The 5 best fitness apps

These days the very same technology that can easily facilitate late-night pizza or ramen deliveries can just as easily whip your ass into shape. App-ing your way to getting swol is a snap, and we’ve got apps to keep you motivated and active, whether you love the gym, working out in your own space, or hitting your favorite trail. Here’s what to download now.

Full Fitness
Best For: Crosstrainers, Diehards
Usually on sale for $2.99
iOS only
Full Fitness turns your mobile device into a personal trainer for way less than you’d pay for one at a gym (not to mention it gets rid of that inappropriate touching) but you’ll get a lot of the same information at your pace and on your own schedule. You can choose exercises based on muscle groups or body regions you want to target, or machines you want to use. There are hundreds of exercise routines available (or you can customize one), and Full Fitness provides instructions through videos, text, and images. If you’re really focused on your overall health, you have access to other features for tracking your progress, like a calorie counter with a food directory, a BMI calculator, and a body measurement log. You’ve gotta pay but this one is well worth the incredibly small investment.

Best For: The promise breakers, competitive people
Free (unless you miss a workout)
iOS || Android
Warning: Pact really isn’t for you if you aren’t already into fitness. It’s not full of tough workouts, but it will pose a huge challenge, nonetheless. Pact gets you going by making you put your money where your mouth is, literally. Every week, you set a number of workouts to complete, with a penalty of $5 or more for each one you don’t complete by the deadline. There’s also a reward, albeit a small one: you earn money each week for meeting your goals. That money comes from all the people who don’t. So saddle up and earn some coin while you sweat.

Couch To 5k
Best For: Competitors, Aspiring Runners
iOS || Android
The mistake a lot of people make when starting a running program is coming into it thinking they’re an Olympic-caliber distance runner. They run too fast or too long and end up deciding that running isn’t for them. Let Couch to 5K prove you wrong and guide you toward what it takes to actually become someone who could run a short marathon. Over the course of nine weeks, Couch to 5K’s virtual coaches will train you three times a week for just twenty to thirty minutes at a time. It works for both outdoors and on the treadmill. You can log your workouts and even reach out to the Couch to 5K community for questions and morale. Protip: Sign up for an actual event before you start your training so you have a real goal and a realistic timeline to work towards, it really helps.

Best For: Ironheads, fans of online communities
iOS || Android
BodySpace comes to you from and is part personal trainer and part online community. It will work for anyone new to fitness, as well as the guys who barely have a rest day in their weekly workout routine. You can input your weight and body fat info to build a profile, and track your progress toward your customized goals. There are training programs designed by personal trainers, and even members of the BodySpace community share their workouts for you to try. One of the coolest features is being able to have a record of your total number of pounds lifted over time in the hundreds of thousands and beyond. You can also easily integrate it with the fitness functions on your Apple Watch too.

Best For: The busy, the road warriors
Free (has in-app purchases); Premium: $4.99/monthly or $39.99/annually
iOS || Android
Cheesy name aside, SworkIt (an amalgam of Simply Work It) is a pretty comprehensive fitness app. It’s perfect for people who don’t have regular access to a gym, those short on time, or even travelers with limited space. You choose your program, how long you want to work out, and follow the video. You can also create your own workouts based on specific styles or exercises. One of the things that really makes SworkIt great is that it includes a stretching routine so you can get your recovery on. SworkIt does offer in-app purchases, which usually signals a catch—like you can only do a few workouts before you have to buy some more to continue—but SworkIt doesn’t force you to upgrade. You’ll have access to all the workouts until you’re ready to move up and the free features are substantial.

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