5 Best Fitness Apps For Your Phone

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Fitness apps can be incredible tools for helping you achieve goals relating to diet and exercise. Calorie counters can ensure you’re on track to drop or put on pounds, while exercise databases can teach you the basics of weight training, yoga practice, and cardio, all while guiding you through the routines.

If you’re on a path to better health, you should definitely check out what free and paid apps have to offer. To make it easier to get started, we’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of apps to find those that are the easiest and most helpful to use. Choose one of the recommendations below, and get moving.

5 Best Fitness Apps For Your Phone

5 Best Fitness Apps For Your Phone5 Best Fitness Apps For Your Phone

The Best Fitness Apps For Your Phone

There is no shortage of apps to guide you on your fitness journey, but some are definitely better than others. Check out our recommendations below to find a variety of helpful apps for tracking diet, exercise, and more.

1. MyFitnessPal — Best Fitness App for Counting Calories

  • Free and paid versions
  • Available for Android and iOS
  • Track your calories and workouts
  • Integrates with more than 50 apps and devices

MyFitnessPal makes our list of the best fitness apps because it helps you track a very important aspect of getting and staying in shape: your diet. Best known as a calorie counter, MyFitnessPal has a huge database of over 10 million foods that includes fresh produce, brand-name offerings, restaurant meals, and plenty in between. If you’re new to counting calories, you’ll appreciate how easy it is to search for foods and quickly track your consumption.

With the free version of MyFitnessPal, you’ll have access to the app’s entire database of foods. This is huge because if you’re looking for a way to track calories to aid in weight loss or weight gain, you can do easily, without having to pay anything.

However, if you upgrade to the app’s premium version, you’ll unlock the ability to customize your macro goals, more easily see your calorie and macro consumption, review recipes, access workout routines, and adjust lots of settings. The premium version also gets rid of the ads that support the free version.

Along with food tracking, MyFitnessPal also lets you track your workout history. However, it’s not intended to record reps or provide an overall picture of your performance. Instead, you track your exercise (manually or via fitness tracker) so that you see how many calories you’ve burned; the app subtracts that from the calories you’ve consumed to determine whether you’re eating in a calorie deficit to drop weight.

2. Nike Training Club — Best Fitness App for Guided Workouts

  • Free, with the option of in-app purchases
  • Available for Android and iOS
  • Huge library of guided workout videos
  • Exercise routines for all fitness levels

In 2020, Nike Training Club made the incredible decision to make all of the premium content in its workout app available for free. This means you get unlimited access to nearly 200 videos featuring celebrity trainers, athletes, and other Nike experts so you can create a regular workout routine or squeeze in some quick exercise whenever you’d like.

Depending on your preference, you can jump right into the on-demand workouts or you can take a short quiz about your fitness goals. If you choose the latter, Training Club will offer a few customized workout plans that you can practice for the next 4 to 8 weeks.

One of the best things about the Training Club workout app is that it’s designed for users of all fitness levels. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to supplement your current routine, you’ll find a wide array of exercises. Choose a 10-minute lesson if you’re new to exercising, warming up, or in a rush, or pick a strength training course that targets your abs, arms, or legs.

If you’re looking for a bit more structure, you can opt for a premium subscription. This unlocks exclusive 4 to 6-week workout programs, nutritional tips, and further integration with other apps and services. While the premium membership isn’t quite like having your own personal trainer, it is a more affordable option that could work out for the short term.

3. JEFIT — Best Workout Planner for Customizing Your Routine

  • Free, with the option of in-app purchases
  • Available for Android and iOS
  • Create and track your workout routines
  • Exercise database to help you plan

JEFIT is an excellent fitness app for those who want a simple way to plan, track, and analyze their routines. It’s ideal for both beginners and advanced users, and it really helps with motivation and accountability.

To get started, you first need to create a fitness plan. To help, JEFIT offers an extensive exercise library of both individual moves and full routines. Just let it know what you’re trying to achieve, and it will help you find the exercise to get there.

Once you’ve created your workout schedule, just take your phone with you every time you head to the gym. The workout app will guide you through your routine, telling you what you need to do and in what order. It tracks each exercise, including reps and rest time, crossing each off the list as you finish.

JEFIT doesn’t offer personal trainers, but it provide you with a wealth of analytical data. You can track which muscles you’ve worked with your strength training (after each session and over a longer period of time) and how your workouts are contributing to your overall fitness goals so you can adjust if necessary.

With the free version of the app, you can plan and track your routines and view basic stats. If you want more advanced tracking and reporting, you can opt for a monthly elite membership.

4. 8fit — Best Fitness App for Comprehensive Workout and Meal Planning

  • Free and paid versions
  • Available for Android and iOS
  • Guided bodyweight workouts and personalized meal plans
  • Best for those who like lots of direction

There’s no question that watching your diet and regularly exercising are vital components to staying healthy. But that doesn’t always mean that these things are easy to do. If you lead a busy life, lack motivation, or simply don’t know what to do, 8fit may be the key to getting started.

This workout app covers both nutrition and exercise to help you lose weight, build muscle, improve your diet, increase stamina, or whatever else it you’d like to achieve. More importantly, it stays on top of what needs doing so that you never feel as if you’re going at it alone.

The app’s database is loaded with recipes and exercises, and it can create meal plans and custom workouts. But more importantly, it regularly checks in with reminders, advice, and tips. It’s no personal trainer, but it will give you the gentle, guided pushes you need to keep moving forward.

The free version of the app offers lots of workouts and tips, but if you really need a partner to keep your head in the game, consider upgrading for shopping lists, more exercise routines, and additional help.

5. J&J Official 7 Minute Workout — Best Fitness App for Finding a Quick Workout

  • Completely free app
  • Available for Android and iOS
  • Over 20 workout programs of varying intensities
  • Quick workouts designed to do more in less time

Because the J&J Official 7 Minute Workout app is completely free, you might expect limited or basic functionality, but it’s actually an excellent choice for those who want their exercising to pack a punch.

Despite its name, the app offers more than just 7-minute workouts (those we highly recommend those if you’re in a rush and want the maximum benefit from the shortest amount of time). In total, there are more than 20 circuit and high intensity interval training routines, ranging from 7 minutes in length to just over 30.

For each exercise, the app shows you how to complete the routine and then counts down your progress. Most exercises require no formal equipment, though there are a few that use things like walls and chairs.

This app doesn’t offer tracking functionality, but you can share your results with friends. You can also integrate your own music, which is something for which other apps charge.

How We Chose the Best Fitness Apps

To make this list of the best workout apps as beneficial as possible, we looked at a specific set of criteria. In addition to making sure these apps offered lots of helpful content and features, we also considered cost, device availability, and overall usability.

  • Cost. To make it on this list of the best workout apps, each had to offer a free version. This allows you to test out the app and its features to see if it’s a good fit for you before considering a purchase. Of course, you don’t have to pay anything to use these apps, but unlocking additional content or personalized workout routines could be something that improves your experience.
  • Availability. All of the apps we’ve recommended are available for Android and iOS devices — that’s 99% of all smartphones and tablets, so as long as you have a somewhat recent device, you should have no issue with downloading.
  • Usability. The best workout apps are intuitive and easy to use. There’s no learning curve with these; just download, and get to work. We made sure to pick apps where you’ll have no trouble getting started and figuring out where to go next.

woman on phone with fitness app

woman on phone with fitness appwoman on phone with fitness app

What to Look for When Choosing a Fitness App

Do a search for fitness and exercise apps in your favorite app store, and you’ll find that you have tons of choice. Like, literally thousands. There will be many that have great reviews and loads of helpful features, but what ultimately separates a great app from a mediocre one is how much you’ll use it. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure you pick a workout app that works for you.

Fitness Goals

Before you even start looking at apps, you first have to consider what it is you’re trying to do in terms of your fitness goals. Do you want to lose weight, build muscle, or just start a regular exercise routine?

Depending on your answer and fitness level, you may need a calorie tracker, exercise planner, or workout database — or a combination of several apps. While it would be nice to find a single app that can do everything, don’t hesitate to download a few to find the perfect combination of usability.

Interface

Speaking of usability, it’s everything when it comes to apps. Before dedicating yourself to a fitness app, be sure to spend some time testing it out. Use the various features to make sure they work as intended and align with your needs.

As you test out an app, you’ll quickly learn whether it offers the functionality you need. You’ll also see whether the interface has been designed in a way that clicks with you. Whether you’re a regular smartphone user or someone who uses one only when necessary, you’ll find that there are fitness apps that cater to all types of personalities and skill levels.

fitness app on phone

fitness app on phonefitness app on phone

FAQs

What are the pros and cons of using a fitness app?

Fitness apps can be helpful and motivating, whether you exercise regularly or are just getting started. Depending on the app, they may offer easy ways to count calories, build muscle, or help you get in some cardio — all things that contribute to better health. If a fitness app can get you up and moving, it’s a great thing.

On the other hand, fitness apps tend to make loners out of its users. Even with apps like Pear Personal Fitness Coach, there are typically no live people on the other side of the app to interact with like you might with a personal trainer or other people at the gym. Many exercises can be done from home, so there’s no need to go out (this could be a pro or con depending on your personality, schedule, and other factors).

How much do fitness apps cost?

The cost of fitness apps varies. There are completely free workout apps that require no payment whatsoever, and there are fitness apps that require a credit card immediately after download. There are also tons that fall somewhere in between, with some free functionality and the ability to upgrade to unlock more for a one-time fee or with a monthly membership.

Can I replace my gym membership with a fitness app?

Whether or not you can replace a gym membership with a workout app really depends on your fitness level, your goals, and your access to equipment. If you regularly workout and have access to a home gym, you may not need to leave the house to get adequate exercise.

On the other hand, if you’re new to exercise and need help figuring out which exercises are best and how to do them, or you don’t have the money or space to dedicate to equipment, it might be better keep your gym membership and use a fitness app as an additional tool for reaching your goals.

Conclusion

A fitness app (or three) can help you reach your goals, whether you’re working on strength training, monitoring your calories burned, or simply keep tabs on how much exercise getting you’re getting. Those that we’ve recommended above all do different things, but they do them well and can be a huge help when it comes to diet and workout tracking. Incorporate one into your routine today to see how it can elevate your experience.

Need some gym equipment to go along with your new exercise app so you can work on your fitness? Check out our recommendations for the best home exercise equipment for burning calories and staying healthy.

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