Stay Home, Get Fit: Best Gym-Free Exercise Apps

best exercise apps

Gyms are never more crowded than in the month of January.

They may start to thin out by March, but until then it can be a frustrating experience trying to get a treadmill or free weight. If you want to skip the Resolution Rush, here are some great exercise apps for in-home exercise.

C25K App (Free)

If you’re the kind of person who only runs if you’re being chased, the idea of beginning a running regime can be daunting. The Couch to 5K (C25K) app is the answer. It’s an eight week program: three runs a week of varying lengths. A woman pipes up during the music or podcast of your choice to tell you when to walk and when to run. The first week you’re warming up with a brisk walk for five minutes, then you alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for 30 minutes. Each week increases the amount of running time until by week eight, you’re running three miles in 30 minutes.

It’s impressive in that it actually works. You can go straight through or repeat weeks, trying to increase your speed. C25K is a great place to start an exercise program because it gets you in the groove. Then get started on their 10K app…



Keelo App (free trial, $9.99/month, $59.99/year)

This awesome app provides you with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts that are at, or under 20 minutes long. You can easily do the exercises in the gym, but it’s designed to be usable at home, utilizing any equipment you have (or don’t, rather). You can also tailor it to your location (studio apartment, hotel room, gym) and even the current weather. Text and video will ensure you’re performing each move properly.

Expert coaches design workouts for any fitness level, which you can increase in intensity as you get ripped. You even have the option to get help with coaches via chat or email. It’s a whole body approach and tracks your reps and progress. It also takes the guess work out of what to do next, suggesting ever-changing and expanding workouts so you don’t get bored or stagnate.

Daily Burn exercise

Daily Burn

Daily Burn (streaming, free trial, $14.95/month)

You’ll stream the videos on your TV, laptop, phone, desktop, or tablet. It’s fitness classes anywhere. There are over 500 workouts and 20 different programs to choose from, like yoga, Inferno (a 21-day challenge), bodyweight training, dance and pilates. Like others, it’s tailored for anyone from absolute beginners to Schwarzenegger impersonators.

Certified trainers and coaches lead the classes that you stream. You can choose from shorter classes, from just 15 minutes, or go for a full hour. They’re constantly adding new classes, so you’ll have a hard time getting bored.

FitStar personal training


FitStar (Personal Training App, $7.99/month, $39.99/year)

This is a personal trainer on your phone. Specifically, NFL All-Star Tony Gonzalez training you on your phone. It’s a particularly good option for people who travel a lot and find themselves in small hotel rooms.

By far the coolest thing about this app is the feedback mechanism. After every workout, you’ll tell it how long it took you, how many reps, how difficult it was; the app will factor in that information for your next workout. The workouts become literally tailored to you and your progress. You can even sync most fitness trackers, like FitBit.

You also get to truthfully tell your friends a football legend is your personal trainer.

Carrot Fit

CARROT Fit (App, $3.99)

Carrot Fit s an irreverent app with absolutely no manners. In its own words: “…the hilarious talking A.I. construct, CARROT, has a new goal: to transform your flabby carcass into a Grade A specimen of the human race. And she’s going to do whatever it takes – including threatening, inspiring, ridiculing, and bribing you – to make this happen.”

It’s almost guaranteed there’s no other app like this one. One exercise tones your arms while you “fantasize about punching Justin Bieber,” another has you outrunning a rabid pack of ostriches. The weight tracker allows you to watch the pounds fall off, largely due to the judgmental AI threatening you.

The programs require no special equipment or big spaces, just a stiff upper lip for when you’re repeatedly called “meatbag.”

Now stay home and get ripped!