While the camaraderie of an intense, sweat-inducing exercise class is undeniably fun, the ease of an at-home workout is arguably even more appealing. If "ugh, I don’t want to go all the way to that workout studio" is a constant block for you, then this is your story. There are a plethora of workout apps, all available at a moment’s notice from the palm of your hand, no matter where you are in the world.
Having tried a handful of these over the last few months, the ease of an at-home workouts is undeniable. But working out from my small iPhone screen? Still pretty tricky to view, especially when, for some of these apps that involve active movements, it can be quite annoying to see the intricate details from your tiny phone. Pro tip: If you can stream to an Apple TV or use a tablet, it might be more seamless. I personally have neither of those (sponsor me, Apple), so I continue to make do on my phone, which is still preferred to traveling to a studio somewhere in the city.
It’s also worth mentioning that the price of a workout app, usually in the $10 to $27 range for a monthly membership, is significantly less expensive than the cost of a single boutique class in most cities.
Whatever your workout preference, here are a few we’ve been loving lately.
If you wanna a celeb-approved workout:
I personally tried BBS App for a full month (for you!) and can tell you it’s a great, very intense workout. Fitness guru to the stars, Simone De La Rue, has a huge following with her namesake class Body By Simone, which combines cardio and dance with strength training. Her in-person classes are taught in LA and NY, and are known for their noticeable results after just a few classes.
Simone’s app is her class on hyperdrive. Not only does it have a personal trainer experience, you implement what you want to accomplish (from toning to strengthening to maintaining) and the app will tell you which workouts to do, in what order, and on which days. Or, if you manually want to choose, each class can be chosen based on its length and focus (abs, butt, cardio, etc.). She’s got more than 900 minutes of workout classes for you to choose from, so you’ll never get bored.
Still prefer live workouts? You can drop into her scheduled live classes from Hollywood—from the comfort of your own home. And the most you’ll need for equipment is a resistance band and hand weights.
And beyond intuitive fitness, she also has a huge nutrition element on the BBS app in partnership with nutritionist Kelly LeVeque. You can organize your goals with the dietary section as well, or just get tips and recipes from LeVeque based on your preferences.
The BBS app is $19.99/month
If James Turrell is your hero:
Hitting the market only in the last few months, Obé (stands for Out Body Electric) focuses on fun, live-streaming, beats-driven workouts, from 10 to 28 minutes. They offer three types of classes: Sweat (cardio and dance), Define (strengthening and muscle building), and Flow (yoga, stretching, and mat pilates).
If you’re sitting here thinking, “Kristin, no, I like the accountability of a workout class, I’d just never do workout on these apps.” Great, you’ll love this app specifically then because the live-streamed classes, which take place every morning for 6 to 8 hours of live programming, are available for sign-ups. When you sign up for a 7 am class, you will be notified when it’s about to start, and you have to open the app at 7 am, or earlier, to actually attend the class, so as to hold you accountable.
Personally, I like their express workouts, which range from 10 to 28 minutes, and are recorded from previous live sessions. The last class I choose was a 28 minute Define class that had me sore for days afterwards because it was so difficult and thorough.
The whole vibe of Obé is a bit more casual, in both the instructors, who talk directly to you and feel more authentic and charming while doing so. That, and the set design is what keeps us coming back for more. The James Turrell/Dan Flavin-esque lighting scheme feels inspiring and a breath of fresh air to that traditional, tired, same ol’ same workout sets and studios.
The Obé app is $27/month.
If you like running ‘round town:
Nike+ Run Club
Whether you’re just embracing running, or you’re a seasoned pro, the Nike+ Run Club app is great. And naturally, thanks to it being Nike, it’s super intuitive and aesthetically pleasing.
The audio guide acts as your hype woman throughout your workout, encouraging and telling you how to reach your end goal. You can customize your training plan for exactly what you want to accomplish, whether you're training for a 5K, half or full marathon. It even has some built-in personalized details, like faux cheering when you’re close to the end of a run, Spotify or Headspace integration so you can play your favorite playlist or meditation over the coaching, and a continuously evolving progress chart.
The Nike+ Run Club app is free.
If yoga is more your speed:
From beginner to master yogi, Daily Yoga has got a bit of everything for everyone. You can also customize your program as you wish, whether you’re looking for a yoga workout plan to get more fit, mindful, or de-stress—with or without guided instructions. And if one of your goals is to master one pose in particular, you can choose from over hundreds of videos to reach your goals over time.
Love the community aspect of yoga? They have an active community board where you can connect with fellow app users on questions you have.
The Daily Yoga app is $9.99/month.
Did we miss your favorite? Tell us about it!
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