5 Fitness Apps That Are Just As Good As Workout Classes

Could it be that everything old is new again? I mean, when it comes to the fitness world, yeah, kinda. If you’re over the age of 20 then you can probably recall when fitness videos (yes, like on VHS) were a thing. Maybe you remember your mom jumping up and down in your living room imitating Richard Simmons (with the big hair to match) or possibly you yourself begged your parents to purchase Darrin’s Dance Grooves so you could “work out” aka learn all of the slutty dance moves to every Britney Spears song (guilty). Welp, it looks like we’ve come full circle because the act of working out under the guidance of an instructor on a screen in the comfort of your own home has resurfaced. That’s right, more and more people are starting to turn to fitness apps and platforms to get their workouts in from home, versus making the trek to their local gym or studio. And thank fucking god, because have you seen how fucking expensive fitness classes have gotten? (If you have and you’re in NYC looking for a cheap alternative that isn’t super crowded, click here.)

But honestly, I just got another email from SoulCycle the other day informing me that the price per class in NYC has gone up to $36 a pop. And like, whatever, no shade to SoulCycle, that’s fine to pay every once in a while, like when you want to look cool and fit and trendy when you have friends visiting from out of town. But seriously, I don’t know many people who can afford to make that their go-to daily workout. I, for one, can think of plenty of other things that I rather spend 36 bucks on than a cycling class packed with basic bitches who really probably only attend the class for the IG stories. But I digress.

Anyway, as an alternative—a cheaper, way more convenient, alternative — we’ve rounded up the five best fitness apps and platforms that feature live (and some scripted) classes that you can use to get your workout in from the comfort of your own home. And I promise you, each app is far more advanced than Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ to the Oldies videos.

So read on if you’re in need of cheap, effective workouts you can do from your living room.

1. obé 

Cost: $27 a month

Obé is a fitness app and platform that streams 6-8 hours of live workouts every morning lead by an instructor in their Brooklyn-based studio. Each workout lasts a quick, yet efficient 28 minutes. The app specifically offers live workouts during the morning hours because, as you probably already know, working out in the morning increases productivity throughout the day. But if sweating before noon isn’t exactly your thing, no worries, the app has a library of quick workouts that last anywhere from 10 to 28 minutes. Obé’s workouts are streamed from the inside of a pastel-colored lightbox by some of New York’s hottest instructors like Megan Roup, as a way to give non-NYC residents the same sort of experience provided by the boutique fitness studios found here in the city. The platform offers three different types of classes: Sweat: a combination of dance and cardio, Define: provides strength and muscle building exercises, and Flow: a mix of stretching, yoga and mat Pilates.

Courtesy of obé

2. Tone It Up

Cost: $12.99 a month

Tone It Up founders Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn have created Studio Tone It Up, a fitness app available in the iOS store where you can receive weekly access to exclusive classes like yoga, barre, kickboxing and various other classes with their all-female cast of fitness trainers. The app also allows you to track your goals and workout with “accountability partners,” aka other app users. If you’re familiar with the Tone It Up community, then you probably already love their workout merch and accessories, bathing suit line, and protein and nutrition plans. The app allows you to fully immerse yourself in the community and work out like the founders as well.

3. Fortë

Cost: $39 a month or $288 a year

Fortë has a curated list of boutique studios that they place tiny cameras in (in a non-creepy way) so that they can live stream classes on their site that may not be available in your city. So, if you’re into boxing and pilates but your local gym only offers geriatric Jazzercise, then Fortë is there for you. They offer classes from studios like Exhale, RIPPED, Body Space Fitness, My Stryde, JoyRide, Center City Yoga, Powerumba, Aerospace and Project Physique, so you’re bound to find a class you like.

Courtesy of Fortë

4. Barre3

Cost: $15 a month

If you’ve ever visited (and obsessed over) Barre3’s West Village location, then take the experience home with you with the studio’s app that gives you unlimited access to hundreds of their sculpting workouts. The exercises last anywhere from 10-6o minutes and come along with other perks like custom workout schedules, programs, and challenges. And no worries if you don’t have a ballet bar randomly installed in your apartment because you don’t need any equipment to complete the classes on the app.

Sometimes soft. Sometimes powerful. Some days both.

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5. Buti Yoga 

Cost: $40 a month for the “tone” option, $60 a month for the “sculpt” option

Okay, so we couldn’t leave our yogis out. However, if you’re looking for a zen, meditative yoga practice to do at home, then Buti probably shouldn’t be your first option. But if you are looking to quickly tone and sculpt by doing a workout that infuses yoga, tribal dancing, and plyometrics (like jumping exercises), then Buti should be your go-to. While the app doesn’t offer live classes, it does offer a very large archive of their exclusive workouts. If you go with the app’s “tone” subscription, then you have access to 50 hours of Buti workouts for $40 a month. If you go with their “sculpt” option, then you have access to an additional 50 hours of workouts that combine Buti routines with HIIT-based exercises.

Day 3 of our #dare2barechallenge calls for you to #proveyoursweat with @mmmsteph. • • Today is the day we BREAK up with numerical measurement. Your scale is a filthy liar, your calorie tracker and food journals often serve as a way to punish yourself and make you feel like a failure. The most important things to track in the next 14 days are FEELINGS. • • Speaking of feels, how’d you guys feel flowing it out today? And how about breaking up with the scale? Keep hollering at us. Please keep sharing your love letters on your scales. Don’t forget to tag #ScaleRevolution. It’s truly an honor to witness all of you doing the damn thing. ????????• • Still not in the challenge? It’s not too late. Join us. Link in bio. ❤• • #butitribe #butiyoga #sweatwithintention

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Images: toneitup, barre3, butiyoga / Instagram

The Mane Betch
The Mane Betch
Kelsi is a New York City girl who loves hair products, vintage fur coats and any drink that contains both vodka and champagne. In addition to Betches, you may have seen some of her work on, Teen and Mane, among other sites! See what your girl is up to on Instagram @Keke_andthecity.