15 Best Fitness Apps to Help You Stay Fit from Your Phone

Last Updated: September 26, 2016

With all the technology packed into smartphones—GPS, cameras, accelerometers, and so on—it’s no surprise that the health and fitness industry has taken full advantage of the platform to create apps. From helping you work out, to keeping track of your calorie intake, to letting you compete with others, there are fitness apps for just about every goal out there. These 15 are some of the best that are available, no matter what you’re looking to do.

Choose the best fitness app for yourself

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App (iOS, Android, free)


You can get a lot of exercise in seven minutes, if you know what you’re doing, and this app gives you the instruction you need to get fit in as short a time as possible. By going through each exercise for thirty seconds, and resting for ten in between exercises, you’ll get your heart rate up and workout just about every muscle in your body. And the app lets you customize intensity levels and workouts so you can craft the best workout for you. You can even download the app for your Apple Watch so you can get a workout in when you don’t have your iPhone.

Fitstar Personal Trainer (iOS, free)

If you’re looking for something a bit more comprehensive than the 7-minute workout, pro football’s Tony Gonzalez has an app for you: Fitstar. By using information about your body, fitness level, and goals, the app create workouts that keep you challenged without being too intimidating and challenging that you’ll end up skipping them. For $30, you can get an entire year of the premium level of the app, which unlocks all of its features and potential. It may seem like a lot for an app, but it’s certainly a lot less than paying for a personal trainer. And if yoga is more your thing, Fitstar Yoga can help with that, too. Both fitness apps are also available for the Apple Watch.

Sworkit (iOS, Android, free)


By combining goal-specific exercises with random challenges, Sworkit helps you get fit, and fast. By choosing the length of your workout and any areas you’d like to target specifically, the app lets you create your own workouts that are tailored to your goals. The free version of the app contains a lot of functionality, but upgrading to the pro version for $3.99 gets rid of ads, makes more exercises available, and opens up a range of custom workout routines to fit your lifestyle. Download the app to your Apple Watch to stay fit on the go!

Bodyweight Training (iOS, Android, $2.99)


If you don’t have the time, motivation, or money to go to the gym regularly, you’ll need to embrace bodyweight exercises that you can do in your own living room (or anywhere else, with the Apple Watch app). This fitness app contains over 200 different exercises drawn from a best-selling book on bodyweight exercises, with both images and videos that will help you make sure you’re using the correct form. And by providing a wealth of supersets, tabatas, ladders, and other combinations of exercises, you’ll never get bored while you’re getting in shape.

Yoga Studio (iOS, $3.99)

This app includes almost 300 different yoga poses as well as 65 yoga and meditation classes for you to take part in, meaning you’ll be hard-pressed to get bored. You can also combine poses and common blocks of poses into your own custom classes, and keep a schedule of your classes on your phone so you stay on track. The yoga programs available on the app target four different parts of fitness: strength, balance, flexibility, and relaxation.

Runtastic Six-Pack Abs (iOS, Android, free)


In addition to their great run coaching app, Runtastic also has an app that will help you build a serious amount of core strength. With over 50 different video workouts, a 10-week six-pack plan, custom workouts, and a lot of available music, you’ll have everything you need for awesome abs in no time. To get all of the features, you’ll need to unlock the premium version of the app for $4.99. You can also download new music packs (like dubstep, hip-hop, house, and rock) for $0.99 each. And the Apple Watch app will let you get your ab workout in when you don’t have your Phone with you.

Runtastic PRO (iOS, Android, $4.99)


Of course, Runtastic is much better known for their running app, which uses GPS on your phone, Apple Watch, or Android Wear device to track your distance, pace, speed, elevation change, calories burned, and more statistics. Despite the name, you can use it for other activities as well, including walking and biking; just drop it into your iPhone armband and go! Support for 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S also lets you get started right from your home screen. With a voice coach, the ability to take on your previous bests, track routes, and do some interval training, this app can help you take your running to the next level—all without paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a coach.

Runmeter (iOS, free)


With support for running, cycling, skating, skiing, and other activities, Runmeter can be your go-to GPS app for exercise tracking. It stores an unlimited amount of workouts, records the weather, offers configurable workout zones, summarizes your workouts with easy-to-read charts, and even tracks your steps throughout the day with a pedometer function. To unlock the full potential of the app, you’ll need to pay $4.99 for the Elite upgrade. Which isn’t a bad deal, considering that there are a number of race training plans, from 5k to marathon, available. Runmeter also turns your Apple Watch into a running GPS with its wrist-mounted app.

Map My Fitness (iOS, Android, free)


This has always been one of the most popular fitness apps, and its recent purchase by Under Armour has only increased its power. GPS tracking for almost any activity (including from your Android Wear device), activity graphs, a gear tracker, and the ability to import data from over 400 different devices, including every major fitness device, means you can get a great overall picture of your fitness with this app. The annual $30 MVP upgrade also gives you access to heart rate tracking, personal training plans, and audio coaching.

MyFitnessPal (iOS, Android, free)


Another app now owned by Under Armour, MyFitnessPal is focused more on weight loss through exercise and diet tracking than specific stat collecting and coaching. Logging your calories is made easy by a huge database of foods, and the ability to add your favorite recipes makes it much easier to import entire meals at once. There’s also a built-in step tracker so you can keep track of how much you walk in a day, giving you an idea of how many calories you burn when you’re not exercising. And the Apple Watch app will keep your apprised of how many calories you’ve consumed and burned in the day so far. A $50 annual membership gives you access to an ad-free experience, dietitian-approved recipes, meal plans, and nutrition tips.

Zombies, Run! (iOS, Android, free)

One of the most entertaining fitness apps, Zombies, Run! has quite a following. Instead of simply tracking your running stats, this app combines your exercise with a game, encouraging you to collect items and complete quests to build a compound and stave off the zombie apocalypse. Combining your custom playlists with an immersive audio adventure, full of narration and sound effects, makes for a super fun way to get in shape. The premium membership unlocks additional options and more of the over 200 available missions for $20 per year, though there are many other purchase options available.

Strava (iOS, Android, free)


Not into running? If cycling is more your thing, Strava is an absolutely essential app (it can also be used for running, but it’s much more popular among the cycling community). Strava makes your workout a social experience, letting you set your own records on particular courses, compete against your friends, and rise through the local rankings on your rides. And if you don’t want to bring your phone with you while you’re riding, you can use the Apple Watch or Android Wear apps to monitor your stats from your smartwatch. The $60 annual subscription also gets you additional stats, more specific leaderboards, additional training information, and heart rate analysis.

Cyclemeter (iOS, free)


The cycling version of Runmeter, Cyclemeter offers many of the same features: unlimited workout storage, calendar view, maps, speed, cadence, distance, duration, and many other great features that will help you keep a close eye on your cycling fitness. Because this app will also track your workouts for running, walking, skiing, and other aerobic activities, you can use it for all of your training needs—there’s no need to get both Cyclemeter and Runmeter. And, like Runmeter, the Apple Watch app shares your information directly on your wrist. Again, the elite upgrade for $4.99 will unlock additional features.

LoseIt! (iOS, Android, free)


While MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular weight loss apps available, LoseIt! is an app with a following that absolutely loves it. Log your calories, input your exercise, save your favorite recipes, and keep track of your goals easily with the great interface. There are plenty of social features so you can see how your friends are doing, too. One of the best features of the app is a barcode scanner, which lets you scan the barcode on a piece of food and have its entry in the database pulled up right away; no need to search for it! The Apple Watch app lets you see where you’re standing for caloric intake for the day as well as log your calories.

Google Fit (Android, free)


Google’s Android app for keeping track of fitness has one of the best user interfaces in the business; it’s colorful, interesting, and clean enough that you can see all of your stats in a glance. Set your goals, track your calorie burning, and import data from other fitness devices to get a good overview of your fitness gains. While it doesn’t provide the detailed logging abilities of other apps, it’s a great way to help keep yourself motivated when you want to lose weight, get stronger, or improve your endurance. And the convenience of being able to use it directly from your Android Wear device makes it even better.

Apps for Every Fitness Goal

Everyone has different fitness goals. Fortunately, there’s an app for your phone that will help you meet it. Whether you need a cycling app for iOS, a bodyweight workout app for Android, or a calorie logger that will work on all of your devices, you can find one in the list above. So download an app, set some goals, and get to work!

Which fitness apps do you use? Which are your favorite? Share your thoughts below!


Dann is a freelance journalist who helps people lead happier, more balanced lives through technology and spending time in nature. He writes about the topics that people deal with every day: productivity, organization, and finding the precarious balance between using tech and being addicted to it. To get in touch, tweet him @dann.albright.