Downloading a top workout app can turn your smartphone or tablet into the ultimate fitness tool.
We've selected eight of the best apps for every fitness purpose – for full-blown training routines, tracking your workouts, finding buddies in your area and keeping yourself entertained on the go.
Choose your fitness
If you ever feel clueless at the gym or suffer with workout indecisiveness, guided workout apps like Centr and FIIT will be ideal, with tons of videos available to stream. Not into watching videos as you train? Audio-based app Aaptiv could be the one for you.
- For the mind and body: The best yoga apps
If working out isn't a problem but rehab often slips by the wayside, have a crack on ROMWOD – that's an amalgamation of Range of Motion and Workout of the Day which essentially explains the key purpose of the app.
For those who prefer to pound the pavements, we've got the ultimate apps to keep you going. MyCrew will help you track down fellow runners in your location to fend off long-run loneliness, while Zombies, Run! provides an immersive storytelling experience that'll keep you engaged when you've repeated your running playlist for the 56th time.
Ready to go? Read on, find your perfect app match, download it and get training.
Centr (functional fitness)
Founded by none other than Avengers star Chris Hemsworth, Centr is a digital health and fitness program based around three key pillars: Train, Eat and Live.
The training section packs a range of training styles, from functional training and MMA to HIIT and HIRT (high-intensity resistance training).
In terms of the options available, Centr is way more comprehensive than many fitness apps – for example, it offers a choice of coached workouts, where you train in real-time to a video with directions from a coach, and non-guided workouts, where you're shown videos of the moves but complete them in your own time without a voiceover. You can also select your workout intensity, which will adjust the moves and length of the workout accordingly.
The app has an impressive roster of coaches, including Luke Zocchi, Hemsworth's personal trainer, Bobby Holland Hanton, a stuntman and former GB national gymnast, and Hollywood trainer Gunnar Peterson.
Alongside the training features, Centr provides meal plans for a range of diets including vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian, plus its Live section offers meditation and stress reduction audio experiences to help you chill post-workout.
Centr is currently only available on iOS, but Android users can access the content on the Centr website.
Price: $19.99 for 1 month, $47.99 for 3 months or $119.99 for 12 months.
ROMWOD (mobility workouts)
If you're into CrossFit, chances are ROMWOD is already on your radar – but in case it's not, here's what you need to know. ROMWOD – meaning Range of Motion Workout of the Day – does exactly what it says on the tin: it provides daily mobility workouts to improve your range of motion, which is essential for avoiding injury and maximising functional movement so you can lift heavy.
Each workout is around 20 minutes on average and blends static stretch holds with dynamic flows for maximum mobility improvement. Over the course of a week, you should hit every area of your body, from tight calves and hamstrings to hips, shoulders, back and more.
- Essential reading: The best CrossFit workouts
For anyone into strength training, CrossFit or powerlifting, taking care of your mobility is essential but it's easily neglected in favour of fun things, like actually lifting stuff. ROMWOD is a super handy way to fit mobility work into your day without having to drag yourself to a yoga class or spend your evening hovering over a foam roller.
It's available by subscription on iOS, but Android users can access it online too.
Price: $12.99 per month or $149.99 per year.
Created by the team behind global fitness community Midnight Runners, myCrew is kind of like Tinder for runners, but without the romantic connotations or awkward first dates. It allows you to find fellow runners in your city, discover events nearby and team up with other members for small group runs.
Once someone's organised a run through the app, you'll be able to view an event page detailing all the essential information – when and where it is, what the pace will be, how many people are going and what the route is. You can sign up, have a chat via the messaging service and, of course, actually go for a run together.
The app provides a great flexible alternative to running clubs, which tend to have fixed timetables, and offers a great way to socialise and explore a new city without worrying about getting lost.
MyCrew is currently available in London, Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, New York City and Boston, but the team are open to suggestions for where to expand to next.
Nike Training Club (general workout)
As arguably the biggest brand in fitness, it's no surprise Nike has a comprehensive fitness app that's one of the best out there. Designed to be used anywhere from the gym to the park or home, Nike Training Club contains workouts based around strength, endurance, mobility, boxing and yoga, with options for bodyweight-only, light equipment or full equipment depending on where you are.
Workouts range from 15 to 45 minutes long with beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, while the Workout Collections offer recommended training sessions to help you hit your goals.
The NTC app can also record your workouts outside the app itself, so you can keep an eye on all the training you do each week, whether that's a gym session, spin class or more in addition to the app workouts.
Our favourite feature? You can take on workouts featuring big names – including Serena Williams, Michael B. Jordan and more.
Price: Free for standard, from $14.99 per month or $119.99 per year for premium.
Fitbod (strength training)
If you find you end up doing the same strength routine week in, week out, then Fitbod is the app you've been looking for. Fitbod creates personalised workouts for you based on the muscle groups you want to hit and what you want to achieve.
When you complete or log a workout, including how many reps and sets you did and how much you lifted, the app uses this info to develop your future workouts to adapt to your progress. If your gym doesn't have a particular piece of equipment, you can remove it as an option in the app - you can even opt for a totally bodyweight workout.
Beginners can used the app's demo videos to get a clear picture of what each exercise involves, with form cues to keep safe. While Fitbod is only available on iOS at the moment, iPhone users can link it to their Apple watch so they can complete a full workout without the hassle of having to stop and check their phone to see what's next.
Price: Free, or become an Elite member for $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year
Aaptiv (gym based guided workouts)
Not everyone is nuts about watching videos on their phone to work out – the screen is small, notifications are distracting, there's a risk of dropping a kettlebell on it, the list goes on. Aaptiv provides a smart solution by offering workouts led by audio alone.
Choose what kind of training you want to do – treadmill, indoor cycling, strength training or elliptical, for example – and queue up your workout soundtrack on the app. From there, it's basically like having a class instructor in your ear – that's right, no more sitting idly on the spin bike counting down the minutes, you'll be told exactly what to do.
You can even select your preference in background music, from hip hop or dance to pop or rock. If you struggle to motivate yourself in the gym and don't enjoy the pressure of group fitness classes, this app is a brilliant way to get structured workouts.
Price: From $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
Zombies, Run! (running)
Find running dull? Not anymore you don't – Zombies, Run! is an immersive audio experience that places you in a world that's been taken over by zombies. Your job is to complete missions and avoid getting eaten by your half-dead enemies, which you do by – you guessed it – running.
Written in conjunction with Naomi Alderman, the award-winning author of The Power, the app features over 200 missions and suits all levels of fitness, whether you're a running veteran or total beginner. Not keen on running outside? That's totally fine – the app works just as well for treadmill training too.
Price: Free for standard, from $5.99 per month or $34.99 per year for pro.
Strava (running and cycling)
Every runner and their mum has heard of Strava, and for good reason – it allows you to track and record details of any run, cycle or swim you do without the need for an expensive sports watch. You'll be able to check out key performance metrics like your running speed, elevation, heart rate (if you have a tracker) and more, plus compare with and comment on your friends' training sessions on the main feed.
Strava Summit, the app's premium section, offers three packages that will help you make the most of your training. These are the analysis pack, which provides in-depth performance analytics from your devices, the training pack, which features training plans to help you hit your fitness goals, and the safety pack, which shares your live location with selected contacts. An absolute must for any runner, cyclist or triathlete.
Price: Free for standard, from $2.99 per month for Summit.
FIIT (home cardio and strength)
FIIT describes itself as Netflix for workouts, and to be honest that's pretty spot on. The app (or website if you're not an iPhone user – an Android app is still on its way) is split into three sections: cardio, strength and rebalance.
The cardio and strength workouts are both based around circuits or intervals, with beginner, intermediate and advanced levels on offer, while rebalance offers powerful yoga and Pilates flows with a little less intensity. Coaches on the app include functional training specialist Lawrence Price and former sprinter Courtney Fearon, and new faces are regularly added – you'll soon find a favourite.
A selection of classes can be accessed for free, while premium members can access everything plus receive a FIIT heart rate monitor when they sign up. Another plus of premium memberships is the six-week workout plans that are available: you can choose a goal, such as getting stronger or more flexible, then will be given four classes a week of 25 or 40 minutes to hit your fitness goal.
Price: Free for standard, £45 per 3 months or £120 per year for premium.