We've tested the best workout apps to build muscle and boost your wellbeing at home

The best workout apps help you develop strength, boost your mobility, and build mental strength without the gym

Best workout apps 2024: Jump Menu

Man doing a dumbbell workout

(Image credit: Future/James Frew)

1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best overall: Centr
3. Best budget: Fiit
4. Best for iPhone: Apple Fitness+
5. Best for women: Sweat
6. Best free: AllTrails
7. Best for yoga: Alo Moves
8. How to choose
9. How we test
10. FAQs

I gave up the gym a few years ago and have been looking for the best workout apps to train at home ever since. I wanted something fun, with effective routines from personal trainers and yoga teachers. 

You don't need a lot of equipment either; most of the best workout apps focus on activities you can do with minimal equipment, like a set of the best adjustable dumbbells, an exercise bike, or even just a yoga mat

Although I rate Centr, the platform founded by Chris Hemsworth, as the best workout app overall, there are plenty of options depending on your goals, from high-intensity sessions to mindful movement and yoga. 

Since most require a subscription, I also looked at whether the app is good value for money, has different pricing levels, or offers a free trial so you can experiment to find the fitness app that you'll actually enjoy using. 

The best workout apps available right now

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The quick list

If you want to quickly download an app and dive straight into your exercise, these are our top three best workout apps. We've given a short overview to the best overall, best budget, and best for iPhone owners, but if you're after more options, we go into greater depth further down the page. 

The best workout app overall

Build muscle and boost your wellbeing from home


Platform: iPhone, Android, Web
Price: $29.99 per month / $119.99 annually
Live classes: No

Reasons to buy

Beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts
Filter sessions by your equipment
Includes strength workouts, yoga classes, and meditations

Reasons to avoid

Meal planner not ideal for households
No advanced meditations
Buy it if

✅ You want to build muscle: Most sessions are designed to develop strength, with or without weights, but you don't have to aim for superhero-style muscle to get the benefits. 

✅ You like meal plans: The personalized meal planner is ideal for prepping for the week ahead while also supporting your body through workouts and recovery. 

✅ You want to increase mental strength: The meditation and yoga sessions help you develop a mindful practice, reduce stress, and build mental strength.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're an experienced meditator: The short meditations are best for beginners and won't help develop or advance your practice.

❌You cook for a household: The meal planner is useful, but not if you're preparing food for several people with different fitness and nutrition goals. 

The bottom line

🔎 Centr is an excellent app is your main goal is to develop strength, even for beginners. There are quick equipment filters, short high-intensity sessions, alongside yoga and meditation when you want to slow things down. ★★★★★

I've been using Centr for over three years, and it's still my favorite workout app. I may have been drawn in by the celebrity name (it was founded by the actor Chris Hemsworth), but you don't need to develop superhero-style muscle to get the most from this app. 

Unsurprisingly, a lot of the workouts are based on strength and resistance training, with options for equipment-filled gym sessions and more minimal setups at home. You can even filter sessions by the equipment you have, whether that's a single dumbbell or several kettlebells. 

But the reason I rate this as the best workout app for most people is that there's a lot of variety. There are high-intensity HIIT sessions, yoga and Pilates classes, and even beginner-friendly meditations (some spoken by Hemsworth too). 

You all get a meal planner and recipes included as part of your subscription, and as you plan your food, it automatically creates a shopping list with everything you need to support your body after your training. 

It's a great feature, but one I didn't use all that often — if you're cooking for a household, it's a bit tricky to find meals that aren't designed for your specific training plan that everyone will enjoy.

However, whether you're just starting to focus on your fitness, have a specific objective in mind, or want to add some structure to your routine, Centr is an excellent option to help you hit your goals. 

Read more: Centr review

The best budget workout app

Build a virtual fitness community from your living room


Platform: iPhone, Android, Web
Price: From $79.99 annually
Live classes: Yes

Reasons to buy

Free live classes
Connected workouts with specific machines
Motivational instructors

Reasons to avoid

Intense sessions not ideal for beginners
Limited connected workouts
Buy it if

✅ You enjoy training with others: You can invite anyone to join any of the free live group classes, even if they don't have an account. 

✅ You don't want to break the bank: You need a subscription to get the full library, but you can join all group classes and several other sessions for free without a membership.

✅ You enjoy motivational instructors: Fiit's high-energy trainers are ideal if you miss the in-person motivational aspects of group fitness classes. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ If you're just starting out: Fiit's sessions are geared towards those with some fitness experience, and there's no let-up during the high-intensity classes. 

❌If you enjoy tracking your workouts: The app can connect to some exercise machines, but the selection is limited. You need to buy the Fiit heart rate monitor to automatically track workout performance. 

The bottom line

🔎Fiit is an excellent way to create a virtual workout community from home. You can invite family and friends to join any of the live classes for free, wherever you are, and use your subscription to access the app's library of strength, cardio, and full-body workouts. ★★★★

If you're after intense, high-energy classes, Fiit is your best bet. Before switching to home workouts, I never really did exercise classes, preferring to train in my own time, but having tried Fiit, I think that may be because I never found the right one. 

Fiit primarily focuses on replicating the group workout experience at home. The trainers don't just guide you through the session, they motivate you, pick you up when you're exhausted, and keep your focus on your form. 

But the app also has another neat feature designed to recreate the in-person environment. You can invite your friends, family, or workout partners to join any live class and train together, even if they don't have an account. 

This is because Fiit offers all of the live classes for free, with no subscription required, along with a limited range of guided workouts, so you don't have to break the bank to stay active. And if you want a more comprehensive selection, you can take out a subscription. 

Although I don't go to the gym anymore, Fiit is also a great companion for a hybrid home and gym approach. The app has more equipment-friendly options than many of the others I tried, so if you want to work out with dumbbells one day, then take on a treadmill challenge the next, you can. 

Read more: Fiit review

The best workout app for iPhone

The perfect fitness app for beginners and Apple fans


Platform: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV
Price: $9.99 per month / $79.99 annually
Live workouts: No

Reasons to buy

Accessible, high-quality workouts ideal for beginners
In-class modifications to increase intensity
Integrates well with other Apple products

Reasons to avoid

Not an option for Android owners
Requires Apple Watch for the full experience
Basic class filters
Buy it if

✅ You own an iPhone: The service integrates with Apple's Fitness and Health apps, AirPods, and you need an iPhone to subscribe.

✅ You want to boost your overall fitness: There's a wide range of classes and workouts designed to help add movement to your day, strengthen your muscles, and improve your wellbeing. 

✅ You like to vary your routine: Apple Fitness+ has a wide range of classes, covering large equipment like rowing machines and treadmills, through to bodyweight exercises and dumbbell workouts, and yoga and meditation sessions.

Don't buy it if:

❌You don't have an iPhone: The app only works with iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV. If you own an Android smartphone, you'll need an alternative like Fiit. 

❌ You want to advance your workouts: The accessible workouts are great for beginners, but not if you want to use the progressive overload technique to develop muscle as you get stronger.

❌ You don't own an Apple Watch: You can now use Fitness+ without an Apple Watch, but it's still a crucial part of the experience, showing your fitness stats over the top of your workout to track your progress.

The bottom line

🔎 Apple Fitness+ is easily one of the best workout apps, but only if you have an iPhone. The beginner-friendly sessions are ideal if you want to exercise regularly, boost your fitness, and improve your mood, but Android users and experienced exercisers would be better off with Centr. ★★★★

When my Android phone broke a few years ago, I switched to an iPhone. I stuck with it because Apple is really good at making everything work together. And that's the case with Apple Fitness+, which integrates nicely with the Fitness and Health apps and your AirPods. 

It launched in late 2020, but with a catch; you had to own an Apple Watch to use the app. Two years later, Apple removed this restriction, allowing anyone with an iPhone to get involved, so I took out a subscription and gave it a try. 

Unlike Centr or Alo Moves, which target specific niches (strength training, yoga), Apple Fitness+ is more like a lifestyle workout app, designed to suit beginners or anyone wanting to add some movement into their day to keep fit and healthy. 

That doesn't mean you can't use the app to hit a particular goal — there are resistance training sessions, high-intensity workouts, and yoga classes — and the sessions are visually impressive, expertly led, and a lot of fun. 

That last point is particularly relevant, as Apple Fitness+ is a great option if you're looking to exercise for happiness. Sure, there might be times you want to work on a specific skill or muscle area, but sometimes you just want to feel good and boost your wellbeing. 

Apple Fitness+ is a great all-around workout app, but only if you have an iPhone. Like most of Apple's products, it's designed to work well with your AirPods, Apple Watch, and the company's Health and Fitness apps, but Android owners will be better off with a multi-platform option like Fiit. 

Read more: Apple Fitness+ review

The best workout app for women

4. Sweat

High-intensity, pregnancy, and postnatal sessions, and a virtual community


Platform: iPhone, Android
Price: $19.99 per month / $119.94 annually
Live classes: No

Reasons to buy

Huge library of high-intensity workouts
Pregnancy and postnatal classes
Sweat community for motivation

Reasons to avoid

Workouts are a series of exercise tutorials rather than guided classes
Not many traditional strength workouts
Buy it if

✅ You're short on time: Many of Sweat's high-intensity workouts are designed to target your whole body, boost your metabolism, and raise your heart rate in less than 30 minutes.
✅ You need pregnancy-friendly workouts: There are pregnancy and postnatal workouts to help you move your body safely and boost your fitness while pregnant.

✅ You want a community: The Sweat community is one the app's most crucial features, allowing you to share updates, connect with other women, and support each other to reach your fitness goals. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're not a fan of high-intensity workouts: Sweat does have a range of sessions across several exercise styles, but its primary focus is intense, short training sessions to raise your heart rate.

❌ You prefer guided classes: The workouts are designed by expert trainers, but few have videos, so you need to manually tap to advance to the next move. 

The bottom line

🔎Sweat is the perfect option for women looking for a supportive fitness community. The high-intensity workouts are ideal when you're short on time, and you can share updates and motivate others in the Sweat community. And there are pregnancy and postnatal options too. 

The Sweat workout app is the evolution of several Bikini Body Guides (BBGs) produced by Australian personal trainer Kayla Itsines. The BBGs focused on high-intensity workouts to help women achieve a particular look, but the Sweat app takes a more holistic approach. 

As the name suggests, it retains Itsines' high-intensity practice, designed to raise your heart rate, improve your cardio fitness, and boost your metabolism. But there are beginner, intermediate, and advanced bodyweight exercises, strength sessions, yoga, barre, and Pilates. 

The app might be targeted at women, but most programs would be suitable for men, except for the specialized pregnancy and postnatal fitness sessions. There's also a dedicated community area for you to share updates and support others to hit their goals. 

Like Fiit, the aim here is to make exercise fun and encouraging, so that you want to do it regularly but also efficiently and effectively, allowing you to fit in a high-intensity session even when you're tight on time.  

The best free workout app

5. AllTrails

Take a guided walk and explore the world for free


Platform: iPhone, Android, Web
Price: Free, subscription available
Live classes: No

Reasons to buy

Curated walking routes
User reviews for each route
Length, elevation, and conditions listed

Reasons to avoid

Free version lacks route correction for wrong turns
Only walking routes available; no workouts
Buy it if

✅ You like taking a walk: If you want to venture somewhere new, take a hike, or explore a city, AllTrails has guided routes and area guides to help you plan your time away from the house.

✅ You want to practice mindfulness: Starting a guided route means that you can pay attention to what's around you, rather than focusing on directions, allowing you to take a mindful walk and boost your wellbeing. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You like to vary your exercise: AllTrails only includes walking routes, so you'll need another app for strength, cardio, and high-intensity workouts.

❌ You want extra guidance: Once you've started a route, the app won't alert you if you take a wrong turn, or re-route automatically in the free version. However, you can sign up to AllTrails+ to get those features.

The bottom line

🔎 AllTrails is a great companion when you head outside for a walk. There are curated area guides, designated routes, and plenty of guidance and reviews to help you prepare. You'll need another app for workouts, but this free fitness app makes it easy to explore the world around you. ★★★★

I do a lot of walking. I walk for 90 minutes every morning, take lunchtime strolls, and traverse the city on foot. A lot of the time, I'm outside in areas I know well, but I prefer to walk to explore new places too, which is where AllTrails come in. 

It's not ordinarily considered a workout app, but exercise can be any physical movement, from stretching to walking, and AllTrails helps you plan out routes in urban environments and green spaces. I've used it to find my way on countryside dog walks and for city sightseeing routes. 

The basic route-planning features are free, although if you want convenience or extra guidance while you're out (like wrong turn correction), you'll need to take out a subscription to AllTrails+. But a lot of the time, I don't miss those features. 

You could also use Google or Apple Maps for finding your way around town, but AllTrails offers a more curated experience, with planned routes to take in specific areas, or based on a particular theme, and they include user reviews, so you know what to look out for or avoid. 

Plus, AllTrails includes hiking routes and says whether a particular path is dog-friendly, its length, and elevation, so if you want to avoid trails with steep hills, you can filter them out before you go. 

The best workout app for yoga

Move your body, still your mind, and practice yoga at home


Platform: iPhone, Android, Web, Apple TV
Price: $12.99 per month / $129.99 annually
Live classes: No

Reasons to buy

Engaging classes led by expert teachers
Sessions for developing specific skills
Yoga, meditation, and HIIT classes

Reasons to avoid

Lacks strength workouts
Structured plans are quite short
Buy it if

✅ You're after mindful movement: Not every workout has to raise your heart rate, and many of Alo Moves' sessions are designed around slow, deliberate movements to help develop the mind-muscle connection.

✅ You want to develop a specific skill: If you miss in-person workshops dedicated to headstands and challenging yoga poses, Alo Moves has a library of sessions designed to work you toward your goal.

✅ You want an occasional intense workout: Alo Moves primary focus is yoga and meditation, but there are plenty of high-intensity workouts to help raise your heart rate, boost your metabolism, and work your whole body.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're not a fan of yoga: This might seem obvious, but Alo Moves is primarily a yoga app. If you like to keep things varied, or just want an occasional session, Centr or Apple Fitness+ are your best options. 

❌ You like structured programs: There are several programs to join in Alo Moves, but they don't last very long. If you want to focus on a specific style or skill, you'll need to find a new program every few weeks. 

The bottom line

🔎 Alo Moves is the perfect way to develop your yoga practice at home. The app has a vast library of on-demand classes, from slow flows to dynamic sessions. You can even download classes to take your workout outdoors. ★★★★

I used to practice yoga several times a week at a studio on my road, but since that closed, I'd been looking for a way to get back into it. Live-streamed classes are a great way to feel part of the community (and support your favorite teachers), but they're not always convenient. 

Alo Moves is the perfect alternative, with engaging classes, whether you want an intense flow session focused on strengthening your core or a more mindful restorative class to end the day. And when I was tight on time, I could pick a short 15-minute session instead. 

The instructors' personality and experience play a big role in any guided workout, particularly in yoga, where a few choice words can remind you to make small changes to your posture to deepen into the stretch or work the correct muscles. 

Fortunately, I found the classes on Alo Moves are fun and dynamic when you're looking to add movement into your day and relaxed when you want to slow things down. And to replicate the video's beautiful scenery, you can download a session and head outdoors. 

However, if you're after an app that does a bit of everything, you might be better off with Apple Fitness+, as Alo Moves is primarily a yoga app, with a bit of cardio and strength training on the side. But this does make it the perfect option for yogis looking to practice at home. 

Read more: Alo Moves review

How to choose the best workout app for you

Although many of the best workout apps require a subscription, most also have a free trial to get a taste of the workout style, instructors, and ease of use. While you're experimenting, there are some factors to keep in mind. 

The most important thing to consider before installing an app is what you want to get from your training. Do you want to build muscle or boost your flexibility? Are you more interested in high-intensity exercise or mindful classes?

You can choose a workout app that's aligned with your preferred training style, but you'll also want to think about the cost — how much per month, whether are there discounts for annual memberships — and whether that's good value for your needs. 

Also, consider the equipment you've got at home. While you can get by without weights on Fiit or Alo Moves, to get the most from Centr, you'll at least need access to weights like dumbbells and kettlebells. 

And, crucially, when you start a workout, think about whether you're actually enjoying it or have to force yourself to finish. To make exercise a regular part of your routine, you need to find sessions that you want to come back to.

There's a lot of variety out there, so try out a few and stick with an app that encourages you to hit your goals, suits your lifestyle, and has other classes or sessions you want to practice occasionally, like meditation or yoga. 

How we tested the best workout apps

Before joining the team at Fit&Well, I was a technology journalist, producing product reviews, testing apps, and writing tutorials. I know what makes a good app — useful navigation, clean design, intuitive controls. 

But the way you use the best workout apps will be different that what you need from your social media or food delivery apps. So, while testing these fitness apps, I also paid attention to a few crucial features. 

I only have limited equipment at home, so I check if there are specific equipment filters to find a workout that suits what I have, and if there are time selections, for when you only have 15 minutes to spare or an hour train. 

But as you need a subscription for most, you don't want to join loads and spend hundreds of dollars each month. So I try the different training styles, exercise classes, and wellbeing sessions to see if you can get everything in a single app. 

I use each app for several weeks so that I get a sense of whether I actually enjoy the workouts and if they're effective. Boosting your fitness and getting some movement into your day is important, but there's no reason it can't be fun too. 


What's the difference between Apple Fitness and Apple Fitness+?

Apple Fitness is an app designed by Apple that comes pre-installed on your iPhone and iPad. It's where your fitness data is stored, and includes the steps tracked by your iPhone and works you completed in other apps. 

Apple Fitness+ is a virtual workout platform that you can find inside the Apple Fitness app. Apple Fitness is free to use, but you need to take out a subscription to take any classes or workouts in Apple Fitness+. 

What is the best free gym app?

If you're looking to train at the gym without breaking the bank, Fiit is the best free gym app to join live group classes and train with others. 

All of Fiit's live group classes are free, and you can invite friends and family to join you (even if they don't have an account), so you can recreate the gym experience at home. 

Alternatively, Nike Training Club is also a great free workout app, but it mostly focuses on bodyweight exercises that you can do at home and there aren't any live classes either. 

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.