sculpt Society was founded by Megan Roup, a dancer turned fitness influencer and trainer who created her platform to help women feel empowered through movement. She has since gathered a dedicated following that includes celebs like Karlie Kloss and Miranda Kerr. The Sculpt Society offers low-impact sculpting workouts and dance cardio classes that will strengthen your core and sculpt your body all while having fun in the process.
Whether you’re looking for a quick, 10-minute “Quickie” video or a 45-minute full-body workout, The Sculpt Society will have you feeling fit and empowered in no time. And with the option to download videos for offline use, it’s a great way to workout anywhere, even when you’re traveling or without an internet connection.
TSS workouts are well-presented and engaging from the moment you open the app. The menu systems and headings are clearly displayed and do a great job of helping you navigate the app. With later tabs such as ‘Search‘ and ‘Library’ appearing nearly empty upon opening, it could be helpful for users to have these features available right within the main section of the app.
Megan Roup is a great fitness instructor and has an approachable personality that makes it easy to follow along. She also does a good job of cultivating a community through her daily coffee chats, Q&A sessions and private Facebook group. She also regularly hosts IG live collabs with her followers and celebrity clients.
The Sculpt Society offers a 7 day free trial for new users. Thereafter, you can purchase a monthly or yearly subscription to the app directly inside the app. Msg & data rates may apply. You may unsubscribe at any time.
The Strava app, which is used by more than 73 million people in 195 countries, has an expansive network of users with a variety of interests and skill levels. It’s especially popular among runners and cyclists, partly because of its competitive features that encourage athletes to push themselves harder in challenges. The app is free to use, but a subscription is required for some features.
A key feature is its activity feed, where users see posts based on their GPS-synced workouts and the activities of those they follow. They can also leave comments, give “kudos,” and send “beacons” to friends during a workout, which allows them to share real-time location data to keep track of a friend’s location, particularly in potentially dangerous areas like mountainous landscapes or road races.
Another feature, which is only available to Strava Premium members, lets athletes analyze and compare their performances during a segment — a specific part of a run or ride based on distance, elevation, or power output, for example. It’s an interesting way to learn how to improve, but also to be aware of the limits of your own abilities and avoid injury, Coppock says.
Another useful tool is the Routes feature, which uses de-identified data to recommend routes and allows users to save them as a course for their Garmin devices. The app also offers several other perks, including the ability to create and share Strava art, or draw an image with their movements, as well as safety features like Beacon, which can share a user’s real-time location with a friend during a workout, so he or she can keep a virtual eye on them in case of an emergency.