When gyms closed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, most people turned to their mobile devices for their daily at-home fitness fix.
According to data from Statista, health and fitness app downloads hit 593 million during the first three months of 2020. That was just over 30% more downloads than the same period in 2019 when the world downloaded 488 million app downloads.
Virtual training here to stay
And the trend continued well into the year. Even after gyms reopened, many fitness enthusiasts prefer to blend at-home training with gym-based sessions.
This new trend will likely remain as people see results from their efforts at home, which also offers something new while reducing their risk of infection in public places.
Unsurprisingly, the number of health and wellness apps available on the market is at an all-time high. From nutrition tracking apps and home workout apps to apps that help you track your water intake, there really is an app out there that’ll fit your health and wellness needs.
The age of video
And content has also come of age. According to an Apptopia report, six out of the top 10 most downloaded Health & Fitness apps in US in 2020 offer video workouts or video-guided exercises.
The report reveals that video workout apps got 65% more downloads than non-video-based workout apps and had almost 40% more daily active users.
Top at-home workout apps:
#1. Sweat with Kayla
Kayla Itsines is a famous Australian fitness expert known for transforming women’s bodies with her quick, 28-minute workouts.
She’s now made her BBG (Bikini Body Guide) series available as an app! The app now includes the usual BBG workouts as well as yoga and strength training. That means you can build muscle, lose body fat, and calm your mind all with one app.
Kayla also made working out from home easier during the lockdowns by programming the workouts to use less equipment. The latest app update means you now only need a chair, skipping rope and some dumbbells to work through week 1 to week 21.
If you’re not keen to follow a plan, the app also offers over 750 easy-to-follow workout videos that include low-intensity steady state (LISS) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions, and resistance training. The app also has nutrition advice and healthy meal plans as well as a hydration monitor.
#2. Tone & Sculpt by Krissy Cela
Krissy Cela, a British YouTube celeb, is well known for showing women how easy it is to get strong at home or in the gym. She’s now condensed everything into one comprehensive app.
The app boasts over 400 home or gym workouts that include HIIT, LISS, 15-minute workouts, mobility, finishers, target areas, challenges, and cardio.
You can also personalise your workout schedule and choose between beginner, intermediate or advanced workouts.
#3. CENTR by Chris Hemsworth
Chris and his wife Elsa designed this app specifically for those who want to train at home. The app features a personalised, digital health and fitness platform that features a team of experts from fitness, nutrition and mindfulness. The workouts are primarily HIIT-focused, which means they require minimal to no gym equipment.
#4. Fitbit Coach
Got a Fitbit device (you can get one from Dis-Chem if you don’t)? Then Fitbit Coach makes it easy to get and stay in shape with dynamic workouts that continually adjust to your feedback, goals, and capabilities, just like a personal trainer!
The app offers users access to bodyweight (as well as running, and walking) workouts which you can customise based on your individual goals.
Workout options range from seven to 60 minutes and can complete them using your smartphone or computer.
Fitbit Coach will recommend exercises based on your daily activity tracked with a Fitbit device, providing personalised fitness guidance to better help you reach your goals. Personalised video workouts show you the moves and provide step-by-step coaching, motivation, and tips.
There are hundreds of exercises available per body part to ensure you never get bored. New workouts are added regularly to keep fitness fun and fresh. Upgrade to Premium to access an entire year of exclusive, customised programs to help you get lean and toned, lose weight, bulk-up, or gain strength.
Did you know? According to Apptopia data for the US market, the Fitbit app had the most installs, the highest number of daily active users, and ranked fourth in in-app purchase revenue at $4.4 million in 2020.
Top running apps
If you’re into the social and competitive aspects of running, Strava is a great app for you. It has capabilities that allow you to compare times with other members and set up group challenges. It also has a safety feature called Beacon that allows up to 3 people to know exactly where you are running.
Whether you’re new to running or you’ve been running for years, this app definitely has something for everyone. It uses your phone’s built-in GPS to track your distance, pace, and overall time.
The app also lets you set goals and track your progress, and allows you to track other activities such as biking, general fitness or walking. If you’re training for a race, Runkeeper offers personalised training routines.
#7. C25K 5K Trainer
This app is perfect for beginners! With pre-designed training plans, Couch to 5K (C25K) will guide you through weekly workouts, while keeping track of your progress and route. The programme starts with a mix of running and walking, while gradually helping you build up your strength and stamina.
Top nutrition apps
#8. Nutrients – Nutrition Facts
Nutrients allows you to find nutrition information on tens of thousands of foods and also lets you track your meals. The app supplies you with a complete individualized breakdown of your daily nutrition to help you make more informed decisions about the way you eat.
Available from the Apple app store.
MyFitnessPal boasts an enormous food database, a barcode scanner, recipe importer, restaurant logger, food insights, and a calorie counter. The app makes it easy to monitor your daily nutrition and hold yourself accountable for the food you eat.
#10. Calorie Counter – MyNetDiary
MyNetDiary acts as a personal virtual assistant for diet and weight loss. It’s a great multitasker, with features such as a food diary, calorie counter, and exercise tracker. The app allows you to plan your meals according to your macros and lets you check nutrition data and access insights based on your data.
Top timer apps
#11. Push Press Timer
A free, clean and easy-to-use timer built with high-intensity workouts in mind. Ideal for any interval-based workout, including AMRAPs, Count Ups, Countdowns, EMOMs, Tabatas and more!
Available from the Apple app store.
#12. Circuit Training Timer Lite
Users can structure circuit workouts according to different intervals via an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Create and configure timers once and use them multiple times. The app then lets users know when it’s time to stop and when it’s time to train.
Available on the Apple app store.
#13. Seconds Interval Timer HIIT
An advanced interval training timer app that has been downloaded over 5 million times. Seconds comes with templates for HIIT, Tabata and circuit training, making it very easy to quickly create a timer for your specific workout.
The timing screen has a large time display that can easily be read from a distance. It works in portrait or landscape. The app also supports Bluetooth heart-rate sensors.