Sometimes there’s not enough time, or motivation, in the day to get to the gym. And sometimes, we simply don’t have the funds for a membership (or you’d rather spend what little money you have on food or alcohol…no judgment). But, thanks to the invention of the smartphone, you don’t have to actually step foot in a gym to get your workout in. There are a lot of good fitness apps that require a paid subscription, but I’m going to go ahead and jump to the conclusion that if you don’t want to spend $10 a month to go to Planet Fitness or wherever, you probably also don’t want to spend money for an app, either. That’s why I picked out my top five favorite free fitness apps to download and get sweating to. (I don’t feel bad anymore about seeing 5 + hours at the end of the day on my screen time…I’m working out!) Grab your weights and your cutest pair of leggings, and let’s get started.
This app offers categories of workouts for every muscle in your body, including abs, butt, back, shoulders, arms, and more. The exercises are mostly for your at-home gym sesh, but they do offer a few workout routines for during the day, like “deskercise”, “chair exercises”, and “office stretch”… but please, be low-key if you’re doing them at work. What I love about this app is that they offer plenty of workouts that you can do in only seven minutes. These include 7M Butt, 7M Sweat, and 7M Beginner. I love these guides because I know I can get through seven minutes of work without the thought of “when is this overrrrr??” repeating in my head the entire workout. You can see your progress on a calendar based on your workout history and calories burned. Def recommend.
When setting up the app, it will ask you a few questions to help personalize your workouts. It asks for what you think your level is (beginner, intermediate, or pro) and how many sessions a week you want to work out (2, 3, or 4). It then asks you for your goal, whether that be to lose weight, stay fit, or gain muscle. This way, the experience will be tailored to you and your body. Fitness Challenge gives you an outline of your workout before starting, so you know what you’re getting into before you begin. It tells you how much time the workout will last, what exactly you’ll be doing, and how many times you’re doing it. It comes with five categories to choose from: full body, sexy legs and butt, abs and flat tummy, bikini body, and skinny toned arms. Count me in.
3. Daily Yoga
If you’re a yogi, this is the app for you, but in addition to yoga, Daily Yoga also incorporates other mainstream workouts. Once signed in, you choose your goal. This app’s options are: start as beginner, stay healthy, lose weight, skill improvement, muscle tone, and stress relief. I LOVE how they named these goals. But Daily Yoga doesn’t only provide workouts—it goes one step further, offering audio and music to guide you through your practices. They have guided meditations, mantras, mindfulness training, and more—all of which you can download straight to your phone. I recommend listening to the music before bed at night for a spa-like relaxation that’ll put you into a deep sleep.
You can sign up for FitOn through FACEBOOK, which is great, because then you don’t have to waste time plugging in personal info and can get moving instead. It does ask a few questions to personalize your experience, though, which I do appreciate. It first asks you about your goal. Are you using the app to lose weight? Reduce stress? For post-natal fitness? I like this app because it doesn’t just give you three basic goal choices; it has a bunch more to offer. After that, it asks for your favorite types of workouts ranging from yoga, to HIIT, and dance. Then, you’re in! If you aren’t ready to work out right away, you can set reminders to do so later on, which I use way too frequently. It gives you a ton of choices, like which trainer you want to take, the target area you want to work on, and trending activities to start. FitOn even gives you a custom-made schedule. You can see all your upcoming workouts and the intensity of each. You can even invite your friends to share your progress, if you’re competitive like that. There is also a section on advice from trainers, ranging from articles to videos that are informational and worth a watch.
If you aren’t into high-intensity workouts or sweating too much, this app is perfect for you. It’s all about walking, and only walking. Walking is the perfect way to burn off calories and reduce stress. I think walking is one of the most important workouts—especially walking outside. Obvs if it’s crazy weather, just hop on the treadmill, NBD. The app goes by days, so they have a list of workouts designed for you each day to complete. You can walk for meditation, renewal, midlife women, stress, or for burning off the cheese pizza you had for dinner last night, which I like to do. (Okay, so that last option I made up.) All totally great. It also tracks your steps and calories burned, if you’re over your iPhone health app after the latest update, which most of us are.
There are so many other free fitness apps you can check out, but these ones offer a good range of services that everyone can enjoy and are easy to use. These are the perfect start to get motivated and move throughout your week. You can use them in your living room, at your office, outside walking your pup, or even in class (def be cautious though…). Hope these apps help you and guide you to achieve your goals.
Images: Dane Wetton / Unsplash; Workout For Women; Fitness Challenge; Daily Yoga; FitOn; BetterMe: Walking
There are a lot of random workout trends and weird body goals that go in and out of style, but in 2017 everyone wants a good butt, no questions asked. I mean, ever since it became acceptable to go out in leggings and to wear bikinis that are made with less material than your red string bracelet from Birthright, the butt has really taken its place as one of the most important body parts. With summer coming up, the clock is fucking ticking, so get off your ass and get it toned and perky in time. Do each of these seven moves for 45 seconds each, then repeat the circuit another 2-3 times total for a kickass workout, pun intended (and the only acceptable occasion to use the word “kickass”).
1. Goblet Squats
Goblet squats sound scary, but they’re just regular squats that you’ll do while holding a kettlebell for added weight. We’re not hating on bodyweight squats, but you’ll see results so much faster while holding a heavy weight, so why do 500 normal squats when you can get a perkier butt by doing like 20 weighted ones? Exactly. Stand holding a kettlebell at your chest (15-40 pounds) with the horns facing downward. With your weight in your heels, squat down until your hamstrings are on your calves and remember to keep your chest and head up to avoid hurting your back. Pause for a second at the bottom, then come back up while squeezing your butt to activate your
thot powers muscles.
2. Split Squats
Split squats are different than conventional squats because they focus on your right and left sides individually, so you can hit every part of the muscle. This move actually looks more like a lunge, but they really target the bottom of your glutes, so you’ll feel them tomorrow morning. Stand with your right foot forward and your left foot behind you, with both knees bent. Dip downward, bending your legs into a 90-degree angle, trying to get your back knee to touch the ground. Then, come back up by driving through your heel. Alternate reps on each side, and remember to keep the front knee in line with your front foot. Add a weight in your hands if you’ve got it down.
3. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are one of those exercises that can be done SO wrong if no one explains what the fuck you’re supposed to be doing. First of all, this is a LOWER BODY movement, so if you feel yourself using your arms too much, you’re doing it wrong. You’re supposed to feel it in your butt. The idea is to grab a heavy kettlebell (25-50 pounds), and place it on the ground in front of you. Hinge your hips and lift the bell up, hiking it in between your legs so that it’s basically touching your butt. Then, swing the bell forward with your hips, making sure it stays above your knees on the way up and swings to chest-height. Then keep swinging in that same motion from between your thighs to your chest. If you find it easy to swing it that high up, get a heavier kettlebell. Your ponytail should be a hot mess by the end of the 45 seconds.
4. Single Leg Raises
Single leg raises might actually be the single best exercise to make your butt perk up like, three inches. Make sure you take your time on these, because it’s not a fucking race. Start by laying on your back with both feet on the ground and your legs bent. Raise your hips up to the sky, like you’re in a bridge position in fourth grade gymnastics, and then point one leg up while keeping the other bent. Dip your butt up and down for 10 reps, then hold at the top for 10 seconds before you switch sides. Remember to squeeze your butt to really use your muscle. If you’re not feeling the burn and you feel like you’re just humping the sky, you’re not doing it right, and it’s pretty embarrassing and everyone is judging you.
5. Sumo Jump Squats
Tired of the word squat yet? Spoiler alert: too fucking bad. They work. These squats are amazing because they target your inner thigh area while getting your heart rate up, so you’re toning your butt and burning calories at the same time. Start in a regular squat position, but with your feet turned outwards, like an awkward ballerina. Then, squat down, and when you come up, add in a hop, keeping your feet turned outwards. Keep jumping as much as you can without stopping. You should feel the burn on your inner thighs pretty fast.
6. Donkey Kicks
These might sound like a weird sex move, but they’re actually an amazing toning move that targets the muscles in your thighs and butt, so stop being so skeptical and start kicking. Start on your hands and knees with one leg straight out behind you with your knee at a ninety-degree angle. Press your leg straight up, and alternate sides. Once you do regular reps on each side a few times, pulse the leg upwards for 10-20 seconds. If your shoulders get tired from being on your hands, switch to your forearms and/or do some fucking arm workouts and stop being such a weakling.
7. Star Jumps
The star jump is a cardio move, which means you’ll be ending this workout by jumping and sweating. Don’t cry yet. The idea is to get your heart rate up while working your butt and your inner thighs at the same time. Start in a narrow squat with your feet together and hands in front of you. Then, explode up into a high star-shaped jump, separating your legs and arms in the air and then bringing them back together as you land in that same narrow squat. Make sure to actually separate your legs while your jumping, or else you’re defeating the purpose of the move. Good luck walking up the stairs tomorrow.