The Best Workout Apps of 2023: Which Apps Stand Above the Rest?

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When it comes to fitness, technology can be your worst enemy or your greatest ally. So if you find yourself wasting a ton of time scrolling endlessly through social media, your phone may be keeping you too sedentary. But, that’s not to say our phones can’t have some benefit when it comes to fitness—the best workout apps can serve as an effective personal companion for your fitness journey.

Luckily, there are apps for everything: running apps that help people train for races or stay fit, meditation apps to help people destress and battle anxiety, calorie counter apps, weight loss apps, indoor cycling apps, and general fitness apps. The list goes on. In this article, we're looking at the best workout apps to get your body moving. On our list you'll find apps that can customize workouts to your preferences, and others that have a list of general workouts that are made to make your gym experience easier. If you're serious about getting fit, consider trying one of these apps to help you get there.

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The Best Workout Apps - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Workout App - Future

future

SPECS

  • Platforms: iOS
  • Payment structure: Monthly or annual subscriptions

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Future is our pick for the best overall workout app because it really has it all. You can do almost any type of training with Future, plus all workout plans are completely customized to you. With Future, you're paired up with a certified personal trainer who will be available for you to reach out to for encouragement and assistance.

Future also factors in your preferences, experience level, fitness goals, and available equipment before your coach designs your plan. We also like that there are weekly check-ins to see how you're progressing before you're given your next week's worth of workouts. That way—you're maximizing your workout time.

What We Like

  • Full-service personal trainer
  • Strong accountability
  • All workout plans are tailored to you by a real coach
  • Some basic nutrition recommendations from your coach

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Only available for Apple users

BUY: Future

Best Free Workout App - Nike Training Club

NikeTraining Club

SPECS

  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Payment structure: Free 

Looking for a workout app that’s free of charge? Only a brand as big as Nike could afford to give an app like this away for free, and if your budget is too tight for other options then this could be your go-to workout app.

In this free workout app, expect to find multi-week workout plans, exercise libraries, and individual workouts for men and women. Most workouts also include warm up routines and cool down stretches, plus there are a variety of workout types like yoga, bodyweight only, and full equipment options.

What We Like

  • Wide range of workouts for men and women
  • Structured workout plans that can last several weeks
  • Includes warm up routines and cool down stretches

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't let you listen to music apps
  • Not much progress tracking available 

CLICK HERE FOR OUR FAVORITE

Best Workout App for Apple Watch - Train Fitness

Train Fitness

SPECS

  • Platforms: iOS
  • Payment structure: Monthly or annual subscription

If you have an Apple watch there are a lot of workout apps you can choose from because Apple has a big library of apps in that space. Many are good, but our favorite app for Apple Watch specifically is Train Fitness.

Train Fitness is an artificial intelligence workout app that uses your apple watch to track your movement. This app can intuitively guess which exercises you're doing and track your progress—everything from counting reps to an estimate of how much energy you are using.

What We Like

  • Advanced stat tracking
  • Capable of reading over 100 exercises
  • Real-time feedback on weak points and imbalances

What We Don't Like

  • Newer app so features are limited
  • No pre-set workouts

CLICK HERE FOR OUR FAVORITE

Best Workout App for Women - Bande

bande

SPECS

  • Platforms: Website, iOS, Android
  • Payment structure: Tiered monthly or annual subscriptions 

Bande is unique because not only is it well-suited for women, but its goal is to bring a small, studio-style workout directly to your home or gym. With Bande, you'll sign up for a membership then schedule live classes with fitness instructors that teach classes from yoga and pilates to barre, boxing, and more.

Bande has a tiered membership structure to accommodate different budgets, so make sure you understand how many classes per month you'll get to sign up for with each tier membership.

What We Like

  • Live classes
  • Low-impact workouts
  • Variety of practices like barre, yoga, and HIIT 

What We Don't Like

  • Only a handful of classes for weight training
  • Limited number of classes per month with the membership

CLICK HERE FOR OUR FAVORITE

Best Workout App for Men - Future

future

SPECS

  • Platforms: iOS
  • Payment structure: Monthly or annual membership
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Yes, this is the second appearance of Future on this list, but hear me out. Future is an awesome app overall for the reasons above, but it is also the best workout app for men. This app is the standard when it comes to versatility and customization.

With Future you'll be able to train the way you want to with the equipment you have available. We like that your coach is a real person who holds you accountable and encourages you to keep pushing, plus they will give you a weekly workout plan based on your progress from the previous week.

What We Like

  • One-on-one coaching
  • Weekly custom workout plans
  • Progress tracking and accountability
  • Pick your own coach

What We Don't Like

  • Not available on Android devices
  • No free trial available

BUY: Future

Best Workout App for Beginners - MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal

SPECS

  • Platforms: iOS
  • Payment structure: Free version, monthly, or annual subscription
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If you're a beginner on your fitness journey then you've probably looked into food tracking apps like MyFitnessPal. If you're interested in combining your nutrition and workout apps into one, then MyFitnessPal is your best bet.

This beginner-friendly app lets you track your weights, sets, and reps, plus you can save your workouts for later use. What we like most about it though is the self-guided workouts that MyFitnessPal has already designed. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on iOS, but if you have an iPhone, definitely take advantage of their workout library.

What We Like

  • Build and log custom workouts
  • Self-guided pre-planned workouts available on iOS
  • Huge exercise library if you're building your workouts

What We Don't Like

  • Self-guided workouts are only available on iOS
  • Some workouts are more advanced

BUY: MyFitnessPal

Best Yoga Workout App - Alo Moves

Alo Moves

SPECS

  • Platforms: Website, iOS, Android
  • Payment structure: Monthly or annual subscription
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If you like yoga, then Alo Moves is an app that you will love. It has yoga workouts for strength training, flexibility, balance, meditation, stress relief, and more. All of the Alo Moves classes are taught by experienced instructors that want to help you build your practice as much as get a good workout.

Alo Moves also has other types of workouts like HIIT and a few for weight training if you need to mix things up, but the primary focus will always be yoga and meditation. This app is designed to fit into your busy schedule so if you feel crunched on time you can still get your workout in.

What We Like

  • All workouts are led by coaches
  • Wide variety of yoga flows
  • Short workouts and meditations for busy schedules

What We Don't Like

  • It doesn't let you listen to your own music
  • Not a ton of beginner content

BUY: Alo Moves

Best Workout App for Runners - Map My Run by Under Armour

Map My Run by Under Armour

SPECS

  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Payment structure: Free version, monthly subscription
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Map My Run is Under Armour's running app that lets you track distance, heart rate, split time, and a handful of other stats for your runs. Sometimes GPS trackers give you an unreliable distance, but Map My Run is typically very accurate.

You can use Map My Run for free as you train to track your basic stats, but if you upgrade to the paid version you'll get training plans, deeper analytics of advanced stats like your powder output and cadence, and audio coaching that will give you tips on your pace during your runs. If you're a runner or planning to run in a race in the future then Map My Run is a great companion.

What We Like

  • Free version that includes basic stat tracking
  • Audio coaching that gives you real-time feedback during your run
  • Training plans that will help you train for your goals
  • Syncs with Bluetooth UA shoes

What We Don't Like

  • No cross-training plans
  • Calorie stat tracking is not very accurate

BUY: Map My Run by Under Armour

Best Workout App for Cyclists - FiiT

fiit

SPECS

  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Payment structure: Tiered monthly or annual subscriptions
CHECK PRICE 

If you're a cyclist your workout app options are somewhat limited unless you've got the budget for a large investment like a Peloton or other indoor bike. One of the best alternatives to this is an app that gives you HIIT workouts to increase your muscular endurance and overall cardio capacity.

If you're a cyclist ready to give it a shot then we recommend FiiT. FiiT has a huge workout library with 100+ workouts ranging from beginner to advanced levels. One thing we recommend is matching the intensity and cadence of your workout in FiiT to your cycling training—for example, high-intensity workouts that simulate sprinting on the road.

What We Like

  • Some workouts use a stationary bike
  • Large workout library
  • Great cross training for cyclists

What We Don't Like

  • Some of the stat tracking is not very accurate
  • Lower tier memberships have limited workout options

BUY: FiiT

Best Workout App for Weight Loss - Fit Bod

FitBod

SPECS

  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Payment structure: Monthly or annual subscription 

Exercise is a necessary part of any weight loss program, so in that sense all workout apps can help you lose weight. But Fit Bod goes a step further and uses technology to design a plan that is specific to you and your goals. With this personalization you're more likely to meet your goals.

After an initial survey to make sure your workouts are right for you, Fit Bod will adapt as you train. If an exercise is giving you trouble it will remove it, if one is getting too easy the app will switch them up to keep you challenged. If you've had trouble losing weight in the past, you might have luck with Fit Body's more personal experience.

What We Like

  • Very easy to use
  • Highly customizable workouts
  • Beginner-friendly

What We Don't Like

  • No nutrition recommendations or tracking
  • The calories burned tracking may not be very accurate 

CLICK HERE FOR OUR FAVORITE

How to Choose the Best Workout App


Goals

The best workout app should help you reach your goals. This requires you to know what your goals are, so if you need to sit down and think about it, it is worth your time. Be as specific as possible so you can narrow your search before you even start.

Features

As you probably know, all apps are not created equal. That doesn't mean that the more complex a workout is the better its quality, but finding an app that has the features you're looking for will help you stay committed.

For example, are you wanting something that tracks a lot of stats and shows you your progress as you go? You can find a workout app for that, but some will let you track more stats than others; and some will be more accurate than others.

Equipment

Having the best workout app in the world won't help you if it is giving you workouts that you don't have the equipment for. Several of the apps on our list use a short quiz to customize workouts to the equipment you have available.

Maybe you don't need a premium app that will tailor workouts to you, but don't settle for an app that you're only able to do half the workout. You can find something that will help you maximize your time in the gym as long as you're willing to put forth the effort and look.

FAQs About Workout Apps


Which app is best for home workouts?

Our favorite app for home workouts is Future. We love Future because no matter what equipment you have, what type of workout you want to do, or your experience level, Future offers a customized plan.

Do workout apps actually work?

Workout apps absolutely work if you're consistent. Don't expect magic results, but if you struggle to stay organized or you find yourself wandering around the gym doing random exercises then a workout app will benefit you.

How long should you workout a day?

How long you should workout depends on your goals and what training you like to do. In general, 30 minutes of moderate exercise is enough to keep an adult healthy.

About the Author

Cory Kessler, CPT, FNC

Cory is a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. After spending six years as an educator and coach, Cory joined the ACTIVE team as a staff writer turning his passion for education toward helping ACTIVE readers live their best, healthiest lives.

See More from Cory

Cory is a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. After spending six years as an educator and coach, Cory joined the ACTIVE team as a staff writer turning his passion for education toward helping ACTIVE readers live their best, healthiest lives.

See More from Cory

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