The 10 Best Health and Fitness Apps for iPhone and iPod Touch

Let your iPhone be your trainer

If your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad is an essential part of your workout, you've probably scrolled through the endless array of fitness apps available, wondering which ones are worth the time and money.

The right fitness app can give you the boost you need to get through your workouts, but the wrong one can leave you frustrated. I've done a little research and put together a list of my favorite exercise and fitness apps covering everything from strength training and yoga to weight loss and running.

1
PumpOne Fitness Builder

PumpOne Fitness Builder
PumpOne Fitness Builder. PumpOne

Price: Free
Compatible With: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad. 

PumpOne's Fitness Builder is one of the best fitness apps out there with thousands of exercises and workouts to fit any equipment, fitness level, goals and budget.  

Standout features:

  • Workouts drawing from thousands of unique exercises and equipment including, weights, kettlebells, BOSU, foam roller, TRX and more.
  • Search workouts by location (hotel, home, gym, etc.), goal (arms, abs, cardio, etc.) or keyword.
  • An exercise database with incredible variety. My favorites - squat thrust to push up with a med ball and 180 swings with a kettlebell.
  • Videos of each exercise.
  • The ability to edit workouts or create your own.
  • Plus Access - You can pay $6.99 a month to get access to more workouts, videos, printing abilities and to receive workouts.

PumpOne also offers professional access levels, so trainers can create workouts for clients and they even have exercises and workouts for physical therapists.  

*Bonus - If you have an iPad, sign up for FitnessClass, an app that offers hundreds of fitness videos by well-known instructors like Cathe Friedrich and Chris Freytag.  You can pay $9.99 a month or $69.99 for a full year.

This truly is the most comprehensive workout app I've found and well worth the money. More »

2
MotionTraxx:  Fitness Cardio Workouts, HIIT Training and Elliptical Exercises

Motion Traxx
Motion Traxx. Motion Traxx

Price: $4.99 a month or $34.99 per year
Compatible With:  iPhone, iPod touch, iPad

I'm a big fan of Deekron the Fitness DJ and Motion Traxx, which started out as a free Podcast offering walking, running and fitness workouts set to dance music at different BPMs.  

Deekron has taken things a giant step forward with this workout app that offers guided workouts for the treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical trainer and more.

Standout Features:

  • Great instructors - Each workout is taught by world class trainers like Amy Dixon and Paul Katami, so you get great cuing and motivation.
  • ActionSync(TM) soundtracks are designed specifically for each workout so the music matches the intensity.  This is one of the best features of MotionTraxx - the music is what drives you to keep going.
  • Lots of great HIIT workouts - My favorite part is the huge variety of high intensity workouts.  They have workouts for every cardio machine or activity you can think of and they even include workouts from Fitness and Shape Magazine as well as BowFlex.
  • Easy to use - The interface is so simple, even my mom could figure it out (sorry, Mom). You choose the machine or workout, choose how much time you have (20, 40 or 60 minutes) and you're ready to go.
  • Great visuals - I love that the screen shows the progression of your workout using a circle to represent each interval.  You can also follow your progress along the bottom of the screen, viewing the upcoming intervals.

Deekron adds workouts on a regular basis, so there's always something new to try.  If I had any dream features, it would be the ability to mix and match to create your own workouts.  More »

3
BeatBurn Treadmill/Outdoor Trainer

BeatBurn Treadmill App
BeatBurn Treadmill App. lolo

Price: $3.99
Compatible With:  iPhone, iPod touch, iPad. 

Interval workouts are incredibly popular and effective, and they're much easier to do when you have a program to follow, something  BeatBurn offers in a unique way, using what they call BEAT-SYNC technology, which actually  matches the music to your pace, which is pretty incredible.

More Standout Features

  • BeatBurn delivers BEAT-SYNC technology, which changes the pace of the music to match your pace
  • Guided interval workouts - A trainer guides you through the workout, keeping you going with motivational pep talks, like "Three more intervals, let's go!"
  • Track your speed, incline, distance and calories.  You can also control your workout, changing the pace of the workout at any time if things are going too fast or too slow.
  • Compatible with Apple's HealthKit on iPhone
  • Also compatible with Apple Watch

BeatBurn has more fitness apps as well, including BeatBurn Elliptical Trainer,  Tempo Magic Pro more.   More »

4
Daily Workout Apps

Daily Workout Apps
Daily Workout Apps. Daily Workout Apps

Price: Free  or up to $4.99
Compatible With: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Also works with Android

Daniel Miller's Daily Workout apps are about as simple and straightforward as you can get. The workouts include classic moves - squats, lunges, overhead presses, crunches, etc., and a very quiet video of an exerciser performing the move. There's a timer at the top that counts down from 60 to 30 seconds depending the length you've chosen and you can listen to your own music while you use the app.

Standout Features

  • 10 different workouts ranging from 5 to 10 minutes
  • 10 to 30 minutes of randomized total body workouts
  • Videos that show how to do each exercise
  • An onscreen timer as well as instructions
  • Integrates with the Apple HealthKit
  • In the paid version, you get more exercises and workout routines and you also get Pilates and kettlebell exercises.  You can make custom workouts in the paid version, it's ad-free and you can watch the videos in landscape mode.

 Download the free versions, which include: Daily Workouts, Daily Ab Workout, Daily Butt Workout, Daily Arm Workout, Daily Leg Workout, Daily Cardio Workout and Simply Yoga.  More »

5
DailyBurn Video Workouts

Daily Burn
Daily Burn. Daily Burn

 Price: 12.99 a month
Compatible With: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. 

DailyBurn has really come a long way, offering a comprehensive app with tons of great extras.

Standout Features

  • A new Daily Burn workout every day.  You can watch it live at 9 am ET or you can watch it on demand for 24 hours
  • Over 150 workouts that cover everything from yoga and cardio to kickboxing and circuit training
  • Access your workouts on any device
  • Works with Apple HealthKit
  • Unlimited access to videos as well as a variety of training programs

What really stands out about DailyBurn is the variety of workouts and programs.  It fits every fitness level and, if you follow a program, it gives you all your workouts for the week.  This is a great buy for home or traveling exercisers who want lots of variety. More »

6
Bodyweight Training You Are Your Own Gym

Bodyweight Training
Bodyweight Training. Paige Waehner

Price: $4.99
Compatible With: iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

This app is one of the more unusual fitness apps out there, offering something completely different. You won't see traditional strength training routines (e.g., 3 sets of squats, etc.) but a huge variety of exercises and training methods, all requiring no equipment or equipment you can find around the house.

Standout Features

  • Over 200 exercises that don't require any equipment
  • A variety of workout options - Workouts range from 2 minutes to 36 minutes, so you can find something no matter how busy you are
  • Integration with Apple's Health app, Healthkit
  • Also includes a variety of 10-week fitness programs
  • App includes voice prompts and video instruction
  • In-app purchases include new workouts and videos
  • Workouts include Tabatas, supersets, stappers, intervals and ladders.  Some of these can get pretty complicated.  For example, doing a workout in a 'ladder' format means performing 4 exercises for a 7.5 minute set in which you do one rep, rest, then two reps, rest, repeating that and going up the ladder and then down.

I love that the exercises are varied and different, from traditional pushups to crazy exercises like monkey pushups and an incredibly hard (perhaps impossible) Straddle Planche Pushup. There are plenty of moves I've never seen before and that's a rare thing these days.

There are truly an endless number of options for using this app, sometimes to the point of confusion, but it's a great choice for people who want something completely different and workouts you can do anytime, anywhere. More »

7
Fitness Buddy

Fitness Buddy
Fitness Buddy. Fitness Buddy

Price: Free, Premium is $4.99
Compatible With:  iPhone, iPod touch, iPad

This app is one I would recommend for people who are really into strength training and like to track their workouts.  The free version offers over 400 exercises with animations and descriptions as well as a few workouts, but the premium version is the way to go if you want the serious goods.

Standout Features of Fitness Buddy Premium

  • Over 1700 exercises with descriptions and HD videos
  • Exercises using all the best equipment like barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, medicine balls, machines and stability balls
  • Easy to find exercises - You can search by body part - core, lower body, chest, shoulders, etc.
  • The ability to add your own custom moves and favorite exercises
  • More than 75 routines targeting specific goals like building muscle, losing weight, etc.
  • The ability to build your own workouts and track your vital statistics

For the price, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this one. More »

8
RunKeeper

RunKeeper
RunKeeper. RunKeeper

Price: Free version and In-app purchases with premium tools 
Compatible With:  iPhone, iPod touch, iPad

If you're into tracking your running, walking or cycling workouts, RunKeeper can tell you how far you went, how fast you went and how long it took you to get there. 

Standout Features

  • Ability to track speed, pace and elevation
  • Record your route and view it on a map
  • View a history of workouts
  • See your workouts online and share them with friends
  • Listen to music during workouts and change tracks without leaving the application
  • Enter a target pace and get cues on whether you are ahead/behind that pace

If you're an avid runner, I would consider getting the pro version, which has a lot more bells and whistles such as prescribed workouts for your running level, schedule and even the weather.  More »

9
Sworkit - Personalized Workouts for Exercise & Fitness

Sworkit
Sworkit. Sworkit

Price: Free
Compatible With:  iPhone, iPod touch, iPad

Sworkit is another great workout app offering a little more control over your workouts, which is what I love about it.  I like being able to pick my own exercises and make custom workouts, mixing and matching different types of exercise.

Standout Features

  • Easily create your own workouts, choosing from strength, cardio, yoga and stretching.  You can also workout from 5 to 60 minutes.
  • The workouts are shown with easy to follow videos of each exercise and you have the ability to fast forward or go back
  • A variety of strength, cardio, yoga and stretching workouts to choose from, if you don't want to make your own
  • Try to Pro version and you get ad-free workouts, low impact exercises for beginners or seniors, set custom exercise intervals (in the free version, everything is 30 seconds), save custom workouts, new pre-built workouts and the "Ask a Trainer" feature.

I like the clean look and feel of this app and the free version gives you quite a bit to work with. More »

10
Lose It!

Lose It!
Photo © Paige Waehner

Price: Free
Compatible With:  iPhone, iPod touch, iPad

This is not really a workout app, but it deserves to be included because it's pretty cool.  As free weight loss tracking apps go, you can't go wrong with Lose It. It's easy to use and offers tons of  feedback for anyone wanting to lose weight.  

Standout Features

  • An estimate of the calories required to lose weight based on your goal (from 0 to 2 lbs a week)
  • The ability to enter foods using a comprehensive database
  • An exercise database to calculate calories burned
  • A chart that shows your daily calorie budget -- calories eaten, burned and how many more you have left
  • You can track nutrients (fat, carbs, fiber, etc.) and add new foods to the database
  • View your progress by the day or week.

Lose It! is a great resource and, best of all, it's free. More »

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