I personally have always been a home workout kind of girl. I have always believed there's plenty you can do in your own home to stay fit and healthy without having to drag yourself to the gym on that cold rainy day when you just cant be bothered. You can also achieve a lot with just your own body weight, or a small amount of equipment.
Not everyone knows where to start though, and now everyone is stuck at home with no idea when the gyms might open up again! So with that in mind, I thought I'd share with you my go-to workout from home apps that are completely FREE to use (if you don't mind an ad every now and then.)
Please note that I have only ever tried the free versions of these apps, and I find these versions to be enough, however most of them have premium versions if you find you like them and want to get all the features.
1. Leap Fitness Group: Women Workout at Home - Female Fitness
This one is definitely my number one free app I have found for working out from home. I use this on a regular basis and have recommended it to family and friends. No matter whether I'm busy and just want to do a quick workout, or if I want to train and work on different parts of my body, I can do either with this app.
Here are some of my favorite features:
- There are workouts for different ability levels - so you can always start at beginner and work your way up, or choose to do a lower level for a shorter workout.
- If you don't have much time, or you want to combine several quick workouts, there are workouts available as short as 3 minutes
- There's a good variety of workouts. There's even ones to slim down your face and get rid of a double chin. If you cant manage a workout that day, there are gentle pain relief and stretching options just to help you feel refreshed
- Each workout includes a warm up at the beginning (its not one of these apps that expects you to come up with and do your own workout, before you work out!) They are generally about 5 mins but you do have the ability to pause the workout or go back and repeat steps if you'd like to do more.
-You can preview each workout and exercises before you do them
- There is no equipment needed in any of the workouts (besides a mat and occasionally a chair) its all body weight.
- Each workout is guided, including tips on correct technique and even has a video and description if you are unsure of how to do a particular exercise.
- You can set how long your rest time is in between exercises, but even if its too long, you can always skip it.
- It tells you how many calories you have burned (be aware this is a rough estimate, there's no way it can calculate this perfectly accurately), you can even track your weight loss and BMI. You can set a goal for how many workouts you want to do a week and it will tell you your history so you can see how many you've done, what you worked on and how long for.
As far as I can tell, this app is completely free. I can't see any in-app purchases or premium version available. Because its free, you can expect ads to pop up every now and then, but I have been using this app for a while and I've never had an ad interrupt my workout. Some of the workouts will require you to watch a 30 second video before you can do them, which personally I don't feel is too much to ask for free content.
My only con to this app is that there are only so many workouts, it would be great if they would add more.
Overall though, if I had to pick only one app on this list to have, it would be this one.
2. Leap Fitness Group: Splits in 30 Days - Splits Training
I downloaded this one when i began to work on getting back in to the splits again, after a long time of not doing them.
As it is made by the same people who made number 1 on this list, this app is very similar with most of the same features, just aimed specifically towards stretching to get into the splits.
In this one, it is laid out in days 1-30, and you just head to the app and follow your session for that day (each session is around 15-30 mins long).
My favorite features:
-It still gives you the ability to track your calories burned, weight loss and BMI, as well as your exercise history.
-It gives you the options again for different abilities, so if you've never done the splits before you can start at beginner and and work your way through it. If you are in the middle of a session and you find one of the exercises too hard for you, it also gives you the option to switch between a "standard" and "easy" version, so you can increase your flexibility at your own pace.
- Again, all sessions include a warm up of about 5 mins (if this is the only workout you do that day, I would suggest doing it twice as some of the stretches can be tough so make sure you are nice and warm!)
- All exercises are effective to help you get to the splits. They are guided and include tips as well as a video and description. Some of these include a standard and easy version.You can also set your rest time in between exercises to suit you
- You can preview all the exercises for each day before choosing to do them
- Whichever level plan you follow, it includes rest days for you so you don't even have to worry about when to rest your muscles
- Once you have completed one plan, you can move on to a different level if you wish. Or you can choose to create your own training plans using all the exercises available in the app.
- No equipment needed
- Again, this app is completely free
Of course, even though the plans are 1-30 days, it doesn't mean you will definitely have the splits by day 30, it differs for everyone and it certainly took me longer than that. But consistency and perseverance are key, and this app definitely has everything you need to keep it up until you get there, and maintain it afterwards.
3. Down Dog Yoga
If you like your yoga, or you have always wanted to try yoga but aren't sure where to start, this one is the best app I've found so far. I don't do a lot of yoga, but I like to mix it in every now and then as it can help improve general fitness, strength, flexibility and balance.
Some of the best features of this app include:
- you can choose which style of yoga you want to do, whether its the full practice or simply for relaxation, there are plenty of options
- If you are a beginner, you can choose to follow the "Intro to Vinyasa" series of 3 practices to start you off
- There are several different levels of ability for you to choose from
- You can choose how long you want your practice to be
- You can choose how long you want to stay in your final resting posture at the end of your practice
- All practices are guided with a follow along video, and explain how to do poses well.
- All practices are different
- You can track your history to see what you've been doing and for how long
One of the cons I find with this is, if you are not an expert at yoga, it can be a little hard to keep up as the lady in the video is already doing the next move by the time she has told you what it is, meaning you end up a few steps behind and that can mess up the flow a bit. It does get easier the more you do it though.
I would also recommend doing a proper warm up before starting to get those muscles warm and ready to work and stretch, as this app doesn't seem to have any pre-exercise warm up available.
This app does contain extra features if you upgrade to the premium version, like adding "boosts" which allow you to focus more on one particular area such as backbends. With the current situation, Down Dog were offering the premium version for free for a limited time, so this option may still be available to new members.
4. HIIT - Down Dog
Another one from Down Dog, but this one is geared towards High Intensity Interval Training. For those that don't know, that's basically where you do intense bursts of exercise and then rest for a short period before doing the next exercise. Its a great way to stay fit at home and I train this way on a regular basis.
This app looks very similar to the yoga version. Some of the best features are:
- you can choose levels based on the abilities of your upper body, lower body and core.
- you have the ability to choose a focus area of the body - although, I have only had this app since the current pandemic and Down Dog are currently letting me use the premium version for free. So I don't know if this feature will still be around when the offer ends - its not long until it expires so we shall see!
- You can choose the style of music you like (not a huge plus for me to be honest, I like to listen to my own. But its there if you want it)
- You can choose how long you want your workout to last
- You can view your history to keep track of your workouts
- You do get a countdown in this one so you know when the next exercise is going to start, and you can watch the demonstration while