Home improvements: the 20 best fitness apps for gym-free workouts

Locked out of your local leisure centre? Get your sweat on at home with these downloadable coaches

Social distancing might mean you’re stuck inside, but that’s no excuse for your abs to go into hiding. 

Gutted that you can’t get to the gym? Quit eating your pity and readjust your routine: it’s never been easier to stay fit, healthy and strong without leaving your front door. 

Whether you roll out a yoga mat for sun salutations in the sitting room or try to tackle a calisthenics circuit in the kitchen, each of the apps below will help you to keep fit, healthy and happy at home. Need entertainment while you exercise? The TV’s right there for Netflix and drills.

Cheaper than any gym membership, these workout companions should also ensure you’re in fine form when the pandemic eventually ends – and keep you sane indoors until it does. So put down that panic-bought packet of shortbread biscuits, grab your smartphone and prepare to get sweaty.

Best for the personally trained: Fiit

Isolating from your personal trainer? Download Fiit and they might be out of a job for good: a PT in your pocket, Fiit puts an arsenal of on-demand fitness classes right on your smartphone – each led by a real trainer.

Choose between high-intensity workouts for burning fat, bodyweight exercises for gaining strength or stretching for enhanced flexibility, before aiming to beat your PB or top the live global leaderboards. 

Each class lasts for 25 or 40 minutes and, paired with a compatible fitness tracker or the official Fiit device (£45), you’ll see heart rate, calorie burn and rep data on screen throughout. The option to connect to your TV means you can get the full home gym experience, too.

Monthly membership unlocks hundreds of workouts and 15 training plans tailored to suit your aims and abilities – which, at £20 a month, costs much less than Keep Fit Kevin.

Download Fiit for iOS here (£free/IAP)

Download Fiit for Android here (£free/IAP)

Best for wannabe Wiggins: Zwift

If your perfect workout involves hopping on your two-wheeled steed, staying indoors won’t be easy. Sure, it should be safe to cycle outside if you keep a distance from other riders, but if the peloton is where you belong then you’ll need a different way to play.

While Strava is a winner for the open road, Zwift changes the game for static cycling. Forget tedious target times and repetitive cadences: Zwift gets you to chase your goals through gamification. Take on more than 80 routes across six virtual realms, competing against fellow isolated cyclists as you follow expert training plans. Cross deserts, climb volcanoes and spin through central London, exploring animated worlds without travel restrictions as your thighs take the strain.

Zwift plays nice with a whole host of turbo trainers, as well as countless indoor bikes and standalone cadence sensors. Simply sign up, pair up and get pedalling: all of your data will be channelled into the app, ready for competition and analysis.

Prefer pounding the pavement? It works with treadmills, too.

Download Zwift for iOS here (£free/IAP)

Download Zwift for Android here (£free/IAP)

Best for quick quitters: Streaks Workout

Lewis Hamilton. Manchester City in 2017. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. All proof that unbeaten streaks are for winners. Which is why you should try Streaks if you want to win at fitness.

The goal is simple: do a bodyweight workout every day, with whatever free time you have. Simply pick how long you’ve got and Streaks will generate a workout to suit your schedule, drawing from a bank of exercises to create a session that lasts for six, 12, 18 or 30 minutes. What do you win for continuing the streak? Fitness, that’s what.

Serial quitter? Streaks leaves you no excuses. Because they don’t require equipment, you can do the routines anywhere. Not a fan of certain exercises? Disable them and the app won’t include them in future workouts. Targeting certain muscles? Streaks makes it a cinch to build a custom circuit fit for a champion. Day one is today.

Download Streaks for iOS here (£3.99)

Best for mischevious munchers: 8fit

Nailing 50 sit-ups every morning might work your core, but gobbling isolation consolation choccies every night will quickly cover any sign of abs. 8fit fights your snacking habit by serving up nutrition advice, meal plans and flab-free shopping lists alongside its exercise suggestions.

Set your wellness goal, fitness level and dietary requirements (whether veggie, vegan or paleo) and 8fit will create a total lifestyle strategy to get you living your best life, including personalised workouts and bespoke meal plans – with recipes, too.

Throw in fat-fighting exercises with video demonstrations and you've got a properly healthy solution to food and fitness. Now to find out whether tahini was popular with panic buyers...

Download 8fit for iOS here (£free/IAP)

Download 8fit for Android here (£free/IAP)

Best for yoga lovers: Pocket Yoga

All this apocalyptic talk left your chakras out of wack? Put Pocket Yoga on your phone and you'll be stretching and swaying your way to a healthier soul in seconds.

With 27 sessions of varying difficulty, even first-time plankers ought to be OK, while a dictionary of poses will put paid to any downward dog confusion.

Voice instructions mean you can keep your focus without looking down, too, so you can visualise your usual studio in peace.

Download Pocket Yoga for iOS here (£2.99)

Download Pocket Yoga for Android here (£2.99)

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