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YouTube fitness videos were great and all when we thought this whole novel coronavirus thing would stay, well, novel. But nearly a year into this, we’re still doing majority of our workouts at home. Like it or not, the uptick in new smart home gym equipment is reshaping how we look at fitness and could decimate the gym industry. If you’ve been stuck in a workout rut, we want you to sweat it—specifically with one of these stellar fitness apps and fitness platforms will snap you out of your funk and actually have you excited to throw on a sweatband and get to work. From VR experiences to a workout fit for a firefighter, we’ve got something for everyone. Read on and catch your breath…while you still can.
So your best friend wrote a novel during quarantine? Big deal—you’re getting in the best shape of your life from the comfort of home with this bevy of fitness apps.
Best Fitness Apps and Streaming Platforms to Get Fit From Home
Your muscles don’t have to atrophy like your social life, folks. Hook up with virtual personal trainers from 3,000 gyms across the country, including Blink, Gold’s, Physique 57, and more. (You don’t need to be a member of any studio to use the platform.) You’ll train with a trainer over video in a customized workout tailored to your goals. Take the Trainer Matching Quiz and get on the road to better health, whether you’re looking to improve flexibility, rehab an injury, lose weight, or improve overall fitness.
[From $30 for 30-minute session; flexit.fit]
Take classes from pro boxers and NASM-certified trainers with on-demand workouts like Full Body Boxing and Full Body Kicking. There’s even a versus mode so you can challenge yourself or others from prior workouts to beat your personal record. To get set up you’ll need the FightCamp Personal or FightCamp Tribe package, which comprises a bag, quick wraps, mat, pair of gloves, and punch trackers that measure your speed, strength, and stamina throughout each cathartic jab and hook. FYI: The free-standing bag is 67 inches tall and 24 inches at its widest once assembled, so make sure you’ve got adequate space.
[From $430-$1,219 for equipment plus $39/month membership fee; joinfightcamp.com]
3. Alo Moves
A diverse group of instructors guide you through a carefully curated collection of on-demand yoga, fitness, and mindfulness classes (try a sound bath if you’re in a slump or yoga nidra for restorative sleep) located in studio or naturals settings (we like Alo in the Wild Hawaii). With thousands of classes to choose from, use the handy filter to search by class duration, intensity, style, and more. Or, heed our sage counsel and treat your weary limbs to Yoga for Hikers with the talented Nicole Tsong or Quick HIIT if your quarantine sweats are getting tight.
[$20/month or $199/year; alomoves.com]
4. Future Fit
If one-on-one virtual personal training is for you, join the Future Fit program, which pairs you with a fitness coach who creates custom training plans each week based on goals, available equipment, and time constraints, communicating via text message and video. To keep you accountable, Future sends you an Apple Watch so you and your coach can keep tabs on your progress. For a sample of the fun that’s in store, a recent week for one user consisted of Push Focus (three-position isometric hold pushups, lunge knee drives, scissors, T pushups, triceps dips, squat jumps, high plank, etc.) on Monday and Pull Focus (feet elevated pushups, hip lifts, pendulum legs, high side plank, pushups, etc.) on Wednesday.
This virtual reality fitness program is otherworldly (okay, not really, but man do Machu Picchu and Iceland boast some serious views) and makes torching calories fun, all the while tailoring your sessions to your ability level and desired intensity. It’s available exclusively on the Oculus Quest and Quest 2 headsets, with a mobile Companion App for iPhone and Android to track your progress. Explore the workouts library, connect with others, and pair with an optional heart-rate monitor. Workouts run the gamut but our two favorites are Quick Hits, which last two-to-three songs in length and can be completed in under 10 minutes, and the Meditation/Stretching options for a release at the end of a tough day.
[$19/month or $179/year; getsupernatural.com]
They had us at LIMITLESS, a three-week program with Andrew Mariani, where all you need is dumbbells and a willingness to break a sweat. These days, after winter gluttony, we’re also fans of The Biggest Loser’s Bob Harper’s Weight Loss Starter Pack and kids’ workouts to keep the little ones entertained. Overall, NEOU lets you choose from live-streaming and on-demand classes from 100+ studios and instructors in categories like bootcamp, yoga, cycling, and nutrition. With something for all fitness levels, this is a great choice if you share your digs with a couch potato or triathlete, and need a service that caters to you both.
[$12.99/month or $59/year; neoufitness.com]
7. Row House GO
There’s no low-impact workout quite like rowing. Easy on your hips, knees, and low back, while delivering superb cardiovascular benefits, BYO rowing machine and get to work on building your endurance and muscles from wherever you are. Bonus: When lockdowns are behind us and your group books a lake house, you’ll be MVP for lakefront activities.
Suffering from waning motivation and workout monotony? You’d be amazed what some dog sled action in Alaska or a spin around Bermuda can do for your spirit, even if you’re only staring at them on an HD flat screen in your basement. Explore a sprawling library of instructor-led studio classes and global training videos shot on location in 50+ countries (we’re talking hikes on Mt. Kilimanjaro, cycling the Swiss Alps, or rowing the Zambezi river) with iFit’s immersive, interactive app. It powers NordicTrack, ProForm, and Freemotion bikes, treadmills, and more cardio equipment. Even better, iFit-enabled machines can automatically adjust incline, resistance, and more, allowing you to focus on your burning calves instead of futzing with manual adjustments. When you want to mix things up, don’t miss the collection of off-equipment workout categories like bootcamp, boxing, HIIT, yoga, Pilates, and mindfulness. P.S. If you don’t have IFit-enabled equipment, but seek a globetrotter’s escape, prop your phone or tablet on your own equipment and follow along. Glacier National Park Climb Series we’re coming for ya.
[$15/month for individual plan, $39/month for up to five users on family plan, or $396/year; ifit.com]
9. Life Time Digital
Choose from 1,000+ live-streaming classes a week, running the gamut from cardio to yoga. (Not to be missed: Life Time’s CEO Bahram Akradi, frequently teaches cycle classes). For something more personalized, you can also take virtual 1:1 training. Got an Apple Watch? The app also features Apple Fitness+ programs. Our top class picks: Upper RX and XTREME. We’ll spare you the grueling details, so you don’t chicken out.
The newly launched Centr Fusion program from Chris Hemsworth’s fitness app merges high-octane workouts with mindful components to give your training a more holistic touch. The six-week progressive program has five unique 25- to 30-minute workouts that get harder week after week to help you grow stronger. Each week comprises three workout styles: BoxHIIT, Strength, and Power Flow. You don’t need a fancy home gym either—just a mat and dumbbells. This is great if you struggle with meditating, as it encourages you to take a moment post-workout to recalibrate and, yes, center yourself.
[Free 7-day trial, $29.99; centr.com]
Got a pool? Don’t limit yourself strictly to floating and sipping beer; try this waterproof headset and accompanying app of on-demand water-based workouts. Billed as “The Peloton of the Pool,” there are 100 on-demand workouts paired with music; you can also stream your own tunes, podcasts, and audiobooks Some classes that piqued our interest include the 20-Minute Arm Intervals (a.k.a. “Angry Arms”) and Recovery Swims. For serious swimmers, live coaching is a separate capability that can be utilized by, say, a coach or personal trainer by working as a walkie-talkie. P.S. Yep, the headset works in a lake or ocean, too. Simply rinse off the headset after swimming in salt water.
12. Tonal Mobile App
Fans of the wall-mounted Tonal home gym can now take that experience when they’re away from home with its Mobile Workouts beta, available for Apple’s iOs (including the Apple Watch) or Android. Tonal members who have completed a digital weight assessment can access all off-Tonal Guided Workouts ranging from Core Strength and Recovery to Mobility and Kickboxing, and more. For type-As who can’t bear to see their 100-day workout streak ruined, rest assured all workouts get logged to your profile. Got 18 minutes? Six-Pack Attack, here we come.
[$3,740 plus $49/month for membership with unlimited membership accounts; tonal.com]
Embrace your childhood dream of being a firefighter with this stellar strength-and-conditioning system founded by CEO and Iraq War Veteran Sarah Apgar. It was originally designed for the fire service and centered on the patent-pending Steelhose free weights and an accompanying iOS app for Apple devices. Made in America from real firehose and steel shot, the accessory works as a dumbbell, kettlebell, sandbag, med ball, and sledgehammer—all in one. Pick either from an on-demand library of workouts or tune in for live-streamed workouts. A portion of FitFighter profits go to the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation, which honors firefighter Stephen Siller who died saving others on September 11, 2001.
[$150 for the Steelhose and a year of training or $65 for 5lb or 15lb set, $85 for 25lb set, and $10 a month or $100 a year for training; 30-day free trial available; fitfighter.com]
14. UA Performance Academy
Yes, UA as in that UA. Hone your body’s greatest asset, your brain, with Under Armour’s digital hub. You’ll discover mental strength training knowledge, exercises, and tools used by the world’s top athletes; take audio and/or visual programming across Visualizing Success, Building Optimism, and Calming Your Mind. Rooted in scientific research, this program is inspired by world champions and elite athletes so you, too, can enhance your mental fortitude and wellness on and off the proverbial court.
15. Academy of Self Defense
We’ve all got pent-up steam to blow off these days. With Academy of Self Defense’s program, hone your skills at Krav Maga, the military self-defense and fighting method developed for the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli security forces virtually. Or, try Muay Thai, bootcamp classes, and combo/all-around fighter fitness options. All classes are taught by professional trainers who will have you feeling like you can star in your own martial arts flick in no time.
[$19/month for a specific class subscription or $39/month for extensive, on-demand access; two-week free trial available; academyselfdefense.com]
16. Yoga Medicine Online
If you’re looking for something geared toward supporting your well-being, we’re all for these yoga classes coupled with purposefully curated wellness programs. They make use of research-based techniques with a therapeutic focus led by celebrated yogi Tiffany Cruikshank and other talented instructors. Two classes we keep coming back to—Strength & Resilience: Whole-Body and Lung Capacity & Longevity.
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