Work it out: Top 10 fitness apps to help you get back in shape

Our fitness routines may be crunched while we work from home, but thanks to a stream of top-class workouts online it's never been easier to stay in shape, says Peta Bee
Work it out: Top 10 fitness apps to help you get back in shape

Abs exercise routine at home with the help of an online workout.  Picture: iStock
Abs exercise routine at home with the help of an online workout.  Picture: iStock

NEVER has our need for online trainers and fitness apps been greater, but which to choose? Here are 10 to suit every preference and fitness level...


Best for: Strength training.

Why: This personalised, digital health-and-fitness platform was founded by actor Chris Hemsworth — who played super-buff Thor in the Avengers movies — and his wife Elsa Pataky. It features a team of renowned experts, hand-picked from the worlds of fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness.

The workouts are focused on high-intensity interval training -HIIT- and strength, and require little or no gym equipment. Look out for Thor-style sessions with Luke Zocchi, Hemsworth’s long-time personal trainer, whose speciality is no-nonsense strength workouts.

Where to find it:

Cost: From €8.45 per month.


Best for: HIIT circuits. Why: An app that offers HIIT-style exercises based on running or body-weight training that is hugely popular with almost six million users in more than 160 countries. There are more than 900 workouts — you can filter according to duration, body area, etc — and there are tutorials on technique to get you started.

Where to find it:

Cost: Free for the basic app. You can upgrade to the Freeletics Coach, a digital ‘personal trainer’, for €30 for three months.

Calisthenic Movement

Best for: Supreme body sculpting.

Why: Led by a team of German sports scientists and physiotherapists, you will be guided through a range of calisthenic (read body-weight) exercises that will make you leaner and stronger, while also improving your balance, mobility, and body definition.

With an average 8.5m monthly views on YouTube, it has cult-like appeal. Not for the faint-hearted — expect to work hard and to progress to handstand press-ups.

Where to find it: calisthenicmovent on YouTube.

Cost: Free. (There are options to purchase workouts on

Yoga With Adriene

Yoga with Adriene
Yoga with Adriene

Best for: All levels of yoga.

Why: A YouTube channel with 15- to 30-minute videos of yoga sessions delivered by the darling of the online yoga world, Adriene Mishler from Texas.

With 3.25m subscribers, she has a loyal following among beginners and hardcore yogis and a huge number of sessions, covering everything from easing back pain to reducing stress.

Where to find

Cost: Free.

Jillian Michaels: My Fitness App

Best for: Seasoned gym goers.

Why: Michaels is a tour-de-force of the fitness world. The LA-based personal trainer’s clients include Halle Berry and Mick Jagger, she is the author of eight New York Times best-selling books, and holds a black belt in kickboxing.

Jillian Michaels
Jillian Michaels

Needless to say, her approach is serious and more or less guarantees results.

The app features Jillian’s popular DVD library, plus custom workouts of any fitness level — from yoga and kickboxing to HIIT training and strength training — although it is geared towards those with some experience of classes and gym terminology. Perfect if you are missing your studio sessions.

Where to find it:

Cost: Free seven-day trial, and then about €13.92 a month.


Best for: Boxing workouts.

Why: A trendy, branded boxing workout, with classes that range in focus from fat-burning to muscle-strengthening, with five types of workout, each lasting 30 minutes — BoxxIntense, BoxxBurn, BoxxPro, and BoxxStretch, and the signature BoxHiit, which offers a full-body, fat-burning, muscle-toning session.

You don’t need gloves or punch bags, but you will need a pair of 1kg dumbbells.

Beginners’ classes focus on punching technique and footwork and you won’t get bored (there are also cardio, strength, and yoga classes).

Where to find it:

Cost: A 14-day, free trial and then from around €7 per month.


Best for: Ballet-style toning.

Why: This is the home version of Barrecore, the hip, ballet-based exercise studio popular with Claudia Schiffer and a host of Victoria’s Secret models. There are videos of a range of different levels and durations of Barrecore’s signature classes — you can choose general classes or pick a focus: arms, core, legs, seat — and all you need are dumbbells and a chair.

Where to find it:

Cost: A 14-day, free trial and then from around €30 per month for unlimited access

Jo Tuffrey Pilates Club

Best for: A firm Pilates bod.

Why: Tuffrey is an emerging star of the Pilates scene and a discreet instructor to a long list of celebrities. It’s easy to see why — with a sports science background, she clearly explains how and why each move works and which body parts they target.

New workouts, released twice weekly, and many target stubborn areas, such as the inner thigh and waistband.

Where to find it:

Cost: From €10 per month.

Fitness Blender

Best for: All-round fitness.

Why: More than 500 workout videos from the Los Angeles-based husband-and-wife team Kelli and Daniel Segars, who have 5m subscribers to their YouTube channel.

Their lack of glitz is a selling point. There’s no preamble, and, in many, no music. The most equipment you’ll need is a set of dumbbells. Each video is preceded by a resume of what it will do for you, including how many calories you’ll burn, how long it will take, and what equipment you will need, as well as which body parts you’ll target.

Where to find it:

Cost: Free.

Lucy Wyndham-Read

Best for: Basic workouts.

Why: Wyndham-Read is a well-established trainer and weight-loss expert, whose YouTube channel has 1.13m subscribers. Her USP is back-to-basic workouts that can be performed by using household items (ribbon, tights, dining chairs) as fitness tools.

Where to find it: Lucy Wyndham-Read on YouTube or

Cost: Free.

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