Working from home, self-isolating, or simply social distancing? After the recent outbreak and the latest government updates, and with the majority of gyms and studios closing, many of us have found ourselves spending more time in our abodes. Keeping active and staying mentally and physically healthy is important now more than ever.
Luckily, if you happen to be hauled up in your house or flat, you don’t have to sacrifice your fitness regime. You might not be able to make it out to the gym, but there are plenty of ways to help you stay on track. Within this guide, we will take a look at some of the very best home workout apps and why you should give them a go for yourself.
HIIT Workout at Home
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts aren’t only an effective way to stay fit. Research from the University of Turku suggests that these powerful routines also boost the endorphin release in your brain. Often referred to as ‘happy hormones’, endorphins could improve your mood and boost your motivation to keep working out. It’s win-win!
Best HIIT Workout Apps
If you’ve ever done a HIIT session in a gym, you will know that instructors tend to use a load of equipment. However, you can do these types of workout at home with whatever you happen to have available. Let’s take a look at some of the best HIIT workout apps.
Imagine bringing a HIIT (and other) classes to your living room! That’s what FiiT is all about. Subscribing to this virtual fitness regime is an alternative to a gym membership. When you have the app, you can take part in live classes online in real-time.
Each 25 or 40-minute class is run by a different expert trainer and there’s quite a lineup. Coaches include Charlotte Holmes, Richie Norton, Steph Elswood, Tyronne Brennand, Cat Meffan, Chris Magee, Gede Foster, Jaime Ray and Lottie Murphy among others.
If you’ve got a competitive streak, you can also take part in a virtual competition. To make it onto the leaderboard, you will need to connect with a compatible device including an Apple Watch, a FiiT device, a Garmin HR Monitor and a MyZone. Compete against your friends and other class members online. Will you make it to the top spot?
Price: £20/month with a 14-day free trial
Boasting thousands of free workout routines, Workout Trainer helps you increase your fitness, no matter where you are. The workouts are designed by certified personal trainers, which means that you get expert advice at your fingertips.
To get started, you can choose your fitness and ability level. Then it’s simply a case of choosing the step-by-step audio or video guide for you. If you have an Apple Watch or Bluetooth LE Heart Rate Monitor, you can connect it to your phone and monitor your stats!
Hoping to kick your HIIT sessions up a gear? The app also has a 1:1 Online Personal Training service, which allows you to hire a coach. That means that you will get access to sessions tailored to your needs, personalised goals, and support from an online trainer.
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
As a response to the closure of studios globally, ClassPass are now offering live and on-demand workout classes. For their on-demand classes, you can choose between video or just audio, which is perfect if you simply want a coach for a bit of guidance. ClassPass offers a range of workouts, from yoga and meditation to HIIT and Strength. We recommend trying the SH1FT-LATES, which is a pilates inspired HIIT session.
The selection of live streamed classes is based on your location, so if you have any favourite studios, make sure to check out their offering.
Price: On-demand classes are free, while the the price of live streamed classes will vary with each studio.
Best known for its luxe at-home, stationary bikes with touch screens and video workout classes, Peloton also offers a fitness app with access to thousands of live and on-demand classes.
Don't have a stationary bike at home? Not to worry, the classes ranges from running, strength, toning, outdoor workouts and yoga and most can be done without any equipment.
Price: £12.99/month, but currently has a 90 day free trial.
Yoga at Home
Have you been toying with the idea of taking up yoga? Perhaps you’re already a fully-fledged yogi. Regardless of your skill level, you can continue your practice in the comfort of your own home. Ideally, you need a yoga mat and a block. However, if you don’t have it, you can always use any workout mat.
Best Yoga Apps
Ready to bring the yoga session to your home? It couldn’t be easier. Whatever style of yoga you prefer to practice, there’s an app with a training program for you. Here’s a quick look at two of the best yoga apps you can get right now.
- Glo (Previously YogaGlo)
Access 3000 yoga classes and 500 meditation classes from some of the best teachers around the world. Glo is the answer! With this subscription, you can choose the style of yoga you want to practice, your skill level, and your goals.
After you’ve signed up and answered some initial questions, you get suggested classes and routines. You can also search for classes in-app and save your favourites and create collections to return to later. There are also scheduled classes you can join in real-time.
Price: $18/month (around £15/month) with a 15-day free trial
Featuring more than a hundred workouts from yoga and fitness experts, Asana Rebel is your one-stop-shop for virtual sessions. To get started with this app, you will need to answer questions about yourself, your diet, and your fitness-centric goals. After that, the app designs a personalised workout regime that suits your exercise style and targets.
The yoga-inspired programs come in a variety of forms. Whether you have five minutes to spare or half an hour, there will be a class that you can take. What’s more, there are also daily challenges, fun quizzes, and community extras that will keep you motivated!
Price: £58.99/year or £37.99/quarter
From cult yoga brand Alo Yoga, Alo Moves is the ultimate yoga app. With thousands of videos on offer, taught by renowned instructors, you can expect vinyasa flows, handstand workshops, sound baths and everything in between.
When browsing classes, you can filter by style, difficulty, duration and instructor, making it super easy to find a class that fits your mood and schedule. They also offer series of classes, such as "Yoga for Beginners" or "Ashtanga: Step by Step", which is perfect for new yogis or for those who wants to delve into a specific style.
Price: $20/month (around £16/month) with a 14-day trial
Best Mindfulness Apps
Looking after your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. During this time of uncertainty, tending to your mind is an absolute must. Research from the University of Utah suggests that mindfulness can help improve both your physical and emotional well-being. So, how can you get started? Here are two apps to try.
Calm is your relaxation companion app. Showcasing meditation classes, sleep stories, blissful music and so much more, the app offers a rainbow-array of ways to unwind. With the basic membership, you get access to some of the best tracks to get started. However, if you like the app once you’ve tried it, it could be worth upgrading to a premium plan.
No matter how long you have to spare, you can always squeeze in a moment to yourself with this app. It includes guided meditations of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes. Plus, you can choose from topics such as ‘gratitude’ or ‘forgiveness’ to suit your goals.
Price: Free Basic, or $69.99/year (around £60/year) Premium
If you’re completely new to the world of mindfulness, Headspace is a great place to start. You get a two-week free trial of guided meditations and then you can pay the annual subscription to get access to the entire library. There are new audio tracks added on a daily basis, which means you’ll never get bored of the same routines.
Should you have trouble nodding off into a deep slumber, the Headspace app can help with that too. When you’ve got the premium version of the app, you will have access to cool sleep sounds and guided bedtime exercises to help you relax and unwind.
Price: £49.99/year with a two-week free trial
Best Running Apps
While you may be practising ‘social distancing’ during the current outbreak, getting outside to exercise is a mentally and physically healthy move. As of 17th March, Public Health England guidance for households in self-isolation is that you can still go outside to exercise, as long as you avoid close contact with other people by giving them space. This guidance is different in some European countries, and may change, but for the moment running therefore remains a great option. It releases endorphins and boosts your dopamine levels, which leads to a positive mood at this time of great stress.
Whether you’re already an active runner or just getting started, let’s take a look at some of the best running apps to try.
Whether you’re starting your running journey or a veteran runner, it’s worth giving Runtastic from Adidas a whirl. The subscription-based app has everything you need to create a smart running regime and compete with people online.
When you’ve signed up, you get access to a voice coach (i.e. audio tracks) that will talk you through even the most gruelling of workouts. The live tracking feature means that your friends and contacts can see where you are whenever you head out and cheer you on.
Including GPS tracking and audio running guides, the Nike Run Club is one of the best workout apps out there. Guided runs are hosted by expert trainers as well as special celebrity guests, such as Mo Farah and Kevin Hart.
Once you’ve joined the Nike Run Club community, you will be privy to regular challenges. For example, you might want to compete to go the furthest distance in a week or earn the most achievements in a month. Compare your progress with friends on the leaderboard
Strava is not just a regular activity tracker: Also known as the “social network for athletes” it takes the sharing feature from other platforms, such as Instagram, and merges it elegantly with sophisticated tracking technology. After completing your run or bike ride, you can dive deep into your data and analyse just about any performance metric you can imagine.
When you record your activity, it will be shared on your Strava Feed, where you and your friends can comment on each other's performance. Who does not love a pat on the back after a sweaty workout?
Whether your goal is to reach your first marathon or your first mile, Under Armour’s Map My Run offers training plans and audio coaching to help you get there.
You can sync your account to a whole host of devices, such as Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, Garmin and FitBit, but that’s not the most impressive part. If you happen to own a pair of UA HOVR™ Machina Running Shoes, the trainers will actually connect to your account and give you personalised coaching along the way. Neat!
Staying ultra-healthy when you’re spending more time at home is a major priority and it doesn’t have to be hard. Using this period to keep your fitness on track and stay mentally healthy is a must. Why not try one of these home workout apps and get started right now?