No Gym, No Problem: The 5 Best Fitness Apps for Working Out at Home
I’m not going to try and hide it: I’m a bit of a fitness app junkie.
I love how affordable they are compared to gym memberships. Not only that but with the right fitness app, I don’t even have to leave my house to get in a good sweat session.
And with the New Year just around the corner, its never been a better time to start a new fitness program; I don’t know about you, but I want to kick off the new decade feeling healthy and strong.
Yet, some fitness apps are better than others. I’ve tried out quite a few by this point and I definitely have my favorites and the ones that I keep coming back to time and again.
If you’re overwhelmed by the choices out there, I’ve narrowed down the options to 5 of the best fitness apps for working out at home so that you can spend less time sifting through app reviews and more time squatting your way to health and happiness.
Each of these programs is effective and used entirely from the comfort of your home with minimal equipment. They each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses though, so take a look and figure out which program is best for you!
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My Fitness by Jillian Michaels
This is the current “darling” of my fitness apps right now! I’ve always been a fan of Jillian Michaels ever since I first got my butt kicked by her 30 Day Shred videos.
There are a ton of programs to choose from for every fitness goal, whether you’re trying to get beach-ready or looking to take on an epic year-long fitness challenge. (It’s called The Gauntlet and it’s intense!)
Biggest Pros: One of the most cost-effective subscription-based fitness apps there for what you get! The app is very user-friendly and fun to use. Best of all, the 7-Day free trial makes it a no-brainer to test it out!
Biggest Cons: Although I personally love JM, I am aware that she and her “tough love” approach to coaching isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And if you aren’t a fan of her, there aren’t any other trainers to choose from and you’re not going to be a fan of the app.
Read my full review of the My Fitness app.
Aaptiv is the only audio-guided fitness app on this list, and this gives it certain advantages. Since you don’t need a screen to do the workouts, you can literally do them anywhere!
The app is incredibly robust and highly customizable.
You can tell the app all your preferences, from how long you like to work out for, to the kind of music you like to listen to when you work out. Then the “Coach” function recommends workouts to you based on your preferences.
There are also over 20 fitness plans and over 10 fitness categories, including outdoor running, indoor cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, and more.
Personally, I love using this for my indoor cycling sessions, and sometimes even for powerwalking around outside.
The app even has meditation classes designed to help you sleep and destress.
Aaptiv also offers a 30-day free trial so you can thoroughly test out all its cool features before subscribing.
Biggest Pro: Customizable, audio-guided workouts make it extremely easy to work out anytime, anywhere, doing the exercises you prefer to the music you enjoy listening to!
Biggest Con: It can be an adjustment if you’re used to workout videos or other visual mediums.
Bodyboss was the program that started it all for me! It was what got me hooked on HIIT initially and it’s a tried and true program I keep coming back to every few months when it’s time to mix things up.
While not an app per se, I’m still including it on my list because you can access the program online and do the workouts using your phone.
Bodyboss originally started as a physical product in book form but has since implemented an online version that includes both pdf versions of the book, and exercise videos to workout along with.
Biggest Pros: It’s a one-time payment and the 12-week program (16 weeks if you include the pretraining) is yours forever. Whether you work out with the video or the book, you either just set the timer or hit the play button and go. There’s nothing to fiddle around with in between sets to break up the flow of your workout.
Biggest Cons: 12 weeks seems like a long time, but after running through the program 2 or 3 times it does start to feel a little repetitive. I will usually swap it out for another program every so often.
Also, the workout videos are great but in the later weeks, it’s clear that the videos are sped up in order for the girls in them to finish all their reps within the allotted time, which is kind of lame. It might leave you thinking, “If they can’t finish 40 box jumps in a minute, how can they expect me to??” The obvious workaround is to simply do fewer reps, but it can be demoralizing for some.
Read my full review of the Bodyboss Method.
Freeletics is an affordable and highly customizable app that adjusts its program based on your feedback and fitness goals. Once you provide the app with info about your fitness levels and goals, it gives you a selection of “Training Journeys” to choose from. After each workout, the app’s “coach” asks for your feedback on the difficulty in order to fine-tune the next workout.
The app does feel little “stiff” in the sense that there are no trainer “personalities” or any real “dazzle” that makes fitness apps fun to use.
But it also has one of the cheapest membership plans out there, making it suitable for those on a tight budget.
Biggest Pros: Aside from being highly customizable, it’s also one of the most “gender-neutral” apps on this list. (Most of them are geared towards women.)
Biggest Cons: I find the interface to be a bit clunky and there’s a lot of tapping your phone to get through the workouts, which I find distracting at times.
Read my full review of Freeletics.
Spearheaded by personal trainer and entrepreneur Kayla Itsines, the SWEAT app has one of the better user interfaces out there and is super easy to use.
And if Kayla’s workouts aren’t your style, there are 4 other trainers to choose from. Each trainer has their own fitness programs, including yoga and post-natal programs.
Although not all of the programs are gymless, many of them are. The flagship program, Bikini Body Guide (aka BBG) has enough workouts to keep you busy for a year and a half.
They keep adding new content and I expect the app will continue to expand to include even more programs and trainers down the road. Although more costly than the other fitness apps on this list, it’s still well worth the price of admission!
Biggest Pros: Out of all the apps on this list, it’s probably the best for variety in terms of available programs and trainers.
Biggest Cons: Although still very reasonably priced (in my opinion) it’s noticeably more expensive than the other fitness apps.
Read my full review of the SWEAT app.
Bonus: Trello Workout Builder
Now, I’m adding this as a bonus and I’m not by any means calling it one of the “best fitness apps for working out from home”.
Because it’s not really a fitness app at all.
It’s an app you can use for fitness, but definitely more of a DIY option.
That said, 100% customizable, and 100% free.
I created this Trello workout builder when I was looking for a way to exercise on the cheap. Organizing my life with Trello is my other obsession after fitness apps. It was really only a matter of time before I combined the two things to create the Trello Workout Builder.
All you need to do is create a Trello account, copy my board, and the workout builder is all yours!
If you want to learn how to use it, just pop over to this post and watch the video tutorial.
Comparing the 5 Best Fitness Apps for Working Out from Home
I wanted to make things a little more convenient for you. Here is a quick comparison chart of the best fitness apps for working out at home:
All of these apps are high-quality programs that will help you achieve your fitness goals. It really comes down to your budget and personal preference. Most of them have a money-back guarantee or free trial period where you can test out the app first. Read a couple of the full reviews on this site and then try out one or two.
If you don’t like one, try another!
Just remember that getting in shape is less about the specific fitness program you’re following than it is about your mindset.
Fitness apps are motivating and really help you get your act together. But at the end of the day, they aren’t going to do the workouts for you.
If you struggle with motivation, feel free to check out my ultimate guide on fitness motivation. It can help you tackle any mental roadblocks that are standing between you and a healthier lifestyle.
What did you think about this list of the best workout apps for home? Have you tried any of them before and if so, what are your thoughts? Was there a fitness app I should have included? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!