The 10 best free workout apps to get your heart racing


If you’re like most people with a packed daily schedule, sometimes it feels like a huge inconvenience to get up after a long day to go work out. (If you only have free time in the early mornings, dragging yourself out of bed is arguably worse.) Luckily, an effective workout is a quick download away with free workout apps that can motivate everyone, from the laziest loungers to fitness freaks.

Fad diet plans and gym memberships can cost you a pretty penny, or you can rely on these tried-and-true fitness apps to reach your goals. Besides, your phone already motivates you to do almost everything else.

The best free workout apps

1) Sworkit

Screenshot via Sworkit Screenshot via Sworkit

Sworkit (short for “simply work it”) is on a mission to minimalize your routine and make working out simple. Users have the option to pick more than 20 different pre-made workouts including cardio, yoga, strength training, and stretching. Each workout guides users with audio cues and short videos of real trainers who demonstrate the motions.

Besides the clean, user-friendly interface, the best thing about Sworkit is that it allows you to tailor specific workout lengths to your schedule. Users can snag a quick or lengthy personal workout at any time of the day.

2) C25K

Screenshot via C25K Screenshot via C25K

C25k, otherwise known as “Couch to 5k,” is the perfect workout app if you’re a beginner trying to reach a set goal. The app gets you off your couch, literally, and trains you in intervals to prepare you for running a 5k after an eight-week plan. Users will work out three times a week, with breaks between each day, and each session lasts between 30 to 40 minutes. C25k is very user-friendly, and it helps you feel accomplished after each day is completed.

The point of the app is to show users that not everyone was born a runner—but you can easily transform into one.


3) Nike+ Training Club

Screenshot via Nike+ Training Club app Screenshot via Nike+ Training Club app

Nike+ Training Club is designed specifically for women, but ideally anyone can use it. The app includes more than 85 instructor-narrated workout routines curated by Nike professionals, pro athletes, and celebrities like Glee star Lea Michele, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, and personal trainer Ary Nunez, who trains Rihanna. The app tracks your progress the more you use it and utilizes a reward system as encouragement to keep pushing. Users can link or create their own playlist to go along with the routines, while audio cues help you along the way.

The app lets you set an end goal, tailoring each workout to help you achieve whatever fitness goal you desire. Be prepared before beginning your workout with Nike+, though. The app doesn’t take breaks lightly.

4) Strava

Screenshot via Strava Screenshot via Strava

Strava takes tracking your runs or rides to a whole other level. The app lets you map out and record your distance by integrating a geographic map. It includes a “Labs” feature to test different outcomes, like the ability to replay your cardio trail on its desktop interface after you have finished.

But the most interesting aspect of Strava is how it creates competition. The app lets you follow your friends to see if they’re actually as good as they say they when it comes to running or cycling. After you’ve completed your customized workout, you can compare your performance with other users to see who hit the finish line first. If you regularly train for marathons, you can use the app to track competitors in your area and take notes for the next race.

5) Charity Miles

Screenshot via Charity Miles Screenshot via Charity Miles

With every mile you run or walk using Charity Miles, you can donate to more than 30 worldwide charities. The interface is sleek, easy to use, and straightforward. Before each use, you choose a charity like Feed America, Stand Up To Cancer, or Habitat For Humanity, then proceed with your exercise of choice. According to the app’s website, $1.7 million has been raised so far.

Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll with your dog, walking to catch the bus, or running your favorite trail, Charity Miles helps you feel like you accomplished more than just a workout.

6) Map My Fitness

Screenshot via Map My Fitness   Screenshot via Map My Fitness

Map My Fitness takes the planning out of your run by offering you the best routes in your city. The app has a list of the most popular running, hiking, and biking routes around the world that you can access for free straight from the app. If you feel like running one of the pre-discovered routes, just download them from the website and select “Send to Phone.” Now you just have to show up and start moving.

7) Personal Trainer: Home Workout

Screenshot via Personal Trainer: Home Workout app Screenshot via Personal Trainer: Home Workout app

Ever wanted a personal trainer but knew the cost was out of your price range? Personal Trainer: Home Workout makes users want to work harder knowing they’re getting a trainer-tested fitness routine. With more than 100 instructional workout videos, users can follow personal HIIT, cardio, and strength trainers every minute so you don’t get distracted.

The app is tailored to the user’s goals and the workouts can be customized to match any level of intensity and length from 10 to 30 minutes. The app can also connect to smart watches so you can keep track of your results.


8) Qinetic

Screengrab via Qinetic app Screengrab via Qinetic app

Qinetic gives users on-demand, guided fitness classes like yoga, strength training, high-intensity interval training, and more classes to make you sweat. The layout is clear and download time is fast, meaning you won’t deal with any lags that could slow you down.

The app connects with Apple Watch and Healthkit to monitor your activity while working out so you can check your stats in real time. The app is only available for download on iOS.

9) Freeletics Bodyweight

Screengrab via Freeletics Bodyweight Screengrab via Freeletics Bodyweight

The best thing about this app is that it uses your exact body weight effectively, offering weight-free workouts that fit your weight loss (or gain) goals. Freeletics Bodyweight offers more than 900 workout variations with tutorial videos that range from 5 to 30 minutes and progress over time.

The app is highly motivational and gives users frequent inspirational messages like “Giving up is not an option!” Freeletics also offers an array of other fitness apps like Freeletics Gym and Running if you want to add more to your routine.

10) 30-Day Squat Challenge

Screenshot via 30 Day Squat Challenge app   Screenshot via 30 Day Squat Challenge app

This app is as simple and straightforward as its name. 30-day Squat Challenge targets your precious glutes to give you the killer bubble butt you’ve always dreamed of by breaking down different types of squats for each day out of the month.

Each day, the number of squats you’re expected to do increases along with their intensity. After 30 days, hopefully you’ll be looking back at it with pride.

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.

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