6 At-Home Workout Apps That Are So Good, You’ll Forget They’re Totally Free

published Jan 31, 2021
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nike workout app in iphone
Credit: Courtesy of Nike

Gyms can be plenty convenient. They offer tons of classes, a bunch of equipment, and a motivating atmosphere to get your workout done several days a week. But they can also be expensive: A 2018 survey found that the average American spends $155 a month on health and fitness, which includes an average of $33 per month for a gym membership. But now, plenty of gyms and boutique studios are closed, and plenty of people are figuring out the best at-home workout routines on their own.

But what if you could get the best of both worlds? Yes, it’s possible to get a solid workout that feels entirely custom for free. Here are six of the best fitness apps on the market, each of which cost nothing for everyday use; can be customized to your skill level, time commitment, and other needs; and will leave you feeling accomplished and ready to take on the rest of your day.

This app is so comprehensive, you’ll find yourself asking what the catch is — and there really is none. With hundreds of workouts led by dozens of the sportswear brand’s Master Trainers, there’s an option for every kind of sweat you’re looking to break. Many of the workouts require no additional equipment — which is a good thing if you’re short on space or don’t want to invest in heavy dumbbells for the time being — and even the six-minute plank workout will leave you feeling accomplished for the entire day. Not sure which workout to do? Opt into one of the app’s multiple programs, which coach you through a multi-week training schedule.
Download it here

If you’re looking for a way to get your cardio in but hate burpees (same) or don’t want to disturb your downstairs neighbor, why not go for a good, old-fashioned jog? The app features guided runs for beginners, distance runners, marathoners, pregnant people, and everyone in between. Alternatively, simply start your run and take off — the app will log your route, distance, speed, and splits. It also works to track walking, because some days, you need to take it slow.
Download it here

C25K 5K Trainer

Training plans that help you build endurance and work towards running five kilometers (or roughly 3.1 miles) over the course of several weeks are wildly popular, and with good reason: They break training down into digestible steps, thereby helping you stay motivated and avoid injury. The C25K app by Zen Labs is entirely comprehensive even without purchasing one of several in-app purchases, which allow for everything from an ad-free experience to full access to the company’s entire suite of fitness apps. If you’re looking for an app to see if you even like distance running, this is a good commitment-free way to start.
Download it here

She’s been called the “reigning queen of pandemic yoga” by the New York Times and has racked up over 1.1 million followers on Instagram for good reason. Adriene’s classes are accessible, relatable, and often very humorous. Select any class you’re feeling through her YouTube channel, or sign up for her 30-day program for an easy-to-follow guide. As for the app you need? Well, that’s something you likely already have downloaded: YouTube!
Download the YouTube app here for iOS and here for Google Play

The app’s biggest promise? “Stop paying to work out.” The FitOn app boasts a wide variety of classes, including strength, yoga, Pilates, and even meditation — and while there is an option to purchase a “pro” membership, you don’t need it. The download-and-go version is as comprehensive as you need a workout to be.
Download it here for iOS and here for Google Play

Low on time? Feel like you would rather just get your workout over with? This app from personal care brand Johnson & Johnson features workouts that take as few as seven minutes to complete, so you can feel like you still did something even on days when nothing feels possible. Best of all, you can either follow a pre-set routine or build your own directly in the app for an entirely custom experience.
Download it here for iOS and here for Google Play